We here at Living With a Nerd thought the ending to Mass Effect 3 was a fitting, beautiful way to cap off the Mass Effect trilogy, so we’ve decided to break down our opinion step-by-step, inch-by-inch. We’ll be doing this by looking at themes explored throughout the trilogy, and comparing them to how they’ve been represented in the final moments of Mass Effect 3.
It goes without saying that this article is filled to the brim with spoilers, so if you haven’t finished ME3, it’s highly recommended that you turn back now.
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I finally got a chance to finish off Mass Effect 3, cementing my opinion that it’s one of the best sci-fi stories to come out in a long time, one that has already found itself a permanent place in my memories. While the ending, in my opinion, wrapped things up perfectly (and emotionally!), it appears that a lot of people have a major problem with it. From forums to gaming sites, people everywhere are up in arms, even going so far as to create a petition to goad Bioware into changing the ending. Granted, they’re using the opportunity to raise money for Child’s Play, but still…a petition?
Ben Kuchera, formerly of Ars Technica and currently of Penny Arcade Report fame, wrote an article that sums up almost exactly how I feel about Mass Effect 3′s ending. The article obviously comes with a big ol’ spoiler warning attached to it, but if you’re interested in checking it out, you can do so right here.
As for Living With a Nerd’s look at Mass Effect 3, it should go live sometime later this week.
EDIT: Gabe and Tycho, aka Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade fame, also wrote fantastic blog posts regarding their take on the ending. Spoilers abound once again, but they’re here if you want to read them.
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Mass Effect 2 character on the left, rebuilt Mass Effect 3 character on the right.
As you may or may not be aware, there are widespread reports of people being unable to import their Mass Effect 2 character’s appearance into Mass Effect 3. Specifically, this is occurring when attempting to import a character who’s appearance remained untouched between ME1 and ME2.
While this is obviously frustrating for many people, I myself took it as an opportunity to correct certain…atrocities my female Renegade Shepard was previously subjected to.
Countless lives have been lost in a battle that has raged across the galaxy. Alliances have been formed, enemies have been made, and the final battle looms. In just a few days, Bioware will deliver their conclusion to a trilogy that has truly blurred the lines between video game and narrative.
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I generally favor game delays, so long as the extra development time is used to squash bugs and provide a more polished experience. However, according to Joystiq, EA revealed in an earnings call that Mass Effect 3 has been delayed to Q1 2012 because Bioware is “adjusting some of the gameplay mechanics and some of the features that you’ll see at E3 that can put this into a genre equivalent of shooter-meets-RPG, and essentially address a far larger market opportunity than Mass Effect 1 did and Mass Effect 2 began to approach.”
While it’s clear that Mass Effect 2 shed some of its RPG depth in favor of a more action-oriented experience, it wasn’t necessarily a bad move. Traditional loot and weapons systems were missed, but removing those aspects did indeed help tackle some of the main points of contention in the first game (as evidenced by my Mass Effect 2 review.) Of course, this is akin to euthanizing a dog because it has bad breath, when instead you should just brush its teeth. The question is, how much further can the RPG side of a Mass Effect title be diluted while still retaining its status as an RPG? I sincerely hope that tweaks are being made on the action side to better compliment the RPG side, rather than at the expense of traditional role playing game elements. You already took out some of the RPG elements so you could tweak the action side of things, Bioware (or EA…after all, we don’t know whose call this was); now that you have the action nailed down, why don’t you concentrate on bringing the RPG stuff back in a way that’s both accessible and multifaceted?
Time will tell, I suppose. What are your thoughts?