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139 comments

  • Eliath - March 15, 2012 8 a.m.

    The ending is excellent and had me in shock for days. I can understand the complaints, and I might be a bit annoyed if I made a million characters to see all the different outcomes. However, I couldn't ask for a better ending. The ending sealed the deal for me as far as the Mass Effect Trilogy goes. It was just a great series, but nothing special. Now I would consider it exceptional as the ending was a lot more mature than I expected. I'm glad BioWare chose to end the trilogy like this. recaptcha: ifickg unhusked... I guess ifickg didn't get turned into a husk?
  • BladedFalcon - March 15, 2012 10 a.m.

    Glad you liked it... but how exactly is the ending mature? Or logical, for that matter? Who the hell was that kid or entity that appeared at the end? WHY did the reapers need that stupid, nonsensical reason to be as they were? (They were supposedly created to stop synthetics from killing life... and the reapers are exactly that.)Wouldn't it have been more mature to just let the reapers do and repeat that cycle because that's simply how they function as a species of their own? Furthermore, the game's last scene makes it seem like it's a happy ending after all, since your crew survived and it's implied everything else in the galaxy did as well... Except all the mass relays were destroyed. And this isn't just a small issue here: In Arrival, destroying a mass relay caused supernova that destroyed a star system, if the destruction of all the mass relays triggered this effect... (And there's no reason why it shouldn't, because again, IT'S NOT EXPLAINED.) Then it means all the star systems next to them were destroyed, including sol and all the other big home-worlds. And I'm just scratching the surface here. for me the problem is not jsut taht the ending is pretty much one single, same ending. The ending itself is poorly explained, and when you think about it, really, really stupid. Again though, this is my take on it, I Am genuinely curious to hear why you consider to be such a great, mature ending. (Unless of course, you are trolling or being sarcastic, in which case I just fell squarely and stupidly in your trap... but meh, I needed to rant anyway)
  • infestedandy - March 16, 2012 12:11 a.m.

    Everything doesn't have to be explained to be appreciated. While I agree they could have done a better job with changing up the endings of the game, it's still a conclusion that has some mystery behind it and that, to me, brings even more to the table. Was Shepard indoctrinated? All signs point to yes. The kid was Harbinger? I also think so. Harbinger was trying to get you to make the wrong choice? I also think this is the case. It's pretty neat how they went about it, especially if you pay attention during the entire last sequence. About the Mass Relays: you're right about what happened in Arrival, but this isn't the same as smashing an asteroid into one. This largely unknown device, The Crucible, contains powers no one fully understands. They took a chance just firing this thing so I'm inclined to believe that the energy it put out was designed for a very specific purpose. Once the energy was shot from one relay, it bounced to all the others, effectively destroying all of them but not making them go nova. Why doesn't this make sense?
  • BladedFalcon - March 16, 2012 6:45 a.m.

    While I agree that not everything has to be explained always. In The Mass Effect Series this has always been a staple and a theme: At least for me, one of the reasons the games have always been compelling is because they show a clear and obvious effort in fleshing out everything: The lore, the universe, the planets, the characters, the relationships. That the game takes a 180° degree turn at the end and fails to explain or flesh out anything, is just out of place with the rest of the series in my opinion, regardless of whether you think the ending is good or not. Basically, all I ask for is consistency, The ME series has always been about choice and a fleshed out detail and story, this ending doesn't really provide either, and like I said before, they could at least have shown a bit more scenes of what happened to those that survived after Shepard. Also, note that in other posts, I've explained that even if the mass relays do not blow up for whatever reason, those left standing on earth are still screwed because FTL is not enough to get back to their homeworlds. And while I don't think this is necessarily bad, as it would make for an interestingly tragic outcome... It's never even acknowledged in the game, you HAVE to admit this is sloppy and a missed opportunity from their part. Furthermore... That you want to think Shepard's indoctrinated only tells me that you actually are unsatisfied with the ending as it is, because you're not taking it at face value, you WANT to think there was more to it, and while I admit the Indoctrination theory is a solid one, it could go either way. Also, if he was indoctrinated, wouldn't the reapers want Shepard to think that the method of combining synthetics and organics is also in the wrong? as it is, they make it feel like it's really the correct choice out of the three, and I don't really see how this benefit the reapers at all, since they also die. And Lastly... Even if Shepard was indoctrinated, there are still massive plotholes in the story. Why and how is Joker escaping the blast with ALL the crew? including those that were in earth? The whole thing from the activation of the crucible to the actual blast doesn't seem to take more than a few minutes, and yet joker somehow managed to fly back to earth, pick up all the crew, then fly back to a mass relay before it is destroyed to escape.... yeah, I'm calling bullshit on that one, specially since why the fuck would joker run? he had no idea what would happen.
  • infestedandy - March 16, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    You do realize that the rest of the Mass Effect games also ended on a similar note, right? The first game introduced you to the Reapers and what they do to the galaxy after 50,000 years. However, even after we find that out nothing is explained at the end of it. We don't know why the Reapers absolutely have to purge the galaxy, where they came from, and who or what is even controlling them (if anyone). ME2 ended with that weird human Reaper fight and, once again, thing weren't explained. How exactly can they create a Reaper from liquifying humans? How does Harbinger change the Collectors/Protheans by directly controlling them? How are they sustained or do they not require anything after the indoctrination process? There is plenty that remains in the unknown and that's why it's so compelling. When a trilogy finishes I understand that people like yourself want more closure, but why do you need it so badly when you know there's going to be more to the franchise? Okay, Shepard's story is done but that doesn't mean we aren't ever going back to the same universe. Yeah, the other races are trapped in Sol, don't you think that makes for an interesting story? We don't what BioWare is going to do with it and it's not up to us to tell them what to do. The final choice you make in ME3 is a huge one. It's an extremely intense situation that you can't know the outcome of. Imagine how little of an impact it would have made if an hour long cut-scene came after it, showing what events took place after the firing of the Crucible. This is the unknown I'm talking about. It's something we're going to have to wait in order to find the true answer. Sure it sucks we can't know more now, but again, after the ending to the first ME it really sucked we had zero answers to all the questions we had about the Reapers. You used a movie, Inception, as an example and it worked out well - I'll follow suit. Ever seen Shutter Island? The end of the movie is an incredible one. If you've been paying attention through the duration of the film, you'd know the ending rides completely on your own observations. Leo's environment looks different for a reason, but if you haven't really been watching this bares no significance whatsoever. ME3's ending works much in the same way. You need to be paying attention to what's going on around you for it to make enough sense. As I stated previously, all signs point to the indoctrination. Not being in control of your character, the crazy black wisps around the edges of your screen, Shepard cringing in pain with a Reaper sound happening whenever he does it, there's plenty to give enough ammunition for the argument. Saying that, don't patronize by telling me that I'm "unsatisfied with the ending." How dare you pretend to have the clairvoyance to be able to tell me what's wrong and what's right? You said yourself that it can go either way and until the next game comes out (or DLC), we'll never know. Also, the Synthesis ending doesn't kill the Reapers. We don't know exactly what it does, but the Catalyst even states that "we will have to work together." We don't know why the Reapers do what they do other than they have to.
  • BladedFalcon - March 17, 2012 6:19 a.m.

    *Nods* First of all, I thank you and appreciate that you've taken the time to respond to most of my complaints, and taht you've done so in a well explained, and mature way. Also, I apologize if right now my answer feels short, since I have work soon and can't afford to respond point by point >>; (I'll try to do that later, if needed be.) Although, regarding most of your responses, I notice a recurring point that I have to disagree with: You are treating ME3 as just another chapter of the ME series, and while I do not doubt that there will be more games coming... I honestly doubt that whatever they do would pick up right on the spot of where this game ended. I mean, you ARE right in that if a direct continuation of this game came out, I'd have much less of a problem with this ending. The thing is: Even from the start, Bioware repeatedly hammered home that this particular story was meant to be a trilogy, and they kept repeating this when ME1 came out, and again when ME2 did. As far as Bioware promised, and as fans were concerned, this game, and the game's ending by extension, were supposed to seal the deal of the franchise completely. And like you're stating, it feels like a lot of what happened could or should be explained or expanded upon in another game, so it doesn't really feel like a true ending of a series that brings closure. So basically... I just don't share your trust that there will be a game that will pick up after this. And if there is... Then what was the point of hyping this to be a trilogy all along?
  • infestedandy - March 17, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    It's a fair point, honestly. Still, you can look at all the other games that also share the whole trilogy setup and see how they ended. Take Gears of War, for instance. While that game wrapped up the story in an understandable way, it sure did end with a hell-load of questions that remain completely unanswered. I don't know if you've played the latest game, but if you have then you surely understand where I'm coming from. If people like yourself have an issue with the ending because there's too much of the unknown, I'm not sure what to tell you. I totally understand where you're coming from but as you told me that I'm not taking something at face value, in this regard you should also do the same. Yes, it's stupid and yes, it's supposed to be the end but the only thing this wraps up is the bulk of Shepard's story. There will be more and I think you and I can both agree on that one. When a company tells me that 'this is it' and this 'last game' is going to wrap up the series, I never take their word for it. Why? Well, isn't it obvious? A money-making machine like Gears of War isn't going to stop just because Shepard's trilogy ends. There's still far too much to tell and that's why they orchestrate this hype train - because it is an end to something.
  • BladedFalcon - March 17, 2012 9:22 a.m.

    Well... Are you really going to compare Gears of War with Mass Effect in terms of storytelling? I mean, Gears of War has it's good moments, sure, but see, THAT is a series that I think can get away with leaving plot-holes and questions unanswered, because it never really went in-depth with anything in the first place. ME in the other hand, is a series that is known for detailing, explaining and fleshing out it's universe. I can understand leaving a lot of questions unexplained in stories that never go into detail about anything. But when you create a series in a scale such as this... Well, honestly, i think an hour long ending would be far more fitting and consistent with the rest of the series. And yes, I agree there will be more of the ME universe to come. But again, I am not as certain as you are that it will be a continuation of the universe after Shepard's actions and the destruction of the mass relays. In fact, I'd think it'd be far more plausible to set the events of any new game BEFORE what happened in ME1. I mean- See, the fact that there are no more Mass relays... it really limits what places you could explore and see... And thus it would also limit the plot and the scale of it a wee bit too much, wouldn't you agree? Not to mention, that whatever you do after would have to take into account whether you destroyed the reapers, chose to control them, or synthesized everything. And while in the ending and how they handled them, they feel basically the same... They would have to have a far larger impact on anything you do after ME3's ending. And i honestly think that's too much of a tall order to tackle on.
  • infestedandy - March 17, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    "...THAT is a series that I think can get away with leaving plot-holes and questions unanswered, because it never really went in-depth with anything in the first place." I get what you mean, but that's an ignorant statement. Gears and Mass Effect aren't similar at all, but in the case of this comparison they certainly are. While Gears missed several golden opportunities to turn the story into something that wasn't so... safe, it still took a lot of time explaining the intricacies of the world. A shooter like this may seem shallow on the surface, but the game explains a lot of content, lore and other things that turned out sort of lame (unfortunately). To our benefit, ME hasn't fallen that low but the games still end on a very similar note. Questions have been resolved but even more have arisen due to the circumstances at the end of the game. Will we ever know what happens? Speaking for both, yeah, I think we eventually will. If we don't then that will be one of gaming's greatest crimes (for both studios). We can't know how BioWare will handle this all and I think it's time we stop being completely ridiculous about this ending. As I've shown, plenty of other games have gone this route and Mass Effect itself has already had a couple endings just like this one. Not exactly the same, but with tons of questions still lingering. There's no reason to get this upset over it when, in time, it will be explained. We're talking about it aren't we? Having such a conflicted, mysterious, and as some would say, ambiguous ending makes games like ME3 that much more interesting. About your comment on the destroyed Mass Relays: this is something we can't know. It certainly makes for an interesting issue with all the races being present, but we don't know what's going to happen. I know I keep saying that, but it's the truth in this matter. Ostensibly, yes, it severely limits what can be done in the game but anything could happen - ANYTHING. Imagine that if you committed to the synthesis ending and the Reapers turned one of their own into a working relay of sorts? Weird? I guess, but they're the ones that come up with the stories, not us. Your passion for the series is commendable, I just wish you and others wouldn't condemn a studio based on the assumption that what was given is all that we're going to get. I do think they could've made the ending cinematics more defined, but I'm not going to let what was given destroy one of the best game franchises I've played. Hopefully you understand that.
  • BladedFalcon - March 17, 2012 11:33 a.m.

    To reply to that last note: I think you probably didn't read my previous posts in this thread, specifically, the first one. If you had, you would have known that I actually liked this game a damn lot, and despite that I think the ending does the series a disservice, I do not think at all that it ruins the rest of ME3, let alone the rest of the series. I still think the entire Trilogy is great as a whole, but that doesn't mean I'm willing to give Bioware a free pass in an area I do think they screwed up, which is the ending. That being said, I've read more info that hints at the theory you and others have about indoctrination, AND to the fact that Bioware appears to be working on an extension to the ending called "The truth" which apparently seems to be what me and most others are asking for: Answers and hopefully closure. Now, if this is true, AND if the DLC is free, I am more than willing to eat my whole arguments against this current ending. Yet... If that IS true, it means that even Bioware knew that this ending alone wouldn't be enough, which in a way kinda validates my complaints. Also, if they do charge for this DLC... you'd have to agree, that would be a massive dick move. But yeah, mainly I wanted to clarify, regardless of how strongly I dislike the ending and some other elements in the game, I still liked the game far more than what I hated about the ending. And i think most other people fall in that same category: They don't hate ME all of a sudden, they just feel that the last five minutes of the series do not add up to the otherwise great 120+ hours of the rest of the series.
  • infestedandy - March 17, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    You are an exception to the widespread hate this game has been receiving. Indeed I do know you enjoyed this game a whole lot, but unlike your present arguments, other people are hating on it just to hate. They probably don't even know what all this talk is about, which I'm coming to realize is a lot more than we all think. I'm not an advocate of day one DLC and I'll never be. I don't care how incredible the game is, I don't believe $10 extra needs to be tacked on to an already inflated cost on release day. In ME2 if you bought the game you got Zaeed free. Why couldn't they have done something similar? Everyone knows DLC is going to be popping up for ME3, but this whole day one thing does have me pretty upset. Also, if they charge for any DLC that alters the ending it would, in fact, we a massive slap in the face. I really hope they don't stoop to that level.
  • BladedFalcon - March 17, 2012 12:41 p.m.

    Glad we can agree on the matter of charging extra for a "propper" or "extended" ending. Which is what i think Alan Wake did, and i just think that's unforgivable, because that really is separating what should be a finished product, and selling it in extra costing chunks. The only justification I see in the "from ashes" DLC is that Bioware DID announce months in advance that the special editions of the games came with a new exclusive character and extra mission. So in that sense, it is understood that the DLC was meant to be more a reward to those that bought the special editions, rather than to punish the rest of gamers. Actually, i think it would have been more cruel if the from ashes DLC had not been DLC at all, and was just exclusive to the special editions, with no way to play it for owners of the normal copy. And well, I don't doubt that a lot of people has jumped the gun and started hating on the ending or the game without even playing it. That's the Internet for you. That being said, I think if you read a good number of the complaints and arguments here, they present solid arguments of why they disliked the ending, and I do get the feeling that most (at least those that wrote 2 or 3 paragraphs about it.) of those posters also liked the game and series overall, but are mainly dissatisfied with the ending. And actually, one of the earlier posts had this article embedded, which i believe makes some very valid points, and explains them in a way far better than I could bother to: http://www.gamefront.com/mass-effect-3-ending-hatred-5-reasons-the-fans-are-right/
  • mothbanquet - March 15, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    Overly ambiguous is not the same as mature. I never wanted to 'debate' anything about the ME series. I never wanted to have to read through countless speculative theories on who or what some ambiguous aspect of the ending meant just to achieve a sense of closure on what has been a deeply personal journey. The entire series up to this point has been delightfully simple and easy to grasp. It's a modern Star Wars tale, a tried and tested story of good versus evil, of people achieving victory against impossible odds. The first game was like that, the second one even more so and even the third stayed true to that form right up until the very last five minutes. While it does boil down to a matter of personal perspective, I certainly think BW completely missed the mark. They tried to be deep and clever where they should have just given people what they wanted to see. Why try to make an unusual ending when the entire story thus far has been anything but? For me, a standard heroic victory (even if Shepard died) would not have been 'forgettable'. It would have been the fitting culmination of a trilogy's worth of events. Next time, let Hideo Kojima direct the ending. Say what you want about MGS, the ending of MGS4 brought tears to my eyes (till I got past the credits, at least...).
  • BladedFalcon - March 15, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    The problem is that, if you think about it? In broad terms, the ending is really not that complicated, ambiguous, or mystic at all. I mean, not where it counts. In broad strokes, the final action of the game is pretty much what Shepard set out to do from the start: destroy, or get rid of the reaper threat. had he just simply activated the crucible in that panel before being raised to the roof, and the crucible did it's thing, the end result could have been exactly the same. Adding that avatar and that incredibly contrived explanation at the end was ultimately unnecessary. My point is that the skeleton of the endings, with just a few tweaks, could have actually worked pretty well and made an ending that made more sense to the tone of the series. hell, instead of reveal that bullshit avatar of the kid, they could have just made Shepard activate the crucible, realize in surprise that in doing so he destroyed all the mass relays, inadvertently screwing over all the army he assembled to attack earth. The core actions are the same, but had bioware focused on THAT consequence, it would have made for a very surprising, sad, but FAR more powerful and memorable ending. Now that I think about it, the fact that Bioware completely ignore that side effect of destroying the mass relays, and didn't focus on that, makes it a rather unfortunate missed opportunity.
  • BladedFalcon - March 15, 2012 6:45 a.m.

    I just finished the game and well... Yeah, the ending fucking sucks. While I won't go so far as to say it's one of the worst endings ever, and it certainly doesn't make the rest of the game ant less good... Yeah, the ending just falls completely short on what ME stands for. Lack of explanation, big gaping plot-holes and logic flaws, lack of impact of any choices you're made in the past, no real closure or epilogue for the things you cared for in the game. I mean- The ending itself had some glaring problems and it was kinda stupid, but EVEN as it is it's not that terrible per se: What's kinda unforgivable is that that's all there is to it. I think what most people, including myself, wanted a real resolution to what happened to those that lived after. Hell, Shepard didn't necessarily had to survive, (Altough it would have been excellent if this was also something that changed depending on choices past.) but at least a short scene showing you every important character and how they lived after that, same with huge decisions such as what happened to rannoch if either faction got wiped out or if both managed to co-exist. That Bioware didn't do any of this is what I believe most people find so enraging. So... sorry Hudson, your ending is not polarizing, controversial, or unforgettable. it's just sloppy, cliched, full of plotholes and since I am pretty sure you KNOW what it would have taken, yet you didn't do it, lazy, outright lazy. And having this come later as DLC won't really make up for anything, unless it was free DLC, but somehow I doubt it will. and even if it is it doensn't make up for the fact that ending is still a bit crap.
  • mothbanquet - March 15, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    Couldn't have said it better myself. While I'm not one of those people who clamour for the ending to be completely rewritten - that's BW's prerogative as artists - it's a HUGE shame that Mass Effect will go down in history alongside the likes of The Matrix Reloaded as having a bollocks and unsatisfying conclusion.
  • mothbanquet - March 15, 2012 7:05 a.m.

    Addition: Yes, Mr Hudson, your ending is unforgettable, but not for the right reasons.
  • ParagonT - March 15, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    Spoilers* The "Best ending" in my opinion without leaning on the rumored DLC "The Truth" would be to go green (no joke intended) and turn everyone into half synthetic and organic beings. Then although you may die, your crew and the stranded races will be fine due to the new synthetic DNA that would make them unable to starve (presumably). Then EDI and your crew could easily fix the Normandy and FTL or make a new ship from salvaged parts to return to earth. There they would hopefully be able to learn from the reapers salvage or themselves and be able to fix the relays. This is just my thinking though, but I'm hoping the theory of indoctrination is true and the DLC is in the making because it would really do service to the franchise. Tell me if there are any faults.
  • ParagonT - March 15, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    For the record, not fix the relays, rebuild.
  • BladedFalcon - March 15, 2012 5:40 p.m.

    Well, your theory about the half synthetics could make sense, yeah, except we're explaining NOTHING about how it works, what are the limitations, what exactly is not synthetic and what is now organic. none of it apparently matters or is important enough to be explained. And I'm sorry, but this being a game that has a codex for how even the guns work, the lack of explanation of the what, how or why is just jarring. As for the fixing of the normandy and use FTL to reach earth... you're forgetting an important piece of info here: FTL travel is NOT enough to effectively travel from solar system to solar system. That's why the mass relays were so important: they allowed you to travel at a speed far superior than anything and anyone could conceive, and it's explained that a relay could allow you to reach in minutes, what otherwise I'd take you years or even decades. Even with FTL travel. Furthermore... The relays are not of any organic life's making, it's understood that they were made by the reapers, or the reaper's bullshit creator. Which means it's a technology that's likely impossible to replicate. No organic race was able to ever really modify, repair, or even understand how a relay worked, less alone build one. Also, arrival makes it clear that a relay has enough energy to explode into a supernova that can wipe out entire solar systems... Which is an amount of energy that no organic race has even come close to harness. ...See, i think it's sad how I can perfectly explain with almost anal detail how each of those things work, because BIOWARE itself provided that info, yet when it came to everything involving the last 5 minutes of the game,the climax and pinnacle of all your efforts trough the series, they explained jackshit at all. It's really even insulting and contradicting to what the series stand for.
  • ParagonT - March 16, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    I didn't think they were using the mass relays when the Relays exploded, it could have been very well the FTL drive. If they were using the relay I would have thought that they would have slammed into the planet and died instantly, I think they were using the FTL Drive. Also if they are now at the pinnacle of evolution I would guess that they could get the reapers knowledge or help in rebuilding the relays. A lot of the things you said stumped me as well, like how the galaxy wasn't screwed from the explosions.
  • BladedFalcon - March 16, 2012 4:51 p.m.

    Well, the thing is, even at the pinnacle of evolution, they always made it clear that organics just weren't advanced enough to match to the reaper's technology. The crucible? the citadel? the relays? All of these things are tech that is way beyond the capabilities of organics, since all are stuff that were there way before any species, even the proteans, came to power. Even the crucible, which WAS built by organics just couldn't have been possible to be done if this had not been passed from cycle to cycle. Granted, that last point DOES make you think that at one point, one race in a certain cycle was smart or advanced enough to figure out how to create the crucible, but it's understood that that race has been wiped long, long ago, and neither the proteans, nor any of the current races on this cycle had the knowledge to build any reaper tech from scratch without help. And then, you could also assume that someone gave the plans for the crucible to organics for some reason. But why? Again, here we are with the main problem: I have enough info to have inferred all this, but no explanations whatsoever. Also, thinking about it... there's another massive question that NEVER gets addressed, and it should have: Why earth? It is obvious that the reapers have been the most interested in earth, it's the planet they have attacked most heavily and one of the earliest ones, it's the planet in which they chose to carry the citadel to. WHY? what makes humans that special? is it really for the same reason that they did the same in ME2? Is it really just because Shepard was able to defeat one of them? That's all there is to it? Somehow, I feel that explanation alone falls short, at least without further explanation, which, AGAIN, is never given. ALSO. What was the fucking deal with haestrom and that sun? they made such a huge deal about it in the second game, enough to make one think it would matter later... but then everyone just kinda forgot about it. reegar gave his life to get that data! was it all for naught!? D: (Okay, that last one is a bit of a joke... Though you really have to wonder if they ever planned to go anywhere with it, or was it just an excuse to give Tali something to do.)

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