Mass Effect 3’s Contentious Ending (Redux)

I would have been just as happy to watch the new Mass Effect 3 endings on YouTube or something. But, I do have a pretty cool piece cooking on the “Extended Cut,” and wanted to be able to speak with some level of authority in my writing. Plus, I was outspoken in the past about the ending, so I figure I owed it to myself. I sped through it today as soon as I could.

It was good. Very good, in fact. It filled in some details, mostly with things I had assumed happened anyway, and added a pretty extended epilogue. It added a lot of little things, and one very large thing. I chose Synthesis again, and actually got a little choked up during EDI’s monologue. I’ll have to check out the other three endings, since I’d rather not go through the whole shebang again just to watch them.

(For some reason, it didn’t let me convince Illusive Man to shoot himself this time. Maybe in my haste I missed a few more paragon opportunities, I don’t know. Oh well, live and let shoot crazy guy in the face.)

For people who complained that the ending left some things unexplained, too vague, or too impersonal, the ending will probably be a balm. For people who just hated the entire concept outright, I don’t think it will change any minds. For people like me, who thought the original ending was fine — not great, just fine — it’s a nice little bonus. Thanks, I suppose.

I guess my central problem with the ending is how it seems to have impacted BioWare’s DLC development plans. Given some comments before the game launched, it seemed clear that BioWare’s original plan was to develop new stories that expand on the “legend” of Shepard. The post-script may have been hokey as hell, but it was a nice creative way to set up that concept. I looked forward to seeing more of Shepard’s adventures, not necessarily connected to the Reaper problem, in the detailed universe that BioWare constructed.

Then, complaints about the ending reached such a fever pitch that BioWare abruptly went silent about single-player DLC, and started talking about this extended cut. I don’t have any certain knowledge, but it seems likely that whatever the developer had planned was scrapped in favor of fixing this PR problem. And personally, I would’ve much rather played interesting new stories, than have BioWare spend those months tweaking an existing part of the story. Maybe it will win some hearts and minds back, but it seems like that ship has largely sailed. So instead of pleasing someone who enjoyed the game and wanted more original content, we had that time devoted to fixing a problem that can never be fully mended. They’ve lost some people, for good, and this ending isn’t going to get them back.

That’s a fairly minor quibble though, especially since it’s all speculation on my part anyhow. The old ending was fine. The new ending is better. And maybe now we can all move on.

At least, after you read the cool feature I’m working on.

  • Seems like most of the Shackers are satisfied with the new ending, or at least more satisfied than they were.
  • I love Resistance more than a reasonable degree, but even I think it’s time to let it go for a while. Insomniac went out on the best game, and the Vita version was kind of a mess.
  • You know those times you go from “I didn’t know about this game” to “oh, that sounds kind of awesome”? That’s how I feel about Rainbow Moon.
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One thought on “Mass Effect 3’s Contentious Ending (Redux)

  1. Maverick-jin8 says:

    I guess I need to reply.
    Old ending was garbage
    New ending was not bad and better than expected (surprised?)

    I feel that this was a victory. Not that the endings were amazingly better but that Bioware caved and changed the endings to something that is actually acceptable. And that they fixed the whole Normandy getting stranded forever and no more relays stuff.

    I told the kid to fuck off, I might have killed everyone in the process but I bet he was mad as hell when the next cycle killed him.

    Me and the ME series are good now. I could actually buy an episode DLC if it came out. But then again if they did make some kind of “Take back Omega” DLC instead of this, they probably wouldn’t have been able to sell it.

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