Mass Effect 3 Ending Saga Nearing An End?

By Craig Pearson on March 21st, 2012 at 4:28 pm.

I haven't played it. This screen might be a spoiler.
I’m not entirely sure how to take this statement from BioWare’s Dr Ray Muzyka regarding the astonishing drama surrounding the conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy. It’s not saying outright they’ll change the ending of the game, but there’s this:

Building on their research, Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received.

Which seems to suggest something. More endings, rather than changing what they’ve laid out? I can’t see them setting out to rewrite the story, because it would undermine the universe they created, but there’s the suggestion of clarification and expansion. If you’re playing the game right now, you might want to stop and hold off until April when whatever it is they’re working on is released. I’d read the entire statement, too, because Muzyka has clearly been stung by the reaction. He’s proud of the game, but he also wants the fans to know they’re important. Whatever this means, expect ending-related DLC.

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205 Comments »

  1. Shakermaker says:

    What a nifty way to sell DLC.

    • Bluerps says:

      Yeah. Trying to sell people a new ending will probably lead to an even worse reaction than the current ending caused.

      • Snidesworth says:

        And a fair amount of income as well, I imagine. There’s not enough closure to go around, and the fans are starting to get desperate.

        • cqdemal says:

          Of course, they’re desperate. They can smell plot holes, and the mess they’ll make rattling their cage will serve as a warning to the devs.

          • bitscreed says:

            Mmm. I hope you’re not underestimating the problem. The devs may not go as quietly as you think.

          • wcq says:

            Intelligence indicates they’re behind the problems in Dragon Age.

          • HermitUK says:

            I’m more concerned about Karpyshyn – He’s gone freelance.

          • circadianwolf says:

            Our back catalog is far in advance of theirs, as is our design intelligence, and their… ethical inflexibility has allowed us to make progress in areas they refuse to even consider.

          • Josh04 says:

            Downloadable Content?

          • ananachaphobiac says:

            …Among other things. Although, I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the performance of the Day 1 DLC.

          • HermitUK says:

            The second additional character should be online soon. He’s currently undergoing testing and should be on Origin within the week. My people will continue to report on sales figures. If necessary the Prothean will be terminated.

          • RakeShark says:

            We’re had to endure much, you and I, but soon there will be rewriting again, a new ending. Hudson spoke of the collated emotional closure. Soon the ending will be a reality, and we will be rich like kings.

          • BobKatter says:

            Or better than kings… Activision Blizzard!

            Btw i registered just to post that.

          • ninasbusal says:

            Obviously any followups, MMO or otherwise, will be prequels as to neatly sidestep the issue of having to match up with player decisions from the primary trilogy. http://vork.us/go/hvs9

        • Bluerps says:

          Jup. People will complain and then buy…

      • Moraven says:

        It is what the fans want, and they are not a charity.

        10 years ago, it would be free yes.

        • Christian O. says:

          It’ll severly damage their licens to operate and their reputation, if they charge for changing, or rather ‘correcting’ the ending. A damaged reputation will affect their bottom line in the long run.

          PR- and business-wise, the smartest thing they can do is release it for free and suck up the short term monetary game, and instead benefit from the positive reaction from this.

          • Phantoon says:

            I don’t know why anyone had faith in them at this point.

            Or was I the only person to have played Dragon Age 2?

          • briktal says:

            Because Mass Effect was the other franchise and they hadn’t completely screwed it up yet.

          • darkath says:

            Yay, Mass Effect 3 as a game is fine, and i do not regret spending 40$, but the end is clearly screwed up and mess with the franchise, it’s background and the message they wanted to convey so much that it’s unforgivable in it’s current state.

            Bioware will have to chose between Hudson’s integrity (and frankly, no one cares about him), and their fans.

            And Muzyka totally misses the point when he says critics or casual gamers didn’t see anything wrong, because in the long run, hardcore fans are more likely to buy DLC and sequels than the rest. And on the artistic side, ME3 will always be remembered as “The Game that screwed up the franchise” or at least “The Game with the terrible terrible ending”

    • Trillby says:

      I think that’s a little cynical. Not over the top cynical, but a little.

      I think that many people have been working on the franchise for a very very long time, and anything you spend that much time on, invest that much work in, will become something you want to feel proud of. And when people are as wildly negatively critical as they have been, then some feelings are going to get hurt and people are going to try and “make things better” – if only to make themselves feel better by getting the positive feedback they have been expecting/wanting. This is slightly cynical in itself, but nowhere near as bad as – oh goody, people hate it, now we can squeeze money out of them by placating them with extras.

      • Haphaz77 says:

        Agreed. It must have been difficult for them to admit to themselves they got something wrong. And they haven’t said they will charge for it yet. So benefit of the doubt goes to them for now. It’s good of them to address it.

    • Kadayi says:

      I imagine if they are going for ‘clarification’ with regard to the ending it will be a free patch, Vs the ME3 DLC they all ready have planned. I think the uproar over the ambiguous nature of the ending has kind of taken Bioware by surprise , so I can’t see them deliberately choosing to pour oil on the fire by trying to charge extra for it tbh. They released the high rez texture pack for DA2 for free and iirc that was fairly hefty (1.5 GB?), so it’s not unprecedented for them to give something for nothing.

  2. Snidesworth says:

    Didn’t they already rewrite the story once, though? Dark Energy and all that.

    • bleeters says:

      In short, yes.

      • Phantoon says:

        For the longer answer, yes, they did, starting after the first game. It’s why the second game felt pointless- because it was bridging to a plot they didn’t know what they were doing with, plot wise, yet.

        The original trilogy ending was about the Reapers stopping the advance of dark matter that would consume the universe, even though it was millions upon billions of years away. The dialogue in the first game “our motivations are beyond your comprehension” I guess ended up being incidentally retconned to “our motivations are too poorly written to understand”.

        Honestly, more people should be angry about such poorly written tripe after the first game was pretty good in the story department.

        • Trillby says:

          Meh….

          As a game, it was written fine. ME2 was fine, ME3 is fine. The only vested interest we should have is to be entertained, and we were. We have been objectively more entertained than if it had been an amazing, poignant and spectacular ending, since we CAN’T SHUT UP about it over a week down the line.

          No lives have been ruined – the melodrama surrounding the whole thing has become crazy.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Just don’t use your critical faculties and the game is amazing!

          • fooga44 says:

            Reality would like to disagree with you:

          • Phantoon says:

            So it’s not okay to criticize things because you may have enjoyed it at some people?

            Well I didn’t enjoy Mass Effect 2. So clearly I get to criticize it.

  3. Ian says:

    They’re creating DLC hats you can have Shepard wear during the final section.

  4. kyrieee says:

    They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
    Maybe they can pull something out of their hat that sets things right, but I think that any changes to the ending will just make the whole debacle go on for even longer.

    • Grygus says:

      Yeah, admitting that they were actually wrong would only feed the frenzy; they will need to supplement it without changing anything.

      I am disappointed already because my one hope left for the ending was that it was part of some brilliant master plan, perhaps involving free DLC. Apparently not.

  5. DaFishes says:

    And of course the internet is now screaming “OH GOD THE CAVED BIOWARE ARE CHANGING THE ENDINGS OH GOD ART IS DEAD.”

    • Godwhacker says:

      It always saddened me how fan outrage caused Peter Jackson to change the ending of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ from the way it was in the 1978 Ralph Bakshi original.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Not anyone that actually suffered through the ending I imagine. They’d probably be quite pleased. I’d actually resentfully pay for a more finished ending.

    • Phantoon says:

      Luckily, most people don’t consider games art, which leaves it up to Indie games to claim the title.

      As Mass Effect 3 was shovelware, no one will be calling it art anytime soon.

  6. Mungrul says:

    So glad I didn’t buy this game. I’ve purposely spoiled it for myself too so that I wouldn’t be tempted. Everything about this has EA’s stench all over it.
    I predict in 3 years time we’ll be seeing games released with day-1, pay-for-the-ending-you-want DLC.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      (Spoiler)

      I would pay £5 to see an ending where Big Ben isn’t somehow indestructible.

      • Cooper says:

        Play the original command and conquer

      • Werthead says:

        Big Ben can be destroyed, but it is – inexplicably – based on your EMS. High EMS and Big Ben survives, low and it gets blown up. Given that all Shepard does to set the thing in motion is shoot a metal box a few times, I’m hazy on what bearing your EMS has on Big Ben’s survival or lack of it.

    • Grygus says:

      Day 1, pay-for-the-ending you want DLC, eh?

      Hmm.

      How about an entire game a la cart? You could spend $50 on Mass Effect IV, or just Mass Effect IV Base, which is free of charge but consists of only the Normandy. You can run around and send/receive messages and talk to the crew. Plant scanning DLC, two different combat DLCs that allow you to play the game as a third-person shooter or a turn-based tactical game, DLC for planetary locations, another one for locations in space, another one for full voice acting and deeper story. Each companion is DLC. You could customize the experience to exactly what you wanted for say $70-75.

      You feel sick to your stomach now, but I believe this is the future.

  7. Typhuseth says:

    Oh good, now every ending to a game that people dislike can be changed and sold back to us! Don’t negotiate with terrorists, idiots or the entitled.

  8. FataMorganaPseudonym says:

    Unless they actually release something for free, then this is nothing more than yet another marketing ploy to sell more DLC as far as I am concerned. Do not want.

  9. Apples says:

    If I was feeling really cynical I might suggest this whole controversy was manufactured on purpose so that you had to buy the DLC to get a decent ending! But surely not. Still it seems impossible that they could not have predicted an outpouring of rage around a “press A for ending A” final choice, especially with the strong misgivings from the DX:HR audience about the same sort of thing; and that nobody on the writing/dev team realised that the endings were outright contradictory to and undermined the rest of the story, and that they’re now all terribly surprised over it all.

    Also “This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.” I’m not sure how I feel about that. Dunno if the ME universe is strong enough to support entire new series of games (unless they’re fairly shallow shooty games like the MP). Most of the in-universe philosophical/moral issues seem pretty well explored by now.

    • dreadguacamole says:

      Apples, I seriously doubt that’s the case. To me it’s obviously a crappy, rushed ending.
      As for your second paragraph, far more has been done with settings a lot less developed. There’s a ton of stuff you can do with a setting as detailed as Mass Effect’s.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Mass Effect MMO anyone? Neatly sidesteps the storyline issue by not needing to have one.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      my god a fully fleshed out universe like ME has tonnes more potential,not just the lore but i enjoy the combat too.
      i would love to see more and more from it.

      • briktal says:

        Depends on what you consider the “ME universe.”

      • Lemming says:

        ME is an MMO-in-box (Just add water!), anyway. The reused assets and building layouts from the first game and the ‘done in five minutes’ height maps for the Mako sections reminded me of the worst aspects of MMOs.

    • Grygus says:

      Stories don’t have to be on the scale of these games, though. If the genophage is cured, you could have a whole game centered around the Krogan resurgence. Tons of combat, moral and practical questions to be answered, and a think about the very nature of justice to be had. Plus who wouldn’t want to play as a Krogan?

      I just had to add “genophage” to my browser’s dictionary. Also, “Krogan.” Disgraceful!

      Anyway, I think you could do a whole game about being born an Ardat-Yakshi, or a mission-based game as a Solarian Commando. Perhaps a Getting Drunk and Flirting with Aria Simulator.

      I think the only limitations are BioWare’s interest, time, and money.

      • dreadguacamole says:

        I think, actually. that the main problem they would have is respecting the continuity – for example, they would have to have two versions of the game – one with synthetics, one without, and one with whatever the hell happened in the synthesis ending.
        No, I doubt whatever they do will take place after the games. Say what you want about the ending, but it’s hard not to admire just how world changing it is.

        • 2helix4u says:

          @ dreadguacamole

          Of course they wouldn’t have to make two games.
          Lots of stuff got retconned from ME1 to ME2 or it was established there was a canonical choice like Udina being a councillor no matter what.
          The theme of mass effect turned into synthetics vs organics so they would undoubtably have the geth or -making a BioGuess- sexy female sexbots derived from geth technology hanging about.

          The whole point of the ending was setting up the universe for the next trilogy/mmo or whatever. I’d be honestly surprised if the next “real” mass effect game isn’t.

          • dreadguacamole says:

            It’s a bit too big to retcon, I think. Not saying they wouldn’t do it, but jesus, it would be a gigantic dick move to ignore what you achieved and chose after three games’ worth of story. If nothing else, they like appearing as good guys, and doing that sort of thing would be a giant fuck you to all of the people who played their games.
            The way I’d do it would be to pull a reverse KotOR and set the game a few centuries, or millenia, after the fact, when things had time to converge towards a new stable state.

      • Mark A. says:

        Obviously any followups, MMO or otherwise, will be prequels as to neatly sidestep the issue of having to match up with player decisions from the primary trilogy.

    • crinkles esq. says:

      That’s certainly what I think. Those guys at Bioware aren’t George Lucas. They knew the kind of reaction the endings would get, and knew they could probably parlay that into extra DLC downloads if they did a bit of PR work.

  10. Drayk says:

    I am so glad I did not buy nor played ME3. I’ll wait for all those DLC, improvement, bug fixes shenanigans first.

    • Grygus says:

      You are missing out on 30 hours of truly excellent play, though. When the white beam knocks you out in London, save your game, quit, and resume smugness.

      • Phantoon says:

        Unless you hate cover based shooters, because “wait behind cover for health recharge” is not compelling.

        In which case you didn’t like ME2, either.

  11. Soulstrider says:

    I literally finish the game seconds ago

    I mean the ending is not particularly good but it wasn’t that bad either, quite surprised about the amount of rage.

    Oh well at least I hope the DLC’s are free which knowing EA they won’t

    • Keymonk says:

      I don’t understand this sentiment. DAO, DA2, ME and ME2 all had free DLC. Why is it so hard to imagine they -might- give free DLC?

      Obviously that’s not a guarantee, but really… it’s not like it’s unprecedented.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        The tendency is bad, that’s all. DAO had excellent free DLC (Shale) and unimportant paid DLC (I don’t consider Awakening to be DLC, it’s much closer to a good old expansion). ME2 had relatively stale free DLC (Zaeed) and important paid DLC (Lair of the Shadow Broker, The Arrival). ME3 has no free DLC to speak of, and an important (not necessarily plot-wise, but definitely within the universe) character as DLC.

        The trend doesn’t make me feel like they’ll suddenly have a change of heart and give out an ending DLC. I’d be glad to be proven wrong, but thus far I have my doubts.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Same here. Although I’d steered clear of any spoilers, it was next to impossible to avoid hearing about the controversy, and so I honestly don’t know whether I (dis)liked the ending or not. I do agree with a lot of JW’s comments on taking ownership of the ending though.

  12. Vayl says:

    Despite what people think about the ending, Bioware are on a difficult position, they are trying to salvage not ME3 but the ME Universe Franchise, by changing the universe so drastically at the end of ME3 they render all possible prequel stories pointless and all sequels will miss everything that made Mass effect being basically on a new universe with some ME3 elements thrown in.

    On top of that they just cancelled Dragon Age expansion, another Franchise they manage to ruin. Two years ago they had two great universes they fully owned with great potential, now they have two husk.

    • Phinor says:

      According to the “Final Hours of Mass Effect 3″ they were at least considering only doing stories that pre-date ME3 or happen during the events of ME3, but nothing that would happen post-Shepard era.

      Which to me sounds weird because as you said, for many people it’s hard to care about anything that happens before the ending we’ve already experienced. Whether it’s ME3 DLC or ME4 the prequel, they are in a tough situation to convince people to care about these new stories. I really hope they find a way but.. it’s hard. I think that was one of the problems with DA2, Hawke was not the character we got attached to in that particular universe.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I hadn’t read about the cancelled Dragon Age 2 expansion. It’s no surprise though, who wants more Dragon Age II?

      • Grygus says:

        I wanted a lot more Dragon Age II while I was playing it.

        ba-dum-tssshhhh

        • Phantoon says:

          I know that’s a joke about the game being short, but uh.

          Really? Tell me you went with a lazy joke and did not actually want more of the same cave over and over again with cartoonish characters spouting the same lines over and over with a terrible combat system.

          • Grygus says:

            You almost got the joke, but not quite.

            It wasn’t about the length at all; it was about the lack of variety. I wanted more caves, etc.

          • briktal says:

            I’d assume that the “more” could include “more caves” and “more lines.”

      • TormDK says:

        I wouldn’t have minded an expansion. Prehaps to go with Sebastian to StarkHaven to reclaim his power base, or to fight for Hawke’s sister during, and following the riots in DA2.

  13. Baines says:

    Unless the indoctrination “It’s all a dream” theory is true, adding more endings isn’t going to do anything about the core of the complaints. It will just be band-aids that try to hide the problems. As for Muzkya’s whole statement, it sounds like he still doesn’t understand why people are upset, that he cannot see what actual issues people have against the ending.

    And while a DLC response will quiet many, a paid DLC response will only further validate some of the issues people have with Bioware.

    • pkdawson says:

      Maybe it’s just because I like a good conspiracy theory, but I find the indoctrination fanwank pretty compelling. A lot of the observed “clues” could well be terrible writing, but there are a few crucial bits of evidence.

      It works particularly well if it’s a deliberate deception of the fans – they get to create drama, make a big show of “listening to the fans”, give it time for enough players to finish the game, and then the Big Reveal.

      • Xocrates says:

        Alienating their entire fanbase and then going “gotcha! :)” isn’t going to give them that many fans back.

        • pkdawson says:

          Just think of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – of course, the crucial difference is that there was a whole ‘nother book yet to come. It’s the same idea, though: on a straight uncritical reading of the book, Snape seems like a big meanie who’s working with Voldemort. But if you read carefully, there are strong clues that it really is a conspiracy.

          People don’t usually hold a grudge if it all turns out good in the end. Free DLC would heal most wounds, and if this is the case, it’s a terribly interesting experiment.

          • Xocrates says:

            I know precisely one person that honestly thought Snape evil by the end of that book.

            And like you said, there was still, and only, one full book to go meaning that all the ending of Half Blood Prince did was raise the stakes for the finale.

            That’s not an issue here since the story already ended. Everything else they can do now will likely seem more like an attempt at an apology than anything planned in advance, regardless of the truth.

      • Baines says:

        The best argument against the dream theory is that most of the observed “clues” are exactly the kinds of mistakes that get made in games, whether it be from miscommunication, artistic effect, poor planning, poor writing, or whatever else.

        So, on one hand, you have the possibility of a carefully planned idea where players are supposed to recognized things are wrong. On the other hand, you have the possibility that it is just a poorly conceived and poorly planned idea with sloppy execution, and the mistakes and issues are just the inevitable results of it. And either possibility can be true.

        Mind, there is a third option where both hands are by coincidence right… Indoctrination was the plan, but most of the “clues” really are just regular mistakes caused by sloppy design and miscommunications and/or lack of knowledge by people working on the game.

    • Apolloin says:

      ***Spoiler Alert***

      Given the fact that Shepard has been pretty much the definition of either Iconoclast or Redeemer during both of the earlier games it’s not hard to see the endings that have to be added to ME3 to provide continuity.

      Redeemer (Paragon) Ending: Convince the Starchild to order the Reapers out of the galaxy. Given that a Shep on this path already has AI and Organics living and working together (EDI and Joker in Micro and Geth and Quarians in Macro) it’s clear the cycle has been broken. Besides you’ve already got the Geth by their Balls, their hearts and minds will follow. Liara and Tali help convince the AI that its job is done and now the sentient races of the galaxy can find their own path. BIG DAMN HEROES

      Iconoclast (Renegade) Ending: Shoot the Starchild through the head and tell him what you think of his goddamn choices. Then you, Garrus and Wrex kill everything in and around the crucible and use it to kill all the Reapers and save the Galaxy. Whatever our problems will make our own damn mistakes and Humanity will lead the charge into the bright new dawn. BIG DAMN HEROES

      The problem with all three of the established endings is that they HAVE no artistic integrity in terms of maintaining the established themes of the narrative. If the Indoctrination theory is Fanwank then the current endings are authorwank.

      • Haphaz77 says:

        On my second try at the ending, I did try shooting the Starchild thing. I mean, why else did she have that gun?

        That’d be the renegade interrupt to end them all!

  14. dreadguacamole says:

    Just finished the game this weekend. I found the ending to be phenomenally half-arsed, astonishingly bad and more than a little bit stupid, but (spoilers?) I’m actually with Walker’s assessment with regards to the lack of denouement and the impact of choice in the final stretch – the rest of the game did a good enough job of that.
    Bioware botched the ending – well, it’s their prerrogative… As many have pointed out, it’s far from the first long-form drama to do so.

    What really, really bothers me is the impact of multiplayer on the score you need to get the different endings. It was rendered a near-moot point because the endings are so crappy, but still – as a matter of principle.
    I’m a completist – I got all the content on all three games, did all the sidequests (and god, they were way worse than the ending…) and still got to the end with only 7600 points (you apparently need 10000 to get the best ending). I think Bioware’s claim that you can get enough points without touching multiplayer is only possible if you pick a particular path through the game, with little room for error.
    It’s all gotten downplayed, as the difference between the endings seems to be a palette change in some cases, but still – that point, more than any other* means I’ll be very hesitant to approach anything Bioware-related in the future.

    *: (Well, that and Dragon Age 2)
    (edited for clarity and to fix some grammar mistakes)

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Agreed. Nothing like the train wreck that was the ending to “Lost”.

      Edit: Although thinking about it some more, it bothers me that there is the conceit that different species cannot live in peace with each other. Every ending is a Daily Mail ending.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      why didnt you just play some MP co op for half an hour to top up your score to 10000?
      it would have taken you no time at all.

      • dreadguacamole says:

        Because I don’t want to play MP? Because I shouldn’t have to and the only reasons I can think of for them to have put in this system are strictly business related?

        • Max.I.Candy says:

          my point was that you said that you were a completionist (which i totally understand).
          and it really isnt a big deal to play a little of the MP.
          Just pretend you are playing a couple singleplayer maps with AI teammates and you wont notice the difference.
          It will be quick and painless i promise.

          • dreadguacamole says:

            Appreciate the sentiment, but there are a bunch of multiplayer games I barely touch and would rather play.
            Besides – at the end of the day, my only form of protesting this, besides not getting BW games so readily next time, is to not play it and be a part of the group of people who never touched the multiplayer portion of the game. I’m sure it’ll be statistically insignificant, but I’m sure they’re tracking that sort of thing.

    • Sivart13 says:

      Your numbers are off: the highest threshold the game cares about is 5000 EMS, which gets you a one-second clip of Shepard breathing at the end if you take the Destroy ending.

      7600 war asset points is about as high as you can get (without spending months promoting characters from Multiplayer at 75 points a piece), so for the “best” ending you want your 7600 points * 66% readiness (which would take a couple hours in multiplayer).

      • dreadguacamole says:

        Holy crap – is that true? It’s impossible to get the best ending without MP?
        So Bioware flat-out lied? That’s even worse!

        • Booch says:

          I think you missed the first part of his reply: “highest threshold the game cares about is 5000 EMS”. That means above 5000 points it doesn’t matter how many you have. I’m pretty sure even that threshold doesn’t affect the ending in a meaningful way anyways.

          • dreadguacamole says:

            No, I think that 5000+ threshold is after your score gets multiplied by the multiplayer percentage modifier. With the War Asset score I finished with, I’m basically stuck at the third best ending unless I go online.
            I know it looks kind of petty, given how alike the endings are (and I’ve since gone online and checked them all out). But two wrongs really don’t make a right, and I find the idea that you need multiplayer to get single-player content in a single player game abhorrent.

          • Booch says:

            Oh gotcha. So the ‘Galactic Readiness’ doesn’t go up at all through single player alone? Is it stuck at 50% then? That’s a dick move, chalk up another broken promise about the ending. I played multi pretty early on so I never found out in mine.

          • Ninja Foodstuff says:

            I maxed out the readiness score without playing any multiplayer (by which I mean the progress bar was all the way across). I completed every side-quest, scanned every system to 100%, and had my entire squad alive from the previous episode, so YMMV.

          • dreadguacamole says:

            Same here, Ninja – The progress bar maxes out way before the score does, and well below the thresholds you need to get some of the extra bits on the endings. It’s the total military strength score you need to look at; if it’s below 8000 or later on 10000, you’re not getting the “best” endings unless your galactic readiness score has been increased through multiplayer.
            I had 7600 or so, had the bar completely filled out, and did not get some of the final scenes.

  15. Bumble says:

    I’m actually more concerned by Ray’s comment prior to that about Casey Hudson, namely:

    “Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.”

    So, essentially, a good critical reception by those paragons of objectivism, journalists, are more important than the paying consumer.

    Metacritic bonuses anyone?

    • Typhuseth says:

      How dare you be so cynical as to….nah probably right

    • Apples says:

      I’d like to know if they can find a single one of those critics who said that the ending was good.

      • westyfield says:

        Didn’t Jim say that he quite liked the ending? Pretty sure John has tweeted positively about it too.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Besides the authors on this site, who did defend it, Jim Sterling has also gone out of his way to defend it.

    • Keymonk says:

      I thought it was more funny that he said ‘Oh I could just point out how it got so high review scores but I totally won’t because I’m great you guys’, which is basically the same thing, only veiled.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      hey, no, come on, be fair

      most folks appear to agree that the game as a whole is exceptional, with more than 75 critics giving it a perfect review score and a review average in the mid-90s

      Who else could accept such praise from “paid professionals” than the people who gave us “synthetics who kill you so you won’t be killed by synthetics”

      • Grim_22 says:

        As much as I hate the ending for lack of any real closure, I have to call you out on this since you and everyone else saying that line over and over completely missed the point. The Reapers were created to wipe out civilisations when they came close to create synthetic life advanced enough to gain true AI status, so that these new synthetics wouldn’t wipe out ALL organic life. That’s the point, and that’s why they spared the then unevolved humans, asari, turians and so on the cycle before this one. The Reapers actually save the galaxy by making sure that organics survive even though they shouldn’t, because according to their calculations, if nothing is done, life would end completely.

        Yes, the ending sucks because it’s cheap and disregards your actions and choices along the way, and especially for not giving any closure and leaving you feeling empty. But do not dismiss the writing of the Reapers and their logic, because it’s utterly brilliant.

        • mss2 says:

          In the context of the story, though, why would Shepard believe this? Even assuming that the being who claims to be responsible for the Reapers is being truthful for some reason, they’ve killed umpteen trillions over millions of years over something that they by definition can’t have tested. And Shepard, at least in many playthroughs has just solved an apparently intractable AI/organic conflict, after putting his or her life in the hands of an AI with every reason for betrayal– both of EDI’s main components have reason for a grudge– and seeing that trust vindicated.

          Sure, maybe by superadvanced hyperscience, it’s demonstrably inevitable that someday, somehow, Berserker Cylons must come into being. But the Reapers have been telling Shepard things were inevitable according to their incomprehensible ancient smartitude since Virmire, and Shepard keeps proving them wrong. Why respond differently here than to Sovereign or Harbinger?

          (Which even the Destroy ending does, by accepting that there’s no way to defeat the Reapers other than by betraying those demonstrated-trustworthy allies.)

          My reaction to the ending is more quiet disappointment (tempered by the knowledge that the endings have *never* been the strong points of these games) rather than towering rage. I’m not signing any petitions or calling for fire and sword against Bioware, I’m not straining at graphics glitches and seeing secret endings, and I enjoyed the vast majority of the game too much to call it a failure. (I haven’t decided the extent to which the ending affects replayability. At the moment, I’m less motivated than I was with the previous games, but we’ll see if that passes.)

          But even granting the setup and refraining from criticizing the plot logic, Shepard’s permitted reactions just don’t strike me as in character. Given what the Catalyst tells you about itself, why quietly accept its assessment?

          • Grim_22 says:

            Don’t get me wrong here, I agree with you on your points. What I was arguing was that people seem to belittle the writing of the Reapers point of view, which is completely uncalled for. But also, to discuss what you wrote, I don’t think the destroy ending is out of character for Shepard. He knows that everything is lost if he chooses apathy and refuses to use the Crucible. The whole assault was to create the opportunity to use it. Choosing destroy is his way of defying the Reapers to the last to the best of his ability. The little ghost boy is part of the Reapers, and he obviously doesn’t want Shepard to choose destroy. He wants him to control them to ultimately continue the cycle, or to create a hybrid universe, which is their way of compromising. When Shepard chooses destroy, it’s obviously his last way of saying “screw you”. Even though it’s not the ideal solution for the universe, it was ultimately the only one he could turn to, since they put all of their faith in the Crucible.

          • mss2 says:

            @Grim_22 I get that. It’s not the choice I made, but assuming there are future playthroughs another Shepard of mine will probably follow that reasoning.

            But it’s not so much that taking the destroy option is out of character (that depends on the Shepard), as that accepting that the destroy option will act as described, given who’s doing the describing, seems uncharacteristic. If the speaker had been the Illusive Man, or Sovereign, or Saren, saying “Oh, and that button destroys me and all my works, albeit at great cost”, the first thing Shepard would be doing is looking for the trap. If your adversary offers you three choices, why would any of them be something he doesn’t want?

            (I’m reminded of the Order of the Stick strip in which Haley– the party’s rogue– explains to the ostensibly smarter members of the group that you don’t win a three card monte game by figuring out which card is yours. If you understand how the game works, you understand that *none* of them are yours, and no amount of reasoning or observation will let you pick the right one.)

            It’s the ending we have, so all of us (who aren’t throwing things or dismissing it as a hallucination :-) ) have to choose something and make it fit our characters. But given the limited information and the nature of the source, Shepard would arguably be as well off trying to coax a die to roll out of the remains of her omnitool and let chance decide. (Or figure that if this entity considers it worth its time to convince her to do something, maybe doing nothing is actually the right choice.)

          • stevethehare says:

            Thank you Grim_22 for calling this out. It’s been the single criticism about the ending that has really bugged me. The Reapers aren’t killing all life, but simply pruning it to avoid what they believe will be eventual extinction of all life. To mss2′s point, even if it’s just pruning, it’s errant logic as Shepard potentially proves multiple times throughout the games. However, it’s not outrageous to say that the Reapers are wrong and what they believe is a necessary act has turned into a truly evil act. The Reapers say it’s inevitable but Shepard knows from her experience that its not. Why do people think that we’re supposed to believe the Ghost Child? Simply because Shepard doesn’t say it herself, you can still pick an outcome that best supports what you think is true, even if none of the outcomes will be wholly perfect.

        • LintMan says:

          Grim_22: “But do not dismiss the writing of the Reapers and their logic, because it’s utterly brilliant.”

          I totally disagree and think it’s totally stupid. I understand the nuance between “advanced life” and “ALL life”, and I think most other people do, too. It’s just that the chain of reasoning is preposterous:

          Why must synthetic intelligence *necessarily* turn against its creators? Because Casper said so.
          Even if the synthetic intelligence turns against its creators, why must if turn against all organic intelligences? Because Casper said so.
          Even further, why must synthetics inevitably eliminate ALL life? Because Casper said so.

          Shepard accepts what Casper says and doesn’t challenge a word of it despite the fact that he has a friendly loyal AI on his crew and just brokered a very promising peace between the Geth and Quarians. The game goes out of its way to prove to us this is possible, but suddenly we’re told it is not, despite what we just did.

          Second, even if Casper was correct and this process really IS inevitable, the solution is a Rube Goldbergian way of using an atomic bomb to swat a fly. If they don’t want AI’s destroying all life, why not just stick around as observers, monitor the situation and step in only when necessary? If they can’t be bothered to stick around, they could just install a telephone line to the Reapers, and then organics can call’ em to come in and take care of AI’s that get too Berzerkerish long before they wipeout all life everywhere. And in the meantime, countless organic AND synthetic intelligences don’t get destroyed. Even the Reapers would have to see that as simpler, easier, and more preserving of the “life” they purport to care about.

          • stevethehare says:

            The game doesn’t tell us it’s wrong, “Casper” does. By making this argument, you’re saying that you trust the Reaper’s logic. The Reapers are potentially billions of years old and their internal logic has evolved in ways that no longer make sense when compared to what Shepard has experienced, or even simple common sense. The advancement of the Reapers AI doesn’t mean they also developed human-like emotions or comprehension, they simply have a goal and the power to carry out that goal, even if Shepard has proven that synthetics and organics can live in peace. If you’re seeing a contradiction then I think that’s exactly the point.

          • Grim_22 says:

            Exactly what Stevethehare says. The Reapers see themselves as infallible and omnipotent, and for several reasons that we can only speculate about, their methods are probably the only viable ones for *them*. That isn’t bad or lazy writing, it makes them more believable and terrifying from my point of view. Also, as mss2 points out, Shepard wouldn’t normally just take Caspers word for it, and he probably doesn’t. We have to remember though, that Shepard is already dying during the conversation. He’s shot, delirious and just very tired. He wants it to be over, and to even find the strength to argue against options laid out by a *supposed* deity at that point… I don’t know. I found the fact that Shepard just gave up and caved in made him more sympathetic and deeper as a character.

            Now, granted, I still believe it was a hallucination of indoctrination. As far as I can see, there are too many signs pointing to it to disregard that fact. But when discussing this, I’m doing it from the point of view that it was, in fact, real.

    • Grygus says:

      I personally enjoyed the implication that critics are not among their fans.

      • Apolloin says:

        Saying that most critics are amongst your fans is a bit like claiming that you are actually dating that whore.

    • E_FD says:

      “You’re a bunch of entitled whiners, but we’re such wonderful people that we’ll try to placate you anyway.”

  16. djim says:

    Well haven’t finished it yet but i hope they do not do anything hasty. He did not specifically say anything about being paid-for dlc but if i had to guess i would say it will be. I have avoided spoilers and i fully expect holes in the story so filling some of that holes would be nice. Can’t say much though as i have not finished it yet (so little time, so much to do!)

  17. povu says:

    [SPOILER]All they need to do is retcon the bit where Joker flies away with magically transported squad members (because it makes no sense) and just let them stay on Earth, and give some sort of explanation as to what happens next in the universe with regards to the different groups and squad members. Maybe retconning the broken relays bit as well, as it’s kinda screwed up that the entire war fleet of every civilization will be stuck at Sol, and that all far away colonies that rely on food transport from different systems would basically die because of isolation.

  18. Oof says:

    He made a spelling mistake.

    Also, that whole missive was entirely too patronising.

  19. mikmanner says:

    One of the options in the character creation screen should say ‘Are you a whiny nob?’ if yes it gives you the altered ending.

    Seriously though, they should just stick to their vision – it’s a ridiculous argument.

    • briktal says:

      But in so many forms of art, the “artists” don’t always stick to it.

      • mikmanner says:

        I am scared of it because the gaming community goes ape on singular issues en masse, if studios are peer-pressured to adjust what they think is final because of fan reaction then that could be dangerous.

        Blade Runner had a bad ending and changed it later because of studio pressure, not fan reaction. In this example Scott changed the ending in favor of his vision not against it.

        It boils down to the artist – if Bioware are forced to change what they think is right then that would be unfortunate. If they change the ending to better reflect their vision then that’s fine.

        • briktal says:

          The problem is that making games (and software in general) is a horribly unorganized, rushed, slapped together business that they don’t have the time and/or money to deal with these issues pre-release.

        • Xocrates says:

          Not trying to argue in either direction, but who exactly is the artist people keep referring to?

          The composite mass of dozens of people that are part of Bioware? The writing team? The lead designer? Or for that matter, the fans that got to choose their own story?

          I’m all for artistic vision, but it would really help to know whose artistic vision we’re defending here.

          • mikmanner says:

            Does it have to be one person? It’s not the fans that’s for sure – it’s not that sort of game.

          • Xocrates says:

            It doesn’t have to be one person, but it would help if it was a consistent entity across all entries.

        • Sivart13 says:

          Yes, it would be a seriously awful development for a studio to use fan feedback to make better games.

        • Apolloin says:

          You’re assuming that the story is the product of one exceptionally talented individual and that it shapes every other aspect of the creative process.

          Speaking from almost a decade and a half of industry experience, let me just point out that STORY IS THE BITCH of the creative process. Story is usually the purview of one or two individuals and kept in such a ridiculously floaty, half-defined, state for such a long period of the development process that the people designing the gameplay mechanics and the environments can’t be said to know much about it during most of their work.

          It is also the first thing to bend and change when it runs up against schedule pressures, budget pressures and resource availability pressures. Chunks of it are made up at the last minute, dropped at the last minute and patched around at the last minute. Mass Effect 3 is no different, despite all the waffle that the usual suspects shoveled onto webpages and magazines to the contrary. You all know the quotes I mean.

          Games might be a form of art, but they are a form of mass market consumption art. It’s not like a Noh play or Shakespeare where one can judge a performance on its artistic merit and hold that apart completely from how it is received by its audience. If the ending had caused controversy in a small minority then one could claim that it was bold and that the emotional reaction simply proved its merit. On the other hand, 9/10 Gamers who expressed a preference said that their Shepards didn’t prefer it.

    • DiTH says:

      I think providing different endings is what they promised all months prior to release.So actually providing us with different endings is what their vision was.
      And giving us the same ending with a new color than Red,Green,Blue i will not consider it different.
      Seriously they failed and i dont understand why people dont see this.I finished ME1+ME2 with 6 different chars and im not going to finish ME3(which is a better game other than the ending) more than once.They did something wrong.

      • mikmanner says:

        It feels a bit silly that the universe revolves around your character though, what’s the point of choices if you’re in total control of the repercussions. I’m anti ‘perfect play-through’.

        I would rather a harsher version of ME3 – one where you don’t have infinite time and resources to achieve a ‘perfect’ ending. For example, if you dilly-dally too much while Palaven is under siege then the planet falls and you loose those resources permanently. It’d add more ‘reality’ to the situations.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          That’s kind of the Bioware style, though. You are AWESOME. Things may not go your way every now and then, but they’re all about player gratification and clear cut, forseeable consequences to your actions.
          The best bits are when it doesn’t do it – finding out that a certain crewmember just doesn’t swing that way was one of the most hilarious moments in my playthrough.
          Note, though, that they had to come up with that excuse instead of just saying “you’re not my type”…

          Dragon Age made a few gestures towards moving away from that, but didn’t take it very far, in my opinion.

        • mss2 says:

          That would be fine, as long as the game makes it reasonably clear when and how time is passing. The situation that could lose you the crew in ME2 felt like a bit of a cheat. (There’s a little bit of a dialog warning, but after a game and a half in which the quest log says things like “Race Against Time” while actually rewarding taking time out to solve people’s personal issues I can see how players might miss that.)

          This game was fine for an ME veteran who could infer that if a mission was called “Priority”, that meant “Don’t do it till you’ve done everything else first, because it will advance the story and probably lock some things out!” But I’d feel sorry for anyone who came in, naively thought that Priority meant (as it obviously does) “Do This First!”, and wound up at the endgame with a paucity of resources and few sidequests played. That’s not a challenge so much as hiding the ball.

      • Ninja Foodstuff says:

        SPOILER:

        It was a bit weird they didn’t offer the choice to just give up and die.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          They did, don’t make a choice at the crucible, wait and see what happens. Also you have the option of not playing on after a character death at any time in the game.

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      What vision are you talking about, exactly? You do know they put off the ending until the end of last year and phoned it in, right?

  20. jellydonut says:

    ‘it would undermine the universe they created’ — that’s what the endings they published *do*.

  21. Fox89 says:

    And I’d like to say thank you to Dr Muzyka for the message. I’m all for artistic licence, but I feel it would be in the best interests of everybody to create a more satisfying end to the trilogy than the one the game shipped with, and I’m very happy to know that something is being worked on. This feels like a bit of a victory from my point of view; we asked, they answered. Something is coming of it.

    Can’t say fairer than that right? I’ll still baulk at any DLC that costs £10 and is 5 minutes long, but anything new and substantial I’ll bite the bullet and pay for reasonably happily. This is good news :)

  22. Hoaxfish says:

    Slightly amused by:

    Thank you for your feedback – we are listening.

    Comments are closed.

  23. Uthred says:

    Oh its art, well we cant criticise art…oh..wait a second… Its nice that theyve officially used the bullshit art defense. Leaving aside its validitiy for a second what it misses is that as the consumer we are in fact their “patron” and as such they should be doing their best to match our general expectations.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Yeah, people conveniently forget that the vast majority of traditional sculpty painty picture art is done on commission at the direction of the purchaser, and that Bioware will have done market research and attempted to create something for an audience to make money. Games are art, but art doesn’t begin and end with the artist. Mass Effect 3 is hardly ‘outsider art’.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Hard to imagine the whole “galactic readiness” thing was part of some artistic vision.

      • Grygus says:

        I didn’t like it either, but I’m not so sure that means it is bad.

        Problem: you made a pretty fun multiplayer mode of your single player game, but nobody cares.
        Solution: War Readiness.

        It’s pretty solid design from that perspective. Also: my major problem with it was that it didn’t seem to make much impact on the ending, which is what I thought I was using it to build.

  24. Eddy9000 says:

    I would be happy with:

    - Mass relays not destroyed

    - More bulk to the idea of Mr. Illusive having been indoctrinated through his attempt to indoctrinate (just cos I think it’s a nice idea and was sadly confused I thought)

    - An explaination for the reapers actions that did not involve a total departure from the games themes and narrative in the last 10 minutes.

    For example:
    Crucible fails. Harbinger emerges [booming] : “all organic life will destroy itself eventually, it is in your nature, we have existed since time immemorial to prevent this, but every race we must destroy we remember through forming ourselves in their image”,
    [if renegade] “but we see now humans are different, your thirst for domination will eventually control all races around you, you will eventually take our place, controlling and subjugating the galaxy so that other races cannot hope to wage war”,
    [if paragon] “but seeing this display of unity we realise that there is hope that races can live, fight and love together, to destroy this would be outside our purpose”
    [galactic readiness] = earth destroyed/not destroyed before this conversation.

    Ah fuck it, I’m happy with my ending. I might write a script and read it to myself next time I play through.

  25. PedroBraz says:

    “I’m not entirely sure how to take this statement from BioWare’s Dr Ray Muzyka” in which he states:

    “As artists, we care about our fans deeply and we appreciate your support.

    Thank you for your feedback – we are listening.

    Ray”

    in which right under it says in large bold white letters:

    “Comments are closed.”

    If thats the kind of listening they are doing, I wonder what exactly the point of all this is

  26. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    What they need for the ending is a good musical number.

  27. Crimsoneer says:

    God, I hate this “changing the story would damage the integrity of the art form” argument. Sorry, but the “integrity of the art form” was damaged the moment Bioware knowingly rushed the ending, as they’ll happily admit they did. In fact, it was probably screwed when they released DA2 with that abysmal final act as well.
    Hell, you don’t get to ask for “artistic integrity” when you sell a video game to millions of people on the internet, then plan to charge them later for other chunks of the storyline.

    Besides, the best ending exists already. SPOILERS. Obviously. : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG4EyfXOTJ4

  28. Beelzebud says:

    They should just rip off the ending from Spaceballs, complete with the alien in top-hat singing “Hello My Darling”.

  29. bwion says:

    I have long since spoiled myself on the endings (because the alternative was to completely shun the internet for the next few months) but I don’t really consider myself qualified to comment on whether the endings worked or didn’t. I also have no intention of getting involved in the ludicrous shouting, or in the ludicrous shouting about the ludicrous shouting.

    That said, a couple of random observations.

    1. This demonstrates, yet again, that computer games, like many of the finer things in life, tend to improve with age. I haven’t bought Mass Effect 3 yet, but I will eventually, and I imagine, whatever they do/don’t do, I’ll have a more satisfying experience as a result of waiting. To say nothing of a less expensive experience.

    2. As always, the loudest people are dominating the conversation, and as usual, the loudest people seem to be the most unhinged.

    3. Am I the only one reminded of Hyperion/The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons in all of this?

    4. My prediction for Mass Effect 4: TIME TRAVEL EPIC THROUGH THE FIRST THREE GAMES.

  30. Nim says:

    If the mass effect app about the ending is to be believed true, then the entire ending segment was not even finished in concept until very late last year resulting in the ending having to be rushed, using cobbled together assets or easily produced resources to patch together something resembling an ending while spitting in the face of the ME universe’s integrity and history. It was a cock-up, a mess, a blunder so stop defending it. Artistic integrity does not extend to negligence. If a product has an error it is fixed or replaced, if a building has a construction fault it is repaired, etc. Does a boat with a hole in the hull protect it from criticism because of alleged artistic integrity?

    Bioware should have delayed, thought things through, and released later a product which keeps ME3′s initial level of quality all the way through to the end. That is true artistic integrity. Making a 90 % stellar product and phoning in the last 5-10% will soil the experience.

    I’m calling for an ending that makes sense for my character and better takes into account my choices. Kill everyone, destroy the Mass Relays, create a super-bleak ending but do it in a manner that makes sense in accordance with the laws of the universe Bioware has written.

  31. wodin says:

    I find it very odd indeed that they are even considering changing the ending. I’ve watched alot of films where the ending wasn’t what i expected or wanted but hey thats the directors vision not mine. I’ve read books and many times I feel the ending could have been better or the book could have been better, yet I’ve never contacted the author demanding he\she changes it.

    The end is the end simple. It’s only a GAME!

    Seems all very odd to me. I love games, have done for years, however I’d never demand a new ending to one and feel so aggrieved as these gamers do.

    • bleeters says:

      There are several things “director/developer vision” is, to me, able to justify.

      Sloppy, nonsensical writing in the form of plot twists that make barely any sense and consequently conclude the story in an entirely confusing, unsatisfying way are not some of these things.

    • Apolloin says:

      It’s very simple.

      Non-interactive media are about you watching a story that the storyteller relates to you.
      Interactive media are about you and the storytelling collaborating to tell a story.

      The endings did not feel collaborative. They did not feel as if they belonged to the same Shepard that many people had been playing for close on five years.

      • Kadayi says:

        Agreed. Albeit you can draw certain parallels between films and games, they are inherently different mediums and it’s important to recognize that distinctiveness.

  32. Max.I.Candy says:

    he’s absolutely right about “constructive criticism turning into destructive criticism”.

    The kinda psychotic stuff you read on Metacritic is beyond pathetic.
    Whatever my feelings about the lazy ending in ME3, i dont go around saying stupid things like “Bioware is a dead dev team”, thats just insane.

    • bleeters says:

      Neither does everyone – or anything really approaching everyone – who’s been criticising the ending. There’s several threads on BSN I’ve been circulating that have stayed entirely civil. Metacritic comments have always scraped the barrel of human decency.

      Of course, it makes it easier to just dismiss said criticisms when those they’re addressed towards try to pass them off the enraged flaming of a tiny minority.

  33. Vandelay says:

    “Don’t give people what they want, give them what they need.” Joss Whedon, a real storyteller.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Because he pulled an ending story out of nowhere because fans demanded it. Oh, wait, Serenity.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        I thought Serenity did a fine job of tieing up plotlines whilst ending in a way that was open enough for viewer speculation. No mean feat for a stand alone movie made to give closure to a cancelled TV series. Serenity could be seen as good example of a series ending. I was never a Firefly fanboy though, was there contention over this?

      • Vandelay says:

        ‘Objects in Space’ was the original ending and he added Serenity after fan pressure?

        Not really comparable and also ignores the fact that the outline of the film was going to be the plot of season 2.

    • Kadayi says:

      Bioware gave fans neither from what I can determine.

  34. Moraven says:

    Why is it not like a lot of older JRPGS where actions throughout set you up for 1 of 12 endings.
    Your actions determine outcomes of events during your own story in MS, but just a war counter and Here, pick a choice is does tell much of your actions other than you grinded out all the possible content.

    Is there a way to do every mission/quest and still not get a good rating?

    • InternetBatman says:

      That was an excellent article. Forbes has been having a lot of good video games articles lately, when did that start?

    • Apolloin says:

      Wait a minute. This article actually talked to me as if I was an educated adult.

      He’s right though. Constructive criticism is for peer review. Impassioned criticism is how an audience should speak to their vendor. Ray’s reponse to the outpouring of scorn and disbelief only underlines that games are still NOT art. His speech reeks of knee-jerk defensiveness and seems to have been written more for internal consumption by the Bioware team than for external consumption.

      They were quite forward about admitting what went wrong with Dragon Age 2 regarding reuse of environments and I didn’t find their addressing what commerical realities were behind those (wrong) choices to be overly defensive – but do we really need to be told how awesome the entire Bioware team is? Especially when whats being criticised is the output of a small percentage of that team?

      The problem is that about 95% of Mass Effect 3 is exactly as good as the review scores indicate, but when that last 5% is the ending then problems are a lot more serious than they seem to indicate. A bit like eating Fugu (pufferfish) that has been 99% properly prepared…

      • FunkyBadger3 says:

        Yes. Not liking the ending to a computer game is quite like being poisoned to death.

        • Zerbin says:

          Hyperbole is the best thing in the universe, bar none.

        • Apolloin says:

          Clearly I am massively hysterical and my use of metaphor merely proves this.

          If games are so very unimportant, I wonder why some people bother playing them, let alone spending additional time coming and sneering at other gamers on forums.

  35. ulix says:

    They don’t even have to rewirte any of the story… except, you know, these abysmal last 10 minutes, and stretch them out a bit (maybe with some text-only epilogue).

    The rest of the game was pretty awesome, and exceptional, and perfect, I loved it. Thing is that they took a huge pile of shit on it with the last 10 minutes.

  36. InternetBatman says:

    I just think Bioware has had a bit of a rough year, and it’s been magnified on the internet.

    Dragon Age 2 just wasn’t great. The fights were boring with crazy difficulty spikes and giant health bars to distract you from the fact that there weren’t half as many spells or abilities, and you had no real narrative control over your character or the plot.

    Old Republic has and will consistently take a beating from people that want it to not be an MMO. It doesn’t matter that it’s a very smooth MMO launch, or that it offers several improvements over WoW. I’ve played it and really enjoyed what I played.

    Mass Effect 3 sounds like a good shooter with shitty endings. That really shouldn’t surprise people given the terrible ending of Mass Effect 2. But they’re paying the price for their hubris. If you say in a public forum that a game series is “this generation’s Star Wars” it better be as good as Star Wars.

    I don’t think any of their games have been bad; they’re still really good developers. But better games have been coming out in the last few years (Deus Ex, New Vegas) while their games have been declining in quality.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      “That really shouldn’t surprise people given the terrible ending of Mass Effect 2.”

      i found it a good ending….it concluded well, and considered our efforts in the rest of the game and our decisions in the last mission.

      • InternetBatman says:

        The final mission was fine. The giant human head was just dumb. It stretched credibility beyond belief. After that, the only two options were give the ship to Cerberus or destroy it, which was just ridiculous. You couldn’t give it to the Council or the human military. You couldn’t try to have your team take over the ship.

  37. Eddy9000 says:

    I’m sure everyone’s seen this, but I think it’s one of the best Downfall parodies made yet:

  38. Fiwer says:

    They could change the ending to an autistic 6 year-old Shepard staring into a snow-globe with the Citadel inside of it with Doctor Harbinger watching over him and it would still undermine the universe less than the actual ending did.

  39. Mokes says:

    “it would undermine the universe they created”

    Oh please, they’ve already done that several times.

  40. engion3 says:

    I CRIED SO LONG AND SO HARD, I LOST MY JOB, MY CHILDREN, AND MY DIGNITY. I DEMAND BIOWARE MAKE A SPECIFIC VERSION FOR JUST ME AND PAY ME TO PLAY IT GOD DAMNIT.

  41. ZX k1cka55 48K says:

    Ray Muzyka:
    After reviewing feedback from our respected fans and ME community, we now working on 3 more different game-endings for ME3 (all of the hard choices that you made in ME1 and ME2 will finally matter!):
    1. Chocolate-colored explosion
    2. Rosa-colored explosion
    3. Rainbow-colored, epic explosion (Warning: Might Cause Seizures)
    We hope new colors will provide more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey.

    P.S.
    If you are a dog, or one of our Colorblind fans, you unfortunately, will still experience only one ending…*sorrry* ^_^’
    P.S.S.
    We aim to release all new endings at the same time and A.S.A.P. (so plz don’t sell your game to GameStop yet ^:^).
    Estimated Release Date is probably next week! Yes you read it right!
    Our team has many talented and hardly working…i mean hardworking people, this is why it’s possible! (well, having tons of stock images and google image search helps a lot too!) ^.^

  42. FunkyBadger3 says:

    I really detest the lower half of the internet.

  43. RakeShark says:

    Personally, I think the Olympic system of review is the best.

    No matter how pretty the dance is, not matter how many spins you do, and no matter many somersaults you flip: You have to land the ending to get the best points.

  44. DoctorBrain says:

    A new ending would be nice, but it won’t fix the game’s flaws: the limited dialogue options, the bland new characters, the lackluster graphics, the fetch quests, the useless quest journal, the poor pacing in late game, the nonsensical actions of previously-established characters. New Ending DLC will bring us the closure we want but it won’t bring us the game that ME3 deserved to be.

  45. Bfox says:

    *spoilers*

    Why did no-one understand the real meaning of the “ending”? Explained;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythY_GkEBck&context

    • Grim_22 says:

      This bothers me as well. Bioware may have written the single most amazing ending in recent story telling, and it appears to have just flown right over everyone’s heads. If this is true, which it more than likely is looking at all the proof (although that particular video is reaching a bit at some points, even if it is very well done), then Bioware has accomplished something truly extraordinary by taking a core idea from the series and actually applied it to the players psyche, creating the ultimate “choice-consequence” scenario at the end of a trilogy based around the concept.

      Honestly, it’s mind-blowing on an entirely new level.

      • pkdawson says:

        The funny thing is, basically everyone defending the ending is doing it based on a straight reading, accepting everything that happens, everything that’s said at face value. Including and especially critics.

        I don’t have the highest opinion of Bioware generally, but I do think they’ve done something extraordinarily clever here, and the fallout is going to be even more interesting than the drama over the original ending.

    • Booch says:

      I don’t understand why this is a superior ending, sure it has the ‘whoa’ factor, but it doesn’t give closure on anything if it’s true. At least the non-indoctrination ending gives you closure with the illusive man and the reaper threat. Sure you might argue that Bioware planned for this and was intending on releasing ending DLC all along ( where you see what happens after the indoctrination attempt), but that’s just as bad as realizing your ending has holes and releasing DLC to fix them after the fact. One ending is lazy and the other is just exploitative, pick your poison.

      • Grim_22 says:

        Booch:

        Normally, I would agree with you on this. But, and this is a very important ‘but’; the current ending, as it were, was leaked long before release. This is Bioware’s solution. People didn’t expect them to keep the ending after the backlash, but here it is, turned into a mess littered with plotholes and details that just scream “this isn’t real”. But people were so caught up in the fact that it was already an established ending through the leak, so they just didn’t see past the very thin veil. This is the very essence of indoctrination. That’s why it’s so clever, and that’s why it works so extremely well.

        One would argue that only hardcore fans would know about the leak, but then one can argue that only hardcore fans would sense that *something* is just off in the end and figure this out.

        If this theory is indeed true, then this is for us hardcore fans. And honestly… I couldn’t have asked for a better ending. Presuming that it is concluded with new content. For a stunt like this, I’d gladly pay for DLC, and that’s a whole ‘nother level of indoctrination. Besides, I have a feeling that the true ending is going to be free. I know, I know… “EA is evil, spawn of the devil, back to your pit” etc. But for the first time since Dragon Age 2, I have faith in Bioware. And if they do this right, they will be giants in gaming history.

  46. fitzroy_doll says:

    And people wonder why Valve haven’t delivered an ending to the HL2 universe. Although I’m not sure waiting until no one cares anymore and then waiting some more is such a great strategy.

    • Prime says:

      The writing in Half-Life 2 onwards is about as good and well-planned as Mass Effect 3 apparently is. Perhaps forgetting about the entire franchise is wisdom on Valve’s part.

  47. Uthred says:

    Its art baby!

  48. Eldray says:

    Do they really plan to sell an alternative ending for money?

    Why do people buy this stuff?

    Don’t they know that everything can be had for free via BitTorrent and other avenues?

    Surely they don’t want to voluntarily give money to those who fuck stuff up and then charge instead of refunding to fix it?

  49. Grimh says:

    Meh, this is my canon ending now http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythY_GkEBck
    For me the only way they can save the ending right now is if they work this angle.