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Sessler's Soapbox: Mass Effect 3 Wrap Up

Posted: March 13, 2012
Sessler's Soapbox: Mass Effect 3 Wrap Up
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/57704/sesslers-soapbox-mass-effect-3-wrap-up/
http://images.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/293777_LGST/soapbox-3-13-12.jpg
Video_57704
Adam discusses Mass Effect 3's day-one DLC, its controversial ending, and how well it handled same-sex relationships.

Comments are Closed

  • aj2070

    I don't think Mr. Sessler or the other doe-eyed reviewers get it. The people who are looking for a new ending aren't looking necessarily for a happy "sunshine and bunnies" ending, they are looking for one that at least fits the tone the game sets. They are (and I am among them) looking for an ending that is indicative of the choice that the Mass Effect franchise has been about since Mass Effect and Mass Effect appeared to be up until the last 15 or so minutes. 16 or so variations of pick the fireworks color is not choice.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 2:31 PM
    aj2070
  • westpusher

    After having seen several endings, I still see no justification for being outraged by any of the endings. Being that there are three and while the outcomes are similar the implications of the three are quite different. This still is certainly is not an issue of quality, plot holes, or that Bioware did anything wrong. The fans feel like they didn't get the ending they wanted. Because as we all know, when you make decision "A" the end result will always be "X", despite all the variables you couldn't possibly plan for.. It appears Bioware will stick with their plan and work around what they have already done, being that they spent years crafting the story and Mass Effect experience as a whole, which they should be receiving all due credit and respect for.

    It isn't as though it is even mildly feasible to appease the "outraged" mass of "loyal" fans. They all want something different and after you go back on something like say the ending to a three-part trilogy, you will expected to submit to every collective whim. Surprise, Mass Effect goes out with a grown up ending and a bunch of people don't like it, or anything else that doesn't end the way they wanted it to. And yes, that is precisely what this whole "debacle", if you can call it that, comes down to.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 2:10 PM
    westpusher
  • XGrlGamerX

    I can understand where Adam is coming from with the endings, and I wouldn't want Bioware to change their endings because of fans.

    I think what I, and a lot of other people have a problem with, is the lack of an ending when it come's to any closure. It's one thing to have Sheppard die, it's another to not know what happened to your characters and how they ended up.

    It's not how depressing, or grim it is. It's the lack of closure. Dickens book at least had closure with the little boy dying. Us Mass Effect fans are literally dumbfounded on what exactly has happened at the end.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 1:50 PM
    XGrlGamerX
  • j.8493

    I personally don't like the endings. I would like a ending where the reapers are gone for good and everyone in the galaxy is safe. I don't care if Shepard dies because in a way that makes it feel complete just make it where your squad mates from the games and everyone else in the galaxy are alive and well. I feel like they should change the ending because let's be honest we are the ones buying the game at least give us a ending that isn't as....... Crappy =/

    Posted: March 14, 2012 1:29 PM
    j.8493
  • AnnIeMaCk

    You know what I am tired of them releasing finished crap, and then they take half of it back saying just kidding. If any book publisher or movie publisher were to publish media and then go back and change something in it or update it and take back what was published before saying that it want complete. They would not be a company anymore. Why are video games different then books or movies? They are interactive stories so why are they changing and not complete when they are released. What happened to the games that were released and completely awesome because of the story and the game play were almost flawless. Now you spend 50 bucks on a game that is incomplete, buggy, and just not as good, oh and also you have to spend another 50 to get the whole story. You video game companies are getting lazy it may not cost you much now but things tend to come back around and become a problem. things that don't work eventually don't sell. Corners that are cut don't reflect immediately but the finished project shows it all.

    there. Soap box exit stage left.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 1:23 PM
    AnnIeMaCk
  • AnnIeMaCk

    You know what I am tired of them releasing finished crap, and then they take half of it back saying just kidding. If any book publisher or movie publisher were to publish media and then go back and change something in it or update it and take back what was published before saying that it want complete. They would not be a company anymore. Why are video games different then books or movies? They are interactive stories so why are they changing and not complete when they are released. What happened to the games that were released and completely awesome because of the story and the game play were almost flawless. Now you spend 50 bucks on a game that is incomplete, buggy, and just not as good, oh and also you have to spend another 50 to get the whole story. You video game companies are getting lazy it may not cost you much now but things tend to come back around and become a problem. things that don't work eventually don't sell. Corners that are cut don't reflect immediately but the finished project shows it all.

    there. Soap box exit stage left.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 1:21 PM
    AnnIeMaCk
  • DanielKeating

    Many people feel that the product was of poor quality at the end and want that fixed. Being 'art' does not shield it from a consumer wanting the quality product they were promised.

    Through out history art, the art that enriches our culture, was either commissioned or sold as product. The issue here is that the artist in the last part of the work complete betrayed the artist direction of all work before it, sold the buyers on something they did not deliver, and and produced an ending of poor quality. It is a product that was supposed to have a level of quality and did not. The buyers of that product want it fixed. If you common a portrait of yourself and it is great until the very end when the artist does a bad job on your face, you can demand that he changes it even though you are not the artist.

    Respectfully,

    Daniel Keating

    Posted: March 14, 2012 12:06 PM
    DanielKeating
  • DanielKeating

    Many people feel that the product was of poor quality at the end and want that fixed. Being 'art' does not shield it from a consumer wanting the quality product they were promised.

    Through out history art, the art that enriches our culture, was either commissioned or sold as product. The issue here is that the artist in the last part of the work complete betrayed the artist direction of all work before it, sold the buyers on something they did not deliver, and and produced an ending of poor quality. It is a product that was supposed to have a level of quality and did not. The buyers of that product want it fixed. If you common a portrait of yourself and it is great until the very end when the artist does a bad job on your face, you can demand that he changes it even though you are not the artist.

    Respectfully,

    Daniel Keating

    Posted: March 14, 2012 11:47 AM
    DanielKeating
  • DanielKeating

    Many people feel that the product was of poor quality at the end and want that fixed. Being 'art' does not shield it from a consumer wanting the quality product they were promised.

    Through out history art, the art that enriches our culture, was either commissioned or sold as product. The issue here is that the artist in the last part of the work complete betrayed the artist direction of all work before it, sold the buyers on something they did not deliver, and and produced an ending of poor quality. It is a product that was supposed to have a level of quality and did not. The buyers of that product want it fixed. If you common a portrait of yourself and it is great until the very end when the artist does a bad job on your face, you can demand that he changes it even though you are not the artist.

    Respectfully,

    Daniel Keating

    Posted: March 14, 2012 11:45 AM
    DanielKeating
  • servac

    I had no problem with Sherpards death. Even those of former crewmates. It's war. The thing I had issues with was 1. Why was Joker running? Where was he going with the Normandy? 2. After the Normandy crashed how did everywho end up back on the ship? Even those that were with me at the end of the game. For those angry about those trapped at Earth. If you remember the Mass Relays down the ships weight (mass) to zero which allowed the ship to be propelled many times the speed of light. Without unless Mass Relays you spend fuel to travel from system to system within a star cluster. Why can't they just travel to their home systems? It'll take an ass load of fuel and time but they'll make it home. Voyager did why can't they?

    Posted: March 14, 2012 11:39 AM
  • Barrage74

    SPOILER ALERT! Wow! The whole artistic integrity arguement irks the heck out of me when applied to Mass Effect. Bioware sold ME on the premise that YOU the gamer shaped what will happen in the universe. They maintained that illusion throughtout the series until the last 10 minutes of ME3. It doesn't matter what 1 of 3 "choices" you make in the end because the consequences are just about the same. Well with exception of some minor color variations and what characters walk off the Normandy. Mass Effect wasn't a book, movie, or painting meant to be enjoyed passively. It was an awesome game series where you had the illusion of choice in shaping the story. In the end Bioware failed to provide that illusion.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 11:28 AM
    Barrage74
  • Snakepond

    100% Adam.

    Let the creators decide the ending. I am sick and tried of fan intervention and poling to change it.
    It is insane how gamers want to be taken serious in the multimedia day and age when they pull crap like this. If you are so disappointed go trade your game or just do not buy it at all.

    For the sexual preferences in the game I also agree with Adam. Bioware makes sex and sexual preferences a non issue in their games and I love them for it. It is your choice and I cannot agree more.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 11:14 AM
    Snakepond
  • Dexter111

    Sorry Adam, but I just don't see the "creative" and "artist vision" in most blockbuster releases nowadays, I don't see the artist vision in doing a rush job with Photoshopping one of the most important characters in a few minutes and be done with that: http://tinyurl.com/7l8awqa and I certainly don't see the "artist vision" in taking content out of the game to release it on Day1, this isn't about "Used Sales" anymore either as they still got the Online Pass for that. I can't see the artistic vision in bundling your game with everything possible: http://tinyurl.com/8yk8y93 or making people play the Multiplayer to get the the "best" ending.

    I can't comment on the ending, because despite liking Mass Effect 1 and 2 (and even writing "extensive" Reviews for them) I decided not to get this one as it just goes too far into what I will not support anymore.
    I'll just spend my money increasingly more on games like Stacking on Steam and put it where my mouth is (and where it can change something) and support projects like the Kickstarters of the Double Fine Adventure or Wasteland 2, games I actually want from developers that treat me like a human being instead of an open wallet and still DO have a creative vision without publisher intereference. Activision and EA in the meantime can go suck a popsicle, because if this all turns out good I won't even need them anymore.

    And while I respect your opinion and you as a person, I can't avoid asking myself if your publication isn't journalistically biased in regards to Mass Effect 3 since one of your own is a large part of it...

    Posted: March 14, 2012 9:21 AM
    Dexter111
  • charlieldom

    The problem i have with the ending is not how it ends, it how the ends were executed.
    --SPOILER ALERT--
    All the ends, well, with the crew getting stranded in the middle of (-insert name here-). It left a lot of plots whole like:
    1. How are the other races going back to their home planets? (With the relays destroyed it will make the other races take a long journey back to their homeworlds and colonies.
    2.Where was Joker going anyway? Why was he escaping through the relay to begin with?
    3.How did your squadmates survive the blast from Harbinger, plus they were nowhere to be found.?
    4.Why were the cutscenes like a copy/paste of the same scene just with different colors?
    5. Why couldn't their be like a memorial service or a celebration scene of all the races after they have had their victory?(Or defeat if u take too long).
    6.You are told of the consequences of your choice, but you are never shown the entirety of it. Why? Did they not have the time or money to actually make full-fledged endings, or were they just lazy?

    I really hope that these indoctrination theories are correct, cause this could mean the ultimate plot-twist for the series, then i can redeem them.

    I really hope they can redeem these endings by having them be changed after a few DLC.( Either Downloadable content, or Disc-locked content)

    Remember, its not that i hate the endings, it the very execution that bothers me.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 9:17 AM
    charlieldom
  • brtt150

    I wonder how much it pains Adam to know that a large portion of his audience are imbeciles.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 8:55 AM
    brtt150
  • DrowNoble

    Really Adam you didn't have a problem with the ending? Seriously?

    You didn't take issue with how they said there would be 17 different endings when there is actually only 3?

    You didn't take issue with "all our choices would culminate at the end of ME3" turning out to be false?

    You didn't have a problem with all the endings being bad regardless of how well you got your war assets?

    You didn't have a problem with the ambiguity of the fates of uh Certain Characters?

    You didn't have a problem with the plot hole filled ending that left so many questions unanswered?

    REALLY Adam? You only played the demo didn't ya? Either that or you're idea of a "satisfying" ending is waaaay out in left field.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 5:38 AM
    DrowNoble
  • imdave

    I liked the way they gay character was played, not some effeminate stereotype, just a man that was grieving the death of his husband. Its a shame a homophobic few let down the gaming community with their immaturity.

    The DLC thing is annoying, but I can see myself downloading it soon. I saved some money when I pre-ordered the game so will probably put that towards the DLC.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 5:14 AM
    imdave
  • rageagnstmachen

    I'm so sick of this whole "hater" crap. You are allowed to hate stuff that you don't like, regardless of who may have created it...I dont owe any loyalties to a company who's goals are to make profit, let alone call it art! Mass Effect does not compare to Monet, or Picasso...If they think that, they're stupider than I thought. It is entertainment based on a money making venture. I'll admit I am emotionally involved in this as I am monetarily involved. And both those things mean that I will voice my concerns if the product is not sufficient. I'm sorry but the ending defines a saga, Oedipus, Iliad, The Odyssey, any Shakespearean play hinges on the ending, I do not think Hamlet would've been good enough is the ending was crap, or any of the other great stories of our time. If these developers want artistic integrity then they sure as hell need to sort out how to write a better ending than this crap. I really thought Bioware would breach that gap between game/work of art, but they were disappointing in the final hour by sticking to a very old cliche. The only thing missing was the space/god/child sitting in a chair as Shepherd entered and talking about how the "problem is choice" with TV screens all around him. I thought this would be different, something new, the path less traveled. I think its because of gamers who liked this ending, we continue to suffer the indignities of pulp fiction in our games. People who think that insight and characterization can be thwarted by stupid indie/post modern endings like what Mass Effect 3's. Personally I blame hipsters...Simplicity is the name of the game, any writer will tell you that drawing from personal experience will give you true inspiration. The author(s) of this story drew inspiration from 10 other (Similar) science fiction stories, all of which have been told several times. I am a teacher and the ending is many times the difference between A and B-/C+. I was ready for a simple explanation. or even no explanation, mass genocide usually has no explanation, that would have been realistic, that would have taken balls. Like vigil said in the first game "in the end does it matter?" This game did exactly what they shouldn't have, they answered all the wrong questions. We as gamers, atleast myself, did not really care why the reapers are doing what they are doing, we cared about our romance, my best bud Garrus, my efforts in this fight, the man I chose to be...Those were the important questions, that deserved an answer. Instead, Bioware neatly neutered the story by giving simplistic explanations to a dynamic problem. A conflict between Organics and their Synthetic creations?? really? that is what Bioware thought the Universe boils down to? How trivial...why don't they just do everyone a favor and wipe everything out? A better ending would have been, a brief conversation with Harbinger who tells you that, you are not deserving and explanation, that as you give no explanation to ants before killing them, we shall give none to you while killing you...that would have been realistic, that is how genocide works, not some holier than thou attempt at a "cycle of life..." Then proceed to answer the real question, what happened to the love i built over 3 games? The friend I rescued from himself, the friend who I helped gain their home back while reuniting them with their long lost friends. The beat who I turned into a civilized part of the galactic society who understands what is truly right for his people over ancient customs. THESE were the mysteries we fought for Bioware, THESE were the twists we looked forward to, not who the reapers are, i mean in small part, yes, but not really...you robbed us of our Aaragorn becoming the king, and the fellowship dispersing, there was melancholy in that ending (or was that a sunshines and rainbows trilogy all you stuck up pompous critics who call us whiners). Or if you are playing as renegade, you deprived us of Tony Montana loosing everything as we go it our own in a blaze of glory having alienated our friends and allies with only humanity on our thoughts...Or somewhere in between. The point being, you gave us the wrong answers, to questions which were in the end trivial.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 4:22 AM
    rageagnstmachen
  • WikkedJoker

    And then you realize that the ending destroys the Mass Relays. . . Remember what happened last time? Oh yeah an entire system was destroyed. . . . Now destroy all of them. . . NOTHING SURVIVES, its not an IF, we've seen it happen.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 1:44 AM
    WikkedJoker
  • Delkarnu

    I must disagree with the viewpoint of the artist in this case. While I can accept that for most media and even most video games, in this particular case, the player making choices to affect the outcome is a central tenant of the art's promise. The Mass Effect series was always a series sold on the idea of our input having an effect. Imagine it is more a collaborative effort that a simple creator-receiver relationship.

    If you and I decided to write a book together and I was doing most of the writing but you had creative input of how the story unfolded, and we worked together though three volumes so you were happy and emotionally invested in how it turned out, but I wrote the last chapter completely without your input and you thought that ending was incomplete and contradictory to the themes we were working with throughout the process, you would have a right to be upset if I simply said "You had input, but I was the artist so my vision is unquestionable."

    I have four main complaints with the ending as it stands.

    1. Much of the narrative has dealth with the relationship between synthetic and organic life forms. In the first, AI are the enemy, in ME2, you meet an AI that helps you (EDI) and learn more about the Geth's motivations, outside corruption of them, and the aid of one of them, through the pre-ending ME3, EDI grows more through your interactions with her and you can resolve the Quarian/Geth conflict so both sides work together.

    Outside of that, the theme of changing one's nature end ending past conflicts is a strong theme with humans and turians post first conflict war, the Rachni after their war, and the Krogans after the genophage. In every case, it is shown that the species can overcome their conflicts and work together for he good of all.

    The ending throws a lot of this out. You are told, not shown, that AI-organics relations can't work despite what you've seen and you are forced to make a decision accepting this as fact. It just feels counter to the entire experience so far.

    2. The three choices are all virtually identical results for all variables of playthrough. In my playthrough, the Quarians all died attacking the upgraded Geth, and that had zero discernible impact on how the ending played out. The choices were handled beautifully before the ending, with prior choices affecting the Genophage plot, people affected by you squadmates surviving or not, the Quarian-Geth plot, etc. but when it came to the ending, they all boiled down to a simple number in the background that determined the choices available.

    If I have insufficient ground and space forces, how does that mean the synthecise option isn't available? Questions like that linger throughout the ending.

    3. No denouement. What happened to the people I fought with and for? How did my team get back aboard the Normandy for them to be racing away? Is my LI pregnant? What happens to them on that planet?

    It's the end of the trilogy, but feels more like a cliffhanger for the next game to find out what happened.

    4. The marketing and statements made by Bioware were very deceptive. Multiple quotes specifically saying that we wouldn't be forced into an A, B, or C ending that everyone gets or that we wouldn't be left with more questions than answered ala Lost all seems patently false. Maybe they truly believed that they were delivering on those promises, but for a lot of us, it truly feels like they lied directly to us.


    In the end, I just feel a lot of frustration because I am powerless to get any satisfaction for my displeasure. If I spent ~$200(ME1, ME2,ME3, DLC) for a delicious meal and got food poisoning, I would complain to the manager of the restaurant and at least be refunded, but there are no refunds for PC games, Bioware keeps my money even though the ending soured me on the franchise and my experience of the trilogy as a whole. The most I can do is voice my displeasure and refuse to buy DLC.

    Posted: March 14, 2012 1:12 AM
    Delkarnu
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