How has the PlayStation Mass Effect 3 release been reviewed?

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Answered by: Sean, An Expert in the PlayStation Games - General Category
When reading any review applauding the PlayStation 3's Mass Effect 3 release, understand that mileage may vary.

There's been a clear disconnect between average players and critics over how effectively BioWare has concluded Commander Shepard's landmark trilogy. Elite critic reviews pouring from outlets such as IGN or even The New York Times have rightfully applauded how this chapter's character-rich drama has given many favorite characters from throughout the first two titles satisfying, even sometimes emotionally wrenching closure.

They're praised the way producer Casey Hudson's team smoothed over the precious few faults holding back Mass Effect 2 from absolute perfection, including smoother transitions between cover and adding more effective melee and run-and-gun combat

Many a "fan" review more quickly rip away the rose-tinted glasses.

Frequently, a PlayStation Mass Effect 3 review in particular will point to loading bugs and glitches that often freeze the game dead. The PS3 iteration in particular often labors under conspicuous frame-rate issues that make finding a combat rhythm highly frustrating. But one will find nary a one Mass Effect 3 review that doesn't touch passionately one way or another upon how BioWare wrapped the entire saga.

For two entire previous games, players have established file after file because so many decisions across each story affected how the game not only ended, but would continue upon importing previous save files. Mass Effect 2's loading screens went so far as to guarantee players that whatever they accomplished - or failed to - by that game's conclusion would impact Mass Effect 3's outcome.

And to SOME extent, BioWare told only truth. However, nothing that played out in Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2 ultimately impacts how Mass Effect 3 actually ends. That's what's stuck in fan-reviewers' craws: it feels like no devlish details they sweated ultimately mattered. There was no final, satisfying closure on how the trilogy's unfolding under the player's direction impacted the beloved supporting characters.

It bears noting that PlayStation Mass Effect 3 players have that rough enough as it is, with the original Mass Effect probably never becoming available for a Sony console due to an exclusivity agreement between Microsoft and Electronic Arts binding that title solely to the Xbox and Windows platforms. Mass Effect 2 fans playing on the PS3 have to merely settle for an interactive back-story comic filling in the previous game's events.

True, there's been an overwhelming, noisy majority of Mass Effect faithful brandishing their torches and pitchforks BioWare's way. They feel profoundly ripped-off, and that's understandable. Still, there have been many who have defended Hudson's team, reminding the noisier ones that game design has truly become an art form, and art isn't always created to satisfy the audience so much as satisfy a personal vision.

That being said, try anything once. Reviews are riddled with spoilers already, but they don't always do the whole experience justice. Try it and form your own final impressions. Good or bad, these games' impressions are always lasting ones in the bittersweet endings that will unfold.

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