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Feedback: Mass Effect 3 Ending Controversy

Posted: April 4, 2012
Feedback: Mass Effect 3 Ending Controversy
http://www.g4tv.com/videos/58021/feedback-mass-effect-3-ending-controversy/
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Blair Herter and the Feedback crew finally addressed Mass Effect 3's controversial ending.

Comments are Closed

  • LostExile76

    I feel as though Steven is refusing to respect my opinion including other gamers as opposed to being truthful. The gamers who come prepared with reason as opposed to erratic thoughts. You seem just as clouded as the gamers that you refer to as entitled which is absolutely justified whereas you Steven aren't. I only hope you internalize my thoughts and not ignore it because it s a hobby of mine; not a career like yours. No risk was taken; the lead up was terrible not to mention spotty workmanship from beginning to the terrible lead in with an ultimately poor ending. What needs to be explained, seriously? I'm done trying to articulate my views because I find you insulting. I don't want a new ending because the bad taste will always remain.

    Posted: June 23, 2012 10:55 AM
  • Insanetj13

    I feel the ending was amazing the one that they made ORIGINALLY that the COMMUNITY had to find out about, and the COMMUNITY had to put all over the internet which forced Bioware to completely change the ending to the ending it is now, when they said the endings would be different they would be the ORIGINAL not the one that they were forced to make because of the COMMUNITY....... don't blame Bioware for what you did. I played all 3 mass effects, and it is my favorite series, and the ending of Mass Effect 3 may not have been the best, but it's the communities fault. I love Bioware

    Posted: June 7, 2012 12:51 PM
    Insanetj13
  • ACILLAT3M

    i personaly hated the ending to mass effect 3 because i spend all this time making my shepard and then they kill him off and im siting in my chair like "wtf just happened?!?!?!?!" plus you can't continue playing after you finish the story but the ending was the only thing i didnt like everything else was spot on.

    Posted: May 24, 2012 4:08 PM
    ACILLAT3M
  • jimw2nd

    To video game journalists who say the gamers that want the ending to M.E.3 changed don't understand art. I'm going to paint you a self portrait: wipes ass on a piece of canvas: hear you go. not what i promised? artistic integrity

    Posted: May 19, 2012 5:49 PM
    jimw2nd
  • jimw2nd

    Stephon johnson proves once again that he is a tool. what the people paying for any product say is by far the most important. These "video game journalists" giving half finished games perfect scores are a joke. Then on top of that they have the nerve to insult the gamers(their readers) for complaining about an unfinished product. Conclusion: There are no video game journalists! no journalist can get away with insulting their readers and keep their jobs. Their real employers are the game companies!

    Posted: May 19, 2012 5:28 PM
    jimw2nd
  • therydog100

    I'm going to give what I think may be an original perspective of the whole "business" side of the thing.
    I have not played any of the Mass Effect Games. I've obviously heard about them and thought about getting them, but they didn't give me much of an urge for me to rush out as soon as I could to buy them like let's say a game like Skyrim did.
    As soon as I heard this rage, though, about the ending of the third one, I realized that these were games that people really cared about. That there had to of been something really special about these games for people to get so God Damn angry about a 10 minute ending of this 200+ hour series. I can tell you honestly that this whole event has given me more incentive to rush out and get these games as quickly as possible then any 10/10 review would have.
    So there you go, I guess.

    Posted: May 16, 2012 2:25 AM
  • EverythingYouDoisaBalloon

    Wow, Nikole. I'm really surprised that she wants developers to pander to their audiences with writing that's contrived to be as inoffensive as possible.

    Posted: May 8, 2012 11:12 PM
    EverythingYouDoisaBalloon
  • vege3940

    Nicole definitely got everything right about the ending... but then when it came to the discussion about the business of video games etc, i thought she was saying some pretty foolish stuff. she got everything about the ending right.. but steve got everything about the business of videogames right.

    Posted: May 4, 2012 9:00 PM
    vege3940
  • Jim48

    Look, I have been gaming since 1975 on computers (mainframes then; hard copy). I have played every game that matters for decades. I know gaming; I love gaming. The ending of ME3 was a disaster. I m going to try and sum up all the fan anger and disappointment for you in one comment; although that may be tough. I am going to try and address the it s art! people and those who are OK with the ending. I m going to try and explain to you WHY this is one, if not THE one, gaming controversy of all time. It s pretty simple

    1) The ending makes no sense. Maybe Casey/ whoever were just trying to flex his/their artistic muscles or maybe they had pressure from the EA suits, but I have never seen an ending that just seems so tacked-on and disjointed from the 2.95 games that came before. It s rushed; makes zero sense when you view the game canon; and leaves the fans with no hope or closure. I can t imagine an ending that would have been worse than the one they gave us. Complete garbage. The older fella just doesn't see the plot holes and he apparently doesn't understand the game canon at all...The Ghost Child idea was just stupid. As many have said, it was a Dues ex Machina to a fault...

    2) The anger and disappointment wouldn t be so great if the games hadn t been so great. BW created a wonderful world; a sandbox for us to play in. We became invested in the story and the characters. Many of us actually cared for the crew we came to know over 5 years. BW toyed with that and trust me, that was a huge mistake.

    3) It is NOT art. Sorry, it s not. Art is a painting; a sculpture; maybe a movie or book, but they are definitely not as artsy to me as a painting. Mass Effect is an RPG game; a role playing game, where YOU get to drive a lot of the story and what you do has consequences. There is a canon; a set of rules for the world that we learn and play by. We become invested in the game world like people do in WOW. It s OUR world at some point, not theirs . The developers know this and the fans know this. All the great RPGs over the years have had this in common. Bioware violated this terribly and at the end; vainly decided that they knew what we would want. I can imagine two guys in some conference room over a beer; Hey, that sounds cool! They were very wrong.

    4) There are more non-serious gamers than there are serious gamers. In any area of life, you have a core group of people who are the devoted serious folks. And there are a lot more who dabble .They are passers-through. They couldn t tell you the game canon if their kid s life depended on it. I m not going to say they don t count; especially to the developers bottom line. But their opinions are just nowhere near as valid as a serious gamer who is invested in the game world. And it is the core group that will create a firestorm like the one BW created with ME3 s ending that will drag a developer s name through the mud. That is exactly what BW is getting now.

    5) By ending the game the way they did, there is absolutely no incentive to replay the series. There is really only one ending and most fans hate it. I felt exactly as Nikole felt. I have played both the Half Life and Life Life 2 series many times each. I doubt I will ever play ME again. I deleted the entire series the day I finished ME3. I haven't played a lot of anything since that day.

    6) They lied to the fans. Even the BBB has agreed. They said they wouldn t do this; that our choices would matter. They lied. One-horrible-ending

    Epilogue: What will happen? Well, no one knows yet. BW may surprise everyone and actually gut the crap out of the ending and do it correctly. Yes, I know that is subjective, but tens of thousands of core fans can t be wrong. Ask yourself when you have seen a backlash like this before? I can only remember a few and I don t recall them being as vehement. It would cost them money, sure. And they ARE a business. But the goodwill or total loss of it is something that BW/EA should also consider. I mean if they don t fix this right, their name will be trashed for years. This will take its place among the handful of bombs in gaming lore. Mass Effect will be remembered for years as the benchmark on how to NOT end a gaming series. I m not sure if BW/EA gets that. If they were to step up and just stop throwing all that it s our artistic vision crap at us and just give the fans what they want, they would go from zero to HERO. Can you imagine the incredible fan turnaround that would happen?!

    Do you really think all this fuss would have happened if they hadn t really screwed this up royally? Who are you going to believe on this; casual gamers who know nothing about the game canon/world and got a few good kill sessions and some love making? Or are you going to give real credence to the tens of thousands of loyal, core Mass Effect gamers? And yes, we should be entitled to a product that does what we want and for which we thought we were paying. We pay their salaries.

    Posted: May 4, 2012 10:22 AM
    Jim48
  • shieldbreaker

    A beautiful woman seems to be the only one in the room with common sense...Go figure...also turns out I only hate blair on xplay here he is not annoying at all.

    Nichole is clearly a goddess.

    I get not wanting video games to end up like movies but I doubt the ending came out just the way they wanted it, I am mad that somethings were sporadically explained, somethings were ignored and some parts of the ending did not make sense, like how everyone got back on the normandy, and why they were using the relays. Imagine if halo a non-rpg had this abrupt of an ending, that fact that I agonized over 1000 choices and none of them matter, that is a problem.

    Posted: April 29, 2012 4:47 PM
    shieldbreaker
  • SVdWH

    The debate about whether or not to consider audience more or to defend artistic integrity is really misguided and off base. If you make great art, people will naturally come. The complaints people have about the ending are intuitive reactions anyone would have to bad art. It's a reaction to a story that did not end with real, compelling closure - closure that people expected from a fiction of this scope and depth. I would certainly not want to have focus groups design games. Rather I would want artists to envision a profound and compelling world then bring it to life as a fiction we all can live and experience. I would expect the artists at EA to have the guts to accept genuine criticism and not pull the holier than thou artistic license crap. That behavior is indicative of a first year college art student that drops out in the 4th quarter. For several reasons the ending had issues on artistic merit alone. Most notably, the endings did not bring closure to the core plots. They were not innovated or revolutionary like the rest of the series. Instead they relied on what (ironically) amounts to a focus-group driven, pop-culture clich� metaphor of man vs. machine . Whether or not they actually used a focus group is incidental. The final plot is NOT original. That's one reason big people are irritated. (Hey didn't I just see Commander Adama die in a similar way not to long ago?) Also, the emotional closure and potential catharsis from a great tragic story are missing. You spend the game helping people on the citadel for example, only to have them wiped out in an instant? Ouch. In the end, the painful truth of the game is that you actions are meaningless in a nihilistic sort of way. I get the impression someone at EA might be a bit sadistic. And for me, most disappointing is the fact that they were on the verge of something great and deeply profound, philosophically challenging and immensely relevant to real life with this game, but they missed the opportunity to ask the big questions with the ending. I really could have thought of a thousand endings that would have blown people out of the water with this series and had players questioning the nature of their own realities. Especially given the backdrop created by the prior game installments. And if I could have done this, well, I guess I expect the folks at EA to be able to do this too. One artist, to another. Incidentally, the solution to creating better games are not focus groups, rather visionary artists having enough courage to rethink and reimagine what they've done when they missed the mark.

    Posted: April 27, 2012 9:47 PM
    SVdWH
  • SVdWH

    The debate about whether or not to consider audience more or to defend artistic integrity is really misguided and off base. If you make great art, people will naturally come. The complaints people have about the ending are intuitive reactions anyone would have to bad art. It's a reaction to a story that did not end with real, compelling closure - closure that people expected from a fiction of this scope and depth. I would certainly not want to have focus groups design games. Rather I would want artists to envision a profound and compelling world then bring it to life as a fiction we all can live and experience. I would expect the artists at EA to have the guts to accept genuine criticism and not pull the holier than thou artistic license crap. That behavior is indicative of a first year college art student that drops out in the 4th quarter. For several reasons the ending had issues on artistic merit alone. Most notably, the endings did not bring closure to the core plots. They were not innovated or revolutionary like the rest of the series. Instead they relied on what (ironically) amounts to a focus-group driven, pop-culture clich� metaphor of man vs. machine . Whether or not they actually used a focus group is incidental. The final plot is NOT original. That's one reason big people are irritated. (Hey didn't I just see Commander Adama die in a similar way not to long ago?) Also, the emotional closure and potential catharsis from a great tragic story are missing. You spend the game helping people on the citadel for example, only to have them wiped out in an instant? Ouch. In the end, the painful truth of the game is that you actions are meaningless in a nihilistic sort of way. I get the impression someone at EA might be a bit sadistic. And for me, most disappointing is the fact that they were on the verge of something great and deeply profound, philosophically challenging and immensely relevant to real life with this game, but they missed the opportunity to ask the big questions with the ending. I really could have thought of a thousand endings that would have blown people out of the water with this series and had players questioning the nature of their own realities. Especially given the backdrop created by the prior game installments. And if I could have done this, well, I guess I expect the folks at EA to be able to do this too. One artist, to another. Incidentally, the solution to creating better games are not focus groups, rather visionary artists having enough courage to rethink and reimagine what they've done when they missed the mark.

    Posted: April 27, 2012 9:46 PM
    SVdWH
  • random_mcgee

    Did anyone else notice that the catylist is the little boy that died on Earth in the begining of the game?

    Posted: April 25, 2012 10:04 PM
    random_mcgee
  • Solidsnake19901

    These people don't realize that this industry is SUPPORTED by the average person on the street. Where do they get the balls to say that someone's opinion is invalid just because they don't " work in the industry ". Video games were FOUNDED on the average person. So to say the average person doesn't know as much as them simply because they don't spend every waking hour on them getting them for FREE is just insulting.

    Posted: April 24, 2012 2:05 PM
    Solidsnake19901
  • EagleScoutDJB

    SAVE THE ENDING! Turn it On/Turn it Off for Bioware Campaign

    Anyone and everyone who feels Mass Effect 3 need a new ending pleas join us this weekend April 28 and 29 for Turn it On/Turn it Off.

    http://social.bioware.com/fo rum/1/topic/355/index/11600342

    http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=0jIJ0tb6W78

    Posted: April 24, 2012 5:22 AM
    EagleScoutDJB
  • ObsidianSoul

    The Emperor's Clothes effect. Nikole is the only one who honestly dissects the ending and sounds like she's actually attached to her own Shepard. I don't think the rest of them actually played any Mass Effect game other than a few hours. Stephen and Donell sound like they just watched the ending on YouTube.

    I find it telling how they are alright at actually poking fun at an overwhelming majority of players who hated ME3's ending. You know why they can do that with impunity? Precisely because WE don't pay them. Game companies do. Not outright payment, but cultivating better relations with the companies is more important to them than telling the truth to their listeners. The few reviewers who do complain are again tellingly the only ones who mention the endings. Every other reviewer who raved about it and called the players "whiners" avoid the subject of the ending entirely, or else coats it with "press-speak" so thick their review looks indistinguishable from a press release.

    Look at the issues Stephen, Blair, and Donell actually talk about. Developers' money and shareholders are the first things they cite as reasons for the unfairness of the metacritic scores. Ugh.

    And no Stephen. The current ending is NOT "deep". It's so insultingly shallow it's laughable. It's basically Matrix and Gilligan's Island and everyone dies. It was cheap and it was lazy and borrowed so many cliches, it felt like watching Matrix that suddenly switched to Gilligan's Island painted over with a nihilistic brush. And worse, there's only ONE of it. The only thing "new and challenging" about it was the sheer nerve of Bioware to actually spit on their fan's faces. How many other companies would so blatantly commit professional suicide like this? As Hudson puts it "We wanted to make the ending unforgettable". And apparently the way to do that nowadays was to make it sooo bad it becomes the worst gaming experience that you could not forget. It gets you PR sure, but it also kills the last vestiges of loyalty Bioware has been clinging to since EA swallowed it up.

    And here's something else: I'm no gaming journalist, but I am 3d artist. And yes, I have worked as a peon creating 3d assets in the dev pipeline. If games are art then I deserve the title of artist far more than reviewers or game execs. AAA titles are created primarily for profit. It is art, yes, but commercial art. And in commercial art, the artists take a backseat to the people who control the money.

    Posted: April 23, 2012 9:19 AM
    ObsidianSoul
  • Majesticmarmot

    Regarding of question (I paraphrase) "Are we more qualified to say whether a game is good or not because we play 50 of them a year?". Is a trained musician better qualified to say which music is better? Is movie critic more qualified to say whether a movie is better? If you look at a lot of critically acclaimed media it many times does not coincide with the mass appeal of the product. For example, Esperanza Spalding won a Grammy for new artist over Justin Bieber. Who sold more records, and which one is the better musician?
    As a gaming journalist you are exposed more thoroughly, by interviews and such, to the thought processes behind making a game. You are also exposed to more video games than most which are used as reference and material to judge other games by. Someone who had only listened to a few albums of only one band would not be taken seriously as a music critic. They would not have a base of musical knowledge to compare to other music and thus could not make a valid judgement. So i think by those standards, you are definitely more qualified.
    I think the main point that needs to be discussed is a point of conflict all artists and creators of media have to face.

    -Do I make what the fans want? This of course yields the most profit but also tends to stagnate the industry. Just take a look at modern movies. There has not been a time in the last several years that a super hero movie hasn't had its posters up.

    -Do they make what they want to make? This makes the maker happy of course and annoys some fans who did not get what they want. George Lucas and his Star Wars re-releases show that clearly, as well as Mass Effect 3.

    All creators of art and media start with an idea they want to create. At what point should they begin to compromise that idea in order to make it profitable? Consumers complain about the complacency of the big media like EA and Activision releasing the same game again and again, and then when they release something new or challenging to the normal ideas should it really be criticized for not feeding the populous? And should media and art be a refundable expenditure for the consumer? Does a story with a slight twist you don't like have artistic merit or is it equitable to a toaster oven that has a faulty knob and should be returned to Sears, or fixed?

    These are issues that should be discussed thoroughly not thrown to the side as "You're wrong, I'm right". The classification of art and media in a capitalist world is an important idea. Are you buying a product or are you paying the creator for a chance to see what they have done? is there space for both of these approaches?

    Posted: April 21, 2012 2:23 PM
    Majesticmarmot
  • pdv123

    Stephen Johnson is effin genius

    Posted: April 20, 2012 1:15 PM
    pdv123
  • Ralison23

    What angered me is not the same cinematic endings, but that I knew that roughly 1/3 of the people playing this game would have the same ending as I did. You know how he said "you only have one ending," so why exactly is my ending the same as EVERYONE ELSE'S?????? I thought this was a game that gave you different decisions. What he's saying is that we did get that one ending just like everyone else, even though we made different decisions-this almost sounds like life and death itself: we all make different decisions, but it always leads to our grave-so where is the "aiming for the fences" in this situation??? It's all going to come out the same, so why bother? I mean, I thought mass effect was game that truly lets us make our own destiny?

    Posted: April 17, 2012 10:53 PM
    Ralison23
  • KanIJusT

    Nikole....You freakin rock! Completely agree with everything you said. How is nobody else is getting this?!

    Posted: April 17, 2012 5:13 AM
    KanIJusT
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