Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

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Interweb Bitches About: Mass Effect 3

[Warning: This post contains massive spoilers to the ending of Mass Effect 3]

I know I’m a little late with this, but hey I was in South Korea when the game was released. I reckoned that after all the complaints, lawsuits and charity drives maybe I should give my opinion about the ending of the last game in the Mass Effect saga as well.

Let me start by saying that Mass Effect 3 was a fucking awesome game. It was even better than Mass Effect 2. The choices were bigger (I pondered like crazy about curing the Genophage and letting the Geth live), the action was smoother and the dialogues were once again top-notch. Plus finally Tali had a decent romance, even though we still didn’t get to see her face in-game (that picture doesn’t count).
The new characters were cool and compelling (except for that godawful Prothean DLC fucker. Goddamn never have I regretted opening a life-pod more) and the returning characters were expertly woven into the story. The impact of Mass Effect 2 on the story of Mass Effect 3 is still mindblowingly intricate and amazing, although it loses a bit of its shine when you’re not being reminded of the fact. It was only when I read through a walkthrough that I realized how much work must’ve gone into mapping all these variables. Bioware must be commended on this part.
In fact, Bioware (and I guess in a (much, much) lesser part EA) should be commended on creating the single greatest Science Fiction Universe since Star Wars. And..possibly for surpassing Star Wars. But I’m not sure if I want to go there.

Anyway, the only thing I heard about this amazing game while I was in Korea was bitching about the ending, so I’d like to take some time out of my busy schedule of starting Deus Ex and trying to ignore the fact that this amazing Saga is over to discuss this.
As far as I’ve assessed (after careful research and deliberation, of course, as I always do), the complaints about the ending are largely just butthurt BAWWWing over plotholes. The Normandy escaping, the team members you took with you to Earth being on board of said Normandy, the Catalyst not making sense, etc. To that, there’s little I can say. Yeah, there’s plotholes. Everything has plotholes, because sometimes writers can’t think of every little detail and still have the story go where they wanted to. Did gamers disect Halo 3 for plotholes? Or Gears of War? Army of Two? Hell no. Plotholes are something you as a consumer just have to accept and not BAWW about.

Now there are a few things touched on that do strike more important points. The War Assets, for example, do end up meaning jack shit, which is a shame compared to Mass Effect 2’s ending sequence. It would’ve indeed been much more awesome to actually see all those assets attack the Reapers and to see your hard work in forging alliances pay off. Sure, it would’ve required at least 6 different cinematics, but it’s not like EA is strapped for cash.
Speaking of which; Mass Effect 3 does suffer from something pretty much every videogame ever that tried to paint a picture of a massive conflict has failed to deal with: while playing, the battles don’t look very large. You’re always fighting alone or with a few allied soldiers. Where’s this giant fucking epic push for the Citadel in London? The fmvs looked absolutely breath taking, but the gameplay lagged behind significantly.
Also, there’s the fact that Bioware reps have constantly been saying they would roll out a game with ‘vastly different endings’ that would depend on all the choices you had made before. Of course that kind of backfired once people found out that, even though there are only three choices to end the game, even those are all nearly identical. Whoops. I can’t defend this, of course. But then again maybe it says more about people buying into pre-release hype than about the game itself. While I would’ve loved to see 10+ different endings like in the olden days, this ending did satisfy me and didn’t seem all that misplaced.

Something else people have been complaining about is that the ending is too ‘dark’. They wanted a happy ending.
..what? Seriously?
Do you rage on the internet after someone writes a book or movie and you don’t like the ending? BAWWWW, QUI-GON SHOULDN’T HAVE DIED IN STAR WARS, THE SIXTH SENSE ENDING WAS TOO FAR-FETCHED, I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY KILLED EVERYONE OFF IN THE WALKING DEAD (whoops, did I spoil that for you?). The very simple fact is that this ending worked. There was absolutely no room for a ‘happy end’. A happy end would’ve been a slap in the face of everyone who spent five years waiting for it. What? Sheppard uses the Crucible, all Reapers are destroyed and everyone lives happily ever after? It wouldn’t have fit well with the general atmosphere of the third installment at all and an ending like the one they went with makes Shepard much more of a hero than any other ending ever could. He sacrificed himself and so much more to give the Galaxy a chance to live. Now I have to admit I am a sucker for ‘bad ends’. Every story I’ve ever written has an ending like this, because I just think it’s more realistic. The thing I hated most about Lords of the Rings was that these ‘regular’ guys go out into a giant fucking war and all of them come out alive at the end. Where’s the drama, where’s the suspense, where’s the human suffering? Shepard dying at the end, in my opinion, was the only worthy ending to his story. He died as he lived: a hero to the Galaxy.
What I do, however, agree with, is that we could’ve used an epilogue of sorts. I wanted to see Tali mourn my death, Garrus rebuilding Palaven, Joker and EDI..making robotbabies. Even a scrolling text file like at the end of Baldur’s Gate II would’ve been fine. This ending was a bit abrupt. But I still believe that story/impact-wise, it was solid.

In the end we all know it’s just another EA ploy to force more DLC down our throats though, so I’m sure the people going apeshit over the ending will soon be able to enjoy the ending they wanted in the first place. Or, who knows, the ‘indoctrination theory’, stating that everything after the Reaper beam hit Shepard in London was actually the result of an indoctrination and Shepard is in fact lying in the rubble of a failed attack and nothing has actually been resolved yet (leaving room for another nice DLC) might end up being true, or Bioware might crack under the public pressure and make it true.
Either way, this time, I won’t have to complain about it because I can finally download DLC for my Xbox.
Enjoy ur dollahs, EA! Now stop making Bioware rush out games!

P.s. Regardless, this video is hilarious

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This entry was posted on 26 March 2012 by in Games and tagged , .

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