Mass Effect 3: The Process

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*Me before beating ME3* - "Man, what whiners! All these people are so entitled! C'mon, they wouldn't have been satisfied with any ending! Bioware fans are the worst! They exaggerate everything. No way are the endings THAT bad!"

*Me after beating ME3* - "Oh, go to hell, Bioware. You go straight to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 dollars. Go directly to hell."

I'm starting to think the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion was better... and they got death threats over that.

putowtin:
just finished last night, then sat there for three hours staring at the screen wondering why...
WHY!?!?!?

I could write a novel on the hurt, but this comic sums it up perfectly, thanks guys!

actually, I found that 90% of the people complaining about the endings haven't that having more than 5000 troop strength before doing the final mission gives you the better one depending on the choices.

Still though, after finding this out, promptly replaying the game [which importing your ME3 character is the only way to get weapons over level 5 evidently] and getting EVERY SINGLE WAR ASSET IN THE GAME, I was content with the ending.

Kalezian:

putowtin:
snip

actually, I found that 90% of the people complaining about the endings haven't that having more than 5000 troop strength before doing the final mission gives you the better one depending on the choices.

Still though, after finding this out, promptly replaying the game [which importing your ME3 character is the only way to get weapons over level 5 evidently] and getting EVERY SINGLE WAR ASSET IN THE GAME, I was content with the ending.

I'm sure I had more that 5000, I had every asset, but now I'm curious....
Maybe when my heart stops feeling so heavy I'll re-play!

digital warrior:
Yah the ending was pretty shit. But here something that will at least make it interesting if true. http://social.bioware.com/forums/forum/1/topic/355/index/9727423/1

Basically it states that the entire part with the citadel was an indoctrination test set by the reapers in Sheppard's death coma, its an interesting read the theirs allot of evidence to support it.

Still pisses me off though cause that means it's incomplete and they will charge us for the ending. Not cool man, not cool.

Oh please be real. Dear God let at least SOME of that theory be real. I'd even be prepared to fork out extra money for the real ending if they really were this brilliant. I also wouldn't have to feel so shitty about choosing Destroy and what I was told the consequences would be.

putowtin:

Kalezian:

putowtin:
snip

actually, I found that 90% of the people complaining about the endings haven't that having more than 5000 troop strength before doing the final mission gives you the better one depending on the choices.

Still though, after finding this out, promptly replaying the game [which importing your ME3 character is the only way to get weapons over level 5 evidently] and getting EVERY SINGLE WAR ASSET IN THE GAME, I was content with the ending.

I'm sure I had more that 5000, I had every asset, but now I'm curious....
Maybe when my heart stops feeling so heavy I'll re-play!

Even if you have every asset, you still need an additional amount from... Multi-player.

As someone who did not play ME1, 2, or 3, I think that's what pisses me off most. They lied blatantly to the player base.

...Yeah that's about right.

I don't get it. Can someone explain to me, a person who has not played Mass Effect, what the big deal is? I read about the endings on some spoiler thing and I just don't understand the issue. Is it because it's hard to get the happy ending? You can't deal with a depressing ending? Other?

Nice to know I'm not alone feeling ripped off. 1000's of possibilities going into the game, and the best endings they could come up with were 3 different flavours of "kill self, render all previous decisions moot." And YES, I know you "maybe" survive one of them. But a twitching corpse in a flaming ruin is not what I'd call a satisfying payoff to the Sci-fi epic they've spent the better part of a decade building. Otherwise well done, but jesus guys...

Eh, I agree with some of the criticisms and disagree with others ('it's not a happy ending!'), but ultimately what I felt was the worst thing about the ending was that while it gave closure to the story, it didn't give closure to the characters. And honestly, the characters in ME were way more important than the story ever was.

uh, yeah, control was the paragon option, you take control of the reapers and can therefore send them all back to dark space and stop the war outright. Besides, only merge or destroy ended up with the relays being blown up i think. Still, all awful endings

Oh god, i haven't bought Mass Effect 3 yet. what is this horrible eldritch abomination of an ending we're talking about?! the suspense is killing me. DON'T SPOIL IT FOR ME!

if Mass Effect 3 teach us something is that at the end everything you love will crush your heart :'( *grabs more icecream*

Wolfram23:
I don't get it. Can someone explain to me, a person who has not played Mass Effect, what the big deal is? I read about the endings on some spoiler thing and I just don't understand the issue. Is it because it's hard to get the happy ending? You can't deal with a depressing ending? Other?

http://www.play-mag.co.uk/general/why-the-mass-effect-3-ending-sucked/

There are a LOT of problems with the ending. Believe it or not, most people aren't upset that the ending isn't happy. It's the many OTHER problems. This site does a very good job of summing them all up... and there's a lot to cover about why these endings just don't work. At all.

Exactly that, you're damn right guys.

I need a Garrus body pillow thing like that to get over it. Probably never will.

How dare they send us through that emotional rollercoaster and then give us that damned ending. If I could just block out the last 10 min, everything would be all right.

I liked the ending. What the hell makes it 'universally wrong' that I'm not seeing?!

...then again, I liked the ending of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, too. So maybe I'm just an idiot.

SirBryghtside:
I liked the ending. What the hell makes it 'universally wrong' that I'm not seeing?!

...then again, I liked the ending of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, too. So maybe I'm just an idiot.

Atleast the ending of DE:HR was going to be relatively pointless since it was a prequel and all.

sordcooper:
uh, yeah, control was the paragon option, you take control of the reapers and can therefore send them all back to dark space and stop the war outright. Besides, only merge or destroy ended up with the relays being blown up i think. Still, all awful endings

that's the thing. the blue/control/paragon option was represented by the illusive man. the red/destroy/renegade option is represented by captain anderson. obviously this hints at something being very wrong and warped about the representation of these choices. captain anderson is a true paragon and the illusive man is and obvious renegade. the child seems to agree most with the control and synthesis option. he admits the illusive man was indoctrinated so it's safe to say that with the illusive man trying to convince shepard the reapers can be controlled it was actually the reapers indoctrination speaking. the synthesis option is what would happen if the reapers aren't stopped, they will process all organic life. if you choose control the same thing will happen cause just minutes earlier you told the illusive man that the reapers can't be controlled, they'll just let you think that cause you'll be indoctrinated. captain anderson tells you not to listen to the illusive man and fight to the end to stop the reapers. this ending also gives the little extra scene of shepard still being alive in the rubble of london on earth.

i personally think everything from the point that harbinger shows up and knocks you out is tainted with indoctrination. everything changes at that point. camera, gameplay, hud, ammo, your armor is gone, the blurry vision, the oily black stuff on the side of the screen when the illusive man speaks, your armor is gone and suddenly you can breathe in space as well. i could go on and on about this probably. but yeah, i think there is a lot more to it. the child haunts your dreams, going up in flames and ultimately setting you on fire too in the last dream, shepards downfall. because of this i think all endings are bad, with the destroy option being the canonically correct one. destroying the reapers has been your main goal since the very beginning. my guess is the story isn't finished.

Trishbot:
*Me before beating ME3* - "Man, what whiners! All these people are so entitled! C'mon, they wouldn't have been satisfied with any ending! Bioware fans are the worst! They exaggerate everything. No way are the endings THAT bad!"

*Me after beating ME3* - "Oh, go to hell, Bioware. You go straight to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 dollars. Go directly to hell."

I'm starting to think the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion was better... and they got death threats over that.

This ^^^

I'd have to agree. It's one of the few stories where I got to the end, and was pissed by the ending so much that I sold off all my NGE dvd box sets, and set about blocking the show from my mind, and forgetting that it ever was. My only hope currently with ME3 is to hold onto a fan fic ending someone wrote, b/c I don't see Bioware fixing this insult.

You know guys, I see at least two ironic things here
1) Catalyst was right about creations always turning on theire creators! That would be ME3 and Bioware/EA. Goes for organics vs synthetics too =)
2) (Thought about it after seeing the ME race quizze) Shepard tried to save galaxy against impossible odds. Now the entire galactic population tries to save him insted.

Russia is with u on this one. Go team :P

Trishbot:
*Me before beating ME3* - "Man, what whiners! All these people are so entitled! C'mon, they wouldn't have been satisfied with any ending! Bioware fans are the worst! They exaggerate everything. No way are the endings THAT bad!"

*Me after beating ME3* - "Oh, go to hell, Bioware. You go straight to hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 dollars. Go directly to hell."

I'm starting to think the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion was better... and they got death threats over that.

Oh man, that's exactly my thought process.

I didn't think anything short of a corporeal being manifesting and kicking me in the balls would ruin the game for me.

But they did. Bioware fucked up big time.

I still love the game, but damn.

It could have been so much better. I don't even care if it was a cheesy 'A New Hope' ending, so long as I got some closure.

i didn't know girls would have these kinds of pillows.

Adam Jensen:

Loonerinoes:
I'll just leave this right here for all you lovely ragers. :)

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/why-the-ending-of-mass-effect-3-was-satifying-and-worthy-of-the-series-mass

We don't hate the ending just because it didn't provide any sense of closure, we hate it because logically it didn't make any sense. There are more loopholes in that ending then stars in the fuckin' galaxy.

I've begun to look at the counter argument to all those statements of 'if you hate the ME3 ending you're an uncultured fool who just wants mary-sue endings!' along these lines:

If you were to splice the last fifteen minutes of The Return of the King onto Return of the Jedi gives you the same ending tone, in theory, bad guys lose, good guys die, some people sacrificed themselves and redeemed themselves in a way. In essence the story gets resolved the same way, with the same form, triumph over massive oppressive evil in the face of terrifying odds. Honestly, it's the same theme...but it's not the same characters, it's not the same setting, it's not the same plot, it's not the same struggle, if you look at the specifics, you notice it's different, it's out of place, it doesn't fit, it's alien to the entire film.

THAT is the same thing that happened with the ME3 ending. Is your character sacrificing himself in the face of overwhelming odds? Yes. Is he choosing from options placed before him? Yes. Is he trying to be the hero and win? Yes. Those all fit with the Mass Effect series completely. But the mechanics aren't what defines a game built on story and characters. It's just that Luke Skywalker isn't Frodo. Saruron isn't the Emperor. A long time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away isn't Middle Earth.

Fine, all the 'cultured' and 'all knowing' critics of the Game industry might be able to say 'well, that's how the game HAD to end, with Shepard's death!' are kind of missing the things that matter more than generic themes and tone in a story; plot, characters, motivation, setting, consistency of the universe.

Daft Ghosty:
My only hope currently with ME3 is to hold onto a fan fic ending someone wrote, b/c I don't see Bioware fixing this insult.

Which one are you going with? I just hammered out the start to my own yesterday.

Zachary Amaranth:
Bang on, guys. I am so loving you right now.

DVS BSTrD:
Okay now you guys are really starting to scare me. Hold me Garrus!

It's not gay if it's with a Turian.

I always just assumed everyone was gay for Garrus, or its not gay if its with Garrus. =)

Anyways...yeah, I think this is how I feel. Not to the extent of Erin, but its been like 3 days since I beat the game...and I'm still not sure what to think.

I know a lot of people are hoping that the ending is just some secret Indoctrination test or something, but that doesn't make too much sense to me. Likewise, the original ending from the original writer Drew, I felt was really predictable since ME2 and I'm actually glad they changed it (though I wish they didn't drop the plot point entirely).

Mass Effect 3 was just...just awesome. It hit a lot of points really well, and it captured the feel of an overpowering invasion almost perfectly. The writing and dialogue was still excellent, the crew interaction was much better and more involving, none of the side missions or story missions felt like they didn't belong.

But the ending starting from the elevator sequence...ugh. So disjointed that it felt like it literally pulled me away from the experience forever, especially in future playthroughs. Every time I see something mass effect related (mostly songs), I can't help but feel depressed.

And the thing is, the after credits don't bother me. The tali thing, import bugs, day one DLC, occasional glitched mission, technical problems, the Catalyst(to an extent), all of that I could ignore. Hell, I could forgive the endings, and actually didn't mind whether I got a happy or depressed ending. It was the lack of closure that killed me. Yes, the endings are bull crap and the Normandy situation makes no sense, but if I at least got SOMETHING regarding everyone (preferably NOT something like the Dragon Age text ending explanations) then I could at least be angry, but somewhat glad.

But if you want more insight into my feelings of the matter, hit the very obvious spoiler below...granted most of this has been said before. Also, quite a long, long read. Sorry.

Mass Effect 3 truly was awesome, and I'm really glad that I got to experience and play such an epic game series. I would even encourage a lot of people to try it out! I don't even know if I will ever experience such attachment to characters or care about the universe in other games as I did for Mass Effect. And yet, the ending has left such a scar, that I don't know if it will ever heal (unless there is some DLC for more endings or something, and they would have to be on the same quality of writing and dialogue as the rest of the game of course).

Pretty much my feelings on the matter exactly, except I don''t have a hugging pillow.

I wonder where I could pick up one of Tali, just to complete the picture.

Akichi Daikashima:
People are just afraid to let go I guess, I for one, was a bit sad, but all good stories need an ending...

It's less that we're afraid to let go, and more that if this is what we worked up to, then why did we bother?

I cannot speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. I did expect a 'happy' ending, with Shepard flying off into the sunset. I expected an ending true to the series. One that would leave me sad that the journey was over, but glad to have made it. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet comes to mind. The end is tragic, but it leaves off with hope, Their sacrifice, made through love, has finally brought an end to this bitter, pointless war that has already claimed the lives of great men. You do not smile at that ending, but in your heart you know that it was worth it, and that story proves that you do not need to smile at an ending for it to be good.

What we are given is something else entirely. We are given an ending where not a single choice made by any character matters, everything we have worked, bled and sacrificed for is absolutely pointless and has absolutely no bearing on these three choices before which, no matter what we choose, further invalidates the story told. I could write an essay on why the ending to Mass Effect 3 is a literary travesty, and perhaps one day I'll have the opportunity, But I've already subjected you to a large enough wall of text, so I will simply leave off in saying that the ending to this series makes me cry, but these tears are not the same I shed when Juliet cried "Oh happy dagger!" These are the tears I shed when a story which I would very happily rank alongside Shakespeare, Tolkien, and Lewis, so utterly collapses in the final scene to nearly make me ot want to experience it again.

Jeebus, I've been hearing about this dreaded ending pretty much everywhere, was it that bad?
What the hell happened? Did the entire franchise turn out to be a dream all along or something?

[You'll have to forgive my ignorance. I don't follow the series at all.]

Still depressed or angry...depending on the day. I love this comic, gave me a little smile in these dark times. LOL. Anyone here should cruise over to the Bioware forums and check out the rage over there, epic doesn't describe it.

This is startlingly accurate, given my experience.

SO UH... Where can I get a Garrus body pillow? Just out of curiosity...

BX3:
Jeebus, I've been hearing about this dreaded ending pretty much everywhere, was it that bad?
What the hell happened? Did the entire franchise turn out to be a dream all along or something?

[You'll have to forgive my ignorance. I don't follow the series at all.]

the basic issue is that the finale of the game is essentially "well you are fucked, but please, press buttons A B or C to choose your ending cinematic"

Did you play a model citizen? Doesn't matter same ABC

Did you play a violent Arrogant Prick? doesn't matter ABC

did you speed run the games? Doesn't matter ABC

Did you painstakingly complete EVERY sidequest? doesn't matter, ABC

feauxx:

sordcooper:
uh, yeah, control was the paragon option, you take control of the reapers and can therefore send them all back to dark space and stop the war outright. Besides, only merge or destroy ended up with the relays being blown up i think. Still, all awful endings

that's the thing. the blue/control/paragon option was represented by the illusive man. the red/destroy/renegade option is represented by captain anderson. obviously this hints at something being very wrong and warped about the representation of these choices. captain anderson is a true paragon and the illusive man is and obvious renegade. the child seems to agree most with the control and synthesis option. he admits the illusive man was indoctrinated so it's safe to say that with the illusive man trying to convince shepard the reapers can be controlled it was actually the reapers indoctrination speaking. the synthesis option is what would happen if the reapers aren't stopped, they will process all organic life. if you choose control the same thing will happen cause just minutes earlier you told the illusive man that the reapers can't be controlled, they'll just let you think that cause you'll be indoctrinated. captain anderson tells you not to listen to the illusive man and fight to the end to stop the reapers. this ending also gives the little extra scene of shepard still being alive in the rubble of london on earth.

i personally think everything from the point that harbinger shows up and knocks you out is tainted with indoctrination. everything changes at that point. camera, gameplay, hud, ammo, your armor is gone, the blurry vision, the oily black stuff on the side of the screen when the illusive man speaks, your armor is gone and suddenly you can breathe in space as well. i could go on and on about this probably. but yeah, i think there is a lot more to it. the child haunts your dreams, going up in flames and ultimately setting you on fire too in the last dream, shepards downfall. because of this i think all endings are bad, with the destroy option being the canonically correct one. destroying the reapers has been your main goal since the very beginning. my guess is the story isn't finished.

I'm sorry... but it's time to move on from denial, my friend. It's just bad writing and endless plotholes.

Destroy is renegade, because the geth, EDI(we'll for some reason not EDI) and all other possible existing synthetics will die. That's ending it no matter the cost. Also, Shepard can survive.
Control is paragon, because you - for sure - sacrifice yourself and idealistically belive in co-existance with the Geth 'n stuff.

Both represented by the people who wanted to commit them, for the same reasons.

Synthesis ends the cycle. Of course you already might've disproved the whole circular-time thing and impossibility of co-existance with the Geth-Quarian peace. Still brings a new age and a level of existance.

Sure, Control and Synthesis just ending in CRITICAL MISSION FAILURE - YOU WERE INDOCTRINATED and a glorious cinematic of all life being destroyed would've been a better ending IMO, but... it just didn't. We saw the relays explode and the whole stargazer bit, it happened.

What really bothers me though is how they fucked up the whole concept of AI. They reduced it to just becoming exactly like humans for both the Geth and EDI. Not that I was expecting anything better after they reduced the Reapers into giant fucking gene-samples in Mass Effect 2.

Disclaimer: It was still a good game. I enjoyed everything exept the beginning and ending cinematics and anything involving Kai Leng.

EDIT: After procrastinating on reddit researching this invensively, I have to admit I'm torn... I WANT TO BELIEVE

Darkmantle:

the basic issue is that the finale of the game is essentially "well you are fucked, but please, press buttons A B or C to choose your ending cinematic"

Did you play a model citizen? Doesn't matter same ABC

Did you play a violent Arrogant Prick? doesn't matter ABC

did you speed run the games? Doesn't matter ABC

Did you painstakingly complete EVERY sidequest? doesn't matter, ABC

Ah, I see, so not the endings, but the way in which they were implemented. That does sound pretty rage inducing. Seems like a bit of a cop out on Bioware's part, especially given that many of the game's fans are attracted to the story driven and role playing nature of the franchise.

Thanks for explaining it in layman's terms.

SirBryghtside:
I liked the ending. What the hell makes it 'universally wrong' that I'm not seeing?!

...then again, I liked the ending of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, too. So maybe I'm just an idiot.

You an idiot? Not at all. I'm happy you enjoyed the endings. I'm happy for anyone who enjoyed the endings, because you don't have to feel the way that those who didn't enjoy the endings feel. I hesitate to explain all the problems that make the games ending, at least to me, the worse I've seen for a game series I loved, because I don't want to make you go 'oh yeah that does suck'. It's not the worse ending ever made. There are plenty of games that are bad from beginning to end. But I digress.

There will be spoilers ahead so don't read if you dont want to know things about the endings.

I'll try to put it as simple as I can, as to what my problem with the endings are.

It comes down to a few things. One of which is choice. Be it ME1, or ME2 Shep always made his own choice. Not the ones that were presented to him. That is what the paragon, and renegade options were for in the conversations, and in the interrupts. It was Shepard making a choice that changed the situation in ways that no one else had seen. That is what is missing from the end. Sheppard is given three choices by the AI god child. In the conversation there are no options to use paragon, or renegade to prove the reaper god child wrong. There is no way for Shepard to tell the AI to go F itself. Shepard just meekly takes one of the thee choices, and that is not Shepard. Not through ME1, ME2, or even ME3.

Two would be results of building your forces up. In both ME1, and ME2 what you did through the game ended up effecting the ending. In ME3 the same can not be said. Earth being destroyed or not, and Shepard living in one of the endings, depends on building up your forces. That value can be changed from just doing multi player. I'd have to test it out, but from what I see you can build up that force with multi player, do only the priority missions, and skip loads of forces, and missions, and go to the end and get the best ending the game can give you. There is no pay off for spending the time prepping your fleet, and building allies.

And that brings me to point three. Seeing the forces, and companions in action. Which is part of the payoff. We want to see the fleet, and people we brought together in the battle. We want to see what happened to them after the battle. We got neither. We want to know why Joker is in either FTL, or riding a mass effect relay. We want to know that if the mass effect relays are gone that they can be rebuilt. We want to know that all the effort we put into uniting the galaxy payed off.

What we get in the end is the normandy stuck on a planet, and in my case with a companion who was with me on that last mission (leaving me going wtf). This happens in all endings. The Mass Effect relays destroyed, and in two out of the three endings Shepard dead (no real problem there. I Thought I'd die anyway). The fleets are all stuck at earth. And that is it. The reapers are gone in one way or another in all endings, but that is all we get. The NG+ ending is a joke. It really does nothing but show that humans survived and they tell the story of Shepard. This is the end of the trilogy of Shepard. This was suppose to be a hell of a ending that made you sit back and go 'wow that was great'. Instead the three cookie cutter endings just come across as lazy, unimaginative, and rushed.

Akichi Daikashima:
People are just afraid to let go I guess, I for one, was a bit sad, but all good stories need an ending...

The problem isn't that it's a sad ending. The problem is that it's an ending without logical basis, riddled with more plot holes than stars in the sky. There's real, fundamental problems with the ending, very little of which has to do with the fact that no matter what you choose, everybody dies.

putowtin:
I'm sure I had more that 5000, I had every asset, but now I'm curious....
Maybe when my heart stops feeling so heavy I'll re-play!

Don't bother. If you have >5,000 assets, you get a 4 second cutscene after the Normandy crashes that the chest of a human (the implication being Shepard) that gasps suddenly before the screen fades to black and the credits start. It's literally no different up until that point.

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