Monday, April 2, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Ending – Oh My

Spoilers Follow

Big machine guns are always fun to shoot.
If you are a Mass Effect fan or a gamer you’ve probably read about the ending of Mass Effect 3 if you haven’t gotten there yourself.  I finished Mass Effect 3 the other night so I can weigh in on the issue.

Well, where is that anti-Mass Effect 3 facebook page so I can like it!  Wow, what a terrible ending to the game, trilogy and characters I came to like over three games spanning five years.   EA/Bioware can try to hide behind their “creative” genius but it won’t help.  The ending of Mass Effect 3 doesn’t suck because it is sad.  I’ve seen lots of movies and read many books with sad endings.  A sad ending is ok.  Mass Effect 3’s ending is terrible because it SUCKS, period. 

First, most of your choices from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 don’t really matter.  For example I chose to make Anderson the human representative to the Council but Udina is the human Councilor not Anderson.  The ending stinks because you get no resolution about anything.  When the game is over you don’t know what happened to the galaxy, the Alliance, humanity or your squad members over the games.  You can infer a couple things but there is no definitive resolution on anything other than the characters who died before the ending scene.  In my game Liara and Garrus were my squaddies for the final battle.  Presumably they where killed trying to get to the light beam that transports you up to the Citadel.  But they both stepped off the crash-landed Normandy at the end.  So I guess Joker swept down with the Normandy and picked them up while Shepard was crawling to the transporter? 

Quarian and Geth fleets fight it out.
Another thing that really irked me was how Mass Effect 2 characters were completely dissed.  Kasumi was dissed the most of all and she was one of my favorites.  Anyhow EA/Bioware's claim that they were limiting the squad so that you could get more involved with the ones they forced on you was lame.  First off, I didn’t want to meet new characters in the third game.  I wanted to spend the third and final game getting to better know more about the characters I already knew.  Miranda, who was huge in Mass Effect 2 gets maybe 5 minutes of cut scenes.  (No, I haven’t actually timed it.) How can you take such an integral character and completely cut her out, more so if you had made her a romantic interest?  Some Mass Effect 2 characters fared better than others but mainly they all just made appearances in cut scenes.  Some got more time than others and some were killed and you had no input.  I guess those that died were the lucky ones!

Vega; I never took him on mission after Mars when others where available.  Edi and Javik were both nice gimmicks but that’s it.  Javik especially, as the last living Prothean, could have been given a huge role in the game finishing the Crucible for example.  Although Ashley was always a favorite they essentially gave you three soldiers (Ashley, Vega and Javik) for the squad although they had different biotic powers.  I will admit I thought Javik had a couple funny lines though.

Just to rub a little salt in the wound EA/Bioware is coming out with a new Mass Effect 3 ending in the form of DLC - downloadable content.  I.E. if you want the new ending you are going to have pay them more money for what should have been included in the game.  Many people think that EA/Bioware already had this content on hand and planed to make you pay for it from the get go. Perhaps this is the ending that was previously leaked during the Beta testing?  Did EA/Bioware feel they had to come up with a new lame ending because the original was leaked?

So what to do?  If you are a Mass Effect fan you have to play Mass Effect 3 regardless of the lame ending.  On the positive side the graphics are awesome.  The game play is excellent the new melee attacks are a welcome addition.  The exception being the combat roll which usually turned out to be a pain for me.  Many times I would get caught rolling between objects and couldn’t get out.  I never did get Kinect so I can't comment on how that works.  Perhaps somehow who played Mass Effect 3 with Kinect can leave a comment about how they liked it.  Personally I like pulling up either the weapon or biotic wheel.  It stops the action so you can take a break and survey the battlefield to get some situational awareness. The new weapons and biotic powers are fun also.  Killing Udina feels real good too!  Lol  There are some great new enemies also such as Kai Leng and the Reaper made Banshee.  There are some excellent fights but I’ve felt that way about all three games.

Here is a interesting piece by Doyce about Mass Effect 3's ending that shows how Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy would have ended if it followed the terrible story telling that EA/Bioware used on Mass Effect 3.  It's worth reading.

Mass Effect 3 to me was really a story more than a video game.  What made Mass Effect great were the characters, plot, voice acting, cut scenes, graphics, weapons, enemies and more importantly that through the video game interface I felt that I was part of the story.  Essentially I was the lead actor in this epic science fiction movie/story.  EA/Bioware dropped the ball on story telling in Mass Effect 3.  Whether it was just a grab for money or some artificial date that they felt the game had to be out by we'll never know.  And most likely EA really could care less if you and I are upset.  They got your money which was their Cerberus-like plan all along. (Update: EA/Bioware has said the new ending DLC will be free.)

I didn't capture much video of last 8 hours or so of the game as I was trying to just finish it to see the ending.  I'm going to go back to a save and replay it again and capture some video for future posts.

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