[Final warning: this thread contains spoilers, so do not read this if you don't want to know].
Space, the final frontier.....no, wait, sorry. That's wrong. *ahem* In a galaxy.....damn. Ain't no place I could be since I found Serenity......nope. Errrr, my name is John Crichton, I used to be an astro.....no, that's not right either. I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favorite thread on the Xbox.com forums. That's the one! Right!
The first review for the final piece of Shepard's epic space-journey has surfaced courtesy of German PC gaming magazine, GameStar. A helpful member of the Bioware forums, named Hagren, has translated a few of the key points from the review. The major points that cought my own interest was that RPG mode feels closer to ME1 and that the main storyline lasts around 15-20 hours, with a total of about 40 hours if you wish to do everything. Anyway, here's the translation:
"15-20 hour-long main quest
-Around 40 hours playtime in total- side missions are vital to amass enough opposition to the Reaper threat
-90 minutes of cutscenes
-No loose ends or cliffhangers, the game is truly an appropriate end to the trilogy with a very intense and touching finale
-More than 100 scenes, conversations and/or events change depending on our choices after importing a save-game from ME2- from something small like someone thanking us for completing a mission to bigger repercussions which would be to spoilerous to write down- you are definitely going to feel the consequences, and not always like them
-SPOILER: In order to rally allies, we search for a cure for the Genophage, build a Prothean weapon, disarm a Cerberus bomb before it destroys half of a moon, and are even inserted virtually in a computer program
-If and how many of these quests we complete influences how the game ends, and who- individually and globally- survives
-While the game can be enjoyable for newcomers as well, because the game is strong on its own mechanically and story-wise, it is recommended to play the first two entries to make more sense out of the wealth of information that the game builds on
-There's an interesting sequence after the end credits
-The „Role-Play“ mode of the game (In contrast to „Action“ and „Story“) feels very much like ME1
-The game gives you more opportunity to customize your Shepard. Each class has 8 talents with 6 levels each, and up from Level 4 there are two branches to choose from to level up each individual talent differently. Weapon customization is also a factor and noticeable, but the effects (which have both pros and cons) are only marginal
-Balancing isn't optimal
-The game is noticeably more difficult up from „Medium“, which makes using the correct weapon mods and talents integral to survive. Shepard also shoots more accurately in cover.
-The AI, on the other hand, is still not very advanced
-SPOILER: You are going to visit Krogan ruins, a Geth ship and the Turian moon Palaven, among others
-There are multiple turret sections which aren't very well directed
-Despite the shortcomings in level design, which are similar to ME2, the game is constantly thrilling, spectacular and dramatic- largely thanks to the well-presented story and dialogue- and there are lot of small and large choices again to ponder on
-Scanning isn't nearly as repetitive as before, because it works a lot quicker now and incorporates a new mini-game where you have to navigate your ship away from Reaper threat
-The new melee option is fun, but a little overpowered
-Graphically, the low polycount, lack of detail and low texture resolution disappoints- the characters are well animated and modeled however, and the overall look, despite its age, is quite moody
-Great dynamic soundtrack and sound-effects
-Our progress in the war effort is constantly trackable on a terminal on the Normandy
In summary, the game builds on the strenghts of ME2 and takes some notes from ME1 to create the most compelling experience in the franchise yet. "
Another helpful user pointed out the they scored Mass Effect 3 a great 9/10. They also pointed out that Gamestar is well known for being fussy and quite critical with their reviews.
Also note that for obscure reason the platform they reviewed it on was Playstation 3. Don't ask me why a PC magazine was reviewing it on Playstation 3. The world is a strange place.
Thoughts? Comments? Inane babbling? Rants? LET THY VOICE BE HEARD! But not too loud, mind, I've got people asleep in the next room.