The Mass Effect 3 Backlash (RobotGeek)

7:48 pm - 04/09/2012


I’m going to warn you in advance, there are spoilers in here about the nature of the ending of Mass Effect 3, but no plot points. Seriously, it’s hard to do with without spoilers, but I’m going to try. If you don’t want any sort of spoilers, avoid this article. There are also links to other sites, which contain spoilers, so please be aware.

Right now, the internet is more or less ablaze with people discussing the end of Mass Effect 3. It’s a contentious point to be sure- but apparently, even more contentious is the fan response. Many fans are disappointed with the ending. Yes, ending. Singular. There is a single core ending, with multiple minor deviations depending on how you played the game, and the final choice available to you. It’s a polarizing issue, to be sure. I was pretty upset, myself. However, mainstream journalism seems to have skirted the main issues on both sides. Metacritic has been forced to clamp down hard on ‘review-bombing’ of the game on its site, which brings up a lot of questions in and of itself. Other outlets are claiming this is a homophobic backlash, which is, quite frankly, insulting and wrong in and of itself. Beyond that, gamers are being split into two camps: those petitioning for a ‘better’ ending, and those who think that the studio’s creative right trumps that. As more and more gamers complete the campaign, more voices are being added- and an awful lot of them are angry.

Depending on what end of the internet you haunt, there’s a lot of righteous indignation, trolling, and bitterness from either the fans, or other gamers. This is mainly a result of this poll (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS): http://social.bioware.com/poll.php?user=1183972&poll_id=29101. In essence, feeding off the dissatisfaction with the ending of the game, this person has presented an alternate choice. That’s his opinion, and he’s entitled to it, but many others from the more serious side of gaming present it as proof that all of those unhappy with the final moments of Mass Effect 3 are simply whiny and self-entitled fanboys lacking maturity. Naturally, the already emotional and upset fanboys are not reacting well to this charge. Many of them have been playing since the first game, and have quite a connection after seven years of fond memories. Slander, on top of their tremendous disappointment, is causing them lash out at times. This has led to them giving rather sharp reviews on sites like Metacritic, which in turn led to censorship of views. Admittedly, I think that the consumers should be able to voice their opinions of the game. I don’t think they should maliciously bomb the rating, but they should be able to present their arguments.

The main points of both sides are as follows:

THOSE AGAINST CHANGING THE ENDING:

1. The studio’s right to domain over its creative properties shouldn’t be infringed on, and any changes made would set a terrible precedent.

2. Those asking for change are entitled and whiny, seeking only a sunshine and happiness ending to a dark space opera.

3. Demanding DLC to change a game like that is giving Bioware bad ideas about forcing players to shell out money for their prefered ending.

4. There are larger issues at stake in the industry as a whole, and Mass Effect fans are not only wasting their time, but making all gamers look bad as well.



THOSE FOR CHANGING THE ENDING:

1. The ending is extremely poorly put together, regardless of whether an individual wants a happier ending, and is an example of extremely poor writing that borders on the nonsensical. Unfortunately, I can’t expand on this without spoilers, but I can tell you that there is no real look at the consequences of your actions, or any consequences to your actions throughout the games.

2. Bioware has broken the verbal contract presented in a number of interviews, promising that players’ choices matter and that there would be a number of varied endings, which may constitute false advertising to some.

3. Players have the right to demand a better product if it doesn’t meet their expectations.

4. Players calling for a happier option don’t want to force it on everyone, and instead only wish the option to be present.


All this has started a vitriolic back and forth. On the Bioware forums, there’s a lot of bold talk about betrayal and never paying for another one of their games again. Admittedly, I can understand why they’re upset. Many players have a lot of personal investment in the characters, places, and story of Mass Effect. It has been a long journey for them, and they’re used to seeing the consequences of their actions throughout the series. I suspect many wanted an end much like Babylon 5′s: lots of sacrifice to be sure, but closure. Of the three endings, only one seems to make sense. After investing that much in a game, it’s not hard to see why they feel a touch betrayed. They put their hard-earned money in Bioware’s pocket. Most of those upset think of themselves as the ‘first wave’- those who got the game early and beat it fast, usually by sinking every free moment they had into it. It’s only been five days since the game dropped, and there are already polls with 17,000+ votes to change the ending of the game. Some seem to think the whole thing should be scrapped -and I agree with that, root canal it. Many of them also make it clear that every ending shouldn’t be rainbows and unicorns, and that a happier ending should only be an option. They’re alright with a bittersweet ending as an option, and keeping the more rational of the remaining options. Many also complain about the lack of closure, but I believe that was deliberately done to leave room for DLC. In fact, someone thought it would be a good idea to remind players that DLC was coming in the final credits. Some frame their arguments as follows: if you go to a restaurant, and there’s an issue with your meal, do you send it back? When you purchase an item and it doesn’t work, do you return it, or buy another one? Customers should have some level of recourse for an unsatisfying product, whether that is patches, optional DLC, or what have you.


Other gamers are upset at the idea that fanboys would be able to alter a property simply by getting together and whining enough. Harsh words, but that’s fair. Changing the ending would be an awful precedent for gaming, though it has been established before with Brotherhood of Steel. Some people actually enjoy the endings as they are, which is fair. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions. And those claiming that the ending is largely inconsequential as a whole, and in the game, do have some valid points. There are a number of graphical glitches, balance issues, etc. that need to be fixed. The rest of the story is admittedly quite good as well. Those scorning the ‘entitlement crowd’ as they call it also have some valid points- this is Bioware’s story, not the fans’. The behavior of some of the fans has been utterly atrocious, yes. And yes, some fans do want unicorns and rainbows. None of those charges can be denied, but saying ‘if you don’t like it, don’t buy it’ or ‘caveat emptor’ is a bit of a knee jerk reaction. The people who have beat it are the ones who have bought it and who aren’t satisfied with the endgame. The biggest issue remains the idea that fan outcry can change a creative property, regardless of merit. It’s troubling, admittedly. People shouldn’t act like Annie Wilkes because they don’t like the ending of a work of fiction. This point I can agree with, if there’s a linear story. However, one of the main attractions of the Mass Effect series is choice, and there is merit to the argument that players were promised a series of endings, instead of one.

I can see both sides of the argument, but I’m inclined to lean towards those who support adding an option for a happier ending, if not a total root canal of the final ten minutes and additional content, even if it is text boxes or something similar. The ‘happy’ ending being optional, it is like the supposed homosexual controversy in the game- don’t take the option if you don’t want to. Everyone’s happy. More troubling is the fact that the writers abruptly botched the ending- some say, deliberately. If it was a marketing ploy to sell additional DLC or lead into an MMO, that’s despicable. Equally troubling is the total lack of response from Bioware or EA on the subject at the time of writing. The Wikipedia article on Mass Effect 3 currently has noted that so far, a poll on the Bioware forums has accrued over 15,000 votes to change the ending as of Sunday morning, and the Facebook group has over 12,000 likes. I would like a rewrite of that last scene more to give a fitting tribute to the game than anything- I feel a little cheated due to the lack of impact of my choices and the lack of variety. On the Bioware forums, fans have been posting an alternative interpretation of the ending that seems to be holding water- but even if it’s accurate, they’ve been left with half an ending. So far, Bioware’s silence has been extremely rough on the diehards, though on their twitter they have acknowledged the ‘community concerns.’ Many of them call the ending incomplete- and despite the brilliant ‘alternative take’ on the ending, I agree.

Rumors of a sharp price drop due to cancelled orders and the backlash have surfaced, and a quick check of Amazon.com has revealed that new copies of the game are available at retailers for around 45$ brand new. The Collector’s Edition for PC has dropped to under eighty dollars. The Metacritic score is sitting at 3.5 overall- with plenty of spoilers in the reviews, so I highly suggest against investigating. I can only imagine that Bioware’s silence either reflects them holding something back, or the company being in full-on panic mode. It would be a shame for the company to sink based on one game- especially one so storied, that gave us so many great moments in gaming. Day One DLC is forgivable. Graphical glitches can be patched. However, the trust of your customers is a precious resource that can’t easily be fixed or regained. Forbes has articles on the subject- first painting gamers as basically totally homophobic, whiny assholes. Other sites have claimed the same thing due to the actions of a few, but going on the Bioware forums shows an almost total absence of homophobia and racism. However, over time, the Forbes story has been updated again and again, with the writer slowly coming around to sympathize with those who feel betrayed.

Source: http://robotgeek.co.uk/2012/03/12/editorial-the-mass-effect-3-backlash/

This is one of the biggest controversies going on in the gaming biz right now, it seems. What camp are you in? Do you even see yourself in a particular camp? Are you an outsider looking in and wondering what the hell is going on? And if you played through Mass Effect 3, are you going to buy more Bioware products in the future? And the big question for me is art versus product- is this just gaming going through pop culture growing pains?


(This article was done up before the new free Extended Cut DLC was announced, as a heads up, and feel free to discuss that as well.)
mikeismyname 10th-Apr-2012 01:52 am (UTC)
yes, the ending was total shit, but goddamn, do i love this series.
suedeheadspike 10th-Apr-2012 02:04 am (UTC)
I don't exactly see myself in either camp, per se- but I DO feel that the ending was extremely poorly put together. I'm eager to see what they do. I hope they're not outright changing it, but I hope they can.... fix it? I'd like to see them get their vision for the story across in a way that feels appropriate for the story, without compromising their ideals for the sake of the community if possible.
kit58 10th-Apr-2012 02:12 am (UTC)
The ending was perfectly consistent with my choice/internal feeling. So I was happy. If you can call a tragic ending "happy". Happy ending in Romeo and Juliette? C'mon. I didn't realize that that was the only option. But this is not my problem. I don't need other endings. Although I have to admit I would be curious.
gringotts 10th-Apr-2012 02:15 am (UTC)
I'm only just about to begin ME2 so this is all so interesting to me! I'm looking forward to seeing what the rage is all about.

Is it a terrible ending because it's poorly done, or is it terrible because it isn't a fairytale ending? Just curious.
voyevoda 10th-Apr-2012 02:18 am (UTC)
Depends on who you ask, but more the former than the latter. There were a lot of plot holes and where they promised players would have choice there's actually very little.
gringotts 10th-Apr-2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Oh damn :( I was hoping it was the latter. A sad but well done ending I could definitely deal with. It's weird that it would be such an apparent bad ending for a game/series that is so fantastic.

Have they given a reason why it's so poopy? And more importantly, will there be DLC for an alternate ending or anything to calm the masses?

Forgive the questions, I didn't read the article to avoid spoilers!
ahzuri 10th-Apr-2012 02:35 am (UTC)
I believe there is to be a free DLC coming out that they hope will explain the ending more but they've already said they won't be changing it.
latin_lunatic 10th-Apr-2012 02:54 am (UTC)
Have they given a reason why it's so poopy?
They wanted LOTS OF SPECULATION.
gringotts 10th-Apr-2012 02:56 am (UTC)
THE MOST SPECULATED GAME IN HISTORY
lumbarlaser 4th-Apr-2013 12:29 pm (UTC)
I totally agree!
adamsbja 10th-Apr-2012 04:09 am (UTC)
The best analogy I've heard of the big choice at the end is "a choose your own adventure page with three choices, each of which says 'turn to page 84.'"

I think it could've been done better, but it's one hell of a ride to get there. The entire third game is pretty much every character who's still alive getting a chance to walk onto the stage and have their Crowning Moment of Awesome, worth playing despite the very end. My main worry about the DLC is that they'll go along with the fan theory that's been going around, which is clever but reeks of denial and retcon. Games may depend on their fans, and they should be considered, but nothing good has come of blindly listening to the fans. It's too easy for public opinion to latch onto a bad idea.
latin_lunatic 10th-Apr-2012 03:02 am (UTC)
I'm on the side that's against the people saying the people having problems with the game are entitled butthurt whiners.
ahzuri 10th-Apr-2012 03:16 am (UTC)
You have a fabulous icon jsyk <3
latin_lunatic 10th-Apr-2012 03:23 am (UTC)
Ha ha thanks! I couldn't resist iconing that parody video. :D

Edited at 2012-04-10 03:23 am (UTC)
alizara 10th-Apr-2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
I also have rockin' Wrex!
kyuusei 10th-Apr-2012 03:16 am (UTC)
I didn't expect a happy ending out of ME3, but I did expect an ending that would.... make sense? I was really let down - but I'm glad they're not changing the endings. Imagine what a terrible precedent THAT would set. But I'm also happy they're going to clarify things (and for free), because the existing ending COULD have been quite decent if not for its terrible execution.
ayashi 10th-Apr-2012 05:32 am (UTC)
this!

I was very upset at the ending, wasn't really expecting anything to be changed. My biggest sticking point is that somehow they apparently thought the ending wouldn't be ridiculously confusing to a huge percentage of the people who weren't involved in actually making the game? ?_? idk

Honestly I like almost ANYTHING you put in front of me. I loved the everliving crap out of Dragon Age II and sometimes I feel like one of the only people that did. So I was actually not expecting to dislike the ending of ME3 and felt really let down by bioware when I completed the game and realized it wasn't just the haters that hated it. :(
breathesunshine 10th-Apr-2012 03:31 am (UTC)
I haven't played Mass Effect, but I believe I'd be in the category of 'please explain a little better'.

While I personally think a lot of gamers (fanboys) come across as entitled pricks, Bioware needs to be more careful. This will forever be on their record, no one is going to forget about this; I won't be surprised if this effects future games and sales.

Bioware is just racking up a record of disappointing fans it seems. But this is merely an observation.
willjones 10th-Apr-2012 04:25 am (UTC)
I'm not asking for a change to the ending. I have nothing to do with the "Retake Mass Effect" movement because that is a group of pretentious fuckwits who think they're entitled to decide what the ending should be. "Retake?" Can't "retake" something you didn't own in the first place.

However, does that change the fact that BioWare did indeed screw the pooch with this ending? Not hardly. Despite us not having a say in how they end their game, it was still a major cockslap to all of our foreheads. We don't have the right to make them change it. We do have the right to make our opinions that it sucks known.

That alone seems to have done some good, as we're now getting two DLC packages for free in the coming months.

That's good in my book.
weekendoffender 10th-Apr-2012 04:48 am (UTC)
I hated the ending - absolutely despised it & would scream with joy if they changed the ending completely. But not because I wanted a happy ending, but because not a single bloody choice I made in all 3 games had any impact whatsoever.

Saved the council? Destroyed the Collector base? Oohh no, forget about that dear player, it doesn't matter. But did you scan that planet? Yes? Good because that's what is really important!

Bioware has been my favourite gaming company for a long time now, but all these fuck ups are really starting to test my patience. First they give me DA2 with an average game time of 35 hours (half of what DA:O was). Then they charge 800ms points a piece for DA2 DLCs that only run for about an hour each. Then they give me ME3 that has about half the playtime of the previous 2 games coupled with THE BEST GAMES OF THE PAST 10 YEARS THE WORST ENDINGS EVER!

In my opinion, of course.

Oh and there's the ridiculous fact that a lot of players also couldn't import their Shepards from ME2 because of some bloody glitch that not one single person on the entire team picked up? The one & only Shepard that I've ever used in all these years (see icon).

So yeah, I'm going to be wary of Bioware in the future. They've pretty much lost my trust, and as such I won't be expecting much of anything from DA3.

(yes, I have a lot of feelings about this whole issue).
toroias 10th-Apr-2012 04:50 am (UTC)
I actually liked the ending quite a bit -- but that was only after I read pages upon pages of discussion, practically meditated over all my choices, the subtle hints in the game, and practically went on a scavenger hunt.

I'm not really sure if I want to set a precedent for changing endings, (EA, more so than Bioware, seems like they would take that and run, knowing them) but I'm definitely for more explanations.

I'm beginning to like the indoctrination theory the more I read about it, but I still feel like it was unclear during it all. I don't want to think about the abstract as much as have something I can firmly hold on to and be like "ah, yes, this is what happened!"

(Posting this I realize how tragic it is I don't have a Fem-Shep icon, gah!)
ayashi 10th-Apr-2012 05:44 am (UTC)
I dislike the ending (I would make that plural but we all know there was only one :P). Looking forward to seeing what they do with the free DLC later on in the summer though.

I'll still be buying more Bioware products. I loved all three Mass Effect games (at least up until the last 20 minutes of ME3, and I can't let that ruin the previous 20-something hours) and both Bioware games. Went back and played Jade Empire after I played ME2, and someday I'll play the KOTOR games as well. I'm a big Bioware fangirl and I'll still keep buying them. I just hope that maybe future endings are uh... peer reviewed? :P

I think games are art, but I think that when someone invests so much time into a product like Mass Effect, a lot of care has to be taken with the ending. You can end a movie on a complete WTF note and, well, some people might be pissed but it was 1-2 hours of your time. After sinking 80ish hours or more into Mass Effect, it was just a huge letdown to be left with an ending that was confusing and yet didn't feel like it was supposed to be one of those mindf*** confusing endings. It seemed as if they honestly tried to have a pretty straightforward ending but then you're left with all of these questions at the end that (at least for me) NEEDED to be answered in order to enjoy the ending.
What happened to my squadmates? Why weren't they with me? Why introduce god kid in the last 15 minutes? Why couldn't I ask god kid any questions about the different choices I had? Why can Shepard live in the Destroy ending? I don't understand how this supposedly all-knowing god child can be wrong about Shepard not surviving Destroy due to his/her synthetic implants. What is going to happen to the stranded squadmates? Are the people on all of the small colonies on remote planets just going to die since they won't really be able to get foreign aid? What's going to happen to the krogan, quarians, salarians, etc that are all stranded on earth with the destruction of the mass relays? etc etc etc etc


I do think the game has been somewhat unfairly treated - it doesn't deserve a 3.5 score because it was, for the most part, an amazing game. I couldn't look at it for 3 days after I beat it, but it was still an amazing game. I'm now enjoying multiplayer and I'm going to thoroughly enjoy the free new multiplayer DLC coming out tomorrow :P
woodwind 10th-Apr-2012 06:20 am (UTC)
at first i was like

Photobucket

and then

Photobucket

and now i'm just

Photobucket
allthemoves 10th-Apr-2012 07:38 am (UTC)
i'm pretty much seconding all of this, and right-click saved to that last gif, i'm going to use that for so much.
dorwrath 10th-Apr-2012 08:20 am (UTC)
Well they have already said they are not changing the ending. Theres going to be free DLC this summer to explain it better.

As for me yes the ending sucked but it wasn't the main issue for me. The fact that my decisions I made in Mass Effect 1 & 2 meant nothing. If I picked Anderson as the councilor, Udina got it anyway; if I killed the Rachni Queen, the Reapers just made new ones; if I destroyed the Collector home world, the Illusive Man still got their tech; and, no matter what you did with the Geth, the Reapers take control over them & then they offer to side with you when you remove the Reaper's hold on them. This list can go on AND on...
I wanted my ME3 experience shaped by the decisions I made in ME1 and ME2... like I was told would happen & like the trilogy was marketed. If I killed the Rachni Queen, BAM! they're gone; if I saved her, maybe she helps me, maybe she joins the Reapers, whatever, at least my decision decided her fate, not some Bioware dude that rewrote what I chose. I mean seriously, WTF is the point of allowing me to make 2 games worth of decisions if you're just going to give everyone the same overall generic experience in the 3rd?
I never expect too much out of sequels from original games I enjoyed as much as I enjoyed ME1 because the sequels will NEVER recapture that WOW! factor the 1st game had. But with that said, I've never been more disappointed, more let down, or felt more taken advantage of as I have with Mass Effect 3.
sachehund 10th-Apr-2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Woah, woah, woah, hold on one second.

4. on the side of 'why people are wanting the ending replaced' is one of the most common misconceptions about the controversy in the first place.

There is a contingency of fans out there who want a happy ending, but let's face it: the moment you pick up ME2, you realize that this story is not going to be a white-picket-fence style ending. That's just the end of it, right then and there.

Furthermore, many of us understand that with the roll-out EA wanted, there was no possible way in which Bioware could have written an ending that suited all the major choices in every single game. Hell, when you take into account things like splintering realities, as they apply to theoretical sciences, it's entirely possible for so many branching paths to end in three distinct conclusions. But here's the problem:

The distinct conclusions were asinine. Is Bioware obligated to change it? Absolutely not. Will Bioware suffer for being seen as incompetent in regards to constructing a stable narrative, and thus, lose potential revenue/devoted fans? Absolutely. Largely because they, like many, many others in the past, have set a course for some 'grand finale,' only to find that they didn't plan ahead. It's already been stated in their own 'Final Hours' notes that they changed the ending mere months before the game launched-- and in that case?

Gosh, guys, did everyone totally forget that Bioware was 'listening' to the fans back then, as well? That they actually had an ending put in place that, while scientifically inaccurate and horribly feeble, was actually planned for? A lot of folks aren't thrilled with the ideas presented in that one, either, but all things considered, it's better than the starbaby that most players got. And really, coming up with an ending at the last possible second-- for a title that a great deal of people have spent at least 80+ hours on if they didn't do a second playthrough on any of the games-- is just poor planning in general.

Everyone knows, in the end, that:

a) You do not introduce a character that has never been introduced before in your last chapter, and hope that it will emotionally resonate.

b) You do not make this character the glue that holds your protagonist and antagonist together in some mushroom-trip-induced exposition that supposedly 'clarifies' the motivations of a species that was previously deemed to have 'incomprehensible motivations.'

c) Who the crap cares about that kid, seriously. Yes, it's sad. A kid dying, always sad. Humans have a visceral reaction to this, and as a result, a great deal of players felt emotionally manipulated for no good reason. It soured them-- myself included-- to the bulk of the storyline because it appeared to be there solely to get a reaction.

It all reeks of laziness, in the end. On a narrative level, besides, there are so many hits in the ME universe that the misses are even more glaringly obvious than they should have been. Additionally, obtuse endings do not work for highly detailed settings/narratives. They work for obtuse narratives, like the original Silent Hill, where no one gave a damn about the writing itself because even the most hardcore fans could admit that it was ludicrous. They still enjoyed the setting/etc, to a point where they could forgive lines like 'Huh. Radio. What's going on with that radio?' but ME was holding itself to a higher standard, writing-wise. They can't pull 'obtuse' without giving a breadcrumb trail from the very beginning of the series.

So, yes, it's sloppy.

Long story short: a lot more people are ticked off that the ending was half-assed than they are about the ending being 'bleak.' A lot of them knew the ending was going to be bleak. They didn't, however, expect the ending to be a big wad of poorly-written drivel that was shoehorned in at the last possible second.
personazero 10th-Apr-2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
I don't want Bioware to change the endings, just add some details like for control ending can we see a Reaper Shepard? Destroy ending where Shepard survives can he search/find for love interest and have tender moment with them based on their future plans(ex. Tali wanting to build home on Rannoch for her and Shepard) or hell make him crippled due the lack of synthetics in him. And give us a text epilogue of the consequences of the choices we made(don't even need cut scenes lol) in the galaxy.
sha_ruse 10th-Apr-2012 01:10 pm (UTC)
I believe the biggest issue I have with Mass Effect and the ending is this right here: all the time I have spent and the time with all the reloads I have done because I wasn't happy with the outcome of a choice I made, for just at the end of the day, it doesn't even matter? Shoot. I wish someone told me this to begin with, and I wouldn't have spent as much time I have with the game and reloading. >.> Not saying the game was bad, because it isn't- it's probably one of the best games out there today, but still... some of the reloads didn't have to happen.

Mass Effect is probably one of the best games ever put together, and I have been there from the first to the last. The graphics are to die for, the storyline is fantastic, the relationships that are open is diverse and well thought out... but the ending to the trilogy? That was a little dissapointing. At least answer the questions that were put out, please and thank you.

Half of me is happy that there is an DLC that will explain everything they didn't explain before, and the other half of me is like: "just leave them alone. If this is what they want to put out and are happy with it, then just suck it up and go write your own fanfic."

it's not like any other video game has ended a triology and left some questions unanswered... (I'm looking at you, Epic Game Studios.)

Anywho, that's my opinion. :D
ariseishirou 10th-Apr-2012 01:16 pm (UTC)
As an ardent fan of the Deus Ex games (both the original and DX:HR, we shall not speak of the second) what shocked and disappointed me most is that Bioware couldn't even be assed to come up with their own endings to fit the story they wrote. To be sure, the original ending choices of DX were enthralling, but that's because they fit the theme of the game, utterly. Oh absolutely, synthetic versus organic life, order versus chaos, and machine sentience were themes in ME as well... ...some of the themes. They were the themes of DX, so when you were handed those choices you felt fulfilled. Cribbing them whole-cloth for the ME series couldn't help but be unfulfilling, because there were so many other themes at play, none of which got their proper resolution. And while it makes sense in a game throughout which you spend the entirety more or less by yourself crawling through air vents and fighting your own battles to stand as a single man before the destiny of mankind, it doesn't fit ME's heavy emphasis on friendship, love, and camaraderie at all, wherein Shepard is a leader, not a lone wolf. Why did your LI and companions suddenly dick off on you and flee the planet at the end? Particularly if your Shepard rallied all of his/her War Assets and is still alive?

I get it: Deus Ex was one of the greatest WRPGs ever made, but it was just completely inappropriate for a wholly different kind of story to straight up rip it off.
4thofeleven 10th-Apr-2012 02:17 pm (UTC)
The problem with the ending is that it pulls a new character out of nowhere in the last five minutes so he can present you with a set of choices that have nothing to do with anything that's gone before, all of which lead to nearly identical cut-scenes - and which render ever single decision and story arc up to that point utterly irrelevant.

And, to be honest - it's not stupid to expect a happy ending. This is a series, after all, where you can complete a 'suicide mission' without a single casualty! Expecting, if not a happy ending, then at least one that doesn't burn the setting to the ground and then salt the earth shouldn't be expecting too much, right?

They might have been aiming for 'bittersweet' for their mood, but that wasn't the mood of the franchise anyway, and even if it was, they overshot and ended up at 'nihlistic'...

Edited at 2012-04-10 02:18 pm (UTC)
blackheart666 10th-Apr-2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
Glad I don't do console gaming and that I never saw Bioware as all that much back when they started.

Oh well. You get what you pay for in today's video game market. ie: you're paying to play the games that they want you to play and you'll like it.
cloned_fiction 10th-Apr-2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
It seems I had a lot less issues with the ending than other people did. To be honest the thing that bugged me the most about the ending was
thinking Kaiden and Vega were dead in the rush to the citadel only to have them appear in the ending cut scene with no explanation
I mean I was also annoyed at the lack of decision factoring in the ending, but I think I could of lived with that if it had just made logical sense.

I also felt a lot of decision making was taken away from me in the last game. My Shep frequently had full conversations and said fairly important things without giving me the chance to choose at all and a lot of the time that ended in her saying something totally out of character. It bugged me.

Mostly though, and I know this being my sticking point is going to make a lot of people discount my opinion, being an avid and dedicated roleplayer in my playing of this trilogy, and having romance mean a lot to a couple of my characters' development, I was quite disappointed with some things to do with that (yes I'm a Jokermance supporter).

However, despite all this I'm not in the camp of calling for Bioware to change anything at all. I beleive they have the right to tell the story they want to tell, and I have the right to be disappointed with that story. If they were to change anything I doubt it would be to give us Jokermance so whatever, they can do what they want.

Also, I object to you using only the term fanboys in this post. Believe it or not Mass Effect has plenty of fan girls and plenty of them are amongst those making noise and sharing their opinions on this game. In fact, most of my biggest beefs with this game overall are rooted in how I beleive this game, more than any other game I like, pandered heavily to fanboys and even quite specifically screwed fangirls over as a result.
voyevoda 10th-Apr-2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
RE: your last point, while I agree with you, you'll have to take it up with the author of the article. :)
cloned_fiction 10th-Apr-2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
Sorry, it's late and I missed that you weren't the author. :)
naliarenegade Never ever played Mass Effect10th-Apr-2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
I've never played any of the Mass Effect series. I've play dragon age:origins and 2, and all of the Fallout games. I don't think that this will wreck the company, but it will hurt them. All of their games have been about player choice. To say one thing and have a track record of it, then suddenly take away that choice? That is unforgivable. I know quite a few of my friends who will be calling me almost in tears for the wasted hours of their lives due to lack of choice.

When a gamer has been told that their actions matter and spend hours upon hours gaming, only to be utterly shocked and appalled at the lack of logical sense the endings make with their choices? Yeah. The gamer-world is gonna be pissed. I don't think being a fanboy makes their opinion any less valid. We were all promised something by Bioware. Choice. Now we aren't getting that. Bad Bioware. Bad.
oriencor 10th-Apr-2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
The game was beautiful and fantastic... up until that nonsensical out of left field ending.
It made NO SENSE. There was no choice suddenly in a game that was all about making choices.
bammel 10th-Apr-2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
The ending was unforgivably bad. It's baffling that anyone might find it acceptable on any level.
svanderslice 10th-Apr-2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
The problem with the ending was not that it was not happy (although I am in the camp of those who would like that option). The problem with the ending is that it made no sense.

The rest of the game was pure gold and I enjoyed every minute of it. The ending contradicted many of the main themes of the game. I spent five hours making peace between synthetics and organics only to be told at the end of the game that everyone must die because that sort of peace isn't possible. Huh?

It felt like the person who wrote the ending never played the rest of the game.

And where is this homophobia you speak of? On all the websites I've been on everyone is soooo excited about Kaidan and ManShepard getting together. And while I play femshep, I certainly don't begrudge someone else their preferred LI.
lovedforaday 10th-Apr-2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
And where is this homophobia you speak of?

I've seen a few complaints about the same sex male LI options at Kotaku and more than a few angry comments in the YouTube comments, but it's to be expected from both of those places.
lovedforaday 10th-Apr-2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
The trade-in for the game is only $15 at Amazon. That's pretty low for a game that's only a month old.

Did Bioware fail in delivering a satisfactory ending? Yes, and it's more than people only being entitled snots or wanting a shiny happy ending with Shep and Kaidan holding their kids underneath a double rainbow.

Should Bioware change the ending, no. What's done is done. Beyond some clarification and minor expansion of the ending, they should stick by it.
tentaino_konton 10th-Apr-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'd like to see more of the outcomes of the three choices, I guess, more so than anything else. I mean, each has a drastic effect on the world, and we're left with no knowledge of what the outcomes are? That seems kind of lame to me. Even if they just gave us those little "update" story things that DA:O did at the end about each character, I probably would have accepted it more.

I don't want them to change the ending in such a way to make it all happy and beautiful--we knew the game was grim and that the results would be disastrous for most--but I would like to at least know how the fuck all of those aliens are supposed to get back to their worlds without mass relays. I mean, come on, really?
kittymink 10th-Apr-2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
The level or nerdrage and gamer entitlement is really amusing to me. Because a video game has never had a crappy ending before.
loveloy 10th-Apr-2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
Bioware have realized that they made a mistake. If they were so proud of the ending why do they feel the need to explain it further? I'm glad they're somewhat listening to the fans, but they should know better by now.
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