or: have writers of ME3 LOST it?
As you may have guessed, I just finished Mass Effect 3, and am a bit flabbergasted. No, make that a lot flabbergasted. And yeah – may contain spoilers.
I’d really like to know who thought that THOSE endings (and even their revised/extended versions made available by a DLC) would be a good idea to end this epic journey. Don’t get me wrong. I am a grown-up. I can take sad endings. I just cannot accept being BS’ed. Fans were so pissed about the endings that they even came up with a nice conspiracy theory: Shepard has been indoctrinated, and the endings only happen in her/his head. But what where they so pissed about that they required a completely new interpretation of the endings?
First, let’s hold on to a fact for a second: a DLC had to be released to give fans “more closure”. Here’s a thought: how about including adequate closure in the original release?
And going on and on how gamers’ decisions will affect the outcome of the game, and how collecting war assets will influence the final battle, and then: nada. The endings are short, generic, afaik don’t rely on your alignment and worst of all – Shepard’s reactions don’t fit in with the rest of the game at all. Control reapers, a feat which has been pointed by the game itself out to be impossible ? Synthesise all lifeforms, effectively wiping out all uniqueness that the game rooted for all the time? Destroy all synthetic lifeforms along with the reapers? Then why so much hassle with the geth?
Since when is Shepard a yea-sayer? Ok, they patched on a “fuck off, we want to die on our own term” option in the DLC, but I think that was pointed out as “renegade” option. And everybody dies.
And while you are at it: how about avoiding major plotholes in the original release (and leaving some of them in the DLC)? Happy me had been warned and installed the DLC which tried to close at least some of the minor plotholes, but here’s an excellent article (for grownups, because completely devoid of childish phrasing and swearwords) what gamers had to deal with before that DLC was available – blowing up mass relays, which canonically means Doom And Destruction to all nearby life (but which can be explained away by invoking a built-in self-destruct mechanism of the relays). A literally much bigger problem is the huge war fleet stranded after destruction of the relays, orbiting earth. What will they eat? (a commenter pointed out that krogans might eat all the others…) Even if lots of individuals did die in the war, and the reapers did not destroy rural areas on earth required for farming, earth food cannot be eaten by all the other races. So. Burger King Space Drive-In?
And then we have this allmighty, all-knowing
brat AI named Catastroph Catalyst (being translucent and wearing a hoodie) which, when asked about the reapers, told Shepard (presumably with a straight face):
That’s right. Its reasoning for why genocide every 50k years is necessary is based on the statement – brace yourselves – “it is inevitable that organics create synthetics who turn against their creators”. The Quarians and the Geth might like to have a word with the AI on that part, but let’s hear him out: “And because it is so, and because highly advanced species have to make room for new species, I created these brutal murder machines, the reapers, that process and store DNA of highly advanced races in every cycle” (killing the DNA-providing individuals during this process).
There. It’s in the wiki, read the details and puke. Oh come on, Catalyst. Artificial stupidity much? Serves you right for channeling a seven-year-old. Seriously, what is wrong with those godlike types?
An article at holdtheline.com summarises the might wtf of this reasoning more objectively than I could right now. I am still a bit miffed.
But see, that’s typical, people tend to remember the endings the most. Let’s talk about the positive aspects of the trilogy instead. I loved the games so much, I found the subjects brought up intriguing; synthetics and free will, peaceful coexisting of highly different races, tough decisions where no win/win was possible. I had emotions for most of the characters, who were so well-developed, ingenious, witty, charming, laconic, cunning, bat-shit crazy and/or lovable, and yes, I admit to having cried during several cutscenes. And nobody got left behind on my suicide mission!
So all in all, 100 (I guess) hours well-spent. We just won’t talk about the endings anymore. Just like they only made one Matrix movie.