Mass Effect 3 is out now in North America and will be available in these parts from Friday. As is par for the course reviews have started to trickle down the information tubes that make up this here internet and appear online. If it wasn't clear from our Mass Effect 3 review, BioWare's third entry in the sci-fi trilogy is one of the best games you'll play this year.
Our reviewer called it "a fitting end to the trilogy, although it's not the leap that Mass Effect 2 was from the original. There's a lot of new content, and the combat is superior, but it still has the same rhythm and general feel of the last game... depending on the choices you make and how strong your army is, will either leave you teary-eyed with joy, or tinged with melancholy. Few endings are so powerful."
We're sure you won't need much convincing to play this, but just in case we've rounded up a few more reviews and stuck them into the list below. Careful though, all this gushing could do funny things to your expectations...
- : 10/10 - Mass Effect 3 is brave enough to threaten to destroy its very own legacy. Everything you've worked for is genuinely at risk, and horrifying things are going to happen because of some of the choices you've made. If you've spent as long as we have with these characters, the impact of this final journey will be one you don't forget for years. Brave, thrilling, and incredibly emotional, Mass Effect 3 is a sci-fi masterpiece.
- OPM UK: 10/10 - But not a lot of games - almost no games, in fact - manage to establish the kind of white-hot emotional connection between player, cast and setting that Mass Effect 3 somehow conjures. That's the reason this story of Earth, the galaxy and Shepard's last stand is so harrowing, and why people will be talking about it for years to come.
- PC Gamer: 9/10 - Even if the end destination of this final chapter isn't quite as magnificent as we hoped for, we'll never regret the hundred-hour, three-game journey we took across the galaxy to get there. Mass Effect 3 is an incredible experience that rewards you for those years of investment and devotion to its stratospheric tale.
- PC Gamer: 93/100 - A culmination of all the choice, character and intrigue of Mass Effect. A satisfying end to a spectacular adventure.
- The Verge: 10/10 - When the credits rolled, I felt finished. Mass Effect 3 is the culmination of an unprecedented experiment in game narrative, and in the best possible way, I'm glad to have seen it through, and to see it done.
- Eurogamer: 10/10 - As with any game that dares to be ambitious, deconstruct Mass Effect 3 into its constituent parts and of course there are flaws, but taken as a whole this is arguably the first truly modern blockbuster, a game that transcends the genre boundaries of old and takes what it needs from across the gaming spectrum in order to finish its story in the most compelling, thrilling, heartbreaking way possible. Few gaming sagas come to a definitive close, but this one signs off in breathtaking style.
- Planet Xbox 360: 10/10 - When the credits finally rolled we we're quite-sad to see this trilogy come to an end, but with the next-gen console cycle on the horizon we're more than a little excited to see where Bioware will take Mass Effect next. Whether you've been holding your breath since finishing Mass Effect 2 or just now looking to jump into a story-driven video game, Mass Effect 3 provides something for everyone from the single-player to co-op, it's just that f**king good.
- IncGamers: 9/10 - An exhilarating, touching and engaging finale for Shepard and co. This generation's best sci-fi RPG series just got better.
- G4: 5/5 - Mass Effect 3 rounds out its epic space opera with innumerous moments of restrained maturity, bringing about a conclusion that satisfies better than anything, not just in games, but in any pop medium.
- VideoGamer: 8/10 - There is, in short, a hell of a lot of game here, and at a time when free social and smartphone games have analysts wondering aloud whether full-priced retail games can cut the mustard, here is a package that represents exceptional value. There's little here to convert non-believers, but then this game is not for them. This is one for the fans, and few who buy it will be left unsatisfied by how the story - their story - ends.
- EGM Now: 9.0 - Mass Effect's brilliant story remains intact, and if you played the previous two games, the payoff's more than satisfying. Some cover and combat issues remain unsolved, though, and the idea of participation in a completely separate multiplayer mode potentially influencing your single-player ending is mind-boggling.
- GameSpot: 9.0 - Mass Effect 3 is a remarkably satisfying conclusion to a beloved trilogy, and a poignant and memorable role-playing action game in its own right.
- Kotaku: No Score - Mass Effect 3 is definitively the conclusion of that story, and with every moment I laughed aloud, with every moment I sobbed, and with every moment I shouted extremely unprintable words I knew that it was worth the wait.
- GamerZines: 98% - BioWare truly has excelled itself. Like its hero, Mass Effect 3 is a thing of legend and, simply put, one of the greatest games ever made.
- IGN: 9.5 - All told, Mass Effect 3 is an absolutely amazing game, one that successfully puts a bow on the Mass Effect trilogy while still leaving us hungry for even more. It looks and plays great, but Mass Effect 3's true strength lies in its ability to tell a deeply-woven story. Better yet, the sheer ambition shown by BioWare in announcing an intersecting trilogy complete with save importation becomes fully realized in Mass Effect 3. BioWare deserves applause for not only having the courage to attempt something like the Mass Effect trilogy, but for pulling it off with such exceptional poise and skill. Mass Effect 3 isn't the best game ever made. But it'll certainly be in the conversation for a very long time to come.
- The Guardian: 5/5 - More than ever, the Mass effect universe pulls off the masterful trick of feeling huge and yet believable - the game's production values are through the roof, and its third-person shooter controls incredibly precise, responsive and accurate given Mass Effect's immense scope. It really does feel like a TV sci-fi series in which you play the central character - which highlights the current absence of significant sci-fi series from our TV screens.
- GiantBomb: 4/5 - It's not the best game in the trilogy, but I'd still take a decent Mass Effect game over most story-driven releases.
- PlayStation Lifestyle: 10/10 - Mass Effect 3 is so much more than a game. It blends genres and transcends the video game medium to offer up an experience unparalleled in this industry. This game will easily be a front-runner for Game of the Year and is in my mind a serious contender for being the best game of this generation.
- Game Informer: 10/10 - I guided Shepard across three massive games spanning over 100 hours, and feel BioWare has delivered one of the most intricately crafted stories in the history of the medium. After getting to know these characters so well, it'll be hard to leave this universe behind, but it's been one hell of a ride.
- OXM US: 9.5/10 - From the visceral combat to the excitement of finishing Shepard's 100-hour fight, Mass Effect 3 is a rare, magnetically engaging treat that'll compel you to stay up well past your bedtime to do "just one more quest." Safe travels, fellow Shepards. See you starside.
- Metro: 9/10 - A great ending to a landmark trilogy. A near perfect mix of action and storytelling, where the personal drama is as engrossing as the galaxy-spanning battles
- Destructoid: 8.5/10 - While some niggling issues do persist in terms of controls, the storyline is supremely satisfying right up to its climax, which contains one of the most interesting moral dilemmas found in videogames (from a standpoint of long-term implications).
- 1UP: A - While Mass Effect 3 stumbles at times, the fact that it's the ultimate culmination of my own Shepard's story makes it one of the signature (and somewhat-literal) role-playing-games of this year.
- Rock Paper Shotgun: No Score - It's hard to see where Bioware will go from here, but I think are some reasons to be cheerful, whatever the dark fate of that particular galaxy, and despite the messages about purchasing future DLC that appear to interrupt your elegiac moment at the end of the game.