A lot of people are enraged about the ending of Mass Effect 3, myself included. Though, i will say this before i dig into it. The ending was masterful, impacted me beyond switching off the console, when i woke up the next morning, i was still thinking about it lol. Im still thinking about it now lol. That shows they did something right to have gripped me like this, granted, that something right is the 100 something hours of playing with that character through the emotional journey. But, it made me realize just how much it has taken me personally by storm.
I love star wars, i love star trek, i love battlestar galactica, but man, as much as i hated the end of Battlestar Galactica, i felt nothing like this. Bioware truly have taken Sci-Fi to the 'next level'.
If id for whatever reason, 'chosen' though to end Shepards story like that, say, id chosen the 'synthesis route', it would be amazing, because, it was amazing. Its just, i didnt want that, i wanted Shepard to live at all costs! Not only that, but i wanted to get a glimpse of life 'after the reapers'. I wanted to see Shepard reunited with whoever he/she romanced. I wanted a 'good' ending. No ending that you currently can achieve allows you to do that. For a game that surrounds itself by choice, for it to give you so little choice in how it ends, its wrong.
But, as i said, it wasnt 'cheap'. It wasnt just, ah well, weve made 3 fantastic games and we wnat a break and couldnt be bothered to do an ending. It is quality, so im not mocking Bioware there. I just dont agree though personally with people here giving the game 1 star, and, for once reason, the ending. I mean, 1 star? Seriously? lol
Everyone else has put their two pence worth in so I thought I would join the debate! I was also disappointed with the ending, but not so much because Sheppard died, but as others have said I felt like all the decisions I have made in the previous two count for nothing. That is my main gripe!! ME3 was sold as a game where your decisions effect the outcome and as far as I can see the only decision that counted was whether to play the game or not?!?!? All three endings look basically the same just different colours, how have any of my choices effected this?? More closure of what happened to the companions would have been nice, not just seeing three step out of a crashed Normandy!!
Its a real shame, as the game was absolutely epic, from the moment the reapers invade earth, right up to the final space battle. It had some genuinely emotional moments as well. As Sheppard leaves earth, the cut seen of the kids shuttle being destroyed (the music here was amazing!) I honestly felt the same loss Sheppard portrayed. When Mordon died to protect the Krogan or when Thane was killed (great line when you finally kill Kai Leng). This is to name but a few, but generally this is a brilliant game I loved playing it, and I will play it again, however I doubt I will buy another Bioware game, after this and the way they have spat in the face of all KOTOR fans by making SWTOR, I won't support their products again. Unfortunately while people continue to buy Bioware games, they will continue to show no respect for their fans!! (little rant over)
In summary, it would have been nice for Sheppard to live, but not necessarily vital, to be honest all the best hero's give their life for the greater good. What is disappointing is the FACT that all the choices I have made getting to this point really count for nothing, and all three endings are basically the same!!! And it is a massive let down, I can only hope the reapers come back and decide to harvest all of Bioware!!
I understand a lot of what you are saying, im not happy with bioware myself for the ending. As you say, not just that Shepard dies, but, that everything youve done counts for very little when it should count at its very most. The synthesis ending was the best ending, besides of course the one ending where Shepard does in fact live. Which i havent got yet so will start playing through again tonight to get i think. The synthesis ending had that feel of, sacrificing for the 'greater good'. It was epic, how she'he just jumps into the beam and slowly is consumed by it, genuinely emotional as before she does it flashes of those close to her/him appear. I dont have any complaints about that in itself, i mean, ive heard they are making the movie and on the same area the game covers, if commander Shepard died like that in the last stages it would be an intensely great finale. Its that, its based around choice, the game is based around choice. People have said the game doesnt have much choice (the third installment this is), when in fact, it does, more so than the previous two, its just that it comes more commonly and less 'obviously' at times than the previous two. If i reflect back on the game, i mean, wow, so much ambition and despite the great potential for failure they have not only succeeded but created the best gaming experience for me personally.
>>>>>>back on to choice
Where it matters most is in the finale. Despite the potential 17 endings so ive heard, the difference is slight for the most part. Only one where shepard lives, which, ok, given the odds she/he faced thats acceptable, and i dont mind working to make Shepard survive. But, 5 years, 5 YEARS ive been playing Mass Effect, 100s of hours have gone into Shepards i genuinely feel attached to. This is how it ends? Even if she'he does survive, there is no conclusion. Everything amounts merely to the Normandy crash landing on some planet! It makes me angry that it ends there basically. There is no 'closure' on Shepards story, where he/she lives or not, theres no closure. I hope bioware release DLC to fix this, or a patch, something. I mean, unless they are planning on Mass Effect 4, which i highly doubt will be until the next generation of consoles (which means save files likely wont transport over), ive been (as one poster said somewhere) 'cockpunched' lol. Yea, thanks for supporting our games for all these years, and by the way, (at the very last minute of the game) a giant slap in the face.
Now, i will personally continue to support Bioware as i want innovation in games, i want developers to push what gaming is. Bioware have been one of the key developers pushing games away from being 'games'. Im tired of the endless CODs, resting on their laurels, hey yea, we revolutionized multiplayer in gaming, you know what, now we just gonna sit back on the same technology and just churn out the same stuff each year, cus........... people will buy it. I hate that, so, i will support Bioware because they try things, they try to innovate, and Mass Effect 3 is the best example so far of this, as a whole. Playing Mass Effect isnt something i do just when im a little bored, like say with COD, i play Mass Effect because its a genuine experience.
But yea, this ending shows a lack of respect for its audience overall, in that they gave us choice, they gave us a game where we could create our 'own' character to a point, even if a lot of it is an illusion, we still get choice. Then they go, well, we want this ending, so, we arent gonna allow the audience to have the ending they want. I want to have a choice in whether Shepard dies, how the reaper threat is ended, in a way you do get this but not really, i want to see it, i want the ending to show more of the 'aftermath', the best way to see how your choices have effected everything is to show you the galaxy after it is all over, what happens now? What happens to who you romanced? If Shepard lives, what state is he/she in? Is there a way for Shepard to get back to the Normandy crew? I want some answers, or at least, something to go by in the conclusion. Maybe though this is future DLC? Though, that would mean another storyline, so it goes back to the Mass Effect 4 logically.
Plot holes as in, i played through with an imported Femshep first, she had Kaiden and Liara with her in the final fight. When the reaper lazers everyone down as they try to reach the beam to the citadel, what happened to them? Anderson made it. But where did they go, oh wait, what, they are on the Normandy? How the hell........... **** lol.
Im interested now to see how Bioware deals with this, its time they back up their talk about 'taking into account fan feedback', because never have they had more feedback on one element before.
I just think so much of the plot in those final minutes of the game make no sense at all. The catalyst doesn't want synthetic life to rise up and destroy organic life so implements a cycle wherein a synthetic life form destroys organic life every 50,000 years?? What, that's really the best solution? Why not just create a cycle which periodically destroys synthetic life? And how did my squadmates magically end up back on the Normandy? And where exactly was the Normandy going? Was it fleeing from the battle on Earth? So many plotholes.
I agree with you, yea. I dont have issues though with the whole catalyst plot, it was pretty intense and very atmospheric, unforgettable really. The reason i think, from everything ive gathered from it, is that the Reapers need organics and by their understanding organics need synthetics to keep 'order' from the inevitable 'chaos'. Its an interesting vision i think that has visible roots in today's society making it 'plausible'.
But yea, major plot holes. Like as you say, magically teh crew that was fighting by your side minutes ago is on teh Normandy fleeing, i gather from the blast, but man, if they had time to pick up your squad mates from earth, they could have come checked for Shepard at least lol. Casey Hudson said something recently about wanting the ending to have mystery about it, what happens now, where are they etc (something like that anyways). But theres a difference between ending with mystery in quality, and ending in mysery through serious plot holes. And personally, i want some closure on Shepards story, is this is the end of his/her story, why arent we getting that?
I hope whatever DLC comes out for ME3 in near future deals with this.
Just a thought, maybe Bioware have plans for ME3 DLC or a 4th installment, that starts with the crew on some mystery planet? Hence, why they just cant leave certain members of your crew on earth? Still doesnt make up for the plot hole, but, would be interesting if this is the case.
Everyone whos enraged with ME3's ending, should read this document posted here by Runeweaver!!!!!
@Runewaever, dont know if you wrote this but its dam good. Considering the overall quality of storytelling in the mass effect series, i cant help but feel now Bioware havent given us the ending. I think yea, Shepard is still in london, under rubble from the Reaper lazer aftermath. I expect now DLC to cover this, right now that makes me positive, but, i hope its not some ploy just to get even more money out of us to finish the game. If they are gonna charge, it better be good!
What I disliked was both how grim and how badly done it was, and how it negated all your efforts over the past three games to do good in the galaxy. In many ways, doing good through your choices and actions was your contribution to the story, and the last half hour throws it all away by introducing some arbitrary new plot elements.
Basically, the destruction of the mass relays either causes a super-nova at each relay, destroying most of the liveable planets in the galaxy, or at best (if you assume the relays just explode against the game lore) causes a situation where space travel is many times slower, separating the races, destroying galactic civilisation as Shepard knew it, and causing an economic collapse. The earth is left in ruins, the citadel is destroyed, it's inhabitants "processed", the council dead, the galactic fleet stranded on earth without supplies or a means of supporting itself, and then there are the consequences of Shepards final choice.
And Shepards final choices are actually all bad:
Paragon - you admit the Illusive Man was right after fighting him and his ideology for most of the game, and end up imposing a form of mind control on all current synthetics, totally against the series principles of free will Synthesis - you end up imposing a form of tech-organic integration on the rest of the galaxy, something which is signposted throughout the series as evil, see the Husks, the human Reaper in ME2, or what Cerberus do to their people Renegade - you destroy all synthetic life including EDI and the Geth, and it is unclear where it stops, since Shepard is affected, and he only has some implants which are not exactly synthetic life; you might end up setting technology back a long way
And then you die.
On top of that there are all the thematic turnarounds which leave such a bad taste. Hard sci-fi space opera becomes a magic wave sweeping the galaxy, the Citadel goes from good to bad, the fleet that you spent most of the game collecting suddenly has no purpose, your secret weapon the Crucible turns out to be planned by the god-child-bad-guy, you end up alone without your team counter to the rest of the game, and the whole "Take back Earth" marketing promise is invalidated since you don't get to do that.
I'd argue that not only is it the bleakest of endings, once you think about it, but on top of it all it comes close to turning your heroic Shepard into an anti-hero.
Its as if the writing team abandoned their work and willfully set out to create both a downbeat ending and ruin the objective quality of the storytelling in the last 30 minutes. It's creatively one of the biggest missteps of modern times, topping the finale of LOST and the Soprano's.
nope i didnt write it,just info thats bouncing around the forums.
Personally i think it is a ploy,Bioware isnt the problem EA is, they seem to have made ripping people off into an artform,like Kingdoms of Amalur a single player game that needs an online pass,and ME3 day one dlc which they said was created after the data on the disk was finalized,but parts of the data for the dlc was found on the disk.
They probably wanted abit of backlash so they could blame all the whiners for the dlc they had to create to make them happy,and they are the ones who called us whiners on twitter. The backlash has probably gone alot further than they intended now though,as they are quickly changing their tune on alot of comments they have made,originally it was thats the end get over it and stop whining,now its were are listening and will take what fans of the game want into account.
Well, polls in places like IGN are showing that around 80% of players actively dislike the ending, and the courteous responses of the people in the "Retake Mass Effect" movement are doing a great deal to convince the mainstream press that this is not a normal backlash or 'gamer rage' among a vocal minority, but a genuine issue. Even EA and Bioware seem to slowly be changing the tone of their comments. But it's likely that this is going to have a lasting effect on the franchise and the fanbase, I suspect that Bioware have succeeded in traumatising a few people.
I hope they do something to improve the situation, the Mass Effect trilogy deserves a better and more satisfying ending.
We needed endings that reflect what we did in the trilogy,do everything right and i think Shepard and crew deserve to live happily ever after,yeh its cheesy but real life is bad enough for many at the moment,a game should have a feel good factor,well unless its a jrpg which hardly ever do.
Brent Knowles the lead designer of dragon age origins and now ex-bioware employee posted these comments on his blog
I read one recent blog post where the writer basically said "the ending was awesome because it was just like a movie" and I think she was missing the point.
It is a game. Not a movie.
And more specifically, its a role-playing game. The players are *part* of the game. Part of the process of building and experiencing the game, much more so than with most other forms of entertainment.
Entitlement is really a right, for the gamer, because they have participated, actively, in the game itself.
Again, I can't speak to the actual ending myself, because I have not played it but in generally I'd say a Role-Playing Video Game Trilogy Ending should (try to) do the following:
1. Reward the player's choices throughout the series. The big stuff they did should be noted. They should *feel* like they had a unique impact on the world.
2. End on a positive note. This is really important for video games... life in general is full of ***** stuff happening all the time. When I invest a hundred hours into a game I need to walk away feeling like a hero.
When you waste a couple hours of a person's life with an artsy/depressing movie or short story or even a novel, it is more forgivable because the time spent is less. And presumably the consumer knew what they were going into when they started. Certain directors create certain styles of movie. Certain writers write specific types of fiction.
On the other hand somebody playing an epic role-playing video-game trilogy is going to *expect* to be the hero and save the universe. That's why they are playing the game. When expectations don't match reality, disappointment is created.
It might be an artistic/creative move to go with a different style of ending but I feel its the wrong choice, especially for a videogame *trilogy*. Make your middle game bleak if you want to, but end the series on a high note.
I agree with the notion that an RPG should warrent choice, especially in the outcome of the game. And even more especially with such a game series as Mass Effect, which millions of players have come to love.
But, i must note that i disagree with your idea that it should be all HAPPILY EVER AFTER. Yes, i think there should be a way to get that, i wanted it for my SHepard that ive played through first with, wanted her to live, live a life free from war etc as she said at many points 'after this, im done saving the galaxy, only so much fight in a person'. The character deserved a 'happily ever after' ending.
>>>>> But, now to the point specifically in regards to your post. Please dont play the 'artsy/depressing' card, it shows a lack of perspective. I think that, given all Shepard goes through, sacrificing her/his self for organic life to be free of reapers is epic, and worthy of teh series. Yes, ist not 'real life', but its here that the point is missed. Mass Effect isnt just entertainment, mindless entertainment like COD for example, where say killing SOAP was pointless because its not like i cared for the character so hence, no emotional impact. Mass Effect is ART, its an experience that goes beyond entertainment. It aims to provoke thought, pull at your emotions and leave a mark on you long after youve put down the controller.
I mean, lets put it this way. You give a nice happy ending, everything works out well, etc. Well, youll feel good, but then you move on, the experience, could become forgettable, which is not what Bioware want. Now, make Shepard sacrifice, make Shepard go through hell and back (like her bleeding and all battered up, really powerful, made me really feel for her character and admire the strength, the drive to keep pushing forward)- make her go through hell and back, you remember this, you feel this, and the fact that so many people are pissed off shows how much people were made to care about the characters.
WIll use an example in film, something recent so a lot of people will have seen it. Take the film 'The Wrestler', from a few years back. Now, not gonna go giving spoilers on that, but lets say, the film had a 'depressing ending'. Now, teh film was magnificenly powerful, i cant forget it, a BIG part of that is in how it ended. It was ART, art doesnt have to be happy, it can be, but doesnt have to be. Art is an expression, makes you think, makes you feel, its got substance.
I hate the ending of Mass Effect, i really do. But, im not saying they should rid the doom and gloom, but they should give an option to players, if they put time in, to get that 'happy ending' as you say, its part of what an RPG is supposed to be. The big issue for me though, is, the lack of closure. And, if the end is a hallucination, like it seems to be, i really hope Bioware weren't and more importantly WONT end it on that. I want to see what happens to galaxy after the reapers are destroyed or whatever it be. How has Shepard's decisions influenced the end? And yea, bringing down the relays would destroy most life lol, so thats ridiculous, and even if they magically decided it didnt, it would leave the civilizations of the galaxy divided, and in chaos, just as much chaos as the reapers themselves were causing. Its, stupid lol, unless this is something they plan on covering in a future game.
To conclude here, Bioware have my support even with the bad ending, because, they want the game to be more than a game. They want it to be art. For instance, a painting, is not necessarily art, if it has no purpose, no depth, no meaning, if it is just a painting for the sake of painting, you have to ask, is this art? If another painting have deep context, is an expression of the individual that painted it, say, an expression of his/her beliefs on political issues in contemporary society, or another exmaple, an expression of personal events or feelings within their life, then it is art. My point is, the medium is a medium, a channel in which to push an idea through. The format of a game, has so much potential and has yet to really make as much as a dent in it. Bioware is making that dent though, its trying to push what a game can be, its just a shame, that they slapped that concept out in the very end, giving so little choice over such a big decision in the game.
I did say if you do everything right you can get a happily ever after ending,but there needs to endings that take into account what you did,do nearly everything right and shepard can sacrifice him/her self to save everyone else,or even sacrifice your crew and save everyone and yourself,paragon/renegade ending,they had plenty of time to write 4 or 5 solid endings,from happy,to everyone is harvested,but they gave us a totally broken ending,the last person who gets off the normandy in the final scene is one of the members of your final team,who according to bioware died in the blast from harbinger.
oh and lets not forget,"grandpa tell me another story about the shepard"
Well, seems like the best place to add my 2 cents worth, though I think am going against convention.
I LIKED the ending. Its so rare for a series to successfully END like it was supposed to. Humanity was fighting against one of the greatest enemies ever, with billions of years of knowledge more than us, and ships which appeared indestructible (Baring some ingenious killing techniques).
And I will defend the decisions affecting stuff. As far as I'm aware, without allies like Zaeed and allowing the Batarian to live on the DLC in Mass Effect 1, your forces to combat the reapers are weaker. Thats where the decisions come in. Not in how you decide the ending, but in how you easy it is to get there. Without Rex controlling the Krogan, how hard would it have been?
The issue is, I don't know the answer (will require a second play through with a renegade rather than paragon character). But I think that it was a heart stopping ending, which presented some real weight. The universe ended. You were playing as Sheppard. When he dies, how are you supposed to know what happens to your squad mates?? It was one of the worst thing at the end of Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2 where you were stood asking Teresa what happens to the rest of your allies. Excuse me, what?
The MASSIVE uproar to this in conclusion is silly. It ended as I thought it would have. I would have been FURIOUS if Sheppard had survived, because it would have smacked of Bioware cruising for another pay check.
What you do has no real effect on the ending,yes it is alittle harder to get the points needed to see the extra 2 seconds at the end,but a few hours on multiplayer or mess around with the datapad app and even that isnt a problem,oh and not being able to see the whole ending without playing multiplayer or using the datapad app is also a joke,a series that has been single player until now should be able to get 100% complete without needing to play online.
It's now been a week since i finshed mass effect 3 and i was hopeing i could have got over how the game ends and maybe understand why bioware ended it like they did and i have to say i can not and i'm even more disapointed than i was. With mass effect which i belive is the best of the three by this time i was on my 3rd play through play as a different class and the same with the second mass effect but with mass effect three i've tried to start a second play through but i just can not do it because of the ending and that for me sum's it up when the ending to game stops you wonting to play it again then some thing is wrong with the game especially with a RPG which to my mind you should want to finsh more than once especially with how much games cost (i'm now glad that game were not in a position to supply me with my copy of Mass Effect 3 Collector's Edition if i'd payed 70 pound's to get a game with such a bad ending i'd have been even more upset) and thats without paying for any DLC that come's out. maybe thats just me who feels that a game should make you want to play it more than once.The only other thing i would say is are Bioware to blame or is it EA i've checked my copy of Mass Effect and i can not find any where it say's EA had anything to do with the game but i could be wrong on that.
The ending, actually, goes against my initial thoughts of it being quality. In terms of emotion, in terms of hardship, in terms of atmosphere, the ending was sublime! But in terms of story, the plot holes are so ridiculous. It does, combined with that article that was posted earlier on this thread, i believe it is indeed an hallucination. Im currently going through new game + with my imported character i played with first, just so i can get her the the best ending currently in the game, (just a 2 second clip of someone in N7 armor breathing at end, which, is obviously Shepard.), Shepard living is better than Shepard not living.
Again, hopefully, dlc or expansion packs will come to solve the 'quality' issue of th ending, i mean, if it is a hallucination, its awesome, but, ive got to say, if they make me pay for an ending, i will do it because i want that ending, but wont be happy, unless that ending com,es with hours and hours worth of extra content that im paying for.
"The MASSIVE uproar to this in conclusion is silly. It ended as I thought it would have. I would have been FURIOUS if Sheppard had survived, because it would have smacked of Bioware cruising for another pay check." @C. Fairhurst. Yea, it would have, i agree. BUT, only if it was done half assed like, yea, she/he survives if you complete 50% of the game. I mean, that would be going against the whole "greatest threat in existence" point lol. Say, if you prepare perfectly, have a ridiculous amount of war assets, you should have the possibility of surviving as a reward. Giving the opportunity for Shepard to survive to people who play half the game, would be wrong, as it wouldnt feel rewarded.
And, if Shepard is going to die, if they at persistant with this, then at least do it in a quality way. Give closure to the story. Not, oh wait, so, the reapers say, are dead, all Mass relays have exploded (not to mention that the blast from this would kill off most life in that system), it would break up the races, Shepards crew magically onboard the normandy when they were seconds ago by your side, somehow the Normandy is destroyed from the blast, your crew on some weird planet, which means the must have been in another system (wtf Bioware? what they doing there?), .......... could go on. I mean, no matter what u do, theres chaos, but, more to the point, theres plot holes, PLOT HOLES that are so big, it has to deliberate. Again, read the article from earlier in this thread, posted by Runeweaver, makes Biowares writers look genius or amazingly stupid.
Its niot a good ending, because, any way you look at it, its not an ending. If this is the real end, if its not an hallucination, then its badly constructed, badly written (even though incredibly visual, emotional and well done outside of writing and plot). If its not teh real ending, if its an hallucination, its very well done, following the idea of Shepard maybe fighting indoctrination, and unconsciousness from being knocked out by Reaper Lazer. But, if they are going to release some £7 dlc saying, the 'real ending', man, then the whole thing was a ploy to make even more money. I am curious to see what Bioware does from here, hope they can clarify this.
Yea, i understand. When i started my second playthrough (last friday), i was just like you. This amazing game, best game ive ever played, except for the ending. And i was, struggling to play it for teh first few hours again. I was like, ok, so, im doing new game + with my first imported SHepard (that i consider my main Shepard), but shes going to come to the same conclusion. But, whats driving me right now is to get the 'good ending' as bioware states. To see that two second clip of Shepard breathing in london rubble (yea, london rubble, looks that way from YouTube clips, and what everyone else is saying, dlc on way i would see as likely, to finish the fight with the reapers).
I dont know how much exactly EA have to do with it, as a publisher i assume they push and prob the develiopers to get games out by certain dates (with DA2, it wasnt ready to be released, maybe MAss Effect wasnt either? woudl explain day one dlc and ending issues). I dont want to speculate on their part, but, i dont see ME3 doing dlc like ME2, i see it being more 'substantial' and in line with reapers, maybe they want to pad out how it ends? Time will tell.
The reason i blamed EA is because they own bioware,it isnt like Atlas who just publish a game for another company and take abit of the profit,EA fund the making of mass effect and probably have input into its design,like how to make more profit from sales,the tactics they use are being used in alot of EA titles.For example the Multiplayer packs which they sell,FiFA12 has the same thing.
Well, I have tried to start a second play through, on the principle that the hair of the dog will cure thee, but I'm afraid I just can't do it. I've gotten to the Citadel with two different male sheps (my first play was femshep), but I just can't bring myself to play on, knowing that the end makes it all rather pointless. Maybe in a few months, but for the time being Bioware have succeeded in ruining one of very few series of which I'd consider myself a genuine fan.
Yea, that was my plan to once ive got my current Shepards through ME3. But, right now, no way could i do that, couldnt bring Shepard up to meet that ending after 100 hours of playing lol. But, they havent ruined it yet, not for me at least, i will wait patiently to see what Bioware do about this.
I didnt realize EA owned Bioware, that would make a lot of sense when looking at negatives here.