There are moments in Mass Effect 3 where everything else goes away and it is
purely and completely good; Tuchanka, Rannoch, little moments with the
characters you've come to know and love. These moments are made all the better
for knowing that they are YOUR moments, the result of your choices and actions
over the previous two games. When you achieve something momentous in this game
you truly feel like you're earned it.
And then the ending comes along and everything is made pointless. I am not
exaggerating in any way when I say that this is the worst ending of anything
I have ever experienced. It is truly that terrible. It comes out of nowhere, it
provides no kind of resolution at all, it's poorly written and not even
thematically relevant–even the tone feels completely different to the rest of
the game(s). Given everything that came before it feels like a punch to the gut,
almost as if BioWare set out to deliberately hurt fans of the franchise, to say
“Oh, you cared about these games- These characters- This story- Ahahahaha,
what a silly person–WE don't care about it at all, and here's the proof; we
have taken hundreds of hours of your life and it was all a bad joke”.
Yes, I'm reacting emotionally to this–dramatically, even. It's because
I care about Tali and Garrus and Wrex and the fate of the Quarians and the Geth
and the Mass Effect universe in general. It's been an intense journey, but for
it to end in this way–in this way that renders everything pointless–is
difficult, to say the least.
For everything before the last half hour or so, it's a solid 8/10. Not as
good as ME2–especially in terms of writing and intensity–but otherwise very
very good indeed. The gameplay is better than ever, streamlined nicely and made
complex in good ways.
Including the ending, though, I can't even rate it. Terrible, graceless,
insulting and utterly, utterly disappointing.