Mass Effect 3: The Wall

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Mass Effect 3: The Wall

A last farewell to Commander Shepard.

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I think with the new extended endings they did the best they could have done given what they had before.

The star child still irks me to no end but atleast now the endings make sense. For example they changed the way the mass relays "explode" and they also show how the galaxy rebuilds after the war.

And the endings carry alot more emotional weight then the original endings ever could wich is nice.

Thought if they had done this from the start they could have avoided this whole debacle to begin with... shows that bringing a saga to an end deserves the extra bit of work and effort put into the ending.

Well put, I know some folks still won't be happy, but after saying goodbye to Garrus (he told Amanda Shepard he loved her! That's when the tears started and didn't finish till after the credits) and hearing more details about the galaxy changing choices I had to pick from, I finally felt closure.

Was it prefect, no, perfect would have been Amanda and Garrus somewhere warm and tropical living off of the royalties, but this came damn close!

Personally, for me the extended endings are too little too late. The Mass Effect series used to have a special place in my heart. I cared about the characters in a way that no other game could ever pull off. But now every time I think about Mass Effect now I just feel an empty void in my stomach and I get depressed. The endings still feel contrived and undermine the entire purpose of the third game gathering the galaxy to defeat the Reapers. I just can't take anymore drama. "sigh" guess I just need to put it behind me.

My problem is that the new endings would never be as exciting or as cool as the indoctrination theory. As I tweeted to Grey, nothing can beat a mountain dew fueled conspiracy theory.

I was right for the most part the new endings with the plot holes dry walled and patched just doesn't leave me disappointed but it doesn't excite me either.

Now that the ending is out I would like to see Casey Hudson give a play by play on why this video is completely wrong.

Like why are the piles of bodies next to the pillar of light, why are the dead bodies wearing the same default armors as Ashley and Kaiden.

Why you see the oily shadows during the confrontation with TIM and Anderson. Why when you shoot Anderson you are then wounded and why when you reach the top of the light you arn't wounded anymore?

There are tons of tiny details that are still left unexplained and I would really like some answers.

I haven't gotten to see the extended endings yet (I'm doing a full playthrough up to it - one that I was planning on anyways but decided to put off when I heard about the EC), so I only sort of skimmed through the article to pick up your general impressions.

But I have to say I'm glad to hear such impressions coming from you, as it sounds like it will address most of my concerns with the original ending, and I find that you tend to resemble a rational human being a much larger percent of time than is normal for a person on the internet.

I'm sure the rest of the internet will continue to parrot through the same old tired bullet points that always come up when someone mentions ME3 (yeah, we get it, there are three colors, haha, now seriously stfu about it already), but its good to know there's at least somewhere on the internet where rational thoughts about the whole thing can be had.

I still don't really like the endings as they are.
It might be because I can't replicate the experience I had the first time and that experience was ruined.

Overall, it provides some closure and I think there wouldn't have been as much damage, if the game ended like this before.

Refusal ending was wore than the original ones. The others are fine though. Not perfect but good enough.

That's all we wanted, wasn't it?

It was not bad.
It was not great.

It plugged some plot holes at least and did not open great gaping ones elsewhere.
Still has a metric fuckton of them dont get me wrong.

But I dont HATE the ending, it at least gave me the feeling everything I did accomplished something.
And that did fix one of the problems I had with the ending.

I did get a kick out of telling the Catalyst off though.
Still is a total author avatar though.

Karadalis:
I think with the new extended endings they did the best they could have done given what they had before.

The star child still irks me to no end but atleast now the endings make sense. For example they changed the way the mass relays "explode" and they also show how the galaxy rebuilds after the war.

And the endings carry alot more emotional weight then the original endings ever could wich is nice.

Thought if they had done this from the start they could have avoided this whole debacle to begin with... shows that bringing a saga to an end deserves the extra bit of work and effort put into the ending.

QFT.

The EC endings gave me much more comfort than the originals. And even more so, it allows us to see just how the Mass Effect universe could continue. Which I view as a big plus.

The endings still suck. Now they only suck less. Atleast this shit is done with.

Also anyone else feel the refusal ending was Bioware giving a big "fuck you" to the people who called them out on the original shitty endings?

good article and I agree im content with it.

Amen. Bioware really did deliver on their promise to bring closure to the story.

I never thought of the Extended Cut ending as a chance to say goodbye to Shepard myself, but now that you bring it up, that was a big thing that was missing from the original cut of the ending.

What I thought was really missing from the original ending was "Emotional Closure" and with the additional scenes I felt the Extended Cut gave me that. Sure there are still large plotholes, but I'm okay with that, there are always plotholes.

Susan Arendt:

Joanna Shepard

I have to ask why Joanna? I chose that name for my Shepard due to Perfect Dark and now I cannot finish the article until I know why you chose that name.

I only wish the refusal ending had a rundown of the war and everyone fighting until there was no hope and then the bit with the making the warning.

As the general idea is these are better but for some reason on some level they feel incomplete. Maybe it was just a lack of foreshadowing. Perhaps if Mordin was going to use the mass relays to cure the krogan or some other hints to show things like this were possible.

2fish:

Susan Arendt:

Joanna Shepard

I have to ask why Joanna? I chose that name for my Shepard due to Perfect Dark and now I cannot finish the article until I know why you chose that name.

Same reason, my friend. In honor of Joanna Dark. :)

Mcoffey:
The endings still suck. Now they only suck less. Atleast this shit is done with.

Also anyone else feel the refusal ending was Bioware giving a big "fuck you" to the people who called them out on the original shitty endings?

Well the refusal simply takes what the player could expect to happen and makes it happen. The crucible is the last chance of all the galaxy and is the only thing they have left going for them. The last plan hinged on it, and that is where everything was amassed. You were given choices on how to fire it, but if you choose simply not to use it, the Reapers will continue to curbstomp the galaxy as they had been, regardless of how much military effectiveness there was. What else could be done? All that military might was only covering how well the crucible could be protected. Pushing back and defeating the reapers? Wasn't ever a remote possibility, which is why the crucible was made.

Mass Effect 3 Reminds me of the Missile Command episode of Extra Credits (man i miss that show). The mind can only get so much of a grasp on fictional depictions of larger scales. When you are dealing with a large enough group being influenced, you become farther removed from having actual feelings about it. Having a game with a good/evil choice of "here's a world destroying button! press it?" doesn't feel like an interesting choice because it's hard to relate to that sort of scale. But "here's a button to destroy a city," or a building, or even a room of people feels alot more realistic and you can wrap your mind around it. Mass effect goes from being a space cowboy dealing with pretty smallscale issues in one and two (save for the finales of course) to suddenly having decisions affect planets or, indeed, the galaxy. I have an issue with Star Wars: The Old Republic doing this, too. A mere side quest, easily skippable, ends up resulting in you saving half a planet, or patching a hole in your defenses that could have led the entirety of the enemy to cripple your forces on the planet, or plans that would have brought them to the home planet of your side. Not necessarily things with choices, but still too large scale for the results of side quests. Anyway, point being, sudden large scale stuff is kinda weird to have especially when you're supposed to relate to your avatar.

Hmm, I do look forward to checking out the expanded endings. Mass relays blowing up kinda implied to me that people wanting to get back to their home planets were kinda screwed for a while, but i guess that's not the case. Or maybe they make new ones, I dunno, I still need to play it. I will say this game did do a good job with inter-companion...um...interactions. Wrex and Garrus shooting the shit just gets me giddy. Or when Sheperd and current flame Tali are making assorted innuendos next to old flame Liara, classic. Really anything with Garrus was pretty awesome, because he is, indeed, awesome.

image
Wow the tangents today.

Susan, I was wondering what you thought of the EC. I thought I was going to have to wait until the next podcast, but I am very happy to see a special article on your thoughts! And even more excited to see that I agree with everything you said :D

Another thing the EC did was validate my choice. On my first playthrough, I picked Control simply because it was the "Paragon" choice and so the choice felt weak. However, the EC made the choice for Control feel more organic, like Shepard taking the StarChild's place was the natural evolution of the character, especially the character I built who wanted the best for everyone regardless of his own fate. I really appreciate that they took the time to make my decision feel real. I just don't understand why they didn't do that to begin with.

Roboto:

Mcoffey:
The endings still suck. Now they only suck less. Atleast this shit is done with.

Also anyone else feel the refusal ending was Bioware giving a big "fuck you" to the people who called them out on the original shitty endings?

Well the refusal simply takes what the player could expect to happen and makes it happen. The crucible is the last chance of all the galaxy and is the only thing they have left going for them. The last plan hinged on it, and that is where everything was amassed. You were given choices on how to fire it, but if you choose simply not to use it, the Reapers will continue to curbstomp the galaxy as they had been, regardless of how much military effectiveness there was. What else could be done? All that military might was only covering how well the crucible could be protected. Pushing back and defeating the reapers? Wasn't ever a remote possibility, which is why the crucible was made.

Why not? Its a work of fiction, and we're already accepting space magic as the only other possible solution. They couls have easily.worte " The war was brutal. Death was in the billions. But by the end we saw what few reapers remained flee back into dark space. We won on our terms." I thought of that in 30 seconds. Bioware could have made it work. Instead they chose to take their ball and go home if we didnt like their dumb endings.

"Rocks fall and they die."

EDIT: Hell, if they really wanted they could have tied it into EMS or something so that it would actually reflect our playthrough.

Having now watched all 4 (4.5 if you include the minmaxy secret 'shepard lives' destroy ending) endings, I've got to say I'm happy with them. All of my major 'what the hell's have been clarified and those that aren't are insignificant enough to handwave.

I also noticed a lot of subtle differences in the epilogues depending on choices made throughout the game, unlike the 'original' endings. The cutscenes are largely the same, true, but the differences are distinct enough to make it feel like a unique iteration along a broad primary storyline, instead of just 'A B or C'.

Overall, my only remaining complaint is 'why didn't we get this the first time around?'

The new endings are what should have been there in the first place for the what the story played out at the end. The only issue is that the way the story played out at the end is terrible. Anyway you look at it the story doesn't make sense at the end. Introduce a new villian at the end? Any literary class you take will tell you not to do that.

Mechanically it failed too. What is the point to gathering all the war assets? They do nothing for the end. Even if it limits you to one or two coloured explosions you can still win. All your effort seems hollow since I could skip everything and run to the end and still be able to win. There was so much potential with the war assets that was skipped, I assume due to budget or rushing the game out.

If you forgive bioware and say you are satisfied because now there is closure you let them off the hook for writing a terrible end to a great story otherwise. If this was a book I would have a tough time reading it again, so I don't see much difference with a game.

I don't mean to harp on the issue, but the amount of people stating that the ending is good now really irks me. Seeing what happens after does not make up for horrible plot turns. I still don't get how a green explosion suddenly makes everything in the universe a cyborg. Guess I'll have to chalk it up to space magic.

I agree with that assessment of the Extended Cut. Yeah, it's still a bit "space magic"-y for my tastes. Yeah, I still wish you could use Charm/Intimidate to convince the god-child he's wrong (because he still is), but they did very well and fixed most of the other issues I had with the plot.

Also, props to Bioware for doing this free of charge. Most companies would've just written it off as a PR loss.

I agree. I saw all the endings, but the ending I have to go with, is Destroy. Thats what MY Shepard would have chosen. He would be terribly sorry for having to choose the fate of EDI, and the Geth, but he has had to make hard decisions before. I am also happy to be allowed to say goodbye to my Shepard, but I miiiight not be done dead yet! :)

These extended endings were much better, and fleshed out alot of the biggest problems. Personally, I thank Bioware for this. I truly do.

"She's pushing it... she's pushing it..."

Susan Arendt:
"She is not just a really cool character to me, she is a fully realized person, with a clearly-defined value and belief system."

"... and she just pole vaulted over the edge."

You picked your background, the previous 30-some-odd years of your life from a list of three possible options, the binary morality system (which I still say is borked at times, changing who someone is against their will is comparatively more 'renegade' than just killing them), etc etc ad nauseam. Good character? Yes, but "fully realized person, with a clearly-defined value and belief system"? Koolaid.

Sandytimeman:
My problem is that the new endings would never be as exciting or as cool as the indoctrination theory. As I tweeted to Grey, nothing can beat a mountain dew fueled conspiracy theory.

I was right for the most part the new endings with the plot holes dry walled and patched just doesn't leave me disappointed but it doesn't excite me either.

Now that the ending is out I would like to see Casey Hudson give a play by play on why this video is completely wrong.

Like why are the piles of bodies next to the pillar of light, why are the dead bodies wearing the same default armors as Ashley and Kaiden.

Why you see the oily shadows during the confrontation with TIM and Anderson. Why when you shoot Anderson you are then wounded and why when you reach the top of the light you arn't wounded anymore?

There are tons of tiny details that are still left unexplained and I would really like some answers.

Some or all of that probably shares the answer to "Why is '1M1' written backwards on certain points of the citadel during 'The Long Walk'"? Bioware wasn't paying attention.

Now they've gone back, realized they made some huge fuck-ups, and retconned the entire thing. After Deception, nothing should come as a(n) (unpleasant) surprise anymore.

Mcoffey:
...anyone else feel the refusal ending was Bioware giving a big "fuck you" to the people who called them out on the original shitty endings?

That was the absolute first thing to cross my mind. "Huh... well fuck you too Bioware".

Too bad they'll be too busy rolling around in their truckloads of MMO generated revenue to give a shit about writing and character development anymore. Ah well.

Considering what they had to work with, I think BioWare did a fantastic job with the Extended Cut. There are still a few plotholes here and there, but none of them strike me in the face the way they did before. From the Normandy pickup scene at the beam all the way to Shepard taking a breath as the Normandy flew off to possibly reunite with her, I enjoyed the hell out of the Extended Cut and was supremely satisfied and emotional - the complete antithesis of what I felt before.They even managed to make the Catalyst work, painting him as a cold, logical and really quite flawed A.I, rather than they omnipotent spacebeing he was before.

One question though - are you guys going to do another podcast discussing the ending? I loved the ones you made back when the game was first released.

Mcoffey:

Roboto:

Mcoffey:
The endings still suck. Now they only suck less. Atleast this shit is done with.

Also anyone else feel the refusal ending was Bioware giving a big "fuck you" to the people who called them out on the original shitty endings?

Well the refusal simply takes what the player could expect to happen and makes it happen. The crucible is the last chance of all the galaxy and is the only thing they have left going for them. The last plan hinged on it, and that is where everything was amassed. You were given choices on how to fire it, but if you choose simply not to use it, the Reapers will continue to curbstomp the galaxy as they had been, regardless of how much military effectiveness there was. What else could be done? All that military might was only covering how well the crucible could be protected. Pushing back and defeating the reapers? Wasn't ever a remote possibility, which is why the crucible was made.

Why not? Its a work of fiction, and we're already accepting space magic as the only other possible solution. They couls have easily.worte " The war was brutal. Death was in the billions. But by the end we saw what few reapers remained flee back into dark space. We won on our terms." I thought of that in 30 seconds. Bioware could have made it work. Instead they chose to take their ball and go home if we didnt like their dumb endings.

"Rocks fall and they die."

EDIT: Hell, if they really wanted they could have tied it into EMS or something so that it would actually reflect our playthrough.

Thus negating the entire plot of building the crucible since you would have won anyway and probably would have won better if all the resources weren't put into it.

...Huh. Well, that sounds like a game I wouldn't mind playing. Thanks for sharing.

Pity about Origin, though.

Ending repaired? Very much so. Regained my respect for Bioware? No, still don't like them.

My biggest problem with the extended cut ending are that they're retcons that aren't retcons; they accomplish the same goal as simply rewriting certain parts of the ending without actually doing it.

Take the Mass Relays; in the original, they blow up, and we're left with no implication that they would be fixed. People hated that. So in the new version, they blow up the relays again...and then immediately have them fixed. The end result is the same as just not blowing up the relays, but its done under the pretense of keeping the spirit of the original; its the epitome of having your cake and eating it too.

Almost everything that doesn't work with the new endings is the result of the old; they should have just started over. They didn't preserve any of their integrity by sticking to an ending that they came up with less then six months before release; if anything they diminished it.

It kinda seems worse now. I especially hate how they copped out and used still shots for parts of the ending. Come on BioWare, this isn't 2001. Your space odyssey deserves more than that.

Heh heh. See what I did there?

Karadalis:
I think with the new extended endings they did the best they could have done given what they had before.

The star child still irks me to no end but atleast now the endings make sense. For example they changed the way the mass relays "explode" and they also show how the galaxy rebuilds after the war.

And the endings carry alot more emotional weight then the original endings ever could wich is nice.

Thought if they had done this from the start they could have avoided this whole debacle to begin with... shows that bringing a saga to an end deserves the extra bit of work and effort put into the ending.

This is pretty much my take on it. With what they had, the EC is probably the best we could have hoped for.

It doesn't address the biggest issues with the ending (e.g., the utterly asinine explanation of "to stop you from being killed by robots, I'm gonna kill you with robots"), but it does make it far more emotionally satisfying. They wouldn't be able to address the big issues though without re-doing the entire ending sequence, and that just wasn't going to happen.

EC was about what I had expected, and it definitely improved the ending a substantial amount, but a shinier turd is still a turd.

The3rdEye:
"She's pushing it... she's pushing it..."

Susan Arendt:
"She is not just a really cool character to me, she is a fully realized person, with a clearly-defined value and belief system."

"... and she just pole vaulted over the edge."

You picked your background, the previous 30-some-odd years of your life from a list of three possible options, the binary morality system (which I still say is borked at times, changing who someone is against their will is comparatively more 'renegade' than just killing them), etc etc ad nauseam. Good character? Yes, but "fully realized person, with a clearly-defined value and belief system"? Koolaid.

To me, she is fully realized. I'm not talking just about what's in the games, I'm talking about the mindset that I use to make those choices. I know who Joanna is beyond the material that's provided in the Mass Effect lore. I know how she would react to virtually any situation, be it an awkward first date or an attack by space vampires. It's not Koolaid, it's personal investment in the character.

Karadalis:
I think with the new extended endings they did the best they could have done given what they had before.

The star child still irks me to no end but atleast now the endings make sense. For example they changed the way the mass relays "explode" and they also show how the galaxy rebuilds after the war.

And the endings carry alot more emotional weight then the original endings ever could wich is nice.

Thought if they had done this from the start they could have avoided this whole debacle to begin with... shows that bringing a saga to an end deserves the extra bit of work and effort put into the ending.

Perhaps, but all four endings still completely fly in the face of one of the most important running themes of the series: "victory by uniting and standing together in spite of differences." Destruction: sort of goes with the theme, but you still killed the Geth and Edi to do it, so screw them apparently. Control: yeah... there's just nothing better than showing that unity can win out by completely enslaving another sentient race; granted, they were trying to kill you, but still. Synthesis: this one is one of the worst endings; let's all unite to fight the Reapers and... then become allies with them by forcibly rewriting everyone's DNA so that EVERYONE'S THE SAME, throwing diversity and any significant differences completely out the window. Rejection: don't like the other terrible options? Well screw you audience, you get to utterly fail at saving the universe no matter how many resources you've gathered, once again affirming that one's choices in Mass Effect 3, in the words of Agent Kay from Men in Black, "mean precisely dick."

Furthermore, the starchild's very existence turns the entire first game into one Massive plot hole. Why did Sovereign need to take over the station's signal in the first place if the starchild was already there? How did the Protheans even disrupt the signal at all if the starchild was there? (and they didn't even know about it and therefore couldn't possibly have accounted for it)

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