Mass Effect 3 PC Review: Prettier, But Pretty Much the Same

I neglected to discuss much of the ending on my first review of the game, and since then, Mass Effect 3′s ending has become an enormous point of contention for fans. I can say this without spoiler: it’s weak. Many fans feel it doesn’t live up to the rest of the game, and I agree with that point. Still, I personally can’t subscribe to the viewpoint that a weak ending 10 minutes invalidates how much I enjoyed the previous 24 hours and 50 minutes of my Mass Effect 3 experience (to say nothing of the countless hours dropped in the first two titles).

The vast majority of ME3 pays off the rest of the series beautifully and much of the end game is expertly crafted. If you’re the kind of person who hates Lost and Battlestar Galactica because of how the final moments turned out, you’ll be upset here — but I urge players to go through and enjoy the rest of the game, which is often spectacular and well worth playing.

Whether you play it on PC or console comes down to personal preferences. I lean toward liking the keyboard and mouse better, but other PC gamers I know take issue with the space bar and would have preferred a gamepad. If you can handle the PC port’s controls, it’s an overall better version — but not so much better that it really matters in the end.

Pros

  • Touched-up graphics that look better than the console versions
  • Fewer graphical bugs
  • Controls are better in some ways
  • Loading speeds much improved
  • Console port means not a lot of options for adjusting graphics and the like
  • Controls are irritating, especially when remapping for the default space bar functions could have been added
  • Visual bugs persist, although they’re lessened on the PC
  • Cover system remains twitchy

This list of pros and cons should be supplemented by the one from our console Mass Effect 3 review.

Final Score: 89/100

Deciding to take your Mass Effect 3 experience to PC? Use this guide to transfer your game saves from Xbox 360.

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11 Comments on Mass Effect 3 PC Review: Prettier, But Pretty Much the Same

Kenji

On March 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

+1 to this, I really must say im loving your site and coverage of all of this, Its VERY rare anyone reviews the PC AND Console versions of a game, its something that needs to be done more often with all the garbage ports the PC Gaming community gets

Maywiki

On March 16, 2012 at 5:32 pm

On my system, I had no load time (and I’m not on a ssd). The longer I had to wait was about 3 to 5 sec, but most on the time every load was not perceptible, especially on the Normandy and the Citadel.

Stone

On March 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Don’t forget you can always hook up a 360 controller to your pc and have the best of both worlds!

Phil Hornshaw

On March 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm

@Stone

Actually, ME3 doesn’t support a 360 controller (or other gamepad). It’s a bummer, actually.

Zimriel

On March 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Not to be too off-topic, but BSG went wrong during Season 3 and never recovered. I didn’t even start the “4.5″ season. It would be like if ME2 went off the rails toward the end and ME3 was awful throughout. (Which didn’t happen.)

The ending of Lost did, yes, ruin the whole experience.

With ME3, probably best for players to stop the game before the ending, go out for beers, and write a fanfic.

Focusingblur

On March 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Why would you want to use a gamepad over mouse+keyboard anyway? Especially for a game with shooter elements that require a good deal of precision, especially at higher difficulties? I’ll never understand this. To me, that’s like electing to use crutches even though your legs are fully functional.

Phil Hornshaw

On March 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

@Focusingblur

Pretty much for the cover system, to answer your question. I agree that keyboard and mouse plays better, but in terms of Mass Effect, even other PC gamers at Game Front felt it needed a gamepad.

birthofthecool

On March 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I would have wanted a real PC game, I found the conversion lacking in many points compared to the earlier games.
Not that it was harder to play, but the many things that were done in “console style” put me off at first.

A real was getting any items in the star systems, with reapers chasing you. You move the ship with the mouse, but you also have to activate landing or docking with the mouse. The time you lose by moving the cursor, might just give the reapers the time to reach you.

As an RPG fan, I still prefer ME1 over the other 2 games, as far as character development, equipment and exploration go.
Even the endless Mako explorations were more fun than those endless scan and fetch quest and to think that all those accumulated War effort points only lead to slight variations of the ending.
It is absurd and it does take away not only from the last game, no from the whole series.

Sorry if you don’t see it that way, it is how I reacted to it.

aviation

On March 27, 2012 at 10:26 am

Sweet learned something newjust now now I’m satisfied for this week. Best!

racing

On March 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I was going to encourage Sassan to continue posting in the future, by following the rules. But then I realized he’s been attempting to circumvent moderation efforts, and that should be a banning offense.

Kiljoy616

On March 28, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I have to conquer that the game lost a lot of what made ME 2 such a fun game, the RPG side of this game franchise when south, it just felt bad, empty feeling. The day one DLC which was actually in the disk also felt cheap and it did add a lot to the game, but this game was so lacking in what made mass effect cool that I really don’t care if they fix it or not anymore since the whole PR from Bioware has me thinking next game I like from them I am waiting to see if its worth playing. To many good games to play half finished games.