BioWare Calibrates Mass Effect Extended Cut For June 26

By Nathan Grayson on June 23rd, 2012 at 9:00 am.

Oh man, the space light went out again. Can someone rummage through the closet and get me a new one?

You may not have heard, but the Mass Effect trilogy tried to end earlier this year. It was all like, “OK folks, that’s our show!” And then everyone held hands and bowed at the same time. As the curtains closed, I even briefly caught a glimpse of Shepard and Harbinger hugging. They had quite a run together, those two. Fans, though, weren’t so keen on the space odyssey’s final moments. Perhaps the krogan dance number lacked ‘zazz. Maybe the one-fourth scale replica of the Normandy that ran on doves and confetti was a bit much. Regardless, BioWare decided to have another go at it. Just, you know, better this time, apparently.

The latest official line on the free DLC – which will board the mass effect relay (aka, giant space gun) to our hard drives on June 26 and, based on an audio Q&A, weigh in at close to 2GB – describes it as follows:

“The Extended Cut expands on the endings of Mass Effect 3 through additional scenes and epilogue sequences. It provides more of the answers and closure that players have been asking for. It gives a sense of what the future holds as a result of the decisions made throughout the series. And it shows greater detail in the successes or failures based on how players achieved their endings.”

“The Extended Cut is an expansion of the original endings to Mass Effect 3. It does not fundamentally change the endings, but rather it expands on the meaning of the original endings, and reveals greater detail on the impact of player decisions.”

Will it live up to fan expectations, though? Can anything bring their stratospheric demands back down to earth? We’ll find out in a few days. The bigger question, though, is what sort of precedent this will set for controversial endings in the future. And on that front, it sounds like BioWare’s opted to stick to its guns, but with a healthy dose of bigger, better, more. We’ll see, though. And then we’ll probably talk about it incessantly again for, like, a month. Because the Internet.

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110 Comments »

  1. Mr. Mister says:

    Meh. Never understood the desire for a CG video.

  2. RogerMellie says:

    Will they do something about that poxy Galaxy at War rating thing so I don’t have to do a load of MP to see the ‘best’ new ending?

    • Joannes says:

      A post on the BioWare forum claims that “we are moving to a post-launch period and have additional content for the endings, so we wanted to make it easier for all players to experience even the best-cast endings.”

      No word on what specific changes are made, and the post emphasises again that “if you don’t play multiplayer, you have to find other ways raise to raise your EMS before attempting to retake Earth, including a comprehensive single player playthrough.”

      That probably means tediously grinding out every single fetch quest. So until we know what exactly has been changed there, it does sound like nothing much has.

      • RogerMellie says:

        Roger that. Cheers for the info Joannes. I got my money’s worth from ME3 so I don’t want to moan too much but that design decision did grate.

      • ThTa says:

        They said exactly nothing, it’s the same thing they said prior to launch. Which means you’ll still need to do multiplayer/stupid iOS games.

      • FlammableD says:

        Eh, I was always OK with it, I wanted to finish every quest I had before the end,

      • Ringwraith says:

        I did every side quest and still apparently fell short of the “best” ending, but really, it’s not worth it. It really isn’t.
        I still don’t fell my time was wasted on them, as I felt as though I was helping the war effort.

    • Thirdstar says:

      I might just play some MP anyway to get the readyness up. It’s not bad per se, but it does get old very fast.

    • nasenbluten says:

      Hint, hint: http://pastebin.com/2hxnUry8

    • Deston says:

      I used Gibbed’s excellent ME save game editor to bypass the MP on principle. I just set my Galaxy At War assets high enough to change the *50% modifier you get on your score by default to an effective *100%.

      http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/995487-mass-effect-3/62195311

      I know the MP isn’t half bad, but I absolutely can’t stand the way they linked it into SP story.

      • FrankTheCat says:

        There’s a better way to get the readiness rating to 100% without doing the stupid multiplayer stuff, or editing any of your war asset’s ‘strength’ ratings. I just tested it and it brought my EMS up to over 6k, and I’ve never participated in one of the multiplayer campaigns (I’ve just collected every war asset I could.) YMMV.

        • Bob says:

          There’s a guy on the BSN that has an edited coalesced ini ready for download. After playing paragon John and renegade Jane and getting only 3000 points, I grabbed it, and at the end had well over 10000. Not that there’s much difference to the endings anyway.

          Since the DLC is free I’ll probably get it.

    • RogerMellie says:

      Thanks for the suggestions guys! Much appreciated. I’ll give them a bash come June 26th.

  3. Nokterian says:

    I will watch it on youtube…

    • nasenbluten says:

      Me too, I won’t install it again to view 3 crappy .BIKs.

      • Optimaximal says:

        Because we know for sure they’ll be .bik files and not fully acted in-engine scenes with variations based on the decisions made across the last 3 games.

        • nasenbluten says:

          Even if it is done with the engine someone will capture and upload it. Too little too late, I don’t care anymore.

          • celozzip says:

            if that’s true then you never cared in the first place and shouldn’t be in this thread.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      I’m not sure if I want to even make the effort to check the endings on youtube at this point, but I guess curiosity will force me to.

  4. Jimbo says:

    I bet it Wrex the trilogy even more than the original ending did.

    • LionsPhil says:

      On the other hand, I geth it can’t get much worse than the average game ending it’s competing with.

    • c-Row says:

      I really hope people will enjoy this Mordin the first.

    • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

      It seemed that they are trying to release this DLC Asari as possible.

    • NathanH says:

      Let’s hope the writers have earned their Salarians this time.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I’m still not sure I agree with the Catalyst that led to extending the ending. Caving into the Legion of fans could end up being a real Thane in their side, but I guess you Reap what you sow. It could be a Harbinger of a future of consumers who think they have a Sovereign right to demand change to someone’s creative vision. This DLC could be the Normandy landings of a war that the artists aren’t going to win now.

    • DHP says:

      Well, i suppose i’ll give it a scan, but i’m keeping a Tali of biowares mistakes now.

    • IntelliMoo says:

      You all should be read your Miranda rights!

    • Smion says:

      Normandy, I’d disagree with so much pesimism and negativity. But if you consider how the series hyper-jumped to full on retardedness with the original ending I can only fear what they think up for the ending’s ending.

      (I made a pun comment. Are you proud of me now, daddy? Daddy?)

    • Araxiel says:

      I think they should BioWare that the fan expectations are quite high. I sure had the feeling they don’t know Jack about ending a series. But I still think BioWare are the Paragons of great story telling and I won’t stop buying their games and join the other Renegades. But I’m not the very model of a angry internet man either. But this entire debacle sure is a Vanguard for future games. Developers have to Adept to this new internet age. Let’s just hope for the future that EA did not Indocrinate them into mindless money Collectors.

      But that makes me wonter how they will end their other gaming series. Their other RPG is in the same Merril of having a stupid ending. Hawk they learned anything from this? Maybe I will Sten corrected and it will end well. Or maybe it will again end bad and we will hear a Chantry throughout the Internet on how the ending Genlock (ran out of puns)

    • ClockworkTiger says:

      At this point I don’t even care. When I saw the first ending I was red with rage that I had rushed out to drop a bunch of green to get this game. But now when I think how those last five minutes kind of ruined this thing I loved so much, I just get blue.

  5. goatmonkey says:

    I wish Drew Karpyshyn had been the lead writer on ME3 I might have got an end to the series that didn’t entirely kill my interest in the fiction then.

    • ThTa says:

      I’m not really getting the love Karpyshyn’s been getting post-ME3, he wasn’t very good, either. He might’ve been able to dump tons of lore on people, but he couldn’t write a compelling story if his life depended on it – his additional books for the series make that even more obvious.

      People tend to forget that the Mass Effect series featured a great deal of writers, all working together and keeping eachother in check, the reason the ending failed so miserably was because all of a sudden, the lead writer and project lead deemed themselves infallible and did things on their own. Which lead to them not having proper editors, nor taking into account the lore other writers had come up with. For example, when they had the relays blow up, they might have thought it was just some neat symbolism. But for all of the players who’d actually invested in the series, the initial response would have been “Oh God, we just killed everyone, for no reason.” Sure, additional observation made it obvious that wasn’t their intention (energy pulse instead of actual explosion, whatever), but it completely disregards what other writers had presented to players as fact before.

      Additionally, I’d argue the series’ strenght was never in the actual story, but in the characters. ME1 was still halfway decent, but ME2 and 3′s main arcs failed to interest me at all, while the characters became ever more engaging.
      But even one of their top-notch character writers, Patrick Weekes, is obviously lost without the others offering feedback, as evidenced by his contribution to the character-centric “Mass Effect Homeworlds” comic series being utterly horrible and incosistent. (Just like all of the other comics.)

      So yeah, all I’m hoping for with this stuff is that they’d actually bothered to check eachother’s work. Though all their previous claims of “artistic integrity” don’t yield much reassurance, in that respect.

      • goatmonkey says:

        Maybe you’re right but when Karpyshyn has come out with the ending he intended and it sounds far superior to the ending that we got I can’t help but feel I would have been happier had his vision been the one they went with.

      • Archipelagos says:

        “Additionally, I’d argue the series’ strenght was never in the actual story, but in the characters.”

        That makes it sound like Lost. In my opinion that isn’t a good thing, especially in terms of narrative satisfaction.

        • Ringwraith says:

          It’s better than Lost for character-driven stuff. At least the situations they’re in make sense.
          There’s more narrative impact in some five-minute sidequests in ME3 than some games have in their entire length.

          • Jerakal says:

            They’ve certainly taken queues from Lost’s “Random Horseshit” style of writing.

          • jrodman says:

            Apologies for nitpicking, but the word is ‘cues’ as in pointers or suggestions or indicators. ‘queues’ means waiting lines, or holding pens.

          • JetBalrog says:

            All I have to say is: Elcor homeworld. I was sad that you really could do nothing for them, but in literally five minutes, you get such an emotional impact… it really makes you want to make the Reapers pay. Five minutes, creating such an emotional impact… That gave me chills.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Same with a certain writing you have to deliver. Strong stuff.

  6. Bilateralrope says:

    Is it going to either admit that Garrus and Tali are doomed to starve if they survived all three games, pull some BS that saves them, or just say that they survive ?

    • Vorphalack says:

      The middle one. This isn’t a fix for the plot holes, it’s more like self justification for their own bullshit.

    • wryterra says:

      This particular complaint has always confused me. You know the ships are capable of FTL flight independent of the relays, right? That just because they can’t zip across half a galaxy in an instant they can still fly from star to star, refuelling, dumping off engines and finding food.

  7. bhlaab says:

    Can anything bring their stratospheric demands back down to earth?

    Well geez if the color orange couldn’t sate them what will

    • Grygus says:

      Yeah I don’t blame the fans for this one; ending Mass Effect should have been the easiest story-writing task of all time. The characters are well-defined, the ending conflict is obvious, and the only challenge should have been creating multiple endings for all the crew possibilities and a whole lot of short CGI clips to show the various effects of the quests that fed the War Readiness state.

      Instead, BioWare created multiple endings that had almost nothing to do with anything that came before and were explicitly chosen, instead of the being some logical result of the pile of choices made to that point. I have no problem with killing Shepard. I’d even accept a fail state if it made any sense. But this ending is satirical; I really felt like BioWare was making fun of me for having bothered with their game: “look, you can run the rat maze and push buttons, but it’s just a maze with buttons. We decide, not you. The cheese is ours. You have created nothing.”

    • LintMan says:

      “Can anything bring their stratospheric demands back down to earth?”

      Really? “Stratospheric demands”? Screw you.

      I think that an ending that made sense and reflected your in-game actions rather than boiling them down to a single score tied into to multiplayer and then funneled into Red, Green or Blue choices isn’t an unreasonable expectation and would have satisfied most ME players.

    • Grover says:

      That little barb was totally unwarranted. RPS seems to buy into that whole “gamers are entitled” thing that corporate PR pushes out to lower expectations and keep us buying, though.

      • Klaus says:

        I dunno, I thought the whole fiasco was a tad hyperbolic, they (the vocal minority) were basically frothing at the mouth. Unfortunately that made the rest of you sane ones look bad, too.

  8. Thirdstar says:

    I got to wonder though, is this going to be a good thing or a bad thing for Bioware. To be honest, I had forgotten about the ME3′s endings controversy and had frankly moved on. My attention had moved to upcoming projects and kickstarters. It’s kind of depressing that the internet is going to talk about this incessantly for a month. I don’t want to be reminded about disappointing games/endings everywhere I turn. I’m going to give it a look of course, I’m morbidly curious that way, but I would have been perfectly fine personally if the EC never happened.

    • John Connor says:

      People still talk about Lost’s terrible ending. People talk about how the Star Wars prequels turned Darth Vader into a whiny teen.

      Why is it okay for them, but not Mass Effect fans?

      • Keirley says:

        I think there’s a difference. There’s nothing wrong with people talking about a disappointing ending of a tv show/film/novel/game/etc. – god knows I’ve bored enough people with my complaints about Lost’s dumb ending.

        With ME3 then problem is that a hell of a lot of people aren’t just saying that the ending was stupid. They’re calling for Bioware to rewrite of the ending to their liking, and for some reason Bioware got cowed into doing it. It’s okay to hate the ending of Lost, but if you demand for the show’s writers to change it then…well, I think that’s just a really weird thing to do.

        • John Connor says:

          Surely that’s no different to fans criticising George Lucas for adding all the shit he has to the original trilogy? Everyone was pissed of massively when the Blurays came out and they discovered the new “Krayt Dragon call” and the new “nooooooo,” demanding he release a version without any changes.

          And what about Ridley Scott’s Final Cut of Blade Runner? Or Conan Doyle bringing Holmes back from death?

          • EPICTHEFAIL says:

            Maybe we will get a new ending for New Battlestar Galactica out of this. I can dream, can`t I?

        • Godwhacker says:

          They’re not rewriting it, they’re expanding it. The same stuff will happen.

          What’s horrible is how they’re trying to cast the vast number of fans who flat-out hated the ending as some sort of passionate minority… yet they wouldn’t even be doing this if there weren’t such a huge outcry at how botched the endings were. And again and again they talk about how people just wanted more ‘closure’, when the overwhelming number of people just wanted to shoot the Starchild.

          Nobody’s really coming out of this looking great, to be honest

          • Jerakal says:

            God forbid anyone could just come out and admit that they fucked up. Maybe after they’ve sold their inevitable GOTY edition and wrung as much money out of people as possible?

        • NathanH says:

          That people who make inferior products such as TV series wouldn’t spend time trying to make something nobody liked into something some people like just goes to show how superior video gaming is.

        • djim says:

          They are not changing the ending though so what you say is irrelevant. Actually one of the heads (don’t remember which of the two said in a way that they cut some of the ending scenes because of time restraints. This extended ending is those scenes and maybe a few more. I hope it makes the ending better because the game is awesome and it deserves a better ending.

        • jalf says:

          So? Why exactly is that wrong? Unusual, sure, but wrong?

          Of course, it’s up to Bioware (or George Lucas, or the writers behind Lost) whether to *do* anything about those complaints.

          But I have absolutely no concern about people saying “this ending is rubbish. Fix it”.

          Also, of course, those other franchises were in a different situation. They were never sold on “your choices matter”, or “this is *your* Shepard, saving the galaxy *your* way”. Mass Effect was always billed as one where the player actually got to influence the story.

          And now, players are calling on Bioware for a way to influence the ending of the story.

          Makes sense, and given how amazingly badly thought out the ending was, I really don’t have a problem with the way people reacted to it.

  9. Njordsk says:

    Great. I, someday, play to play the whole triology in a row, but only the scenario mission, I won’t replay the side quest.

    This game is fantastic, truly.

  10. gschmidl says:

    Does that mean people will shut the hell up about Diablo 3 already?

    • Grygus says:

      Ha ha! Now that you mention it, I didn’t much like the ending for Diablo III, either.

  11. Dowr says:

    The actual game isn’t worth replaying just to view some cinematic’s.

    • DPB says:

      You don’t need to replay the entire game, just start from the autosave it creates after the ending, which puts you back on the Normandy before the last areas.

      • Ringwraith says:

        You can always put the difficulty down to easy too, that should make it a breeze.

        • Yosharian says:

          Or you could throw mass effect 3 into a nearby bin and play a good game, and forget all about the stupid endings altogether

          • Ringwraith says:

            It’s not a bad game, in fact it’s really good for most of it. Then the writing quality takes a bellyflop into the sea in the last five minutes.

          • Jerakal says:

            That’s what is so mindblowing about the whole thing, how could they spend so much time making the game as good as it was and then possibly consider this ending to be anything more than the shitpile that it is?

            It’s like they outsourced the ending to a bunch of chimps on typewriters.

          • NathanH says:

            Even more confusing when the way to do the ending was pretty straightforward. We don’t need any of that reapers-have-a-higher-purpose nonsense about synthetics vs humans. Reapers harvesting all life in order to create new Reapers would have worked fine as a motivation. And the “lol, no more mass relays” was just pulled out of thin air for no apparent reason. It’s like they thought that they had to be really smart with their ending, but then forgot to actually be really smart.

          • Yosharian says:

            It is actually a bad game. You’re just blinded by the fact you’ve never considered the possibility. And this is not coming from someone who hates the series, far from it. There is a lot more wrong with ME3 than just the poxy half-assed endings.

          • Dominic White says:

            Ah, the old Emperor’s New Clothes routine. I’m sure that running around saying ‘YOU’RE ALL BLIND! THE GAME IS TERRIBLE AND NONE OF YOU CAN SEE IT! I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS THE TRUTH! THE TRUUUUUUUUTH!’ doesn’t make you sound crazy at all!

          • Grygus says:

            The game until the ending is great. You’re just too bitter to see it. Nobody would care about the ending if the game up until then had been bad; nobody would have made it that far, and/or expectations would have been low. Fact is, until the bright light goes off you are led to believe that you are playing the best Mass Effect of the trilogy.

          • Yosharian says:

            Yeah I am pretty bitter, who wouldn’t be after investing time, money and various other things into this series. The brilliant space exploration game that was Mass Effect 1 has gradually turned into a Gears of War clone. Barf. Nothing exemplifies Bioware’s descent into mediocrity more than what’s happened to this series.

    • djim says:

      It is worth replaying because of the fun. It has huge amounts of it.

  12. MichaelPalin says:

    Said many times before, but, extending a broken thing does not generally fix it, Bioware. Let’s hope they at least don’t break it any further.

  13. senorpoco says:

    I was expecting a short scene explaining the fate of each of the main characters and races, heck even the original fallout games managed to give you a tailored ending depending on your game decisions. At the end of the day it doesn’t address the fundamental breakdown at the end of the game where you are boxed into picking one of three endings with no connection to anything you have done over the previous three games.

  14. Fox89 says:

    Excellent news! I didn’t like the original endings, and was very pleased to hear of the extended versions they were making. I’m not entirely sure if I have a save from the right place to see the new content (which needs to be before visiting the Cerberus base), but I am part way through a new game with a new Shepard.

    I need to get back to playing that pretty soonish!

  15. Jerakal says:

    “Stratospheric demands.”
    Really? An ending that doesn’t lick taint counts as stratospheric these days? Not that this DLC will do anything to make the endings any less rubbish. We’re just going to get more detailed rubbish.

  16. jalf says:

    The bigger question, though, is what sort of precedent this will set for controversial endings in the future

    Honestly, I hope it’ll set a precedent. This isn’t really about controversial endings, but lazy ones.

    I would have had no problem with a controversial ending. Let the reapers wipe out Earth to save the galaxy. Sacrifice Joker to the dark gods or have Shepard marry Harbinger and live happily ever after.

    But don’t tell me that after Shepard fights her way onto the Citadel, she passes out from blood loss, and then the manager decides to invite her up for a chat and tells her that “despite EDI and the Geth helping you guys out, it is inevitable that synthetics rebel against their creators, so to save you all from the synthetics, I set my army of synthetics to wipe you out. But clearly that doesn’t work any more, so which color Deus Ex Machina beam would you like to destroy the Mass Relays for no apparent reason?”

    Don’t tell me that for no apparent reason, the Normandy is suddenly travelling through a mass relay.

    It’s not controversial, it’s lazy. As if Harry Potter ended with the tooth fairy coming out of nowhere to save the day.

    It just doesn’t make any sense.

    You know what?

    I’m perfectly fine with a precedent that “if you try to pull shit like this, people are going to call you on it”.

    Bioware doesn’t have to do anything about it, they’re free to say “this is our ending, and we’re sticking with it”. But I’m glad that people are speaking up, because this isn’t a controversial ending, it’s just a lazy one which contradicts most of what’s been happening throughout the trilogy.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I agree, bioware should be grateful that they have fans passionate enough to care and call them on it, rather than just going ‘meh’ and quietly avoiding their future ME3 DLC and possibly even games.

  17. fuggles says:

    I think they will retcon indoctrination theory in to please the fans, by the way Inspector Gadget was also indoctrinated:

  18. Koozer says:

    Sale time? \o/

  19. mouton says:

    Ok, Bioware, so now you might consider lowering the prices of ME2 DLC. Because it has been, you know, a few years now and they are at release price. And frankly, it kind of put me off from the whole franchise a bit.

    • fuggles says:

      good luck with that, still waiting for dragon age dlc to drop.

      • kud13 says:

        huh? DA Ultimate edition (with all DLCs included) is on sale quite regularly.

        I think i’ve actually bought ME2 on one of the Steam sales, but I still haven’t played ME, since it stubbornly refuses to play on my laptop (which manages to load The Witcher 2), and the idea of spending extra tons of money on DLC is incredibly off-putting.

  20. Dominic White says:

    ME3 was a pretty good game, with a bunch of clever moments throughout, and yes, the ending was a bit of a mess. It felt like the writer didn’t turn up on the last day, so they handed the duty to Kevin the intern, who once played a bit of ME1 & 2, but doesn’t remember it too well.

    This video just about sums up all the ways the ending is broken – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MlatxLP-xs

    It just about comes out of nowhere, magic things happen and the credits roll. It was lame and unsatisfying, and I just kinda forgot about the game after that. Disappointment is a reasonable reaction. Frothing nerdrage and eternal blood-feuds with everyone who has ever broken bread with Bioware? Less so. I’m glad they’re going to try and revise it a bit, but I’m also slightly horrified by the reaction from the fanbase.

    The Endor Holocaust theory (almost everyone in the galaxy dies because there’s no food without mass relays, and Earth is destroyed by falling debris) and the Indoctrination theory strike me as stages of grief. Vitriolic, self-destructive anger and denial in particular. Mass Effect was a decent shooter/RPG hybrid series, but the level of emotional investment some people had in it is slightly worrying.

    • piratmonkey says:

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought those theories were silly.

    • WHS says:

      This is dumb.

      A lot of the backstory rewarded attention to detail, so it’s frustrating that the ending was apparently written by someone who assumed we wouldn’t notice that the details made no sense.

      It’s even worse because the game seems to assume we were doing everything we were doing to save Earth, when in reality, we’ve had three games worth of story continually reminding us that all life is important and that it’s just as noble to sacrifice ourselves to save the Elcor as it is to save humanity. Even the “good” ending is really only good if you have the mindset of Racist Ashley from ME1.

    • bleeters says:

      “It felt like the writer didn’t turn up on the last day, so they handed the duty to Kevin the intern, who once played a bit of ME1 & 2, but doesn’t remember it too well.”

      Depressingly, the ending was written by Mac Walters. Their lead writer. Who, as far as I’m aware, has been involved in Mass Effect since the first game.

      That said, he also wrote the introduction section on Earth, which was generally terrible as well. WE FIGHT OR WE DIE. Yeah.

  21. Cockles says:

    I am starting the “forget this craziness about re-writing/expanding the ending and re-write the whole damn game” campaign (I’m not really doing this). The ending is the obvious focus for the poor plot writing but most of mass effect 3 stinks of having to shoe-horn elements in for marketing or “cool” purposes, which can be fine unto itself if written correctly, but the massive plot holes and general confusing nature of the ending just underscore the rest of the problems with this game.

    I still think it’s good overall though, I had a lot of fun and most of the character’s and their dramatic conflicting situations were great, the combat mechanics were much improved over the previous games and the general feeling of “everyone is at war and the galaxy is going down the (black) plug-hole” really translated well but the Cereberus plotline doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m not talking about the logic of harnessing the reaper’s power and indoctrination but the way it’s implemented is purely an excuse to shoot humans so that there can be different enemy type in multiplayer, that’s how it feels to me anyway, and this means writing a load of bullshit in order for them to be something for some reason.

    ME has always been about having to make the dramatic decisions; do you save one guy and let others die etc? The ending in ME3 seemed like they loved Deus EX HR’s philispohical ending and tried to follow suit. The thing is, DX was set up the conflict all the way through the game and was designed with it’s central argument in place, ME just pulled it out of nowhere in the last 5 minutes and thought this was an acceptable way to make an intellectually stimulating decision when really, it should have just played to it’s strengths and followed what the previous games did (do yo go “paragon” and sacrifice one group or “renegade” to sacrifice another).

    So, in summary, until EA and Bioware pull all their developers from other projects and rewrite this game from scratch so that it just focuses on the thing ME is good at, I will NEVER buy any of their DLC or non-game merchandise. Any of their games I do play, I’ll play whilst making an angry face through gritted teeth. And I’ll draw penises on the faces of characters on the boxes and mail it to their offices or, if buying any digital versions, will use MS paint on screenshots of their characters.

  22. Kester says:

    Yes! Laziness pays off – still haven’t managed to finish the game, so maybe I’ll get to partially avoid the terrible ending everyone’s been banging on about.

    Although to be honest, I haven’t been too impressed with the writing all the way through so far, which is why I haven’t finished it yet (and I loved 1 and 2). The majority of missions are just an excuse to shoehorn some previous character in rather than introducing something new; it feels lazy and seems as if they couldn’t be bothered to come up with any good original plotlines. One or two have been really good though, so it’s not all grumbling. Everything on Tuchanka was great.

  23. WHS says:

    Has anyone else noticed that ME3′s ending and ME2′s main arc have the exact same problem?

    Virtually every moral dilemma in the entire trilogy can essentially be boiled down into “All lives are important and worth saving” vs. “Only human beings matter.” ( This is kind of ludicrous on its own, because anyone who played three games worth of Mass Effect and still genuinely chooses the latter is a moral monster.) But the main plot arcs both ME2 and ME3 are essentially premised on complete anthrocentrism.

    Like, all the details aside, the overarching problem with ME3′s ending is that it says “You saved Earth, good job!” and doesn’t stop for one second to consider whether players would have maybe wanted to save the Hanar and Elcor and Geth and Turians and Quarians, too. Maybe even if Earth had to eat it in the process.

    But of course, in ME2, you’re (sort of pointlessly) killed off and then explicitly brought back from the dead in order to become humanity’s protector. Nevermind the galaxy full of injustices and atrocities, Shepherd’s number one priority is “Humans are being abducted, so I better go save them.” It’s stupid. I cared a fraction as much about the abducted human colonies as did about the generations of torment that the genophage inflicted on the Krogans, or the geth and their daddy issues, or even the politics on the Omega station or whatever.

    Basically, it’s the story the Illusive Man would have written. Right down to the way that the ageless, inscrutable, indomitable force menacing the galaxy seems to just mostly care about human beings. It’s incredibly obnoxious in both games, but ME3 doesn’t really give you a choice of focusing on the side missions and ignoring the dumb crap bookending them.

    • WHS says:

      On a semi-related note, did anyone else find it strange and creepy how obsessed with “race” all the Mass Effects are? Nobody wants to let their “race” die… but not because, you know, that would entail the extermination of billions upon billions of living beings, but because racial heritage is more important than the individual. It made sense coming from the Krogans but caused total cognitive dissonance coming from Tali or Legion. How is this any different from 19th century pseudoscience about the Negroids, Mongoloids, and Caucasoids?

      • Rhalle says:

        I was with you until the last sentence.

        Anyway, BW games always have the racial conflict subplot.

        Always.

        It’s one part Tolkien, one part Canadian political correctness.

      • jalf says:

        Would you be happier if they said “species” throughout? Just trying to figure out where you’re coming from.

        It’s natural that pretty much any lifeform doesn’t want to see its genetic heritage survive. As a Turian, you’ve evolved over billions of years to further the survival of your genes: Turian genes. You have no intrinsic interest in Asari or Quarian genes. You haven’t evolved to fight for the survival of them. You have nothing in common with them.

        That’s very different from the pseudoscience you mention: every human being shares a vast proportion of genetic material with every other human being: human beings have evolved to further the survival of the human race as a whole. Pretending that I have nothing in common with africans or asians is absurd. But Asari, Geth or Elkor? Even if they existed, we wouldn’t have a single gene in common.

        Of course, as rational, sentient beings, each of them are *also* concerned with the survival of other species. I don’t recall many people throughout the series going “I don’t give a damn if all the aliens die, as long as my species survive”. They generally care. They just care *more* about their own species.

        Perhaps it is creepy. But it shouldn’t be surprising. It’s just people obeying the single strongest urge that evolution has imbued in them: ensuring the propagation of your genes. It’s the same reason why people care more about their children or parents than about some distant cousin. And why they care more about the distant cousin than the stranger on the street. And why they care more about the stranger on *their* street than a stranger on a street in another country. And they care more about *that* guy than about a rabbit. And they care more about a rabbit than an amoeba. Each of these are likely to share more genes with you than the other guy is, so the (sensible) survival strategy we’ve evolved into is to care more about the former than the latter. The more we have in common, the more we care.

        So when people in Mass Effect care about members of an alien species, it is because they’re intelligent, sentient beings who can think for themselves and emphasize with others. But when they care about members of their own species, it is the same *plus* billions of years of evolution screaming in their ear that “if you let this guy die, our common genes will be less likely to survive”.

    • jalf says:

      Like, all the details aside, the overarching problem with ME3′s ending is that it says “You saved Earth, good job!” and doesn’t stop for one second to consider whether players would have maybe wanted to save the Hanar and Elcor and Geth and Turians and Quarians, too. Maybe even if Earth had to eat it in the process.

      I disagree. The overarching problem with ME3′s ending is that it makes no sense. It does not make sense that, after everything else in the game, Shepard is invited up to the frickin’ managers office for a chat. Said manager spews complete nonsense, flatly contradicting facts, explains his “solution” which (a) doesn’t work, and (b) doesn’t solve the problem, and then invites you to pick a magic deus ex machina to handwave the problem away (while also handwaving in some completely unnecessary consequences)

      And then suddenly Joker is flying through mass relay for no goddamn reason, and your team members who were on Earth fighting for their lives a moment ago, are suddenly aboard again.

      The petty details of which planets are saved is secondary, because that would only be significant if the ending made sense.

      (Apart from that, I don’t really see the “it’s all about Earth” thing. We know there were reapers attacking all these other worlds, and we see the magic beam of deus ex machina propagate throughout the galaxy, and we know that it destroys/controls/synergy-whatevers the reapers on contact, thereby making them stop destroying the Quarian, Turian and Asari homeworlds.)

  24. Xocrates says:

    “The bigger question, though, is what sort of precedent this will set for controversial endings in the future”

    From all the discussion around the possibility of changing the ending, I never really saw why there was such a big fuss about this.

    There are loads of precedents, outside and in videogames of changing stuff because it sucked. Heck, changing stuff in movies is common enough to have a name: Director’s cut. And before people bring up Lucas, people don’t bitch about his changes because they were even made, they bitch about them because they made the movies worse.

    Even in videogames, I don’t recall a lot of bitching about the witcher extended editions, and those are not the only games that did that kind of thing.

    Are you worried about companies succumbing to player pressure? What medium are you even talking about? Game companies do that ALL THE FREAKING TIME, but usually they’re praised for “listening to the community”.

    I’m not saying that they should change the ending (I did not play the game to know whether the ending is truly as bad as they say, though from what I’ve seen I believe it to be), but please stop pretending like this is some sort of unprecedented major event.

  25. matrices says:

    Disappointing that RPS opted for the mealy-mouthed euphemism ‘controversial’. Controversial? How about utterly shit? Whitewashing an objectively shit narrative conclusion by waving one’s hand and labeling it ‘controversial’ is such journalistic cowardice, honestly.

    You have sharp and harsh opinions on every random little indie game that comes out; surely you can at least set forth an actual opinion on the ending of one of the biggest franchises in gaming history.

  26. Rhalle says:

    Not that the ending isn’t poorly designed, but sometime in the near future people are going to realize that it made no sense mostly because BW cut too much to sell as DLC. (I’m looking at you Klencory mission.)

    And I agree– there’s something a little too corporate-friendly in the article’s tone.

    RPS suckling on some EA teat?

  27. Saiko Kila says:

    But Mass Effect was all about space zombies already. How can they zombify it even more? Talk about audacity.