Well the very final post-credit bit shows that Shepard is almost a fairy tale in the far future and that there are many versions of the story. The point is to say-- play again! Make a different version! To that-- ME4 or even the Mass Effect movie in development can use that as a set up to say "here's what COULD have happened."
Anyway. Just finished third playthrough... the feels, people. THE FEELZ.
Seriously, some moments of ME3 evoke more of an emotional response in me than most movies and TV shows. Like before, this is aided by playing the Citadel DLC at just the right moment, right before the last act of the story. I did all the DLCs for all games this time too. On my second time I'd played Omega for ME3 (disappointing) and Liar of the Shadow Broker in ME2 (amazing) along with the Hammerhead and extra squad members. This time I added Leviathan, Overlord, From the Ashes, and Arrival which were all amazing and added to the story. Arrival totally changed the first act of ME3 for this playthrough. All of them are worth it, loved Javvik on the squad.
Obviously the key story is relatively the same-- I managed a good paragon/renegade balance this time and I chose to destroy the reapers, which felt right given how I'd played. Felt more right than the other two options.
Saving Kaiden came out okay-- he's slightly less annoying in ME3. It was fun to basically be able to break his heart in each game though. It's like-- dude, give it up. It also confirmed my suspicion that there is an algorithm at play in the Citadel that picks your least used squad member to deliver the "I feel like I never get picked" line.
I think this time through what hit me the most was realizing that each character has unique responses for every mission. The things they say during levels I thought was filler-- cause I caught a couple examples of it between the first two plays... but I also didn't mix up the squads as much as I did this time. There were some moments that really shaped dialog choices based on what other people were saying. At any rate, net time through it's back to Ashley Williams, space-racist.
Also-- SO many little moments on the Normandy that I missed rushing to levels before-- like overhearing drunk Tali badgering Javvik about liking Liara, or walking in on Garrus and Tali making out. Just so damn good.
I think the most interesting aspect of this time, and something that really shapes unique playthroughs is the love-story. While who you choose to pursue as a love interest doesn't effect gameplay directly, or truly change the outcome of anything, it still manages to create a pretty unique b-story to the main plot that ends up effecting some of the choices you make... (unless you are an unfeeling bro gamer that wants to blow **** up).
The first time I played was as a femshep, and I didn't realize in ME1 that I had to instigate the romance by talking to people, so I got no play. In ME2 I went after Garrus, but then stumbled into a flirty conversation with Kelly an realized my femshep was a total space-lesbian. I tried to switch over to her, but Garrus showed up for awkwardness before the suicide mission. In ME3 I dumped Garrus in favor of coming out as a space-lesbian and going after Traynor.
On my broshep playthrough I knew I wanted Jack from the start, because she was my favorite character. I boned Ashley in ME1 cause I could, but after the awkward encounter in ME2 I had no problem going after Jack. Her romance doesn't have a ton of screentime, but it's a great turn for her character. And in ME3 it makes her few appearances great-- especially the love scene in the Citadel DLC when she tattoos Shepard to make sure she can ID his body if he dies on Earth. That was a great scene.
This time, thanks to the Shadow Broker DLC I was able to romance Liara all the way through and it was super rewarding to see all the screen time devoted to it. Those voice actors deserve money and awards. While Liara's shift from shy nerdy scientist to full on criminal warrior was apparent before, it was really strengthened by the relationship-- you could see Shepard's influence on her, especially if you play a little renegade. I've heard that this is Bioware's preferred romance option and it shows, they got a lot of extra scenes together, and lots of little details in mission dialog... and the one that killed me-- after the party in the Citadel DLC you wake up together and she leaves the room. When you take control and walk out, she's on the couch near by and she gives this little wave. Crazy detail that adds to the feels.
I can't think of a single movie or TV show that inspired a post as big as this...
Edited by Driver, 11 December 2014 - 12:22 PM.