Sessler's Soapbox: Mass Effect 3 Wrap Up

Posted: March 13, 2012
Sessler's Soapbox: Mass Effect 3 Wrap Up
Adam discusses Mass Effect 3's day-one DLC, its controversial ending, and how well it handled same-sex relationships.

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  • Seven7Miles

    I respectfully disagree with you on the ending thing. I played 1 & 2 and eagerly pre-ordered the Collectors Edition of 3. I worked so hard to get my Shepard to be the best baddass hero I could. I played all the side missions and bought the DLC. I started to make this game my own adventure and kinda started to care a great deal about the characters. I made this game MY own game. I understand "artistic intergrity", and belive it should be protected, however I guess I feel cheated because i feel as though I worked so hard to be the best I could be, save the universe TWICE and then have it seem like it meant nothing. I read that Bioware wants to continue the story without Shepard and kinda prepared myself for the ending however I still feel cheated. I just finished the game last night and I still am fuming about this 24hrs after . I understand why it was done but I still don't like it.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:55 PM
  • suffywuffy

    reading through some theories and the more a think about my ending and the other possible ending's the more the indoctrination theory seems to work out. lets start with if you had the very good ending with shepard regaining counsciousness in a pile of concrete, its evident he is not on the citadel, it's doubtful he would of survived crashing back to earth so what if harbinger's laser meerly knocked you uncounscious and while you were uncounscious he was trying to take control of your mind, now if you chose the control or dna merge endings he succeded, but if you chose to destroy them you resisted his attempts, the surrounding's you wake up in are very similar to the ones that you were running through to get to the citadel aswell, the massive plot holes that don't make sense also suggest the unconscious theory. the last point ill make is the few lines of dialogue of with the "stargazer" and the child, the child asks for another story about "The Shepard and the stargazer replies ok, maybe one more, suggesting that shepard is still alive and that perhaps if he was unconscious the last story is of him waking up and actually defeating the reapers, although how they would implement this as DLC or as a new game i don't know, i sure hope it is DLC as i would like to know what happens to all the races that have come together to help you and what truly happens to you and your crew

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:51 PM
  • Skalywag

    Would also like to add that I ve got nothing against Bioware in any way. I have been a loyal and diehard fan of the company ever since I played Knights of the Old Republic back in the day.They ve always had my respect as one of the few gaming developers who ve listened and truly cared about their fans. A team that has always striven to give gamers nothing less than the best RPG experience they could.

    This is why I was so shocked by how the game ended. It seemed out of place for the mass effect series as well as Bioware themselves. I felt like they didn t stay true to what the mass effect games were about in those critical last moments of the story. That we were cheated out of endings that were truly unique to the experiences our main characters had been through.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:47 PM
  • Skalywag

    Would like to go ahead and say that I ve been a huge fan of the Mass Effect games since the minute I began playing the first one back in 2007. Just like the past two, I loved ME3 to death. Up until the final moments anyway.

    I don t have much gripe with anything other than the ending itself. I m not angry because the endings were too dark or because main characters died. I m angry because the grand finale doesn t reflect your decisions from earlier in the game or those of the previous titles. The highest achievable endings were basically the same thing with small variations. And none of the endings have any sort of cinematic or epilogue showing the long lasting consequences of most of your decisions. This is a feature of the games that has made them most popular, and a lot of fans feel like it was abandoned where it should have shined most.

    On top of all this, the endings have a lot of unanswered questions and holes that leave gamers without full closure, and confused about what just happened.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:46 PM
  • StrongestSaiyan

    This has nothing to do with looking for a happy ending. It has to do with the fact that we were told that there would be multiple endings that would be "wildly different." We had the same ending video with 3 choices of colors. We were also told that all our choices would determine the ending we got so it would be tailored to each person. That didn't happen. You get the same choices regardless of what you have been doing up to this point. Paragon? Renegade? Mix? Nope doesn't matter.

    I wouldn't care one bit if Shepard died because of the choices I made, but the fact is, in the end I was stripped of the feeling like my choices mattered. Yes, it's Bioware's story, but they asked us to help tell it. The whole point of importing save files was so that the game would be tailored to reflect what you did, rather than the default, and then in the end, that was removed.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:46 PM
  • Massivecow

    Like someone on the Bioware forums said, the ending is either horrible, or genius.


    If everything that happened actually happened at the end, then none of it makes sense. There's one of the most literal uses of a deus ex machina I have ever seen (with the god-like child in the machine), a dozen plot holes and inconsistencies, and a stunning lack of a conclusion or closure to anything. Nothing made sense and everything was silly.

    If everything that happened after a certain point (I like to think it's after Harbinger's beam almost hits you) is the result of indoctrination attempts, then someone at Bioware is a damned genius for giving us this glorious feeling of what indoctrination would be like. I know the ending paints them in a positive light, but think about it -- the control and synthesis options are letting the reapers win. The destroy ending, which is shown in an evil light (both literally with the Renegade Red light above it, and figuratively with the kid saying it'll kill you, kill the Geth, ruin your lives, and doom all of organic life eventually) is really the best possible option since organics will live and the reapers will not.

    If you legitimately think the Synthesize or Control options are the right choices, then congratulations, Bioware and the Reapers have indoctrinated you.

    The whole indoctrination ending is absolutely brilliant in its execution and how it works (if, of course, this is what they were going for), except there's one tiny problem...

    Instead of a poorly-done ending, the game now has NO ending. If all of the events on the Citadel never happened, then what DID happen? Did the united fleets of the galaxy win that battle? Did someone else manage to get the Crucible working and destroy the reapers? If they're going to release a DLC for the true ending, when Shepard gets back up after resisting indoctrination, then I just hope it's free.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:46 PM
  • nonextant

    First, Adam, thank you for discussing this rationally, without resorting to demeaning the fans who are upset over the ending. Seems to be rare in game journalists over this issue. Reviews are an opinion, and everyone has a right to one, just like it should be a right to hold a rational debate over them, with resorting to name calling. (we already have an election campaign)

    Where I am one of the ones who was disappointed with the ending (i understand the artistic vision, i just don't feel that sense of closure), I am unsure about overtly demanding a change. I agree with the critique that it seemed rather lacking any feeling of choice which was key to the series.

    and as a straight male, Cortez was a great character. well written, sympathetic, and with some great over-heard banter with James.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:38 PM
  • studiedsully

    Adam I like x-play i watch it everyday, I believe that you and Morgan do a very good job... that said the problem with the game is the ending.
    Bioware made ME1 and ME2 in away that OUR CHOICES matter. The best part of ME2 is that if you don't do everything that you can to be ready for the end then you pay the price, and that's OUR choice that's how they intended the Trilogy to be played by the FANS.
    ME3 ended and the choices that I made didn't matter. Ok so I got to pick from three endings, but I play as a paragon and to know that ANYONE can pick the same ending even a renegade makes me a little sad. I feel the ending was rushed, I would like to have my Shep on earth alive with the crew of the Normandy and love interest that's a paragon ending, the relays can still be gone because that's how ME4 starts and that is fine. Not to much to ask for...that's all I have to say.
    I do still like X-play...I hope you read this

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:31 PM
  • Mic7

    I think the problem people are having with the endings is that it kinda invalidates the first game...if the guardian/child was the citadel and controlling the reapers (my understanding...I could be wrong) then why did Sovereign need Saren to open the conduit...if it can move the whole citadel surely it can open a conduit...and there were other plot holes opened up that maybe some of the more astute fans could point out. With that being said they wrote what they wrote and they had that right but so do fans have the right to not like it...I mean they did shell out money for it.
    There have been other complaints that I think are more valid anyway...not being to able to import ME1 Shepards into the game...numerous side quest bugs...bad animations...short cuts like using the same outfits for ME2 squaddies and the Tali photoshopped debacle. Seems to me a lot of reviewers just ignored these things and slapped 10/10 and 9/10 on the game. Some of the reviews I've seen coming out now that it's been out for a week have not been as praiseworthy...saw a 77/100 and a 73/100 just recently and they hit upon some of the things I just mentioned.
    Anyway...even with the plot holes I don't believe they should change it...I mean it's done now so let it be...time to move on.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:24 PM
  • jonmann19

    "gotta let sinners be sinners" .. sry adam pretty sure thats not in the Bible

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:13 PM
  • Agloros

    I had absolutely no problem with the ending I got for two reasons. First: The way the narrative pacing moved and just the overall feel, it seemed like this game was going the big block-buster movie route and not the novel route. I feel like a broad, sweeping ending that shows what happened with every single character you interacted with would kill the pacing.

    Second: This was a story about my commander Shepard, the largest decision he had to make, and the events leading to his decision. It was about what motivated him and the weight of the decision itself. That was delivered perfectly and I felt like in the end there was only one choice that seemed right based on all of the events leading up to it. The game ends with that choice and a look at the consequences of that choice. I don't need to know what happened to all of those other people. This was about my Shepard and his choice on how to save the galaxy.

    The other characters played their part in the story. They were the driving force behind what my Shepard did and they didn't have to be visible at the end of the game in order for me to have closure in the story.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 4:10 PM
  • shadowchaser

    Sess, I've been a fan of yours since the early days, but I really have to disagree about ME3's ending.

    Just beat ME3 and chose the destroy the Reapers and synthetics but all the 3 different choice endings were literally the same. Our choices from the entire trilogy was rendered useless. The endings doesn't have closure. It has massive plot holes you can pilot the entire Galaxy fleet through.

    I added questions abou the ending:

    1. Why isn't Shepard in his armor after the blast?
    2. Where are my squadmates after the blast?
    3. Where does the TIM come from in that room? Throughout the walkway, there was no where to hide
    4. Everyone aboard the Citadel was dead except the Keepers who were still working!
    5. The three endings were pretty similar. 2 of them in which the Reapers really win and one Shepard wins by refusing indoctrination.
    6. Shepard is breathing in concrete rubble, there was no concrete on the Citadel. Unless it went burning crashing back to Earth. Doubtful Shepard would survive a second re-entry crash.
    7. If the Mass Effect Relays were destroyed, shouldn't they go Supernova like the one did in The Arrival?
    8. If the Mass Relays are destroyed, aren't all the races that came to help stranded in the SOL System?
    9. Why was Normandy running away and why did it get sucked into a black hole?
    10 If the Normandy lost power, did all the other ships lose power too?
    11. Were the other ships sucked into a black hole too?
    12. On the empty planet, Normandy opens its doors and there's a couple of squadmates that walk out, two of them that were with me on the ground in London, how did they get back on the Normandy?

    The common theory is going on that Shepard is hallucinating after the blast and the last 10 minutes is indoctrination. I'm hoping Bioware releases an expansion to give us a real ending THAT MAKES SENSE!
    We DON'T NEED a happy ending all the time but we want an ending that makes sense and brings closure.
    This ending didn't bring closure at all. It only angered us and gave us more questions instead of resolution that Bioware promised us.

    Gamers aren't stupid, hence why we are truly upset with the half assed awful ending.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 3:55 PM
  • vrinfl

    My question in this whole thing is if Bioware comes out with an ingame DLC, who will buy it? Even the one out now and the peopel who did not buy it, why would they knowing whatever they do will not change anything? i am also for "artistic" endings but the in this world today where depression is everywhere, why is such a bad thing to have a good ending? People want this and need it. It is like a movie, people would does not want to see the hero die everytime.

    Being artistic is fine, but if no one else thinks it is art and not buys it. You may need to go flip burgers for a iiving. For me, I made the ultimate sacrifice. Only thing i know is my team is stranded on a planet in which no one can explain how they ended up there.

    One thing about this game preached was team and save the galaxy. They created great believable characters and Ses even has said it before about games. You fret over every decision you make. I fretted quite a few times thinking what if I make the wrong decision in 2. How much will it effect 3.

    Now about adding DLCs. How about if you go pay for a movie ticket and watch the whole move and right before the ending, an usher comes in and says "if you want to see the ending, you have to pay us more." There would be a riot. How come if a gamer says something, they are not artistic enough ot get it. How about the gaming company trying to squeeze every cent out of their customers. For me, just add the content at a higher price point. If I have to pay 80 dollars to get the content and have an ending that shows the sacrifice I made and seeing the good that came out of it would be fine

    Posted: March 13, 2012 3:44 PM
  • KTXtheGreat

    I think that the endings are false endings because if Bioware would have gave a ending that had closure there would have been no reason to create DLC and nothing to expand on for the game.There were some clues(the plot holes) that kinda showed that everything after Harbringer blasted Shepard was probably just a dream and that if you picked either the control ending or the Synthesis ending it was the death of Shepard's mind and he or she didn't wake up or was indoctrinated and if you picked the destroy ending Shepard woke up and IF Bioware makes the DLC the story would continue from that point. However this is just Speculation.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 3:36 PM
  • PvtPao

    What disturbs me most about this is that Adam is a fan of this series who reviewed the second game in the trilogy calling it "divine" and I believe he was right. Seeing how he reviewed ME3 and saying that it satisfies better than anything in the medium of entertainment. He beat the game....and I find it hard to believe that anyone who played these games and enjoyed them got even a smidgen of satisfaction from that ending or any of the endings what so ever, they were so impersonal, so incredibly strange, and completely deranged with NO closure at all.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 3:34 PM
  • Wiseguy1287

    Any issue with the ending(s) of ME3, get over it. I have not quite finished yet, but almost, but I am not expecting everyone singing Kumbya at the end.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 3:18 PM
  • bolo73

    One issue I have is having to be connected to Orgin at all times! I lost connection during the game and it said stated connection lost DLC and who ever the extra character was is lost! I have to then leave the freaking game and reload. That is a bunch of BS! Talk about ruining the experince, I cannot enjoy the game because it looses connection with ORIGN. This ruins the multiplayer as well.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 2:50 PM
  • Bytor60150

    I'm sorry but I have to respectfully disagree. **SPOILERS**
    My main problem with the ending was that you are presented with a choice, rather than being presented with the ending your decisions had been building up to that point. By presenting the player with a choice of three directions/endings/colors, with negligible differences in content, you trivialize the investment and time the player has given your story. I see the symbolism and necessity of the endings, but the implementation is ham-fisted and a narrative cop-out. That said, I just picked the ending most in line with my Shepard's actions and ignored the fact it was a choice, which improved my opinion by self-delusion.

    Then there are the moments following my choice. Why is Joker fleeing in the Normandy? How can one of my squad mates who supposedly died on the way to the Citadel climb out of the Normandy after it crashes?

    In the context of my story I was able broker peace between Geth and Quarians. Got them to understand one another and help rebuild the Quarian home world, showing that synthetics and organics can co-exist within this cycle. But at the ending that choice didn't matter because kid Catalyst who comes out of nowhere says 'No'.

    I enjoyed the way my Shepard's thread of past choices weaved through the story seeming to form a patchwork..until you find the quilt unraveled and in pieces at the end.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 2:33 PM
  • Benayo

    I didn't like the ending but i don't want Bioware to change it. The only thing that sort of pissed me off it was that i had to play multiplayer to reach the 5000 galactic readiness to get the "best" ending. I'm still going to finish the game a few more times like i did with ME and ME2 and i hope they release single player DLC because I'm going to miss the whole world of Mass Effect.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 2:28 PM
  • silentmurderer

    i didnt like the ending. its just cause it seemed so non-committal and i quite frankly found it jarring to be talking to a dead kid in a game that runs on a story that usually makes sense.

    Posted: March 13, 2012 2:20 PM