Finished Portal 2 about 3 hours after ME3. Why the ME3 complaints are GOOD.

Potential spoilers ahead. Obviously.

I fired up Portal 2 (which I'd never gotten around to finishing) in an effort to get the bad taste of ME3 out of my mouth. Shortely thereafter, I was treated to one of the most satisfying conclusions I've experienced in a very long time.

No point in rehashing what Portal 2 did so right (or ME3 did so wrong). I just want to point out how exceedingly rare the good endings have become in modern gaming. ME3-like endings are the runaway majority at this point.

I'm not exactly sure when this became okay. I've been conditioned to expect mediocre/shitty endings. I'm not even surprised anymore - but that doesn't mean I'm not frustrated. I think a lot of people are frustrated, and I also think ME3 was something of a tipping point. Whether it's the scope of the series or the unprecedented level of personal investment, people just weren't willing to swallow the typical horseshit ending this time.

And I think that's a GOOD thing. Of course the bitching and moaning having been truly excessive, but if disgruntled customers have caused even one developer to pause and think "hey, maybe we should push the release back one week so we can do a proper ending and avoid an ME3-like backlash", then I say that bitching/moaning served a purpose.

I know devs/publishers always have their reasons for these things. They run out of money or time, or they reason that too few people finish the games (based on achievement data), or they simply see little reason to spit-polish the backend of an experience they've already sold you. None of that matters if the customer demands better. That's what's happening right now.

Sidebar: I'd be a lot more amenable to the "art isn't done by committee" defense if a) videogame endings weren't so nearly universally shit, and b) AAA games weren't so very clearly focus tested to the point of having virtually no artistic integrity to speak of.

ME3 Needed conclusion. The lack of obvious closure combined with pulling a swift left turn and kicking narrative cohesion out of the window in the last 10 minutes of the game is what has caused the justifiable anger.

As for the unjustified, I have thus far avoided commenting on space waifus but after a quick glance at /vg/... Really people? Really?

I think it has to do with how Valve makes their games. They seem to have learned quite a bit in their post HL2 games when it comes to closure. The Portal games succeed in this regard because of their length. Without a fixed development time, Valve is under no obligations to pump a product out the door by a deadline. They can finish the story and end it properly, then devote the next few months to bug testing like the OCD freaks they are for patches.

Well, Portal 2 and Mass Effect 3 are clearly very different games, but you are right, the difference in quality when it comes to ending, is clear.

Mass Effect 3 had no closure whatsoever, had a twist ending that wasn't foreshadowed nearly enough to make any sense, and was riddled with plot holes. It was unsatisfying, hollow, didn't fit with the themes and tone of not just the last game but the entire series, and above all, it was sloppy.

Portal 2, in contrast, resolved the main conflict between Chell and GLaDOS, tied off most loose ends very nicely, had a twist ending that, after having played it you could go, "Well duh! I should've seen that coming! Well played, Valve.". It was satisfying, fit with the story, and wasn't something that added more questions than answers. Besides, the Turret Opera was fun, and getting the original Companion Cube back was awesome.

i also think what has made the funs pretty pissed off is that what we got was exactly what we were promised wouldnt happen
i cant be bothered to find the exact quotes right now, they been quoted alot already on this site

I actually don't think i've had many terrible game endings in the last few years.

The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?) that seem to of been forgotten in hindsight. ME3 was definitely the worst ending in recent times - but I honestly can't think of any really bad ones from the past year or two (mainly PC gamer).

distortedreality:
I actually don't think i've had many terrible game endings in the last few years.

The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?) that seem to of been forgotten in hindsight. ME3 was definitely the worst ending in recent times - but I honestly can't think of any really bad ones from the past year or two (mainly PC gamer).

From what I remember in the game, they mentioned something about the portal gels being made from stuff from the moon. Hence why you were directed to fire a portal onto it. It's been a while since I played Portal 2 though, so there's probably some details I'm missing.

distortedreality:
The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?).

What about the moon was a plothole?

OT: Maybe Portal 2's ending isn't a good comparison. Even some very good endings will look unpolished compared to Portal 2.

scorptatious:

distortedreality:
I actually don't think i've had many terrible game endings in the last few years.

The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?) that seem to of been forgotten in hindsight. ME3 was definitely the worst ending in recent times - but I honestly can't think of any really bad ones from the past year or two (mainly PC gamer).

From what I remember in the game, they mentioned something about the portal gels being made from stuff from the moon. Hence why you were directed to fire a portal onto it. It's been a while since I played Portal 2 though, so there's probably some details I'm missing.

Moon dust makes an excellent portal surface. So Cave Johnson bought a bunch of moon rocks, ground them up and put them in a gel. It's what ultimately killed him. Moon dust is bad for the lungs man.

Portal 2 is a bad example because it is narratively a very linear game, you have to get to that conclusion, so it can have huge amounts of polish.

Top Hat:

distortedreality:
The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?).

What about the moon was a plothole?

OT: Maybe Portal 2's ending isn't a good comparison. Even some very good endings will look unpolished compared to Portal 2.

POTENTIAL SPOILER what i dont get is: if that chamber is beneath so many floors, how'd you get to see the moon?

bullet_sandw1ch:

Top Hat:

distortedreality:
The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?).

What about the moon was a plothole?

OT: Maybe Portal 2's ending isn't a good comparison. Even some very good endings will look unpolished compared to Portal 2.

POTENTIAL SPOILER what i dont get is: if that chamber is beneath so many floors, how'd you get to see the moon?

All the floors between you & the surface broke, I suppose...Not that believable, but it's Valve so I'll let it slide :P

bullet_sandw1ch:

Top Hat:

distortedreality:
The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?).

What about the moon was a plothole?

OT: Maybe Portal 2's ending isn't a good comparison. Even some very good endings will look unpolished compared to Portal 2.

POTENTIAL SPOILER what i dont get is: if that chamber is beneath so many floors, how'd you get to see the moon?

That's a good point, I never thought of that. Also the fact that there's no air in space so you wouldn't be able to hear Wheatley shouting at you since there's nothing to transfer the sound.

lotr rocks 0:

bullet_sandw1ch:

Top Hat:

What about the moon was a plothole?

OT: Maybe Portal 2's ending isn't a good comparison. Even some very good endings will look unpolished compared to Portal 2.

POTENTIAL SPOILER what i dont get is: if that chamber is beneath so many floors, how'd you get to see the moon?

That's a good point, I never thought of that. Also the fact that there's no air in space so you wouldn't be able to hear Wheatley shouting at you since there's nothing to transfer the sound.

The air was being sucked through the portal, effectively creating a tunnel of air through which you could be heard. Of course, anything you did say would be drowned out by the roar of air, so it's still not perfect. And with the chamber, since the entire facility is so modular in design, and all the pieces can be moved around, then there's no reason why Wheatley couldn't of moved the chamber near to the surface.

I felt this same thing, only I completed the original Deus Ex after Mass Effect 3. Deus Ex has one of the best moral choices I've seen in videogaming, and the ending is very satisfying I find.

orangeban:

lotr rocks 0:

bullet_sandw1ch:

POTENTIAL SPOILER what i dont get is: if that chamber is beneath so many floors, how'd you get to see the moon?

That's a good point, I never thought of that. Also the fact that there's no air in space so you wouldn't be able to hear Wheatley shouting at you since there's nothing to transfer the sound.

The air was being sucked through the portal, effectively creating a tunnel of air through which you could be heard. Of course, anything you did say would be drowned out by the roar of air, so it's still not perfect. And with the chamber, since the entire facility is so modular in design, and all the pieces can be moved around, then there's no reason why Wheatley couldn't of moved the chamber near to the surface.

But then when Chell went up the elevator it wouldn't have taken so long to get to the surface, past the turret choir and a ton of floors. and also wheatley has that epilogue where he is talking in space with the space core.

You also have to remember that Valve has the capability of delaying releases for as long as needed until the game can be finished to their satisfaction. When you have publishers pushing the bill for the game, you aren't allowed to keep delaying the game, because it effects the stockholders, and the publishers also pay for the advertising, so if they delay a game after their campaign has started, they've basically wasted all that money for a false start.

So of course Portal 2 had a better ending, they had several times that they delayed the game for months on end, like from Christmas 2010 to April 2011. If ME3 had been delayed there would have been an outrage (just like any other game that got delayed) but I'm sure the ending would have been much more polished than it is right now.

lotr rocks 0:

orangeban:

lotr rocks 0:

That's a good point, I never thought of that. Also the fact that there's no air in space so you wouldn't be able to hear Wheatley shouting at you since there's nothing to transfer the sound.

The air was being sucked through the portal, effectively creating a tunnel of air through which you could be heard. Of course, anything you did say would be drowned out by the roar of air, so it's still not perfect. And with the chamber, since the entire facility is so modular in design, and all the pieces can be moved around, then there's no reason why Wheatley couldn't of moved the chamber near to the surface.

But then when Chell went up the elevator it wouldn't have taken so long to get to the surface, past the turret choir and a ton of floors. and also wheatley has that epilogue where he is talking in space with the space core.

When GLADOS was repairing the facility, she moved the rooms around, possibly so that Chell could witness the opera.

And dunno about the epilogue.

tendaji:
So of course Portal 2 had a better ending, they had several times that they delayed the game for months on end, like from Christmas 2010 to April 2011. If ME3 had been delayed there would have been an outrage (just like any other game that got delayed) but I'm sure the ending would have been much more polished than it is right now.

That's... almost exactly what happened. Mass Effect 3 was to be released in time for Christmas, and they delayed for 3 months instead of the 4 months of Portal 2.

When ME3 was delayed, there was no huge outrage.[1] I actually applauded the decision, because I thought it would lead to a better conclusion/have less bugs/be a better game because of it.

[1] that I was aware of. Though I wasn't involved with forums then.

orangeban:

lotr rocks 0:

orangeban:

The air was being sucked through the portal, effectively creating a tunnel of air through which you could be heard. Of course, anything you did say would be drowned out by the roar of air, so it's still not perfect. And with the chamber, since the entire facility is so modular in design, and all the pieces can be moved around, then there's no reason why Wheatley couldn't of moved the chamber near to the surface.

But then when Chell went up the elevator it wouldn't have taken so long to get to the surface, past the turret choir and a ton of floors. and also wheatley has that epilogue where he is talking in space with the space core.

When GLADOS was repairing the facility, she moved the rooms around, possibly so that Chell could witness the opera.

And dunno about the epilogue.

Perhaps Wheatley and Space core were talking through wireless communication?

Anyway, there are many games and movies alike which ignore the "no sound in space" rule. So I'm pretty much willing to overlook this.

Top Hat:

distortedreality:
The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?).

What about the moon was a plothole?

Well, for one thing, Chell probably should have died instantly, either from suffocation or having her arm torn out of it's socket. Don't get me wrong, I still love the ending (my favorite videogame ending of all time, actually) but there are a few plot holes. Unless I don't understand science the way I think I do. Which is probable. That's all I have to say, I'm not going to talk about Mass Effect 3. It's all been said.

PS: Wouldn't it be awesome if there were an Aperture Science Moonbase? I mean, getting materials up there would be easy with portals, and they clearly had access to quite a bit of moon rock (all the conversion gel) so...Why not?

ok how about dragon age origins?
yes it was rather linear, and the ending "cutscene" was largely the same, but it made sense and with all those text boxes and some character appearences it acknowledged your choices and even gave alot of closure on them
yes ME3 had more to tie in but still we were promised the ending we got wouldnt happen

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:

Unless I don't understand science the way I think I do.

its not just science, its Aperature Science!

FieryTrainwreck:
I just want to point out how exceedingly rare the good endings have become in modern gaming. ME3-like endings are the runaway majority at this point. I'm not exactly sure when this became okay. I've been conditioned to expect mediocre/shitty endings. I'm not even surprised anymore - but that doesn't mean I'm not frustrated. I think a lot of people are frustrated, and I also think ME3 was something of a tipping point. Whether it's the scope of the series or the unprecedented level of personal investment, people just weren't willing to swallow the typical horseshit ending this time.

It's not a game, but you know what had an ending I liked? Return of the King. Everybody I know complains about how it was way too long. But hey, it went well out of its way to tie up each and every dangling plot thread, and you saw what happened to all the characters you'd spent the trilogy with. By the time the credits rolled, all my questions had been answered--well, I'm still not sure why exactly the elves were leaving, but that aside, I could leave the theater satisfied. (Personally, I think nobody would've minded the RotK ending if it hadn't kept fading in and out like that. "Hey, fading to black means it's over...wait, it's not? Stop toying with me, dammit!" But anyway.)

And there's the ending of Metal Gear Solid 4. I think that one actually could've used a bit of an edit and a lot less melodrama, but the general consensus is that people liked it. On the other hand, there's, say, the ending of that last Riddick game. The whole thing was about fifteen seconds of "And then Riddick killed the bad guy, THE END." Crap like that needs to stop.

It seems to me that this is true whether it's a movie or a game or whatever: the longer the story is, the longer the ending should be.

FieryTrainwreck:
Sidebar: I'd be a lot more amenable to the "art isn't done by committee" defense if a) videogame endings weren't so nearly universally shit, and b) AAA games weren't so very clearly focus tested to the point of having virtually no artistic integrity to speak of.

Ah yes, "artistic integrity." We have dismissed that claim.

Frozen Donkey Wheel2:

Top Hat:

distortedreality:
The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?).

What about the moon was a plothole?

Well, for one thing, Chell probably should have died instantly, either from suffocation or having her arm torn out of it's socket. Don't get me wrong, I still love the ending (my favorite videogame ending of all time, actually) but there are a few plot holes. Unless I don't understand science the way I think I do. Which is probable. That's all I have to say, I'm not going to talk about Mass Effect 3. It's all been said.

PS: Wouldn't it be awesome if there were an Aperture Science Moonbase? I mean, getting materials up there would be easy with portals, and they clearly had access to quite a bit of moon rock (all the conversion gel) so...Why not?

That's less of a plot hole & more of a physics hole. And Aperture Science are pretty good when it comes to physics & holes.

PS: Yes, that would be freaking awesome.

It just goes to show why Valve is good. Valve releases the game when it's damn well ready. EA sets a release date that, if you don't meet, you don't eat. As a result EA games are rushed and bad while Valve games aren't and aren't.

Top Hat:

That's less of a plot hole & more of a physics hole. And Aperture Science are pretty good when it comes to physics & holes.

PS: Yes, that would be freaking awesome.

bullet_sandw1ch:

Top Hat:

distortedreality:
The Portal 2 ending (while great) has it's own plotholes (the moon?).

What about the moon was a plothole?

OT: Maybe Portal 2's ending isn't a good comparison. Even some very good endings will look unpolished compared to Portal 2.

POTENTIAL SPOILER what i dont get is: if that chamber is beneath so many floors, how'd you get to see the moon?

The entire modern Aperture Science facility is built to be able to move, it is likely Wheatly had moved the chamber near the surface and Galdos lowered it back down later.

I think you're right. Bad endings are becoming more prominent. And I don't mean like BioShock's Bad Ending vs. the Good Ending. Badly-written endings. It's all the rage, now, along with gray and brown landscapes, walls, regenerating health and all those other things Yahtzee keeps constructively complaining about because they just won't stop coming!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 comes to mind. I have seen that series being rather low in the quality department for several years, now, but that ending... my word. Such idiocy! Also, especially with Black Ops 2 coming out this year (it's being advertized everywhere, how can I not notice people yammering about it?), has anyone else noticed how about half the games aren't even in World War II, anymore?

This reminds me about this one time when I kept hearing the words "Deus Ex Machina" a lot, and finally decided to find out the meaning behind them. Upon finding a definition, I realized, "Uh, oh. The plot for my #1 most favorite videogame concept I have created uses a Deus Ex Machina ending! I'd better fix it!"

 

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