Continuing from the events of the previous game Mass Effect 3 opens with the Reapers attacking Earth and, having narrowly escaped with his life, Commander Shepard yet again finds himself as humanity's last hope for survival. Series veterans will be instantly familiar with the games concept in which a series of core and side missions can be accessed from the Normandy's galaxy map. This time around however it is not just a case of recruiting allies to your cause. Depending on how each mission is handled vital resources, such as fleets of warships, can be gained to aid in the final battle against the Reapers. As has always been the case many of these missions allows for a great deal of freedom with a number of, sometimes very difficult, choices being afforded to the player.
The series strong combat remains virtually unchanged from the series second entry and still plays like a simplified version of Gears of War. Responding to audience criticisms a number of features have been tweaked however. While the popular Mako may not make a return the weapon and armour customisation has returned and the dull planet scanning all but removed.
For the first time in the Mass Effect series multiplayer has also been included. To be honest it offers only a minor diversion from the main campaign with only one mode (imagine Horde mode from Gears of War or Halo) and six small maps to play in co-op with up to three other players. Since the playing multiplayer aids in preparing for the Reaper assault in the main game however it is worth investing some time in.
And so to the much criticised ending to the game. In my personal opinion some of this criticism is justified as it certainly leaves several plot holes and very much jars with the philosophy of Mass Effect. A few fans have certainly gone overboard however as when you consider the huge influence you are able to wield throughout the game the disappointing final ten minutes in no way spoils the 20 or so hours that come before or the epic series as a whole.