I very much enjoyed playing Mass Effect 3. The story was was well fleshed out. I had a good amount of time spent with my teammates and mostly everyone I knew from the last two games. The gameplay was stellar. I have loved the Multiplayer and I'm one of the ones who thought "Bioware is on Crack" when I first heard about it. My LI (who was Garrus) had a great story. I'm very happy with the romance, it was so much more then I was expecting. The Narrative gave you a great feeling of "OMG can I do this" which is what I think they were going for. I did feel closer to my Shepard then in the first two games. I loved the updated character models compared to the last two games. I loved the new Default Femshep. Not including the ending I cried when my old teammates died. But they died in a way that their death was worth it, they had closure and I was proud of them. I thought the game was made so much more Epic this time around. I really did enjoy every facet of the game, until the end of course.
The ones I noticed were that if I died my autosaves were spawning me under the world and I was stuck. I would have to reload from a quicksave or completely restart the mission. Quest NPCs who are finished would not show up on the elevator map letting me know I could finish the quest. Sometimes the galaxy map would flash on a star system when there was no quest there. The map on the citadel sometimes wouldn't display complete quests. I had to literally look at the quest see it was a person on in the presidium commons then go and check everyone to see if I could click them. Also sometimes I would click for a squadmate to use a power and they would use another one.
There was no entry if a quest was updated. It never told you where a quest should be completed. I literally had to sit in the elevator and scan all the floors maps to tell me if there was someone there would had a turn in. And sometimes that wouldnt show up.
My squadmates wouldn't attack correctly with the right powers based on the type of enemy and barriers. In ME2 they were smarter. I didn't have to micromanage them as much. Also as a Vanguard I got ahead of my squad a lot and they could not RUN. I can run but they would always be trailing behind. Even if I didn't have charge you were usually waiting for them to catch up to you since you could run and they couldn't.
Galaxy at War
I was told in an interview with Casey Hudson when he talked about Multiplayer that you did not need Multiplayer or any other system to get the best ending. I did a full completionist run. I explored every star system 100%, did every side quest and main quest, talked to all my people every chance I got. I recruited all races. As far as I know I still can't get the ending that Shepard will live if she chooses the Red Ending. I had 3500 MES and you need 5000, 4000 if Anderson died. Which to be honest I don't know if my Anderson died or not. He lost consciousness and I thought he died. Even so I should have that ending with 3500. I shouldn't need the Multiplayer to get it.
No matter how much I enjoyed it and how good it was the endings completely ruined my Mass Effecet 3 experience. The rest of the game was awesome, except for the quest log and autosave loading under the world bugs. If you ignore the endings ME3 really is a great accomplishment. That being said here is my take on the endings.
I did a total completionist run, explored 100%, did all side quests and got the entire galaxy to cooperate (majority Paragon). I only have 3500 EMS without the MP. And I do remember the interview that they said it is possible to get the very best ending without doing the MP. I guess its time to start doing some MP and turn that 3500 into 7000 and see what happens. One side note, at 3500 the bar is over full of green on the war monitor.
I do think they need an ending with more hope for your crew. That's really who Shepard has been fighting for. To know they are stranded somewhere (Normandy is down doubtful she is repairable) and there is no hope of rescue (Relays are Gone) is very troubling. Also when you are on Earth your squadmates get zapped and die it seems. So there went my LI. Though then he miraculously shows up at the end in the Normandy.
I don't mind Shepard dieing. I expected that going in. But if Shepard dies then there should be some way with a completionist run for his crew to have a chance at a good future. A future where they can go back to their home worlds to be with their friends and family and rebuild. That is what my Shepard has been fighting for.
The endings caused me very deep despair and heartbreak for these characters and races which I have invested in for the last 5 years. I thought I wouldn't be able to play any more ME3 it was so bad. I had no interest in playing a new game+ or any of my other romance ME2 saves. I've changed my mind now though after getting used to it. I'll never finish ME3 again though. Probably play to the first base on Earth where you say goodbye to everyone. Dragon Age 2 did the same thing. It left me feeling like the goal I was working toward in the game was not accomplished. So no matter how many times I try and replay the game there is no hope. It is a discouraging trend between the two games. I never want to play another game that makes me feel this bad at the end. I'm probably going to not preorder the next Bioware game no matter what specials it comes with until I hear the reviews about the endings.
I also think there should be some SUPER ending possible where Shep no matter the choice doesn't die and (in my case) goes and adopts Krogan babies with Garrus.
Right now I'm trying to convince myself that the Normandy is repairable, they are in travel distance of Earth and that someone, somehow makes a Mass Relay (or some other type of galaxy spanning transit) in a few years.
When I finish a game I should have a great feeling of accomplishment. I should feel on top of the world. Even if there is a tragic ending with sacrifice I should feel that everything is going to be better. When I was finished with Mass Effect 3 I was hit with such a huge whammy of depression and unhappy that I still haven't recovered from it hours later. A game should never make you feel this way. I don't mind crying because something is sad. But if I cry it should be with the feeling of hope or "they did good". There was none of that with Mass Effect 3.
I'm sorry Bioware but you have truly shaken my faith in you. I know you are made up of some incredible people and I respect all of you. I hope you take these words seriously for all future projects and be better with your endings. I will never preorder another Bioware product until this has been fixed. I just can't take the chance of playing another game that makes me feel this bad when I finish it.