Game review: Mass Effect 3

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The race is on to save the galaxy from the Reapers, a race of sentient war machines that systematically wipe out all organic life every 50,000 years. As commander Shepard, it’s up to you to unite all the species in the galaxy to save the future.

Developer BioWare has continued the series trend of action-packed shooting, forging alliances and light role-playing. Through action and diplomacy you must help the galaxy prepare for war by resolving conflicts and gather resources, while fending off attacks from the ruthless mercenary group Cerberus.

In terms of atmosphere and storytelling, Mass Effect 3 is by far the bleakest of the series, as Shepard finally begins to crack under the pressure that has been mounting for three games now.

Attempting to defeat a seemingly unstoppable enemy takes its toll on all the lead characters, and it’s utterly involving. The re-appearance of familiar faces and plot strands from previous games keeps you guessing what will happen next.

Then you have the gunplay, which is as solid as ever, throwing new enemies at you in their droves. With new powers and abilities, Mass Effect 3 avoids feeling stale, unlike many trilogy-closers, which is testament to how much effort has gone into the game.

The world of Mass Effect has never been so engrossing, so it’s a shame that this is the last outing for Shepard and company.

• Mass Effect 3

£44.99, PC/PS3/Xbox 360