I was glad to see some villains return for the end. The Elusive Man worked. I detested the techno-ninja villain, not because he always crossed me, but because I just hate the idea of technoninjas. I also hate it when the plot has pre-determined screwing you over.
The final fights were brutal. I had swapped out my sniper rifle for the last set of fights, and that hurt. The system lied when it said that one sniper rifle was as powerful as another. It wasn't. I should have kept the Widow.
All in all, ME3 felt like a hybrid. I liked how they worked characters into each individual mission, thus getting their story out. That all felt very organic. I felt like ME1 and ME2 had different design teams, and the ME1 team had to integrate and wrap up all the different stuff from ME2, and that stuff felt out of place.
The combat system felt the same, with a few improvement. My main problem was that I would wind up jumping over barriers that I mean to hide behind. Most deaths occurred because I made maneuvers that I did not wish to make.
I learned to fear, fear, fear those banshees.
The team redesigned the character advancement yet-again. Their weapon advancement and attachment advancement seemed a throwback to ME1. I saw many ME1 ideas reenter the game. I also noted the absence of hacking and lockpicking. I did not miss those mechanics. We really didn't need them slowing down an action game. Likewise, exploration was much simplified.
I waltzed into the end-game with about a 75%-80% force bar.
I was glad to have Garrus around again. He's been the primary choice of squaddies since ME1. I have played through as an infiltrator, and I preferred my squaddies laying down firepower while I did the sniping. Without a Krogran, I was forced to pick James as the 3rd squad member. EDI and squid-head girl were both too squishy and died too often.