Having just finished Mass Effect 3 this weekend, I wanted to write a quick article about my expectations after all of this negative press and what I actually experienced.
I won't argue that the 3 'endings' of the game are a little on the vague, slightly nonsensical side. I don't find them to bother me that much, but thats not the point. I'm here to talk about the ending to MY mass effect 3, which was none of these 3 options.
First off, The final 30 minutes or so of Mass Effect 3 is some of my favorite gaming minutes in recent memory, starting with the sprint for the light bridge to the citadel when Sheppard gets blasted. I think Bioware did an amazing job of throwing something unexpected at me that really cranked the tension up. I don't know whether its possible to die to the 2 husks and the one turian guy after sheppard gets blasted and is crawling towards the portal, but I think I stressed out more over those 7 or 8 bullets than I did the entire game up to that point (AND I PLAYED ON INSANITY). I was in disbelief that Sheppard was actually severly injured and could die 20 feet from her objective.
All I could think about was how bad everyone thought the ending was. Maybe this is it? You die on the ground to a husk?
I was thinking for a second, maybe Sheppard does die right here, to 2 husks and a simple soldier, 20 feet from her objective. But - I think that could have been an incredible ending right there.
However, that's still not the ending that I got.
After fighting past those husks, teleporting up to the citadel, dealing with illusive man. My next "I think the game just ended moment" occured. Sheppard is trying to reach the controls to the citdel and slumps on to the floor. I thought for sure "This is the horrible ending that everyone is talking about - she dies before she can hit a button".
But no, I'm lifted up to the final room of Mass Effect 3 - where you have to decide which of the 3 endings you want.
I sat and watched the little boy ghost VI thing explain the options and then I was given control of Sheppard to slowly crawl towards my answer.
I stared to crawl to the right, thinking I wanted that solution, then realized instead that I wanted to do the solution that would allow me to merge with the Reapers and call them off, saving everyone.As I turned from the ramp on the right and started moving to the far left platform, I was literally yelling at Sheppard to get her ass moving faster. It was at this moment I got my ending to Mass effect 3.
That all too familiar death music played and the message 'THE CRUCIBLE HAS BEEN DESTROYED' flashed up on the screen.
My jaw dropped.
THIS WAS THE ENDING OF MASS EFFECT 3?!!?! After all that, Sheppard can't move fast enough to the platform and the crucible is destroyed? With a simple message?
I sat back and was just completely destroyed. I thought to myself that it was probably one of the most impactful endings to a video game I had ever experienced. I just couldn't believe that after all that, I couldn't make it 5 seconds longer to the platform. I thought it was genius for the emotions that it pulled forth from me.
Then I picked the controller up, hit load, did it again, yelled at Sheppard to move faster, went to the correct controls and got my ending. But I will tell you… As I moved toward the controls, my heart was racing. I knew I had very little time and I thought it was possible that this 'horrible' ending I had heard so much about was 'THE CRUCIBLE HAS BEEN DESTROYED'. I was incredibly relieved when I was actually able to get to the remote and see my ending, but, I think I will always consider the true ending of this game for me to be, a moment of indecision ending with the crucible being destroyed and the galaxy being lost, one of the most shocking and impactful endings to a video game I had ever witnessed.