Why Fans Need To Deal with the Ending to Mass Effect 3

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

The controversy over the ending to Mass Effect 3 has come full circle, resulting in Bioware giving into fan demand and proposing a new ending in the near future, and EA getting stuck with Consumerist.org’s Golden Poo award for “Worst Company in America.”  Being a bit of a slowpoke due to other events in life, I have just finished my play through of Mass Effect 3, and I have watched every version of the infamous ending that everyone cried foul over.  My verdict?  I actually liked the endings, and I have no idea what all the whining was about.  That’s right folks; I’m going to explain why I stand by the ending to this game, even if that means making the entire internet my enemy.  Be warned, there are spoilers ahead…

One of the biggest complaints about the ending seems to be that all of the choices made during the trilogy make no difference in the ending.  Instead, at the end of the game you are given three choices: destroy the reapers and all synthetic beings, at the risk of a future war destroying all life, control the reapers in order to end the war, or to force a new form of evolution that combines organic and synthetic life together for a true peace.  All three choices come with the consequence of the mass relay network being destroyed, meaning interstellar travel is impossible again.  The scenery is mostly the same for each choice.  What people don’t seem to get is that the in game choices are more about how Shepard gets to this point, not so much about how this will affect the ultimate conclusion.  Shepard was fighting against a force that was arguably as old as time itself; it would be silly if your decision to punch a reporter in the face during the first game could have a far reaching effect to change the events of the ending.  This isn’t “The Butterfly Effect,” it’s a story about the sacrifices made to break a cycle of extinction in the galaxy.

Other major complaints seem to be that many gamers don’t feel enough was explained at the end of the game, and that is not a satisfactory conclusion.  I’m going to be very blunt and say that is just plain stupid.  If anything, everything is explained as thoroughly as it needed to be.  What did anyone expect?  Did people actually want to spend an hour at the end watching people wandering around in confusion, wondering what happened to the mass relay network?  Did they want a time skip showing a new galactic civilization, reunited, traveling the stars in pimped-out starships, getting “crunk”, and eating cake?  Bioware had Buzz motherfucking Aldrin himself voice a scene after the credits, of a future generation telling stories about Shepard’s legend to children, and that people are striving to travel the stars again someday.  What more could anyone possibly want!?

The worst part of this train wreck of anger, is the level of stupidity on the part of the gaming community.  One gamer filed a complaint with the FTC over the ending.  A group of “protestors” sent cupcakes with three different colors to symbolize the colored explosions that change in each version of the ending to Bioware.  The worst offense was gamers that flooded the votes for “The Worst Company In America,” causing EA to win over corporations that support unfair labor laws, cheat customers, and in some cases (I’m looking at you, Bank of America), set off a global economic crisis and violated Federal law.  This has made the gaming community look like a bunch of selfish, idiotic man-babies, and is an embarrassment for the community that shares this hobby and the industry behind it.

And for all you haters of the ending, quite possibly fuming with anger after reading this article, I leave you with this:

About the author

Stark

Varms.net's expert on anime and just about anything else you should not discuss with friends, family, and co-workers. I also play some video games so I can complain about them with Gillman.
  • If you feel that your investment was properly returned in the poor quality of the ending of Mass Effect 3, then I will happily sell you a car a friend of mine has.   The gas gauge doesn’t work, so I drew you one in crayon.  The speedometer is stuck, so I put in a chalkboard so you can write in how fast you think you are going (Speculation for everyone!).  If you don’t like it, in 3 months I’ll draw you a gas gauge in magic marker and upgrade your chalkboard to a Lite-Brite. 

    • stark227

       That’s okay, you can just send me some cupcakes to express your anger. 

  • I’m ambivalent. On one hand, ME1 and 2 were very well done, and so much fun that I’ve done multiple playthroughs (Also, Mordin fucking rocks). 

    Having said that, ME3 didn’t play nearly as well. It felt pushy and indifferent, with little regard for serious differences in paragon/renegade scores, or anything but a token throwback to previous choices made (oh, great. Kelly didn’t die, so now I can tell her to change her name and hide from Cerberus. Yay.) There was limited character development, and what new faces you see (ugh, James) were cardboard-like and one-dimensional. 

    In the end, though, I agree that the ‘experience’ is far more important than the final cinematic. It would be the height of hyperbole to assume that after hundreds of thousands of years of galactic Reapings, this one dude and his ragtag bunch of aliens manages to give a big middle finger to the whole thing. Even if it is Shepard. I know that lots of people plan on happy, fluffy, glittery unicorn and bunny-filled endgames, but that’s not how it works.