BioWare Announces Post-Ending DLC for Mass Effect 3 [Updated!]

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Yes! Woo-hoo! Sweet sweet closure! Thats all I ever wanted!

Ah crap, now I'm going to have to go through the ending again and cry some more :'(

And... CRACK. There goes my resolve to not get involved in the whole Mass Effect 3 debate. I will do my best to contain my rage.

There are several things I take issue with (and yes, if you have got this far and still don't want spoilers, this post will contain some):

- The indoctrination "theory": I'm sorry but why are we still referring to this as just a theory. When you pile up the evidence it's undeniable. Are there still people out there unaware that most of the assets used on the jungle planet at the end are actually named "Dream_FoliageMove_MM" or something else beginning with Dream. My biggest fear right now is that BioWare does use this DLC to undermine the indoctrination ending just because of the "Ah yes, indoctrination - we have dismissed that claim" attitude of a few (admittedly vocal) gamers who would rather be angry than satisfied.

- It's already been pointed out that Jennifer Hale has said she has not been called in to record more dialogue which hints either at DLC such as this already being in BioWare's master plan or (more likely) they didn't want to delay release but had some content they had originally planned to be part of the ending. In this case the internet will owe BioWare the mother of all apologies.

- To the "Casey Hudson lied" crowd: Casey Hudson was the Executive Producer for Mass Effect 3, not one of the writers. A game will be worked on right up until the moment it has to be sent to Microsoft for validation. And even after that, it's become common for the team to go straight to work on DLC before the game actually hits shelves. With so much change possible that means press releases often end up being wrong post-release. And come on, even the President of America is guilty of more and bigger 'lies' about things which actually matter than the Casey Hudson one incorrect statement.

So, in short, can we go back to being decent human beings? Please?

Does ANYONE pause to think about how this mess makes the game industry LOOK? Video gaming doesn't need any help looking shitty in the public eye- you don't need to HELP people who already think gaming is a kiddie hobby and not worth its due respect by acting like immature, entitled shits. This is the kind of thing that makes me think gaming really IS for children, it's just that some children bitch and moan from the bodies of 20-somethings. Basically, you're proving anti-gaming activists right when truly intelligent and creative people waste their time and energy to try and find a rationale for molesting the concept of creative freedom.

How can you be PLEASED when Electronic Arts is named the worst business of 2012? I don't particularly agree with their general design philosophy and I abhor their marketing campaigns; but you need to consider what it means when a prominent company in the realm of video game production is officially deemed a shitty business.

So yes, this is all the retarded mewling of kids- grow the fuck up. It was naive to think ME3's ending would be good anyway; they hit so many high notes over the course of the trilogy it was impossible for them to top themselves.

Diana Kingston-Gabai:
Not necessarily - again, just for the sake of argument, it might be possible for an epilogue DLC to put your choices back into the ending, so to speak.

For example, if one of those cinematics reveals the fate of Rannoch - geth tending to quarian graves or quarians tossing aside empty geth bodies or quarians and geth building homes - that's a reflection of the choice you made.

If there's a text crawl that makes reference to Urdnot Mordin, the first female clan chief since Shiagur, that's also a situation where your choice mattered.

If Vega goes back and completes his N7 training, it's because you told him to do so. If Oriana's family adopts Miranda, it's because you saved them both. If Jack's kids become celebrities and finally overcome the stigma of human biotics, it's because you put them on the front lines and they saved lives.

I don't really understand... any of that. Like, is that what people want in their ending? Why? I mean, obviously I can only speak for myself here, but I don't understand how including any of those things improve the ending in any way, or even provide closure.

I'll take Rannoch as an example. In my game, I successfully managed to get the quarians and the geth to make peace with each other, and then, afterwards I spoke with Tali on the Normandy, and she told me in detail what the geth and the quarians were doing now. As far as I can see, we already got closure on the issue. There's no need or reason to actually show any of that in an epilogue, we already know it happened. The same goes for just about everything you listed. For almost every event that happens in the game, closure is already given before you go on to Priority: Earth. There's no need or reason to include any of it in the ending. Pretty much the only exception to that is, if you cured the genophage, then there's still the question of can the Krogan be trusted not to start the krogan rebellions again afterwards, but then, I'd almost rather keep that vague. It's not always good to wrap up every single question, sometimes it's nice to have a couple small loose threads dangling to keep imagining and coming up with new stories. Especially considering Bioware's hinted that they may make further games in the Mass Effect universe.

Personally, I do not want the Epilogue to just summarize the things I've already done with fancy pictures. It would add absolutely nothing to the story.

All that remains to be seen is whether BioWare truly understands why the ending failed, and take the steps that are required to correct that failure.

To me, a big part of the issue is that everyone seems to have completely different reasons as to why the ending failed, which is why it's pretty much impossible for Bioware to satisfy everyone, which is something a lot of people have been saying since it started.

EDIT: Adding this in.

PSimbo:
- The indoctrination "theory": I'm sorry but why are we still referring to this as just a theory. When you pile up the evidence it's undeniable. Are there still people out there unaware that most of the assets used on the jungle planet at the end are actually named "Dream_FoliageMove_MM" or something else beginning with Dream. My biggest fear right now is that BioWare does use this DLC to undermine the indoctrination ending just because of the "Ah yes, indoctrination - we have dismissed that claim" attitude of a few (admittedly vocal) gamers who would rather be angry than satisfied.

I think you need to brush up on your definition of the word 'undeniable'. And while you're at it, look up interpretation too. As it is, there's at least as much evidence that contradicts the indoctrination theory as there is that supports it. My favourite is how, if the indoctrination theory is true, then it renders the entire ending 100% irrelevant regardless of your choice and also means that the reaper's indoctrination didn't take effect until after it was too late for it to be of any use to them. Then there's the fact that Shepard's actions while 'indoctrinated' run contrary to those of everyone else who's ever been shown to be indoctrinated. The list goes on. While I'd say the indoctrination is possibly a valid interpretation for those who choose to see it that way, to say it's the factually correct ending and everyone else is wrong is just using the same general mindset used to promote nonsense conspiracy theories.

I have given up on Mass Effect already, Bioware have killed off the series as far as I am concerned. Time to move onto developers not keen to retcon and tear open plot holes into an established universe hundreds of hours into it.

So they will change the ending but will not change the ending by changing the ending. their PR department must get a raise for this.

Gizen:
I don't really understand... any of that. Like, is that what people want in their ending? Why? I mean, obviously I can only speak for myself here, but I don't understand how including any of those things improve the ending in any way, or even provide closure.

The content itself isn't as relevant as the "if/then" structure. If we were to distill the many, many complaints about the ending - as has already been done elsewhere, I'm sure - it would come down to a basic commonality: players want to feel that their actions in the game mattered. The reason for the confusion is that some players are emphasizing the personal aspect while others are taking the broader galactic view (I think both are required).

To use Rannoch as a further example: while Tali tells you what will likely happen should the quarian and geth fleets accept a truce, that closure is apparently invalidated given that all endings strand said fleets in the Sol system. There is no manifestation of your own preference here: if you chose to eliminate the Reapers (and thus sacrifice the geth), does that have any effect on the quarians? Does Synthesis allow them to immediately remove their suits?

You're quite right to point out that there's a measure of closure offered in the dialogues before the push to the Citadel... and had the game ended with Shepard and Anderson sitting together and the Crucible firing, it would've been enough. But the specifics of the conclusion complicate (and in some cases invalidate) that closure.

This principle is also applicable on the level of character. Again, this isn't something BioWare doesn't already know: Jade Empire, Baldur's Gate II and Dragon Age: Origins all gave you at least a hint of what happens to your party members - and, in many cases, their fates were directly tied to your dialogues with them. Does Leliana return to the Chantry, or does she become a bard again? Does Kang the Mad discover his old identity or does he just keep on building exploding machines? Who survives the assault on the Collector Base because you took the time to help them with their personal problems?

Again, it comes down to feeling that your choices had an impact. And the reason the ending is coming under so much fire - why this has gone above and beyond any backlash in recent memory - is because the rest of the game already employs this device. Help Steve through his grief and he'll survive the shuttle crash. Get through to Ashley/Kaidan and you can recruit them again. Force Javik to use the echo shard and he'll plan his eventual suicide, or don't and he'll tell you he wants to explore the galaxy. These scenarios unfold at the player's behest, as a mechanism that has been consistent throughout the trilogy.

Except for the ending. In which nothing you do matters, no actions you take can change the outcome (since even the Control ending results in the loss of the relays and the crashing of the Normandy), and nothing more is told of your crew, of the story's protagonists, past apparently being marooned on an unknown world.

To me, a big part of the issue is that everyone seems to have completely different reasons as to why the ending failed, which is why it's pretty much impossible for Bioware to satisfy everyone, which is something a lot of people have been saying since it started.

And that's a categorical misunderstanding of what Mass Effect is: a variable experience, even beyond the Paragon/Renegade morality spectrum. Ten players may have had ten different stories unfold within the general narrative framework. But unlike novels and films and every other medium this has been compared to, it is broadly possible to satisfy a large number of people in this specific instance, simply by allowing the ending to flow from the choices you, the player, have made. Even if the differences are cosmetic - the Council lives/the Council dies, Alistair is king of Ferelden/a Grey Warden/a wandering drunk - these would still be facets of the ending determined by the actions of the player. That's why the naysayers aren't able to comprehend what's being asked of BioWare here, because they're making comparisons to J.K. Rowling changing the ending of the Harry Potter books and those comparisons just aren't valid.

Brentpool:
Does ANYONE pause to think about how this mess makes the game industry LOOK? Video gaming doesn't need any help looking shitty in the public eye- you don't need to HELP people who already think gaming is a kiddie hobby and not worth its due respect by acting like immature, entitled shits. This is the kind of thing that makes me think gaming really IS for children, it's just that some children bitch and moan from the bodies of 20-somethings. Basically, you're proving anti-gaming activists right when truly intelligent and creative people waste their time and energy to try and find a rationale for molesting the concept of creative freedom.

How can you be PLEASED when Electronic Arts is named the worst business of 2012? I don't particularly agree with their general design philosophy and I abhor their marketing campaigns; but you need to consider what it means when a prominent company in the realm of video game production is officially deemed a shitty business.

So yes, this is all the retarded mewling of kids- grow the fuck up. It was naive to think ME3's ending would be good anyway; they hit so many high notes over the course of the trilogy it was impossible for them to top themselves.

All games are the same, the start is worked on the most, the ending is rushed as deadlines loom, the fact that people pay $60 for a game that does not have a complete story or is missing a few pieces is then charged an extra $20? For those pieces that were already on disc? Then you wonder about their outcry? Just imagine for a sec you went to the movies to see the latest blockbuster and were charged $20 entry and maybe $10 snacks, then you watched the film, mid way through the film, it jumps completely to a new scene with no context on what happened. Then it did it three more times, then the ending was rushed and brief just like that no closer or anything. You are told after that if you paid $15 bucks each for the missing pieces as well as another $15 for the complete ending you would have an outcry to. Oh and FYI the games industry is worth more than any other entertainment industry at the mo you tell me that an industry that is rescission proof is seen as a silly hobby? Lol.

I personally don't believe this will be enough to appease the fans they've alienated. I know that the chances of that on behalf of myself are already slim - not as the endings are per se that have alienated me, but how they've regarded the uproar up until this point.

They speak of humility but show none. And in a medium such as Video Games, which is known for having multiple endings as an acceptable artistic compromise, flat out denying that possibility in their announcement was upsetting enough to withdrawal hope and support.

Put bluntly, Square-Enix is handling FFXIV better than BioWare is handling this, and given that I, up until this issue, regarded BioWare much higher than Square Enix in multiple ways, this is a rather large statement to make.

With nothing visible on the horizon, and with now both the Mass Effect and Dragon Age brands tarnished by theses recent and ongoing fiascos, it is hard to see how BioWare is going to pull itself out of the Damaged Goods marker they've firmly placed themselves in the eyes of many fans.

I don't think maintaining any sort of pride at this point is the way to do it.

Gizen:

PSimbo:
- The indoctrination "theory": I'm sorry but why are we still referring to this as just a theory. When you pile up the evidence it's undeniable. Are there still people out there unaware that most of the assets used on the jungle planet at the end are actually named "Dream_FoliageMove_MM" or something else beginning with Dream. My biggest fear right now is that BioWare does use this DLC to undermine the indoctrination ending just because of the "Ah yes, indoctrination - we have dismissed that claim" attitude of a few (admittedly vocal) gamers who would rather be angry than satisfied.

I think you need to brush up on your definition of the word 'undeniable'. And while you're at it, look up interpretation too. As it is, there's at least as much evidence that contradicts the indoctrination theory as there is that supports it. My favourite is how, if the indoctrination theory is true, then it renders the entire ending 100% irrelevant regardless of your choice and also means that the reaper's indoctrination didn't take effect until after it was too late for it to be of any use to them. Then there's the fact that Shepard's actions while 'indoctrinated' run contrary to those of everyone else who's ever been shown to be indoctrinated. The list goes on. While I'd say the indoctrination is possibly a valid interpretation for those who choose to see it that way, to say it's the factually correct ending and everyone else is wrong is just using the same general mindset used to promote nonsense conspiracy theories.

Perhaps I worded that badly, though I was careful to use the asset names as the crux of my argument rather than any observations from my or other people's playthroughs. By even considering the notion of dreams presented as actual gameplay we must take just about every gameplay observation with a pinch of salt. I can promise you that I don't often side with conspiracy theorists and nor do I do so lightly.

As for the issue of 'satisfaction', I should perhaps have used the word 'acceptance' as I don't for a minute want to suggest that ME3's current ending offers complete closure or a sense of catharsis. My personal belief is that it offers an insight into Cmdr. Shepards hopes and desires - which, in my opinion, is a far more rewarding payoff than a boss battle with Harbinger.

Mass Effect 3 Executive Producer Casey Hudson laid out the schedule for the upcoming DLC. "We have reprioritized our post-launch development efforts to provide the fans who want more closure with even more context and clarity to the ending of the game, in a way that will feel more personalized for each player," he said.

Finally, good news. Kudos for finallly conceding this one, the ME3 ending is so appallingly bad that BioWare really let themselves down. This is as much for themselves as for the fans...I can't imagine BW wanting the lasting impression people take away of ME3 to be one of disappointment, anger and incredulity.

This is not a compromise of artisitc integrity. If it was a case of changing an ending to tell a different story then I would agree that giving in and changing it to please fans would be a horrid compromise. The fact is the the current ME3 endings tell absolutely nothing, a poorly implemented, do not belong where they are and dissappointed absolutely everyone. They are correcting a mistake and moviebob, jimquisition and all other journalists who claim it's a blow to the industry are frankly wrong.

Got my paragon and renegade playthrus saved at the end there, will look forward to seeing how it really plays out.

Audacity:
Congratulations to all the people who pissed and moaned like entitled little bitches. You've proven that video games are not an art. You've also shown that if something is not what you want you will complain. You will bitch, piss, moan, complain and whine till you get your way.

Congratulations. You're children. Entitled little kids who scream and yell till they get what they want.

I might point out that games are like commissioned art, which is done for pay. Typically for an artist, that means if the person paying isn't happy with it, you're going to have to change it. Does it make it any less art? That's an argument that's been going on since at least the Roman Empire, and probably won't be solved any time soon.

If we were to apply this argument, that changing something because the person paying wants changes made, and you do it, to other forms of artistic expression, then the whole thing falls down:

Michelangelo's masterpiece 'The Last Judgment' would not be art, nor would the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Neither Leonardo Da Vinci nor Rembrandt would be thought of as artists, because they frequently made alterations to suit their patrons. Mucha, Tiffany, Parrish, Picasso, Klimt, Dore, Dali, and de Goya, gone.

In fact, given how prevalent it is in that field, painting would not be an art. Nor would cinema, architectural design, fashion design, music, or a dozen other disciplines we think of as 'art'.

Now, do you all see how hollow this argument really is? And how idiotic it sounds to some of us when even people who should know better start spouting this nonsense?

Zen Toombs:
Hmm. I wonder how many people that said "RAWR NEVER BIOWARE AGAIN" will change their tune if this free DLC pack is actually good? my answer: lots

BioWare already struck out with me.

Dragon Age 2 - Strike 1
Star Wars: The Old Republic - Strike 2
Mass Effect 3 - You're out, BioWare.

What do all of these have in common? These are all EA titles that either started pre-production after EA acquired BioWare or were in development long enough to have EA's "influence."

I'm no fool, so even if the ending is half decent, I'm still not buying a BioWare title again until they get their act together and leave EA behind.

Uber Waddles:
Its interesting that its free. But just adding additional scenes to an already complete game just feels tacked on.

If you wanna look at a game that retconned their ending in a good manner, look at Fallout 3. Yeah, the ending wasn't really that good - especially for the people who ignored the "you cant go back after this point" message. But for those who wanted a deeper investment, we got Broken Steel, which let us continue where we left off and gave us a much deeper ending.

They didn't say "Our bad, this sucks, have an extra cutscene". This wont pacify the people who are crying about the ending to begin with - part of the problem was the ending gave no closure because their actions had next to no effect on the ending. Unless they add a LOT of cutscenes, which I am doubtful of, people are still going to complain.

Make a DLC that expands the ending. Make it a playable scenario. That way people fine with the ending (most the people I know and myself included) can just let the series fade, and people who want more can pay the premium and get more (or wait for a GoTY Addition). Then everyones happy.

As for BioWare sullying their artistic integrity - can someone explain to me the artistic integrity that they had earned? Cause I'm pretty sure this entire game has been botched and has shown us that BioWare wanted to make this game for money more than anything. So many corners have been cut, the DLC debacle, and the ending that (while in my opinion makes sence in context of the game) was rushed and sloppy compared to the standards BioWare usually holds up to. They did not treat their game like art, lets not pretend like they earned the integrity - even with the good will the other 2 games built up.

Quoting this, because frankly this post sums it all up. it wasn't had for Bethesda to come out with an apology, and they were happy enough to extend the game on and provide something with more closure and something far more satisfying. They didn't hide behind "artistic integrity" or dismiss their fans as entitled idiots. They never showed off their egos or they pride like that.

While I'm pleased that Bioware are providing that all important closure to show fans that their efforts were not in vain. I can't help but feel that they are simply taking the easy way out. I'm still astounded they thought the ending was good enough on it's own, completely destroy the character of Shepard and introducing more plot holes than an unpaired motorway. I hope it's closure that at least lets me see the fates of the characters I worked with and bonded with, and hopefully my Shepard and Tali getting that house on Rannoch somehow. But it won't salvage that mess the last 5 minutes were, it's essentially Bioware gift wrapping a big middle finger to us all.

AnythingOutstanding:

Zen Toombs:
Hmm. I wonder how many people that said "RAWR NEVER BIOWARE AGAIN" will change their tune if this free DLC pack is actually good? my answer: lots

BioWare already struck out with me.

Dragon Age 2 - Strike 1
Star Wars: The Old Republic - Strike 2
Mass Effect 3 - You're out, BioWare.

What do all of these have in common? These are all EA titles that either started pre-production after EA acquired BioWare or were in development long enough to have EA's "influence."

I'm no fool, so even if the ending is half decent, I'm still not buying a BioWare title again until they get their act together and leave EA behind.

Same for me, ME3 was the final straw, this DLC is likely to be the last thing I get from Bioware. Since DA2 they have completely died and sold their soul to EA. I wonder if letting them join the likes of Westwood in the EA mass grave is a kindness by this point.

My expectations remain remarkably low. There's an ungodly amount of things the ending breaks in the last ten minutes of the game, and it would take a lot of cut scenes and dialogue to make that make any sense.

Personally, I would have preferred a new ending, but I wasn't one of the people actively protesting. I already sort of accepted the ending in all of it's awful contrivances and plot holes and unanswered questions. I guess it's nice that it's being clarified, but I could just see people being unsatisfied no matter what. Were I in a position to be, I certainly would.

"mass effet 3 -extended cut"
they want to be blade runner so bad it hurts.but if this is an extended cut rather than a final cut do-sent that mean that they are still including the endings they already have and just adding some more cutsceanes or something.

What do you want me to say?

Bioware really needs to take the hint and completely redo the ending from when you drop down to Earth, before the bigass laser strikes, which is the precise moment everything went to Hell.

Declare the original ending non-canon and make the actual endings that were promised. Why can't they get it through their heads? That FTC complaint got filed for a fucking reason - they advertised and didn't deliver = false advertisement.

My problem with the ending is that it was retarded and made absolutely no sense. How much closure can you bring without changing the ending? All of my squad is in some random forest, and I don't really care about the planets I went to. What more can you explain?

I saw this comment on the BioWare Social Network forum, and I thought it was brilliant. I wish I could remember the original author to give credit, but I can't.

Original ending: The player sees a steaming turd, and asks "What the fuck is this?" BioWare says nothing.

Extended Cut: The player sees a steaming turd, and asks "What the fuck is this?" BioWare answers "That is a turd."

Make this one of the endings please.

Hevva:
UPDATE: BioWare has uploaded an FAQ for Extended Cut, in which its writers clarify that "the extended cut DLC will expand on the existing endings, but no further ending DLC is planned."

BioWare concludes the FAQ by saying, "Are we proud of the game we made and the team that made it? Hell yes. Are we going to change the ending of the game? No. Do we appreciate the passion and listen to the feedback delivered to us by our fans? Very much so and we are responding. Summer is coming..."

A clarification on the clarification DLC, then. And a possible hint that BioWare likes Game of Thrones just as much as the rest of us.

Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will be released for Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 this summer.

HAving read the FAQ, I can honetly say this is both what I knew was coming, and that I am more than fine with it.

Anyone else get the feeling this was planned all along? Not in the diabolical sense where they intentionally made an ending that some people disagreed with, but that they had a sort of "extended epilogue" DLC planned from minute one?

The mass effect 3 ending is an insult to writing. But video game writing is already diseased at this point anyhow. Still, Mass Effect is one of those things that you love, that you get to see corrupted. It's all the more sad when something you like gets worsened.

Active Schizophrenic:

Audacity:
Congratulations to all the people who pissed and moaned like entitled little bitches. You've proven that video games are not an art. You've also shown that if something is not what you want you will complain. You will bitch, piss, moan, complain and whine till you get your way.

Congratulations. You're children. Entitled little kids who scream and yell till they get what they want.

GET TO THE BUNKER! YOUR NOT SAFE!

your fucking right though. and you had the balls to say it.

Only 10 quotes so far lol. Most of them are "BUT ART ARE BE CHANGE ALL TIME!!!" but the truth hurts lol.

Hammeroj:
I really don't see this "Extended edition" making things a whole lot better, seeing how the plot-holes and overall piss-poor writing run deeper than something that could be hand-waved in a couple of lines.

Audacity:
Congratulations to all the people who pissed and moaned like entitled little bitches. You've proven that video games are not an art. You've also shown that if something is not what you want you will complain. You will bitch, piss, moan, complain and whine till you get your way.

Congratulations. You're children. Entitled little kids who scream and yell till they get what they want.

image

Lol That's probably how some of them felt.

Cid SilverWing:
What do you want me to say?

Bioware really needs to take the hint and completely redo the ending from when you drop down to Earth, before the bigass laser strikes, which is the precise moment everything went to Hell.

Declare the original ending non-canon and make the actual endings that were promised. Why can't they get it through their heads? That FTC complaint got filed for a fucking reason - they advertised and didn't deliver = false advertisement.

Can't you take the compromise and call it a victory. There not going to budge on declaring the endings non cannon. You won a batttle but not all battles end in victory.

finally, closure. Im glad we get so see some. cant wait to see what its about so i can lay my freinds and this game, to rest.

Diana Kingston-Gabai:
To use Rannoch as a further example: while Tali tells you what will likely happen should the quarian and geth fleets accept a truce, that closure is apparently invalidated given that all endings strand said fleets in the Sol system. There is no manifestation of your own preference here: if you chose to eliminate the Reapers (and thus sacrifice the geth), does that have any effect on the quarians? Does Synthesis allow them to immediately remove their suits?

Actually, what Tali tells me isn't what WILL happen, it's what IS happening, or was at that very moment. She was reading off reports from Rannoch that she was getting that very moment, at which point you can safely assume that not all Quarians were still present on their fleets and some, msot likely the civilians, had relocated planetside. The synthesis ending as a whole was poorly explained, and that's one of the flaws I found with the ending. And destroying the geth probably would have an effect on the quarians, but I'm not convinced that's something that needs to be shown in the ending, or even in-game at all. The Mass Effect trilogy ending does not immediately mean that entire fictional universe ends, and there's always opportunities for more stories and more games (which bioware themselves hinted at in a news article a while back), so not everything needs to be wrapped up with a neat little bow. Very rarely will any work of fiction leave absolutely every issue, and every possible issue, resolved.

Again, it comes down to feeling that your choices had an impact. And the reason the ending is coming under so much fire - why this has gone above and beyond any backlash in recent memory - is because the rest of the game already employs this device. Help Steve through his grief and he'll survive the shuttle crash. Get through to Ashley/Kaidan and you can recruit them again. Force Javik to use the echo shard and he'll plan his eventual suicide, or don't and he'll tell you he wants to explore the galaxy. These scenarios unfold at the player's behest, as a mechanism that has been consistent throughout the trilogy.

See, you said yourself that the rest of the game already does this, so I still don't see what the ending NEEDS to show that isn't already shown. All there is is the choice made in the ending itself, the impact of which is so vast the ending would need to be at least an hour long at least to show the effects of it. I don't see it as a massive crime to leave something up to the individual's imagination.

Except for the ending. In which nothing you do matters, no actions you take can change the outcome (since even the Control ending results in the loss of the relays and the crashing of the Normandy), and nothing more is told of your crew, of the story's protagonists, past apparently being marooned on an unknown world.

Except stuff you did DOES matter. Collect enough war assets and Shepard survives the Destroy ending. Whether you even have 1, 2, or 3 options is dependant on how many you get, and whether Earth is completely ravaged or still has some resistance left to cheer after the reapers fall is dependant on it as well, and your war assets are determined by the choices you make. Mass Effect 3 by itself has so many different choices to make, so many different variables, that tailoring the ending for each one would cost a huge amount of time and development resources, and that's before you add ME1 and 2 to the mix. And if you cherry pick which decisions to show have an outcome on the ending, which ones do you pick, and how do you choose them? Which ones still have something worth showing in the first place?

And then, go back to ME1 and ME2, and tell me how the decisions you made throughout those games affected the ending, and then tell me how ME3 is any different. ME1 had one choice that affected the ending, save or sacrifice the council. In ME2, the only decisions that mattered were Save or destroy Collector Base (and you got the same cut scene either way, just a different conversation with the Illusive Man), and whether or not you do your squad mates loyalty missions. With the exception of Tali and Zaeed, the decisions you made during their loyalty missions didn't even matter, so long as you did them. In this regard, I don't see how ME3 is any different.

Also, for the record, if you contrast directly, the Mass Relays in the control ending never outright explode the way they do in the Destroy and Synergy endings, which seems meant to imply they're merely damaged and not impossible to salvage.

And that's a categorical misunderstanding of what Mass Effect is: a variable experience, even beyond the Paragon/Renegade morality spectrum. Ten players may have had ten different stories unfold within the general narrative framework. But unlike novels and films and every other medium this has been compared to, it is broadly possible to satisfy a large number of people in this specific instance, simply by allowing the ending to flow from the choices you, the player, have made. Even if the differences are cosmetic - the Council lives/the Council dies, Alistair is king of Ferelden/a Grey Warden/a wandering drunk - these would still be facets of the ending determined by the actions of the player. That's why the naysayers aren't able to comprehend what's being asked of BioWare here, because they're making comparisons to J.K. Rowling changing the ending of the Harry Potter books and those comparisons just aren't valid.

Except I believe asking for those variables to be reflected is unrealistic. Unrealistic in terms of time, and cost, and even the narrative. Ten different people may have had ten different stories unfold, but they all unfolded along the same basic path. Shepard always rescues Liara on Therum, always sacrifices a squadmate on Virmire, is always killed by the Collectors, revived by Cerberus, fought the Collectors for the first time on Horizon, defeats the Human-Reaper Larva, etc. The story always progresses in the same basic direction, right up to the same basic ending. There is no precedent for anything different, because the previous 2 games were the exact same, and I think expecting something different was naive.

We get closure, and they get to keep their ending. I say that's a fair compromise.

I just hope this DLC delivers. If it does then I can be happy with the ending we currently have.

Gizen:
Except I believe asking for those variables to be reflected is unrealistic. Unrealistic in terms of time, and cost, and even the narrative.

Once again: Jade Empire, Baldur's Gate II and Dragon Age: Origins - all games produced by BioWare - did exactly that. So your assessment that such mechanisms are "unrealistic" is factually incorrect. It can be done because it has been done.

Ugh. I feel like I'm commenting exclusively in ME3 threads. But its the game I'm playing now so I guess that stands to reason.

Anyways, the "explanation" is going to have to be bloody brilliant to appease the fanbase. I reserve all judgement until I see this for myself.

And what happened then? Well on The Escapist they say, that the people whining about Electronic Arts were told to shut up that day.

That's great to hear, but I still do think what actually happened in the end killed the series. Some decent closure will ease things a little though.

That being said, knowing BioWare does still care about the game itself makes me respect them a bit more. That and them not charging for it like we thought they would.

I agree that the ending was pretty sparse in terms of answers, so I am glad they are adding details. I think there was already some sense in the ending (I know almost no one agrees), but you go from against all odds fighting your way to the end as a hero then - flash of light - and you're hanging by a thread... that's my biggest issue with the ending. Not the story, not ghost boy, not three different citadel laser light show colors -- it was like your car ran out of gas and you had to push it to the finish line.

With all that said, I look forward to the extended ending. I'm sure it won't be enough for some fans (I wonder if ANY ending would have satisfied a few of you), but I think its great that they are willing to do it. I just hope its not a few animated drawings like more and more developers are using for game intros and exits these days.

Zachary Amaranth:
Moviebob won't be happy with this.

I can't be the only one who thought that.

He should be thrilled. It'll give him a chance to rail against something for another easy video.

I'm skeptical. How do you clarify shit. It's still shit, only more clearly shit. I don't mind what the endings tried to do, but what they need is a total rewrite after the reaper beat.

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