I loved ME2 but didn't buy ME3 for quite some time, mainly because I'd read a few bad reviews. I shouldn't have worried. Mass Effect 3 was absolutely excellent.
I found myself really immersed in the storyline. I loved all the characters, and sad as it may seem, I grew attached to them. I'm not a hardcore gamer, so I'm a little hesitant to admit this, but I found myself thinking about the storyline, my actions within it, and whether I'd made the right moral choices, a great deal. The way you can effect the outcome depending on your chosen path is a new dimension in gaming, as far as I'm concerned, and I really felt like I was guiding the storyline (creating my own Mass Effect history) and even developing relationships with the characters. Of course, I'd played other games which claim you can effect the outcome, but they all felt a little contrived. With ME3 I really felt as though I was acting out my own interactive film.
There has been lots of criticism re: the game's various endings, but personally I really liked the ending I got. It was a little ambiguous, perhaps, but I quite liked that. I found myself wondering what everything meant, whether I'd made the right decisions etc, which was a unique experience for me. I'm pretty sure this is what BioWare intended - and they succeeded hands down. Then again, as a fan of the Matrix movies, I'm not opposed to a little speculation and guess work ;-)
My only real criticism is the fact you have to play multiplayer to increase your 'galactic readiness' for the final confrontation with the Reapers. Personally, I can't be bothered with all that. I just like single player. I later found out that this somewhat restricted the available options at the game's conclusion. However, as I said, I still liked the ending I got - and the choice I made - so perhaps I shouldn't grumble too much.
Overall, I really recommend you buy ME3. There's enough shooting to keep the shoot 'em up fans happy, and enough exploration etc to keep RPG fans amused for hours. Like me, you might even find that you lose yourself in the game's universe. I was genuinely sad when it all finished, especially as I doubt they'll bring back the main character for ME4 ... but you never know I suppose.
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