The other day I received a text message from a fellow gamer of my mine asking, “Hey, what ending in Mass Effect 3 did you choose?” I replied, “I destroyed synthetics. I played three games all with the purpose to end the Reapers, I wasn’t about to compromise now.” My friend responded, “Yea, same, but didn’t you think the ending sucked?”
I won’t bore you with the rest of our conversation, but it was centered on one thing-my solo attempt at defending the ending of Mass Effect 3. I didn’t beat ME3 as quickly as some (didn’t take me as long as my friend here though either), but before I beat it I began hearing tons of negative feedback from fans about the ending. I stayed impartial, waiting until I beat the game to come to a decision. Well, the time came I finally destroyed the Reaper threat on the galaxy, game cinematic play through, credits roll, Stargazer (Buzz Aldrin) talks and you know what I was happy.
I’ll admit I could’ve been happier than some after their first play-through (spoiler alert) because my Shepard actually lived after my decision, but none the less fans should have nothing to complain about.
Too often fans complain about games even ones they play time after time. In Mass Effect 2 the big compliant after was the lack of a multiplayer facet, but after the news was announced about ME3 would include a multiplayer section fans once again complained it wouldn’t meet expectations. It doesn’t make sense to me why fans cannot be happy and appreciate games for what they are.
ME3 is the final piece of a trilogy, meaning it is the ending, the closing, the conclusion to Shepard’s story. Most fans complained that ME3 didn’t explain enough after the game. Too many questions were left unanswered. What happens to the crew? Anderson? The Reapers? The list goes on and on and yes, some are valid points, but from my perspective fans are doing a number of things wrong here.
First, I believe fans are suffering from an initial shock. The initial shock that a beloved franchise is now coming to an end, allowing a fear and denial to set in that this may very well be the last Mass Effect game any of us ever play. So, naturally majority of fans are replacing that denial with anger, attacking the game’s creators for a lackluster ending and that’s not exactly fair is it?
Second, understand that BioWare has mentioned before the release of ME3 this is merely the end of the Shepard saga. BioWare may peruse another Mass Effect game after this, but likely without Shepard. With that in mind it makes sense for the production team to leave the game a bit open-ended making it easier for themselves to peruse new story lines.
Third, how many questions can BioWare actually answer in the ending? Once again, I’ll go back to the point this is a story about Commander Shepard. The vocal point is on Shepard, not his crew, just Shepard. We played through an epic nearly hour and half ending and we’re presented with options at the end of our journey. Each of the choices would ultimately eliminate the Reaper threat one way or another. Two of the three will see Shepard die and one will allow Shepard to live after your choice cinematic show the Reaper fight coming to an end and then your crew lands on what looks like an uninhabited planet creating an Adam and Eve sort of feel about it. All of this closes the tale of Shepard (made clear when you hear Stargazer at the end credits sharing a story with a little boy about “The Shepard”) and it leaves one to believe that with the Reaper threat gone the crew (or the galaxy really) is now in brave, new world, which they will all work together to recreate following the destruction caused by the Reapers. Shepard completed his task, cemented his legacy and that’s what is highlighted. The crew symbolizes hope and a new beginning, they come second to Shepard’s story, thus the reason everything else is just touched upon. This is a fan-made video that focuses on indoctrination, but I believe it still helps showcase my point that Mass Effect is a story about Shepard. I highly recommend watching this video, but be warned it does spoil the ending(s) to all three Mass Effects.
Lastly, how the hell are fans focusing on the ending and ignoring the fact that this game had everything we could’ve asked for as fans. Regardless, if you did or didn’t like the ending fans have to look at the bright side at how well put together this game was. ME3 highlighted every single relationship (big or small) Shepard encountered along his journey through three different games, allowing a plethora of characters to be part of the story-line. Every member of your crew, spanning from all three games, was involved in the storyline one way or another. Even less involved characters like, Aria T’Loak and C-Sec officer Bailey were involved to a respectable degree. The amount of detail in this game was incredible. The game play was amazing, the graphics stellar, the number of guns, and the multiplayer facets surely would make one forget about being mad over something as trivial as an ending right?
At the end of the day, fans have to at some point stop complaining and respect BioWare for giving us three stellar games and creating one of the best video game trilogies of all time. For Pete’s sake BioWare even gave fans free DLC because of their complaints-for me that fact alone should be enough for fans to stop criticizing a game we all admire and love-what other company would listen to fans to such a degree as GIVING away DLC. So, please for me, for BioWare, and for yourself stop hating on such a great game and fantastic franchise after all not everyone liked the ending of Return of the Jedi, but we all love Star Wars don’t we?
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