Mass Effect 3 Review in Progress

After uploading two new gameplay videos the editors at IGN have put online the first part of their review-in-progress series of articles that will precede the actual review. They complain about some technical issues in the PlayStation 3 but otherwise seem to be enjoying it so far:
It's also worth noting that a few technical issues arise on the PS3 version as soon as you start playing, too. Fairly serious framerate issues plague the opening cinematic on Earth, and while this particular problem clears up as you play further through the game via future cutscenes, these hitches certainly concerned me early on. Likewise, lip-syncing is almost always off and characters sometimes appear stiff and can even flicker in and out of cutscenes when camera angles change.

The good news is that these problems don't injure a title that relies almost entirely on its otherwise top-notch presentation. If you can get past these sorts of aesthetical hiccups, you'll find a title drowning in a deep, well-fleshed out story surrounded by intriguing characters, both familiar and unfamiliar. Remember that the original Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 also had their own technical problems -- long load times and some severe texture pop-in, for instance -- but that those problems didn't at all erode away the overall story-driven experience.

Speaking of story, one of my major obsessions in the first two Mass Effect games revolved around my incessant reading of the game's primary and secondary codices. I've already lost a couple of hours to codex reading, and continue to be absolutely floored by just about every aspect of Mass Effect's lore. It's truly fascinating how deep the game's fiction is, and I can tell you right now that a more compelling cross-game narrative doesn't exist.

Likewise, combat still feels tight, fluid and familiar. I enjoy playing Mass Effect as a gun-toting soldier, and in-game radials to toggle through both my weapons and skills appeared to be identical to that of Mass Effect 2's. Taking cover can at times be a little bit finicky, especially with one of your squadmates trying to use the same piece of cover, but otherwise, my complaints about fighting in Mass Effect 3 remain scarce. In fact, I rather enjoy Mass Effect 3's combat, and find it stronger than most third-person shooters. That speaks volumes about a game where story and role-playing sit paramount over actual gameplay.