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Mass Effect 3 will reward completionists with better ending

Speeding through Mass Effect 3 isn't likely to win you any medals for efficiency. In fact, quite the opposite. In his latest chat on how player choices will decide the ultimate fate of the Mass Effect universe, BioWare's development lead Casey Hudson said skipping the side quests and sticking solely to the main path is the best way to achieve the worst ending.

"If you just rip straight down the critical path and try and finish the game as soon as you can, and do very little optional or side stuff, then you can finish the game. You can have some kind of ending and victory, but it’ll be a lot more brutal and minimal relative to if you do a lot of stuff," revealed Hudson in an interview with PC Gamer, suggesting, "If you really build a lot of stuff and bring people to your side and rally the entire galaxy around you, and you come into the end game with that, then you’ll get an amazing, very definitive ending."

Hudson also noted many of the events in Mass Effect 3 will be governed by decisions made throughout the first two games. Players won't necessarily be limited by their past choices, he later clarified, however they might find it a tad difficult to change their minds this late in the game, explaining:

"I think a way to think about it is if you made decisions early on, you’ll see them affecting this. And the decisions you might want to make that go against those prior things are gonna be harder. Killing the Rachni might present opportunities in Mass Effect 3 that you wouldn’t otherwise have, but if you don’t take those opportunities and you try and do something in opposition to that, then it would be harder for you than if you work with it."

Unless BioWare opts for the Fallout 3 vignette-style ending, it's hard to see how Mass Effect 3's final scenes will adequately reflect the sum all choices made over three whole games. As anyone who completed multiple run-throughs on Dragon Age II can attest, a bulk of choices in these 'choose-your-own-morality' games wind up being rewarded with a catch-all endings peppered with interchangeable dialogue (i.e  "Congratulations Hawke, you helped [insert faction]... now this happens!" or "Congratulations Hawke, you screwed over [insert faction]... but this still happens!"). Not to say BioWare can't pull it off, just that accounting for absolutely every variable is almost a suicide mission in and of itself. We're excited to see how it plays out.

[Source: PC Gamer]

May 18, 2011



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20 comments

  • GreasySTEVE927 - July 12, 2011 4:46 a.m.

    This is the exact same as Mass Effect 2 just on a larger scale. If you "rip through the critical path" and only recruit your squad but don't do their loyalty missions they all die.
  • Fusionmix - May 20, 2011 12:54 a.m.

    YES. This makes so much sense. This on top of the customizeable weapons, no new LIs, and DA2-style power upgrade trees has elevated this game to the top of my DO WANT list.
  • ZiltoidTheOmniscient - May 19, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    I always do all the sidequests anyway, but this is interesting.
  • LoudestCannon - May 19, 2011 3:09 a.m.

    @jackthemenace I am pretty sure those are Cerberus troops, not Quarians in the screen cap.
  • Dredgon - May 18, 2011 11:41 p.m.

    Always do all the sidequests anyways, and can't wait to see how all my decisions play out! Best game ever can't come soon enough!!!!!
  • Yeager1122 - May 18, 2011 10:54 p.m.

    It seems crazy that people wouldnt do the sidequests i mean why would you want to shorten the game for yourself.
  • Redeater - May 18, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    Thank god! I can't believe the stats were so low for people finishing the second one. What the hell is wrong with you people? Get your nose out of COD for once!
  • FauxFurry - May 18, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    Her's hoping that cheating on one's significant other from the first game in the second or third leads to an explosive three-way (conflict, that is, whether verbal or physical). It sounds as if the ending will play out like that of Final Fantasy 9 or the Star Ocean series, adding extra scenes for every side quest successfully completed or relationship level attained but on a much grander scale and with more variables to juggle. They'd better get things straight with Conrad Verner this time. It's everyone's last chance to let him off easy or to bust his chops, after all.
  • RicePuddingUK - May 18, 2011 9:49 p.m.

    Miranda and Ashley's boobies in your face?
  • poosmacker - May 18, 2011 9:17 p.m.

    hopefully those gay romances wont count towards completion.
  • Clovin64 - May 18, 2011 9:16 p.m.

    Didnt ME2 do something similar? Completing all the crew member's loyalty missions and buying all the Normandy uprgrades resulted in a more succesful finale. I've heard somewhere that ME3 will contain as much as 1000 variations based upon previous choices made in ME1 and 2. That sounds pretty over-ambitious to me, but I can't wait to see if they pull it off.
  • Ilyere - May 18, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    That's how I play my games anyway. I'm a completionist by nature, so I hope this ending is as great as they say it is!
  • hellodesdemona - May 18, 2011 8:37 p.m.

    I always liked games that rewarded those who didn't plow through! Hopefully, however, the best ending isn't reserved for nightmare difficulty....
  • jackthemenace - May 18, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    I've never been one to speed-run through any game, but Mass Effect was something even I could never manage to achievement-whore. This may be the last push I needed to finally do just that. Also, I'm surprised nobody's pointed out, yet, that there are Quarians shooting at Shepherd in the screenshot, which I'm pretty sure weren't there in previous articles?
  • KolbitosFruitJuice - May 18, 2011 8:04 p.m.

    Not that I needed extra motivation to do the sidequests anyways. There were some pretty sick sidquests in both the first and second game
  • freakyfro99 - May 18, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    I usually do about 80-90% of all the side quests that come my way. I'm thinking that number will be somewhere around 95% now if I need to to a lot of work to get the best ending. This is definitely the best way to make gamers really play everything.
  • rabidpotatochip - May 18, 2011 7:52 p.m.

    I find this very interesting. I was going to milk that game like a GMO cow regardless, but this adds motivation.
  • idlemindkiller - May 18, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    i do any quest that comes my way. why wouldnt you??? i paid for that shit.
  • Baron164 - May 18, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    I usually hit up all the side quests and do everything I can anyway so this won't really effect my play style.
  • Sniped50 - May 18, 2011 6:51 p.m.

    Well, it's one way to get players appreciating all the effort the devs put into the game. I'm intrigued and I am going to gun for both endings! When it comes out. Obviously.

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