Escapist Podcast: Bonus: Mass Effect 3 With Spoilers Part 2

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Kingsnake661:

Zetsubou-Sama:
I was really enjoying this podcast until you started with the heroic ending thing -_-

Most people aren't annoyed Shepard died/heroic enough/happy endings, people want to have the option if they did everything right 100% EMS, and were all paragon and all that stuff, that they can get a happy ending.

But that's just a small amount of the criticism, the inconcistencies, the polt holes, the flawed logic, and the 99% the same endings no matter what.

It's easier to dismiss us if they just stick to the whole, "bah, they just want rainbows and butterflies" then to face the rest of the complaints we have head on, and alof of which, they prolly don't have an answer for. Kind of like when all the bad metacritic hype was blamed almost exclusively on homophic people, and bioware haters, when yeah, they WERE there, but no, they weren't the ONLY ones there.

Exactly, it is the same as using the word entitled, just an easy way to dismiss an argument.

I feel the ending is broken, not because I felt nothing, I felt a lot. I think it's broken because it doesn't seem to acknowledge how bleak it is. It ends on a sunset with upbeat techno, that's out of place.

The game forces you to imagine what happens, but the situation you're left with is bleak as hell. It's just uncut despair, not tragic at all, tragedy should have a point.

When you create an unlikely situation that we see play out, we can believe it if it's explained, even if it's unlikely. Because the ending is so vague, what's most likely to happen is the only form of closure we have. We're forced to call back all the obscure lore we might have otherwise ignored because the game gives us nothing more to work with.

What's most likely to happen?. Well, the fleet will most likely starve, except for the geth, who will be mistrusted and go to war, in fact they might all go to war. The entire galactic government will collapse, in fact mercenaries and gangs, people who stayed away from the fight but still have guns will probably be in the best position. So they'll probably rule with an iron fist. The fleet might also just crash to earth (Which might get destroyed by all the rubble anyway), considering the Normandy crashed. And no, I don't think it was directly in the path of the beam, that's unlikely. As for why they up and ran, well I guess none of them really cared about Shepard, and just put up with him to save the galaxy, makes about as much sense as anything else.

And the Normandy is marooned on a strange planet (Because the only just then discovered teleportation) presumably outside our solar system, from which I doubt they will escape, since nobody can make the journey to save them. So they'll all probably die of old age or at like thirty due to lack of medical supplies, and that's assuming members like Garrus and Tali can even eat the food that grows there, those two will also spend their lives as the last members of their species, or that they don't all get killed by whatever might live there. Either way, even if you live (Again, teleportation man, it's just GREAT), you never see them again, and for me, Shepard will probably kill himself, as he makes it clear to Javik that his friends are basically the only thing that keeps him going.

So your crew is fucked, your'e fucked, and the galaxy will descend into a dark age of entropy. None of this means anything, it doesn't have a point other then "The world is shit and nothing you do will ever change that", it doesn't give you any emotional silver lining or closure, it's just pain. Pure uncut cynicism. At least with a corny "Sunshine and unicorns" ending you can just accept it as generic and move past it, appreciate the experience as a whole. Now everything you've sacrificed to protect, every person, every ideal you've held dear leads to nothing through a catch 22. You can't make a situation this bleak subject to interpretation and expect people to absorb something from it, because the most likely course of events is all we have to work with. And the most likely course of events doesn't make for a very satisfying story. What if the entire game was like that? well we probably wouldn't have been able to stop that first Reaper anyways.

It's like you hand somebody a video of someone throwing a baby off a bridge and wonder why their upset, because what you didn't tell them was that it was actually a prop made to look human. They had no way of knowing that, you can't expect them to come to that conclusion on their own. As far as they know, you took a video of somebody killing a kid, they're not gonna want to see you until you explain yourself.

Obviously, if Bioware wants their ending to be shit, fine, that's their right, but I'm done with this franchise then. As much as I love it, returning to it would just depress me, it all ultimately meant nothing. Every time I look at it I feel my gut drop, and I don't wanna deal with that. This isn't about strong arming, I think the ending sucked and I just want it out of my life, like a lost love that turned out to be a serial killer. I've always been big on it being better to have loved and lost but now I'd rather I'd never loved at all.

So I think it's perfectly reasonable for Bioware to listen to criticism the way they always have, and just consider an alternative. I'd be surprised to find that every one of their writers agreed with the ending decision. By all means, keep the endings and add new one on the side if you want, but don't just shut everyone out, if you can't stand by your ending with confidence then why keep it?. At the very least, come out and say "We like this ending, and we're not changing it". If that's their case, then I'd start to doubt their ability as writers but at least I'd know what to expect

I'm not sure if I believe the indoctrination theory, but I hope it's true.

Maybe that is the essence of the series, that the reapers are right, as incomprehensible as it may seem to us they do what must be done in order for organic life to continue. All possible scenarios have been determined or have been played out and the only way for life to continue and at least be given a chance at enjoying some semblance of civilization without destroying ourselves is to continue the cycle.

Organics just aren't able to comprehend the reality of the cosmos because it truly is something our nature does not let us accept. Sovereign, Harbinger and the reaper on Rannoch all say the same thing in that the cycle must continue or organic life is doomed. For all we know there really isn't an alternative and that is why it is beyond our ability to grasp. With the crucible we have finally broken the extinction cycle but at what cost? no one can know but its possible that the cycle will just continue again or it could be the decision that finally ends life as we know it. Shepard truly is taking the biggest gamble ever but at least he is giving organics a chance that the reapers never would...a chance to live on our own terms and the chance to fail.

ending was fine after i figured it out but...
when i first get up on normandy and traynor starts rambling abut upgrades i saw over my shoulder the aquairuim.
dam thing was empty
my next "who the hell forgot to feed my fish, it does not take much effort. just press the button. tell who let them die because i wish to end them in the most painful way possible."
now the ending
bioware says there will be more mass effect
also end of shepard saga
so only one choice; kill shep
otherwise people will expect to see shep in some way
they think its mass effect let's go say hi to shep on the way to my adventure
second got to get rid of crew or same problem
player "hey i am on omega. where's garrus and tali?"
to get rid of them either kill them or put them some place they can't leave
some stupid jungle planet far the ass out into space perfect.
how do they get there
answer- unexplained jump cause who cares
now can't they just jump back. no they have to stay lost
so every ending has to get rid of the way they left
thus
shep always dies
crews always crash lands never to be seen again
mass relays gone so crew can never come back
there you go
get rid of every meaningful character and the sequel requires a lot less writing about previous relationships

. Cake ending: completely unnecessary. Shepard's death was a given - no problem with that. It is not what most fans are asking.
. Starchild reasoning: to quote someone at gamefaqs, the Creators probably were great engineers and terrible philosophers. To quote my 8-year old daughter: if they have a machine that can kill every robot in the universe, why worry about them at all? She's right, with space magic, the Reapers are obsolete.
. Synthesis: it is just ridiculous. Space Magic at its best. With no trauma whatsoever, every living creature gained batteries and kidneys. Joker even gained some lights on his hat.
. Cut and paste endings: Again, why I had to destroy the mass relays if I chose to control the Reapers?
. Joker scape: WTF?
. And let's not forget that Bioware said that they would not pull a "Lost" on us, that all questions would be answered.

I respect you guys a great deal, but I confess I was expecting a little bit more of criticism from you.

I can agree that the concept behind the endings was all right. New civilization, everyone in the battle stranded, great sacrifice, etc. But, I'm sorry, the execution was amateurish.

Coreless:

Maybe that is the essence of the series, that the reapers are right, as incomprehensible as it may seem to us they do what must be done in order for organic life to continue. All possible scenarios have been determined or have been played out and the only way for life to continue and at least be given a chance at enjoying some semblance of civilization without destroying ourselves is to continue the cycle.

Organics just aren't able to comprehend the reality of the cosmos because it truly is something our nature does not let us accept. Sovereign, Harbinger and the reaper on Rannoch all say the same thing in that the cycle must continue or organic life is doomed. For all we know there really isn't an alternative and that is why it is beyond our ability to grasp. With the crucible we have finally broken the extinction cycle but at what cost? no one can know but its possible that the cycle will just continue again or it could be the decision that finally ends life as we know it. Shepard truly is taking the biggest gamble ever but at least he is giving organics a chance that the reapers never would...a chance to live on our own terms and the chance to fail.

Cool, but this is just conjecture. Yeah, that's exactly what Bioware wanted, right?
The problem is that it's empty conjecture, the discussion is completely unfocused because there are too many lose ends. This is the result of someone trying to be smart and failing miserably.

The Irony is that with all the gaming media posting raving reviews and avoiding criticism, all this talk will probably sell more games.
But I guess Bioware image will suffer a little. It all depends on how thay are going to handle the situation.

There's one big issue with me, always. Forever.

The Mass Relays exploding.

That would effectively fuck up every solar system in the game that had one, most of these Solar Systems held a very important planet. Why make them blow up? What's the point? Why is there such a vague explanation for why they get shut down? What do Joker and EDI and those two guys do since they can't go back home, what do all the aliens stuck in the Local Cluster do? It just...leaves a vast, gaping whole of emptiness, with no explanation of what happened.

And I don't like that.

Small problem with indoctrination theory, at least the idea that it's been happening since the beginning: The Prothean VI can tell when someone is indoctrinated. It refers to Kai Leng and Cerberus and "indcotrinated forces." It would mention something like it to the Normandy crew...

I was upset that shepard was so submissive, I wanted the hero to give the catalyst a piece of his mind and not be dictated to, or inversely do some talk-jitsu to convince that with the geth peace it can work this way. It annoyed me that the space hero lost all his defiance.

Also, I felt bad since all the texture of the games, all the places and cultures seemed to be not important, put aside for the high concept ending. If this ending was part of a bloated ME1 I probably would have received the endings better.

The Quarians had their Live Ships armed and the probably brought some with them so the food source probably doesn't condemned them to death they could either salvage or use them to make food for surviving Quarians/Turians. Anyone else think Liara may have raped your Shepard if you did romance her at the end.

To be honest, The lack of closure was about the only thing that killed it for me. In fact right up until joker discovered teleportation I was fine with the ending. Sure it was a bit plot holey, but it's not anything worse than the kind of things people were frothing about in ME2.

The crucible was a crapshoot from the beginning. They knew it had SOMETHING to do with stopping the Reapers, but nobody had any idea exactly what form that 'stopping' would take. The galaxy was losing, that was their all in bet. That's why I was fine with Shep just sucking up the god-child's options. Threats wouldn't work, the thing is practically inviting you to kill it. Logic and reasoning wouldn't work, it's already convinced of it's own superiority and will not devite from it's self-determined solutions. The eventual choice is the lesser of the evils in your shep's eyes.

I LOVED Shep's response to the synthesis option. "Then... There will be peace?" You can almost feel him start to break. The realization that he can't fight this, all he can do is end it. The Galaxy ponied up for him to roll the dice and now he has to own it... All of it... And he's so tired... So very tired...

Mass relays breaking? No hand-waving required. Sir Isaac Newton, baddest motherfucker in space remeber? Conservation of energy. Which means the rainbow scrub-brush is sucking up the juice from the relays to power its own jump to the next system. With the relays drained of energy, the force of the 'Beam' knocks them to peices.

And the galaxy is not as doomed as folks seem to think. We still have QE comms. Not to mention the not insignificant FTL drives posessed by the ships themselves. We can send messages to folks and let them know what's happening. The fleet can still move about the local cluster if needed, and if I remember correctly, the First Contact war was about how goddamn close Human territory is to Turian space in relative terms. There's got to be some outlier colonies that the dextro species can dry-dock on.

Also, remember the Cerberus News Network? The Asari were reportedly 'this close' to replicating mass relay technology themselves. And hell, we've got the quarians, who can make a steel rod make precision jumps with some circuit breakers and a bit of eezo, plus the entire crucible team at our disposal. Will they have to cannibalize some expensive warships for bits? Hell yes. Will we lose all our gas giants for H3 fuel? Absolutely. Is the situation as untenable as it seems at first glance? I don't believe so.

If bioware address what happened to the other characters in DLC then I can put up with space magic. And to be honest they've got no reason not to do so. If they're keeping it for future games, then they really need to retcon the shit out of the choices... You know, because of the fact that one of the endings means that every device or organism which passes the turing test is now a transsapient super-being. If they're not saving it, there's no reason in keeping it secret, amirite?

And I don't hold with the indoctrination theory. A twist like that is so completely out of Bioware's style that I feel like they're just going "lol, nice idea, but we're still not telling" like they usually do.

I get the Anger at what seems to be the waiter handing you a steaming shit on a platter instead of an after dinner mint after the magnificent meal that was ME3, but I must make the normative appeal. If we got the exposition we all so desperately seem to crave, would we really be as upset as we are?

Ok, the indoctrination theory was kinda skipped over in this, if anyone wants to look at it closer this article is great.

http://www.gameseyeview.com/2012/03/15/why-i-liked-the-mass-effect-3-ending-eventually/

Something to note - this theory doesn't rely on retcons or anything like that. It actually makes more sense than the 'ending' we were given, so in all probability it is actually the truth (as intended by Bioware)
Basically the game Fight Clubbed us.

I have to say the endings weren't that annoying to me. The really annoying think about the endings that annoyed me was the fact we were in a room, with three buttons and that picked our ending!

We all played three games and made a ton of decisions and yet not one informed our endings.

I would have rathered to be given an ending that joined in with my decisions.

Susan is really down on the idea that Bioware owes people that have invested minimum 180 dollars in them a solid ending. I'm really surprised that nobody brought up the point that Bioware promised endings that directly reflected the actions of the player. It was disappointing to see Susan belittle the people who supported this idea as people who wanted the "cake ending", as if wanting to see Shepard have a good ending - the result of hundreds of hours of carefully choosing answers to the various quandaries posed by the Mass Effect series - is somehow a laughable desire.

I love tragedies. Macbeth, I love to pieces. Shadow of the Colossus? So good! But Mass Effect shouldn't be a tragedy, regardless of your actions. Unless the central theme of the game is that one's actions ultimately mean nothing - which it is most certainly NOT - there should be a variety of endings ranging from the mocked "hoorah and cake" ending, all the way to the soul-crushing "You have failed. The Universe is lost and it is all your fault." ending.

WIth me, the ending was pretty much, why have all of my choices gone to nought? I made 3 games worth of choices, I wanted them all to mean something. I didn't get that. What I got instead was here is an ending. I could have stuck this ending at the end of anything else. It is just an ending sequence.

Also, Susan, in response to is this ending broken, if the ending was be bad enough that everyone is now talking about how bad it was but can still play mass effect 3, it's a bad ending. Mass effect twos ending was bad. People did talk about it's lack of choice at the time. However I know a fair few people who are simply not playing any mass effect anymore or replaying ME3 because of how disappointed and/or upset they were by the ending of mass effect 3. It's a broken ending as it stops people from wanting to play the game like an under powered or overpowered class would or a mechanic severely damaged in game mechanic.

To be honest I'd like something to be based around time to be incorporated into the ending. If the citadel were a reaper transmitter as it were you could design a message to shut them off or force them to retreat, but the potency is dependent on the amount of ships you have in the way of you and reapers, as when you do this all the reapers are gonna be coming to the citadel to stop you, It's their lives on the line and they are looking to survive, just as you are and after a certain length of time, you are going to have 0 ships left and no more message to send. Other factors could come into this as well like them not being able to use mass relays severely limiting their movements across space or cutting their communications isolating them in space and forcing them to be picked off one by one giving them an eternal presence in mass effect. That's how I saw it panning out anyway. One would be do we save earth or not (probably one of the most expensive ones) or weather Shepard lives or dies (again pricey something will need to be sacrificed), but something that gives every decision a meaning.

RE: 22:00 -- I don't think we can trust that Shepard can control them. The whole theme between Sovereign and the Illusive man is that any level of collusion with the reapers is death to the person who was colluding.

It reminded me of Morinth, telling Shepard that he is somehow different, and that he would survive.

I mean, Synthesis or Control represent an admission that the Reaper's are right. And... even if they are right, I think it should have been hinted at earlier than the last few seconds of the game. Instead, every single "good" character seeks the utter destruction of the Reapers, and every "evil" character seeks to capitulate to or subjugate the Reapers.

RE: 24:00-26:00 -- I don't think synthesis is a "good" option either. Isn't it sort of unethical to force that faith on all Organic life? I don't really want to be part machine, and I don't think developing species like the Yahg or whatever should be forced into that decision as well.

RE: 28:36 -- A lot of people want to tell them to just go away.

RE: 29:00 -- I agree Susan. I don't think any one person has the right to make a decision like "Synthesis" for the whole galaxy.

RE: 43:00 -- Cake

RE: 53:00-56:00 -- Yeah, I personally, as someone who would associate themselves with Retake Mass Effect and who donated to the Child's Play thing, I'm honestly OK with Shepard not surviving this. I just want an ending that makes sense and tells me what happened. I mean, I also wouldn't mind "Hoorah, lets get cake," lets be real.

Great discussion guys! I really appreciate how you guys try to empathize with us unlike Kotaku or IGN.

Well, for me, it's not about a new or different ending, but explaining what they gave us would go miles in the right direction. I mean, the game was awesome, I didn't notice any plot holes because I was so into it they flew right over my head, but the ending had some parts that were really off.
The first time the game had me thinking "wait, what?" was on that last run to the beacon, on foot. After the red-beam-of-death "hits" you (hits on quotes because I'm sure I dodged it, but who am I fooling, an rpg without a little railroading?), Shepard gets up with a different armor, and the guns you took with you have disappeared! At that point I was sure Shep was dead, and then everything made less sense as I went on.
On the citadel, Anderson gets to the controls before you, but the bridge you (and the Illusive Man, I believe) use to get there never retract, but you never see from where Anderson came, because there are no other bridges! And if he was on the same corridor as you, but ahead of you, how did you not see him, since you get a pretty good view of the last ramp leading to the controls before he tells you he found a way there and the radio goes silent!
I'm just confused about the ending, what was accomplished? What happened to everyone? Is Shep dead or not? I think I have a headache...

Ending is too disjointed from the rest of the game. It is filled with plot holes crappy logic and space magic suddenly appearing in what has been up until that bit very solid and well explained universe. It almost felt like I was playing another game that happened to have the same characters in it.

Normandy magically picked up your squad who are all ground side while the Normandy has apparently been partaking in the space battle and everyone abandoning you to your fate = total bullshit these guys are your comrades your best friends and possible even a lover no way in hell any of them would leave you behind.
Anderson supposedly took the beam after Shep but ends up somewhere else yet manages to reach a circular platform with NO other ways to get to it apart from the straight path from where Shep arrives. Also Anderson is none the worse for wear, you have your armour all but burnt off and can barely move, Anderson doesn't have a rip in his pants.

Last 10 minutes opens up a whole bunch of questions that it doesn't answer and doesn't even offer us up any closure at all about what happened to our squadmates, seriously the final game in the series suddenly pulls in a god like character from left field and space magic out the ass, biotics is one thing but managing to somehow being able to rewrite the DNA of every species to be part organic part synthetic is stretching it.

Where is the final confrontation?
ME, epic battle with Saren with epic final scene
ME2, epic battle with Proto Human Reaper small decision epic ending scene
ME3, limping down a hallway with chat with TIM followed by a scene chatting with Anderson followed by a chat with some god like being who comes from nowhere who pokes holes in everything we have been told up to now and a bunch of circular logic then goes well **** you're here now pick from A, B or C to finish game. No epic final fight no confrontation with Harbinger, just 10 minutes of dialogue and and pickyourending'o'matic.

3 possible closing cinematics that use 95% of the same resources with either a red green or blue colour filter. Felt kinda ripped off by that seeing these are supposed to the ultimate endings to 5 years of games being almost identical.

The ending feels rushed, it feels like someone got pulled in off the street given a basic plot summary and told to come up with an ending having no real context of the games the universe or the story.
Ending wise this is how I think it should have gone
Bad ending: Reapers win, simple as that.
Bitter sweet ending: you die but but beat the reapers. Short cinematic showing you being buried on earth the remains of your friends standing around your grave and if you had one your LI giving a short speech (if not Hackett), camera pans out to show a massive forces of all the species you brought together paying their respects to the greatest hero the galaxy have ever known. Follow this with a synopsis of what happened to the various races/friends based on what you did, either text based al a DA:Origins or voiced.
Good Ending: I think there should be one and it should be all but impossible to get unless you have an imported character from the original ME, so many people have 90+ hours invested in a single save across 3 separate games that not giving the chance at blue babies, a house on Rannoch or sipping brews with Garrus on some beach is imo at least a little on the harsh side.

What the panel seem to not appreciate in my mind is how little of what had been promised over the past 5 years came to pass with this release. It's not that people want a Hollywood ending, we just want our actions to effect the final outcome much like in Dragon Age which is the one most people use as a comparison. They want Mass Effect 3 to be what it set out to be: A conclusion to the trilogy, not just a bundle of unanswered or half answered questions with what felt like a very rushed ending.

Hey there all, it's been over a year since I've even been on the Escapist, but when I saw this podcast I just had to come back and comment. First of all, I was stunned by the endings because much like the one gentleman said, I felt nothing from them. I was literally in tears watching Morden ride that elevator, Grunt beat up and escape his own death scene, and Legion giving up his self to give all the other Geth a chance, none of which are exactly something I can say normally happens to me as 25 year old male. Though, when I got to the ending, the first thing I did was turn around and try to shoot the hologram child thing, the second thing I did was just walk to the Synthesis because the other options seemed monstrous.

My main problem seems to be in fairly lock step with the rest of the players. I invested literal days worth of time into this series, I deserve and have earned some closure and explanation to the ending. Trying the artsy defense just means you don't actually seem to understand it yourself and pulled it out of your bum.

I don't think you have to have this "Cake" ending, and while Ms. Arendt has my utmost respect in a lot of things, I think she is being far too reductionist when it comes to that argument. I spent 100+ hours on all three games total getting every scrap in each game so I could have the ultimate experience when three rolled around, not so I could get to choose the color green and ruin the galaxy, but to actually win and save the day. When you push that button you damn the galaxy. With the destruction of the Citadel and the Mass Relays you have doomed untold civilizations that rely on those things to feed, protect, etc billions of sentient life forms. That smacks of about as unheroic as you can get.

Also something Ms. Arendt said that I disagree with is that because they love it they know what's best for it. I know plenty of people that love something and are far too close to be objective about things, or that because of said love do less than good choices. I don't think because they made it they happen to care more about it than us, they're still paid employees making a product, though unlike a book or movie, this is an interactive medium and when you make a game, people have far more of a say. We were told endlessly of how our choices matter, and in the sense for the game they didn't. I agonized in One over the Rachni choice and ended up preserving the race even though I was pretty much straight Renegade. Why? Because it felt like it was the right thing to do, back then I didn't even know they were doing a trilogy, and just couldn't commit genocide, but then in Three they give you some Scientists for the Crucible and nothing more. That just smacks of laziness on their part. We were promised the world, but we barely got New Jersey. I think they were blinded by their own PR, and when it went off the rails they didn't/couldn't see it because they said it was good, then it must be so.

As for Indoctrination Theory, it falls flat for me completely due to one thing that I haven't noticed talked about, but then again I haven't trawled all the discussions, so I fully admit to having possibly missed this. The Prothean VI says flat out when Kai Leng shows up that it detects Indoctrinated Persons approaching, which means that it easily and powerfully scans lifeforms and knows they have become indoctrinated. The VI never reacts to you as being indoctrinated or starting down that path and it seems to me that with how the Protheans were paranoid about that kind of thing they would probably have mentioned it. Also with how late in the game that was it would be an extreme stretch to try and claim the indoctrination took place afterwards when I had already dealt with all the Reapers up close that I was going to. Especially when fast indoctrination cripples you mentally, the game would have had to just be a cinematic of a slack jawed Shepard doing stuff as we watch. Please feel free to clue me in if that is explained away somehow with the Indoctrination Theory, I honestly have trouble getting into it for the aforementioned reason, not exactly the best way to go about setting up your argument, but at least I come out and admit it, heh.

Moving on to DLCs, I don't see how Bioware gets my trust back in this. If they claim, Surprise! You've been fooled, now pay us for the "Real Ending" I might actually be far more annoyed than if they just own up to, in my opinion, really crappy endings and say, alright we'll see what we can do to fix it. Because the idea that I have to pay for the true ending to a game sickens me as a consumer, I don't have the money for many games, heck the only reason I got to play ME:3 at all is because my best friend shelled out the cash for me. I don't have the income to pay more to get an actual ending to things.

I don't know anything about the other three Podcast members, and I thoroughly enjoyed all their takes, I just hope if you see this Ms. Arendt, please know that I do really agree with a lot of what you say and have truly respected your opinion on many many things that I saw you do for the Escapist over the years, just you happened to give voice to a few of the things that I disagree with over this Mass Effect Kerfuffle.

Now I think if anyone actually read through this whole thing, thank you for taking the time, I had to get my feelings out about this somewhere, and I like and respect the community here, which is rare on the internet, to know that people may disagree, but they prefer to teach instead of condemn. So thanks for indulging me.

P.S. A friend linked me to a Deviant Art account that has a Mass Effect 3 ending that if they modeled it after I would be pretty happy. Look up a fellow named Arkis and his Mass Effect 3 Alternate Endings, not for everyone I suppose, but that's what I'll think of when I think of how it all ended.

Edit: One other thing I thought of about the "Cake"/"Happy" ending. Why not? I think after 100+ hours, 3 games, all that blood, sweat, and tears, we could've definitely been given a Happy ending. Sad/Dark endings are not, let me make this caps to prove how serious I totally am heh, NOT automatically better or more mature, and inversely happy being more childish. Millions of people had died, even if we survived, that ain't happy. I think their desire to kill off Shepard to be edgy is stupid because that's the new normal anymore, everything and everyone wants to be Dark; Dark Sci-Fi, Dark Fantasy, Dystopian Future, blah blah blah, it gets tedious real quick for me, again though let me state this isn't why I hated the endings, but it does still beg the question why we couldn't get one here when we got a perfectly happy one in 2 with a Suicide Mission.

Hey, funny thing that I haven't heard anyone else talk about. (at least not that I know of)

How did the reapers capture the citadel and move it to earth? how did they manage to transport that entire ginormous station?

I didn't like the ending. There wasn't closure, parts of it didn't make sense (Normandy wtf?), it completely went against the themes of the game(s), and, in connection to the last point, the endings are essentially as follows: wreck the galaxy and kill your self by a.), wreck the galaxy and kill yourself by b.), or (and here's the kicker) wreck the galaxy and kill yourself by c.). The game can't decide what it wants to do. You basically destroy everything, but not really, and you save the galaxy, but not really. The game doesn't know which way it wants to go, and so goes no where and that stagnation breaks it.

To elaborate, the entire theme of the game is all the species of the galaxy settling their differences and working together, usually through the sacrifice of some main character, to defeat a common threat. The problem with the ending is that it doesn't use this theme effectively. When you confront what the subtitles dub "The Child," he essentially tells you that the Reapers are necessary, that he created them to maintain order,that, with out them, chaos would rule, that synthetic life would obliterate organics, and that the created would always destroy the creators. This argument clearly contradicts the preceding themes of the game. Now, they could have used this contradiction to utterly crush hope, to say I'm sorry Shepard but you're wrong, this is inevitable, not even you can stop this, it was all in vain. I think that would have been a more valid ending, not one I'd have liked personally, but a more valid one. Instead they give you half ass choice of not really saving the world but also not really destroying it.

Personally, what I would have done, is have Shepard point out the flaws in "The Child's" logic. "Really?" He'd say, "Synthetics will always destroy organics? Tell that to the Geth and the Quarians cooperating right now, or the A.I. I helped form into a living being. The created will always destroy the creators? Tell that to the Krogan fighting with the Turians and Solarians on the planet below." I've spent the entire game discrediting this argument the, but that never happens. What does happen, though, is Shepard follows The Child's logic, not really challenging what he had to say or the options presented to him and blindly follows along. Instead, I would have had Shepard completely defy The Child and activate the Crucible, safely destroying the Citadel, and by extension The Child, the Reapers and Shepard himself. Honestly, the symbolism is there. The Child says that Shepard is the first organic to reach that level of the Citadel and thus proves that The Child's method is no longer valid. Think about that, Shepard, representing the life forms of that cycle, both literally and figuratively ascends to the level of a god(The Child), thus proving the god wrong. It's basically Manfred or "Parable of the Madman." This was such a brilliant opportunity to put an optimistic spin on it. Like Manfred or "Parable of the Madman" we could have risen above God, killing him, in fact, but unlike those works, we'd have earned it, we'd have proved that we were ready to take responsibility for ourselves.

But that doesn't happen. We're still bound by the choices presented to us. We don't really get a clear ending, we just save the galaxy, kind of, but not really.

Explorator Vimes:

Now I think if anyone actually read through this whole thing, thank you for taking the time, I had to get my feelings out about this somewhere, and I like and respect the community here, which is rare on the internet, to know that people may disagree, but they prefer to teach instead of condemn. So thanks for indulging me.

You're welcome.

ProTip about planet scanning: the game autosaves when you enter a system. For me, Reapers almost always came after just 2-3 scans, which was a huge pain in the butt - but once I realized the autosave trick....
Well, I would simply enter a system, run around the whole place scanning until I pinged everything, the *let the Reapers catch me*. Then I'd click Resume and be popped right back into the system I was in, and home in on the targets, whose locations I now knew. I know this sounds cheesy, but scanning was simply annoying without it (heck, even with it, Reapers would frequently appear after that second scan, which, yes, was very annoying).

EDIT: ad-based captchas? Seriously? Funny word combinations were acceptable and understandable, but this is just silly.

I think all of this was said in the podcast, but I want to specify what I would like in the DLC.

Start big, go from how each race is rebuilding, how the galaxy has gone on without the mass relays, or if they have the technology to make a warp drive or something that would have made the relays obsolete.

Then you could go small to provide the closure on how your squad mates or crew, who you have fought along side and had the backs of for the entire time, have dealt with Shepard's choice and quite possible death. And more personal would be how the love interest has gone on or have they even moved on.

And for the sunshine and lollipops, possibly bringing Shepard back again because they technology is there and it only took two years with the Lazarus Project, but I don't think having that would help the end of Commander Shepard's story at all. Nice as it would be for the beach hotel Shepard Towers to go into business, I think it would be too much of a stretch.

Again, all of the above has been mentioned in the podcast, I'm sure of it, but I want to voice what I would like to see in my own words. I know for sure that Dark Horse is making a comic for each squad member and what has happened to them after the events of the game, but I doubt that it will incorporate the choices you and I and everyone has made with their Shepard, so it won't be as personal an ending as such a DLC described above could provide.

I don't demand the hooray let's get cake ending.

I just felt sad that Shepard wasn't going to get to retire to Rannoch and have quiet life with Tali. I realized that had to happen at that point, but I just felt bad for Shepard.

The lack of closure was a bitter pill to swallow afterwards.

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