I play games, I live them. Video games are my escape from the real world. Some would jump on that and say there is something wrong with you. I would look them straight in the eye and say, I don't give a flying fuck! It is my life and I choose to live it how I want. Sadly though most video games lack emotional attachment. Being entertainment no different from movies or books, the bulk falls into being cliche, derivative, skin deep, numb, or in some cases all of the above. Don't get me wrong I, like most people, have no problem gobbling dots on a board with a little yellow guy chasing ghosts. Of course I tell myself that Pac Man is actually pill popping and chasing his demons away (j/k :P) Game development has come of age though. Nowadays some 40 years after the worlds first true video game company, Atari, was officially born, we have tools to make games a little bit deeper and more intellectually stimulating. In comes companies like Bioware.
Now I have talked about them before and I do only because of their amazing record in game development. In the past year though they have been steadily losing their street cred. Their legacy though hit its pinnacle with 2007s Mass Effect. It was an advantageous undertaking to say the least but when it was released it peaked many peoples curiosity. When you go out on a limb and announce a trilogy of such epic proportions your inevitably going to fail in some peoples eyes. You know there are only going to be 3 of this and that final plot point may not play out the way you want it to. When ME3 was over the outcry could be heard well past the Terminous system and far beyond our own galaxy. ME3's ending was atrocious! I sat unknowingly of what was about to come in the last 15 minutes I had with my game with my head cocked sideways, my mouth hung open and my brain evacuating brain cells like they were going out of style. I was livid and I along with many signed a petition to have the ending altered.
I chose the only logical ending in my mind, synthesis. To take over the reapers obviously meant renegade and evil so I avoided that one. The other option of destroying all synthetic life was still destruction. I didn't risk life and limb in the game to save Legion only to destroy his kind, even if it meant destroying the reapers. The only option that made sense was using my own energy to bring together organic and synthetic. It was almost poetic and something I truly saw my Commander Shepard doing. However all you get is a scene of Joker trying to outrun an energy wave and winding up on a foreign planet with obvious synthetic influence running through his body. Then the rest of the crew pours out with all of them showing the same synthetic patterns in their flesh. Whoopdi fuckin doo! Oh and the grandfather and his his grandson talking about the endless stars, blah blah FUCK THAT!!! It was like they thought we were all dumb. Let's go ahead and try our best to not tie up the ending in any way whatsoever. Stranding thousands of ships and hundreds of thousands of people in a galaxy that is already becoming baron of resources. Whatever happened to Wrex and his baby? What about Javik? All the systems that I fought for, for the last 5 years??? WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM!!!???!!! Well Bioware did us a solid...sort of.
That right up there that is my new synthetic ending. It does a better job of tying up the loose ends, but more importantly it has a specific scene honoring Shepard and the rest of the fallen. The plaque on the Normandy grew increasingly throughout the game honoring the fallen. Every time I saw that board on the ship I would see names like Ashley Williams and Thane Krios and remember all the times we had together in the game. Having my Shepard character be put on that plaque by my love interest Liara was very moving. It was a much more fitting end even if it wasn't exactly what I wanted. There are still many loop holes left open but oh well I don't want them to touch it anymore. I want Bioware to move on and add whatever they want to the multiplayer, but I don't want anymore plot. I don't trust these companies nowadays, and the endless milking of franchises to make a buck only weakens any artistic sentiment that games can provoke. Via con dios Shepard, those are the last words I wish to speak on Mass Effect.
I heard enough people give major credit to Yager Developments Spec Ops: The Line, calling it a thinking mans brown shooter. I remember the old days of Spec Ops back when the games were made by Zombie Studios and then Runecraft on the Playstation. Thankfully we have come a long way since those games, as they were horrible in almost every way. SOTL is good looking game that features a very good story line for games of its type.
In fact there is one scene so far in my play through (so far chapter 9). It occurs in the beginning of Chapter 8 and I won't spoil it but I had to quit the game for a while. It charged my emotions in a way that games don't typically charge me. It made me question what kind of person I was. I followed through an action without even attempting any other possibilities and the outcome disgusted me. I know these are games but it really made me zone into the gamer numbness and the increasing number of discussions of violence in video games reaching desperate heights for shock value. I give it to Yager for bringing that out of me and I will continue and complete the game. Honestly though if you are on the fence about it, do yourself a solid and check it out.