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Rhysybaby avatar 7:18 PM on 03.16.2012
My thoughts on Mass Effect 3's ending.

CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!

Well well, Bioware. You've really stirred up the hive! I've read that 90% of users on Bioware's own forums were more than dissatisfied with the trilogy's conclusion, and rightly so. The ending practically ignores everything the series has built itself up on the past five years, instead delivering a half-assed conclusion that barely changes based on the player's choice of ending.

If you haven't seen it, the ending in all three cases plays pretty much the exact same cutscene with differing filters and effects depending on your choice of ending. Seriously. An animation undergraduate could have done better. Which leads me into where I'm going with this.

I did not hate the ending. I'm not angered by it. I just feel an overwhelming sense of emptiness no matter which ending I pick. It was disappointing for sure; the only decision taken into account was which ending I picked, not the decisions I'd been making these past five years. None of that mattered anymore, and that's dead wrong.

I've seen an overwhelming desire for an ending in the style of Final Fantasy VI or Fallout: New Vegas. In both cases, the ending wraps up the stories of pretty much every single character the player meets during their adventure. I too believe this is the way to go as I was expecting the exact same thing. To be honest, looking at all the characters we've grown to love over the years, it seems this is a logical and obvious way to make a satisfying ending to Mass Effect 3.

As it stands, we don't know what's happened to all of Shepard's squadmates other than the two you bring with you on the final mission. We don't know if the final push against the Reapers killed them off or not, nor are we sure what their future holds. We want to see Tali set up a house on her homeworld. We want to see what Ashley/Kaidan's life as a Spectre continues. But above all else, we don't want Commander Shepard to die. Or at least, he/she deserves a more refined exit. This is where most of my emptiness resides. The conluding mission shows Shepard basically on death's doorstep, but his/her determination to stop the Reapers makes her hold on until the very end. We've all heard about the rumoured "perfect" ending that hints at Shepard's survival under the renegade ending. That's all well and good and if anyone can provide proof I'd be more than grateful, but it still doesn't make up for what the other endings lack.

The Paragon ending was depressing as hell. Seeing Shepard fade into nothingness was truly heartbreaking, and not in a good way. Next time, I settled on the Deus Ex-styled synthesis ending, wherein all organic and synthetic life merges to create peace between them. Even here, there are no implications on what the future holds for this synthesis. We see Joker and EDI finally at peace in a loving relationship with one another, which is nice. But again, no word from your squadmates. All I was treated to was Liara emerging from the Normandy (now a single woman), and Garrus with his permanent smirk.

Well, Garrus, I'm glad things turned out well for you. You are my favourite character after all. Wonder how the your family's doing on Palaven. The ending sure didn't tell me. In conclusion, my wish is no different from the majority of players who have beat the game. I'm sorry Bioware, but a series this prestigious deserves a brilliant ending and you haven't delivered. If your DLC rumours (an extended, better ending) do come true then great, you may be able to subside the rage. But as it stands, a rewrite or endgame-extending DLC is a must.

We fans have stuck with the best trilogy of this generation for the last five years. You've provided us with some incredibly tense moments and seriously impactful decisions over these three games. Doesn't it seem like a no-brainer to tie all that together in an ending to be remembered? An ending to be proud of, and an ending that's different for every player. Come on Bioware, you owe us this much.


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