I know the game has just been released yesterday, but maybe some of you are crazy like me and finished their playthrough. As a big fan of ME in general, I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on the game.
Gameplay-wise, it's pretty much ME2 with some enhancements. They brought back some stuff from ME1 (e.g. weapon modding) and added a little more depth to the skills system when you level up. It's still pretty damned simplified though, but I guess there's nothing really wrong with that. I find the new "move between cover" mechanic gets in the way more than anything and doesn't really serve a purpose other than in the handful of situations where they kind of force you to use it. This might be because I was only playing at "Normal", and since everyone here is a gamer, I'd recommend turning the difficulty up if you want even the slightest bit of challenge. I don't know what more there is to say about the gameplay as it's pretty much the same as ME2.
Which brings us to the interesting part, the story. Please remember to use spoiler tags people! For ME2, I was super hyped up and watched all the stuff released before the game, and although I still liked the story, I found I got spoiled a little too much, so I decided to resist and only watch ME3's first trailer (which didn't say anything anyway). And now...
It's over. I'll still have to think about it before I can say if I find the ending good or bad, but hell, the ride to get there is pretty brutal. In ME1/2, you could pretty much have a perfect playthrough, saving everyone and whatnot even though they were all "ohhh it's dangerous, not everyone is going to survive!", but this time? Seeing former teammates die and not having that little blue "Shepard saves the day" option, that's hard. It did convey the right feeling, though.
Now, I don't know if there are many different endings, but I suspect there are only the two choices: to control or to destroy. Either way, you die. It's probably for the best to kill Shepard, but part of me was still hoping for an happier ending, where Shep can retire or something, anything to let us know what happens afterwards. There seems to be no real epilogue to the end of this trilogy. The Crucible detonates, big explosion, you see the Normandy crashing on a nice planet, and then credits. And then there's the scene with the Stargazer and the boy, but that doesn't explain anything. I feel quite lost in the dark here. After spending all that time with my companions, I have no idea what happened to them. Even just a few sentences would have sufficed. Or maybe I just got to love this universe too much.
As for the rest of the game, I'm impressed at how much could actually change depending on what happened in the previous games. The Rachni? It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it caused a lot of trouble. What if Mordin died during ME2's suicide mission? Would Cerberus attack the citadel the same way if Udina wasn't councillor? Lots and lots of variable, and would it be ME1/2, I'd be starting a new character right away to find out what happens. But this ending kills me, no pun intended. In a game known for all the little details your decisions bring, to have only two options at the end seems so bland. Now, there is still a chance that someone will come and say "but noooo, I got a super nice ending on my end!", but I don't believe that'll happen.
I'm sure I'll come around and like the fact that it ends this way, but for now, I'll just mourn Commander Shepard.
Don't get me wrong, there are tons of stuff I like about this game. And Jennifer Hale, damn impressive voice acting.