Archive for Theory

Mass Effect 3 or New Ending, Happy Ending?

Posted in News, Played & Explained with tags , , , , , , , on June 27, 2012 by Rabidgames

Obviously, there are big spoilers ahead.

After months of waiting, cursing, speculating and hoping, Bioware finally gave us the Extended Cut DLC to give some closure to the abysmal Mass Effect 3 ending controversy. So, all is well now in the galax— no, it’s not. Who are we kidding?

The three endings do their jobs partially since they explain some consequences of Shepard’s actions, yes, but the ending is still rotten at its core – and it’s not just because of the still existing deus ex machina … For instance, there are still tons of gaping plot holes:

  • Why is the Citadel moved to earth?
  • Why do the Reapers never find out about the Crucible – even if the indoctrinated Rachni Queen is there?
  • Why do the Reapers leave the Citadel and the Crucible alone?
  • Why doesn’t Harbinger kill off Shepard?
  • Why does Harbinger flee?

Yes, those questions have been asked before here, and they are still left unanswered. Why? How can Bioware overlook such big gaps? It’s ridiculous! Are they dumb? Blind? Well, maybe they simply don’t give a shit. Why do more than you have to? Just give the fans something, they’ll swallow it and they’ll buy your next game anyway.
Well, alright, let’s forget everything prior to the last 20 minutes of Mass Effect 3, and let’s accept fucking Starchild’s stupid existence, let’s have a look what has changed: Well, basically not much. For once, some plot holes are closed now (how did the squad mates reach the Normandy, why did Joker leave, and thank fuck the Mass Relays aren’t destroyed beyond repair anymore). But overall, the three endings are simply shown in more detail, yet nothing substantial has been added at all:

Synthesis is now the best Mass Effect 3 ending – at least in Rabidgames’ mind. Organics and synthetics evolve and proceed to a new, common level of consciousness. They even acquire the knowledge and help of the Reapers and of many previous generations of species. Judging by the images, individual beings still exist, and the inhabitants of our galaxy haven’t been “Reaperised”. Synthesis seems to be the only decision which will grant the galaxy lasting peace. However, there is still the moral dilemma if one step of evolution should be forced unto a galaxy …

Control could go either way, Shepard-Reaper and the Reapers help rebuild the galaxy, and Reaper-Shepard controls a vast peace corps to secure prosperity and peace – but if he protects the “many” he might end up eradicating the few … hardly a comforting thought.

Destroy is still the pure Renegade choice – sacrifice everything except yourself (well, at least Shepard may live) or humanity so the Reaper threat falls. If the Catalyst was correct, Destroy will indeed destroy organic life forms, at least in the long run. And by destroying all synthetics, Shepard has proven once more cooperation between organics and synthetics is impossible, proving the Reapers’ creators right (and let’s be honest, we don’t want to prove fucking Starchild right).
But if you have high EMS, Destroy is now completely out of line – the Shepard breathes scene is still in. However, we know the Council rebuilt London and the Citadel … so either Shepard is dead or lives but either way, Shepard has never been found … another plot hole for sure!

Oh, we should not forget Bioware added a fourth ending which should be known as the Troll ending hence forward. Watch the new Mass Effect 3 ending here:

Here’s the thing: Shepard would have no reason whatsoever to trust Starchild. Why would Shepard give in to the kid’s strange wishes? Why would our Shepard believe a Reaper brain? Why trust something which has just popped out of nowhere? However, if you do the logical thing, if you decide to tell that transparent shithead to go fuck himself, his voice turns into a Reaper voice … and the Reapers win.

Seriously, Bioware? You punish players who believe that Starchild is a fluke (either artistically or trustworthily) by telling them only a dubious Crucible is the means to victory? *sigh* Here we go again … TROLLED! Bioware missed the one chance to make our fucking EMS really count – just imagine:
EMS 0-2000: Reapers win
2000-4000: Galactic forces win, but there are heavy casualties in a decade long war of attrition
more than 4000: Galactic forces destroy the Reapers within months

Another chance wasted … there is still no reason to care for a perfect playthrough when choices don’t matter. And yes, maybe the galaxy would not need the Crucible. After all, the Reapers have never faced a united galaxy. But no, Bioware decided to troll our butts once more. What good are choices if they’re meaningless?

Oh yes, what about the famous Indoctrination Theory which has haunted Mass Effect 3?
Many people argue it has been disproved. Well, yes, Bioware closed some plot holes but as a matter of fact, you simply can’t disprove it. Anything could have been a hallucination. Of course, IT can’t be proven as well. It’s all about believing now … although the Extended Cut offers a new scene where Harbinger says something which may well be “one of us” before shooting Shepard:

Furthermore, the Shepard breathes scene seems absolutely wrong now. Again, how is it possible Shepard has never been found? Add to it the fact Starchild is now definitely connected to the Reapers, it makes you wonder what Bioware was thinking. Of course, IT has been possible only because of Bioware not thinking at all … bad writing, neglecting its narration or rushing Mass Effect 3 have led us to a fucked up ending. And yes, it’s better now, but it’s still a bad ending. The Mass Effect series, a series with unprecedented choices and narrative elements to be transferred and connected over the course of three games, deserves a great ending, not a bad one. Above all, even a bad ending including a boring deus ex machina could have been satisfying if our choices throughout the trilogy had been reflected. But alas, we’re still stuck within an underwhelming clusterfuck.

And one more thing: Why on Palaven hasn’t Bioware included this stuff in the original ending? How was that first ending allowed to see the light of day?

Rabidgames disapproves: Sadly, Mass Effect 3 will be remembered as one of the games where Bioware gambled away its reputation. First, they lied. Then, they mocked. And finally, they gave us some DLC which still failed to answer all questions that should be answered. Bioware, this was your second strike. Third strike, and you’re out.