Mass Effect 3 Sucks?

I've been hearing a lot lately that the final game of the Mass Effect trilogy is just terrible, and I'm here to say... yes and no. It's really a mixed bag. Here are my thoughts... I'm trying to avoid spoilers here, but I can't completely, so consider yourself warned.

  • Your decisions in previous games don't seem to make that much difference. Sure, there are some quests that you won't get if you let people die in previous games and whatnot, but for the most part your prior decisions come down to a difference in this abstract point total that decides how effective your army will be at the end of the game. That's just not enough for me.
  • The story line seems a little too much like a railroad. There isn't really a point in the game when things open up and let you explore lots of different quests in whatever order you want. For the most part, you're stuck on a previously plotted course and you can only deviate a little bit. Even the order in which you bring the major races onto your team is decided ahead of time. What if I like Tali and want her on my squad first? Nope... sorry... gotta deal with several other races before you can even make contact with the Quarians, much less engage in that plot line. I want more freedom... it is an RPG, right?
  • The "boss" fight was stale. Honestly, was there one? I remember thinking, "There's gotta be another fight coming up... any minute now... oh, now I'm limping... how is this boss fight going to work?" I just kept waiting for something else to happen. Mass Effect 2's final bit of action was probably too easy, but it was epic. Mass Effect 3? Epic on a broad scale, but too much of Shepherd's final role is just cinematic mumbo jumbo. I want to save the universe by blowing up the biggest baddest reaper in their fleet... not by choosing which path to walk down. Blegh.
  • There was a return to the weapon customization options and such from Mass Effect 1, but the game was too short (and the ending too easy) to really feel like it made much of a difference. I tried to maximize the coolness of my weapons only to find that the next mission would start the "end of game" sequence, and there weren't any side quests left to pursue.

Ugh... awesome game... awesome series... just too short... and a very anti-climactic ending. I'm so disappointed. 
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