As reviews come pouring in, Mass Effect 3 has garnered universal acclaim. Every review pegs the game as an epic finale and one of the finest endings to a legendary story. I'm unsure of that claim, because I'll have it within three hours of this writing, but I can expect I'll come away with similar assumptions. Reviewers are hard to trust, but everyone speaking high praise is a great sign for BioWare.
However, often competing with the universal praise are consumers, as was the case with Portal 2 last year. Day-one DLC was vehemently opposed with Valve, and Bioware finds themselves in a similar situation. The adversity likely stems from multiple content packs available right away, including the ability to shortcut multiplayer, and the "From Ashes" DLC which caused some trouble among dedicated fans.
Filtering through all the red circles, the only positive reviews I've encountered were pity votes. Commenters were critical of nearly every aspect, notably disparaging the "cliched" story (seen as a strength of the series) and how decisions through the first two games don't resonate enough to be worthwhile. Also, without delving too much in the story, a lot of people complained about the unnecessary and undeserved deaths of beloved characters (without spoiling anything).
The game has only been out for seven hours (as of this post) in North America, so it's safe to say all the bitterness comes from people forcing themselves through the main plot and nothing else. But Metacritic has a history of exceptionally bad user reviews to counteract overt praise, and it should've been expected Mass Effect 3 couldn't escape the trend.
I'll be picking up the game soon-ish and posting my review by the end of the week. Jeff out.