Mass Effect 3 doesn’t need a new ending.
SPOILERS: If you’ve not played the ending of Mass Effect 3. Then it’s probably for the best if you avoid what follows below.
Generally as statements go. There is not one which usually has more answers thrown back at me filled with venom and spite. “You’re an idiot if you think Mass Effect 3’s ending was well written.” or “You liked Mass Effect 3, that just shows how useless you are.” (All actual responses, just with the colorful language removed). Mostly this comes from a desire to defend a game which I have always believed to be the best game series ever conceived, produced and written.
Mass Effect is far more than the story of Shepard and the Reapers. It’s the story of its characters and a background universe that flows and changes with each decision you make. BioWare had created something which had something that most other games can only aspire to. Imagination. The series is well written and each installment of Shepard’s journey takes you along new paths. Unlike Gears of War, Call of Duty, Halo or other franchises. The Mass Effect story changes with each installment. Each are not a carbon copy of the other and more importantly each features clear character progression.
When it comes to talking about Mass Effect, you’re obviously going to look at how the story ended in Mass Effect 3. The ending of Mass Effect has become one of the most controversial video game events of 2012. Upon playing it, people started immediately complaining about it. There were stories of people returning copies of Mass Effect 3 in their masses and that BioWare had finally produced a turkey. It is usually my view that those who returned their copies of Mass Effect 3 are a bunch of idiots who wouldn’t recognise story-telling if it slapped in the face.
The much rumoured Indoctrination theory has been the best candidate for what happened in those final moments of the game and it makes sense. However this is what I suspected BioWare had done all along with the ending of ME3. They wanted us to think about it, to question it, to come up with our own answers. A game that thrives on imagination is giving us the chance to use our own imaginations to answer the questions. So it’s no surprise that when faced with this, people just threw their controllers in the air and gave up. They were expecting answers, they wanted answers and more importantly they demanded answers. No one stopped to consider if this was a Inception moment of is he still dreaming? People had been under the impression that Mass Effect 3 was going to give them all the answers. Life never gives you answers, you find your own answers and from that you gain an understanding.
This still didn’t stop them. They complained to BioWare. It got to the point that each time BioWare made an announcement on twitter or facebook. It was suddenly filled with hundreds of people all demanding that BioWare provided them with answers. Each time BioWare announced a new DLC Multiplayer package, it was followed again by the masses demanding that BioWare provide them answers. Most of the time, people were just asking. Others were just pathetic and made long rants where they believed that BioWare should have given them answers. When it was announced about Childs Play doing a charity asking BioWare to produce a new ending. People donated in their thousands because again, they believed that by giving up their money. BioWare would answer their questions.
To the credit of BioWare, they did do their best to answer the queries that were thrown their way. They stated that they were listening and they truly were. It was soon announced that a DLC pack would be released which would feature a new ending to Mass Effect 3 and provide a clearer ending. This was what made me truly appreciate BioWare. they had listened to the fans and they had done something about it. They are even going to release the expanded ending DLC for free. However, even if the DLC provided all the answers that people were looking for. I imagine that people will still find something to complain about and once again start ranting at BioWare for ruining the game.
i recently read an article on Kotaku which summed up what I loved most about the Mass Effect series. Like i said, it was never a story about Shepard, Cerberus, the Geth or even the Reapers. It was a story about the characters. Over the course of the 3 games I came to love each character in the game. I was heartbroken when the Normandy SR1 was destroyed in ME2’s opening moments. Thane’s final moments in the game were truly beautiful and I cheered when Shepard emerged from the Sovereign’s wreckage at the end of the first Mass Effect game. I hated Legion, I looked upon the Geth with the same hatred that blinded the quarians. Finally there was Tali. BioWare took a character who was filled with mystery, you never saw her face, you always heard her voice and in the process they turned her into the most beautiful character in the game.