All About Michael83917
So I'm a little late to the party, but I just got finished playing the Mass Effect series (1 - 3 back to back). I've always been a big fan of Bioware games, but never picked up Mass Effect for some reason. I'd always heard great things about it, but I guess the recent controversy over the ending of the third one made me need to make time in my schedule to see for myself. And I'm blown away. A week, maybe two of my life in that universe, and well spent.
I've always hated endings. The characters, the story... its over and you know there won't be another, so whether the characters live or die in the story they are dead in the personal sense - even if I went back, they would never have anything new to say. To me this sense of loss is the main feeling and thought I have regarding Mass Effect right now.
Could Bioware have made it better? Yes, of course, though everyone may have different opinions of what was missing. I was especially disappointed not to have Miranda around. The ending itself was too abrupt and not all that well thought out as far as the Normandy crash is concerned - the two that walked out with Joker were the two in my party at the end. Although it isn't clear what happened to them, the thought that they somehow got picked up by a shuttle and left me to limp onward is face-palm worthy. There's just no way.
My other issues are with the three choices and the philosophy behind them (minor spoilers - probably nothing you haven't heard already, but feel free to skip the next two paragraphs).
We built a weapon to destroy the reapers... wouldn't it have some kind of, I don't know, button? Trigger? Even if its a "bomb" those don't normally get built in such a way someone has to stand inside it and shoot a random power coupling to get it to go off... not very practical. The apparition claiming to represent the catalyst and the reapers is also a bit poorly thought out. If it is a last ditch attempt at deception by the Reapers, why does it tell you how to destroy them(if that is indeed what happens)? They haven't exactly been willing to let you destroy them thus far. It claims to be the creator/controller of the reapers, but it also claims to be the catalyst, which was supposed to be a key part of the weapon designed by past victims of the reapers to be used against it. Umm... what? Great plan, Protheans. Lets spend the entire galaxy's war time resources to build a massive MacGuffin ... so we can just go to the citadel anyway and talk the reapers into destroying themselves? Could we not have... I dunno, used a radio at the C-sec office?
Also, why does destroying the reapers destroy all "synthetic life?" Makes no sense. Actually, why did shooting that panel destroy the reapers at all? I understand it unfortunately destroys the Mass Relays but there's no way of frying the reapers or "synthetics" across the whole galaxy (and those beyond, for that matter) without also frying everything else. When the relays explode, and they show the galaxy in the background, each explosion is way bigger than stars going supernova; we would have done the Reaper's work for them. Even if it was some kind of EMP, with that amount of power behind it would not really matter if you are organic or synthetic. Even planets (iron is a common core material, as it is the final product of natural fusion before in the life cycle of stars) would probably not survive (think cosmic rail gun). Seriously, hacking the reapers and giving the option to reprogram them or make them self destruct would make way more sense.
What they really should have done is provide a chance to see and talk to your surviving teammates afterwards and have them recognize this. I survived, and after the credits and what not (after seeing the Normandy crash land) suddenly I'm back on the Normandy like everything is fine and everyone is saying lines from before the final battle. How hard would it have been to have added an epilogue if you survive where they all get back together and throw a party or something? This is something game designers/writers should take into consideration, you need to let your audience down slowly, and gently, at least if its a real end to a real story. It would be nice if some programmers could get together and write an AI to procedurally generate more story and dialogue so endings were no longer necessary, but until then we need to do this part right. This ending actually reminds me a bit of FF7's ending - insufficient. What you want is something like the Lord of the Ring's ending. Its not hard. It doesn't need a spectacular budget. Just a little dialog, and maybe a scene or two.
Okay, I like a million other people, just had to get that off my chest. But what I really want to say is that in spite of all this, BioWare has really done something great here. If anyone out there hasn't played it, you are missing out on one of the greatest experiences and achievements in the history of gaming. I hope more games and game companies will try to bring that level of storytelling and emotion to their players. I know I intend to.
Alright now to go kill some zombies to take my mind off things (hurray for L4D)!
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