Mass Effect 3: A Loose End and A Few Good Ideas

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t experienced the ending of Mass Effect 3 and wish to forestall the inevitable shock, you may want to leave.

If you have seen the finale and somehow managed to walk out satisfied, I would ask you for a hug. It’s what I need after seeing all my hopes and expectations, countless hours of gameplay, and thoughtful decision-making get shredded by the most disappointing ending in recent video game history.

Still, Mass Effect 3 is overall a fantastic game. I won’t deny it’s a worthwhile gaming experience. All the great elements are there: top-notch visuals, great combat, an engaging story and stellar voice-acting, as well as an outstanding soundtrack.

Nevertheless, instead of delivering the expected grand payoff, the last 10 minutes of the game baffle players with the most bizarre and confusing sequence in the whole Mass Effect saga. Most players, especially those who’d stuck along the series since the very beginning, were left in utter disbelief and frustration.

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Comment by Kate Lorimer on April 7, 2012 at 2:54am

Not sure if any of you had seen this:

..and this unofficial but nice:

The unofficial Mass Effect end slides

Comment by Kryptice on April 7, 2012 at 9:04am

Great artworks, lol And the "epilogue slides" were awesome. They brought me some closure!

Comment by Tayg on April 7, 2012 at 9:08am

This artwork is awesome .. .and so true.

Comment by Kate Lorimer on April 7, 2012 at 10:10am

I have to say, having heard about the "extended cut" and the non-announcement at PAX.. Im pretty much going to walk away from Mass Effect.  I'll look in again when the DLC is out, but if its not something to do with the Indoctrination theory, then I'm done with it.  What a disappointing end to what could have been really the next big thing entertainment wise.  It *was* the next big thing... 100 hours of epic story telling, undone in 10 minutes of baffling bewildering leftfield-ness. I hope people keep expanding their own stories through text, art, and music... I'll gladly follow that.


But for now, this is Kate Shepard, signing off :(

Comment by Kryptice on April 7, 2012 at 12:06pm

What I would like from Bioware is for them to admit they screwed the pooch. They should say outright work will begin on an all-new ending to Commander Shepard's story, one that befits the cohesive narrative of the Mass Effect series. But from what I gathered from the DLC announcement, they still seem hellbent on justifying that crappy ending. Like Shepard said in ME2: "They are made up of a bunch of blind stubborn morons."

Comment by Kate Lorimer on April 8, 2012 at 7:47am

Im pretty much done with the series (as it stands at the moment) but this fine fellow's analysis of the whole debacle sums it up for me:

(Scroll down to analysis if you want to skip his review of the game alone)
Comment by Tayg on April 8, 2012 at 8:22am

Great article. Summed it up well.

Comment by Kate Lorimer on June 28, 2012 at 3:29am

No spoilers... but Its "the morning after" of me finishing the Extended Cut... and I'm still contented. I feel a series has been saved from a tragic failure in writing.  It might not be the ending *I* really wanted... but it is an ending.


The Extended Cut makes you wonder what the hell Bioware were thinking in the original release. Madness.

Comment by Kryptice on June 28, 2012 at 8:47am

@Kate I finished the EC but have mixed feelings about it. Overall it was a worthwhile download. Hats off to the animation team, the voice cast, and composer Sam Hulick. I loved the Normandy evac sequence during the ground battle in London. It filled in some of the plot holes and it made me cry when Shepard and Liara split up. The victory celebration cut scenes on the Asari and Krogan home worlds were beautiful, as well as the epilogue still-frames.

Sadly, though, the bulk of the extra content was spent on further agonizing and nonsensical explanations from the Catalyst. I thought briefly that I'd get the icing on the cake when I triggered the Refusal ending. However, it ends in automatic failure, despite the fact I had an EMS of nearly 7,000 and had amassed the largest fleet in the galaxy. The Reapers won. My price for defying the god child, I guess. Adding insult to injury, Shepard delivers a very true and inspirational speech about self-determination right before the Game Over punch.

I don't know why Bioware even bothered including this new "option" if it will always be the same outcome. In other words, upon rejecting the Catalyst's ludicrous arguments, neither Shepard nor anyone else in the entire Victory force were able to devise a better alternative (like say, finding the off switch to that wretched A.I. controlling the Reapers). The war was lost. End of story.

Evidently, they were just getting back at fans who had criticized their first-released ending. This latest slap in the face did not sit well with me.

Comment by Kate Lorimer on June 28, 2012 at 9:02am

Yes, I still wished for the indoctrination theory, or Starchild-blasting/defeating reapers by conventional means.. but in terms of making the existing endings work, I feel they largely succeeded (or at least for synthesis, I havent seen the others yet, I'll replay tonight.)

Interestingly on my first proper run I so disbelieved the catalyst thinking it was a ruse/trying to confuse me that I stuck to my guns and chose destroy.. but on the EC run.. I was swayed MUCH more into synthesis...

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