Mass Effect 3 Ending PatchPosted: March 21, 2012
This is starting to become old news, but Bioware has been put on the defensive lately by people having played Mass Effect 3 and been dissatisfied with the ending. Having not beaten the game myself (blasphemy!), I don’t know how much I can argue the point, but I do think it’s gotten pretty ridiculous so far.
Complaints boiled over on their Mass Effect Facebook page, with people posting complaints on just about every single topic. People are complaining that the ending didn’t fit what they wanted or that their choices weren’t taken into in effect enough. The ratio of people pissed to people happy is probably about 4:1 (online at least, but judging from over 30 “perfect” scores, who knows) and they’re making their voices heard. Recently, Bioware posted this:
We are aware that there are concerns about a recent post from this account regarding the ending of the game. In this post it was stated that at this time we do not have plans to change the ending.
We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending.
Your feedback and opinions are of the utmost importance to us. We apologize for any confusion this has caused. Our top priority regarding this discussion is to keep communication with you, our loyal fans, open and productive.
The original post to which they refer is now gone, but it seems as though Bioware has completely flip-flopped. That’s right: be on the lookout for the new DLC in which everything turns out great and everyone gets what they want. Maybe it will be free? Who knows.
The negative posts on Facebook have continued, leading Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of Bioware and current GM, to post on the Bioware blog.
Muzyka, in effect, defends the work mostly. He acknowledges the criticisms that fans may have, but twice points out the game’s amazing review scores. Muzyka doesn’t directly say it, but several times he points out that the team is working to address these criticisms and we can see the response in either future content releases or in new Mass Effect games (as the series will continue in spin-offs). Whether this means a Happy Ending DLC, who knows. He does defend the artistic integrity of the team, though, and seems to sincerely believe the ending they wrote is the best ending for the game. To his credit, he promises that the team will “listen” to fan criticism, but that he also doesn’t appreciate a lot of the destructive criticism that they’ve received.
Like I said, I haven’t beaten the game. I’m like 30 hours in so I like to imagine I’m close (I’ve spent untold hours online, though…), but so far I’m liking what I’m seeing. I do have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that ME2 is better, but I’ve yet to see the full thing unfold, like I’ve said. All I can tell is that so many of my choices from previous games have had huge roles in this one, and I can hardly imagine how different things would be on different playthroughs (on my current playthrough, Thane died. I haven’t felt more than a ripple or two about his death. On another playthrough, Mordin died — Mordin makes a huge appearance in ME3, so I can’t imagine what it’d be like without him). Bioware has crafted an immense story and has done something that I don’t think any other game has done in terms of continuity. Everything is massive and just about everything is addressed, from the smallest details to the largest.
All that said, not knowing what the ending is, I completely support what Bioware has done. I hear the game leaves some questions unanswered but answers the biggest of them and closes the book on Shepard. Though, like everyone else, I’ve heard rumours that EA’s been micromanaging Bioware at the Casey Hudson-level, I like to imagine that Bioware’s own artistic integrity has ruled and that the game, and trilogy, ends exactly how they wanted it to.
Often, when dealing with cultural products, the question that gets asked is who truly owns it. Does Bioware own Mass Effect, or do the fans who have made it so popular? On the one hand, Bioware needs to make the game for the fans, and so what the fans think about the game influences how the game itself is actually made. On the other… Bioware owns the rights to the game, the story, and the characters, and they make the game how they want to.
At first I thought that Mass Effect fans are above-average intelligence and that, like me, they’re a bunch of highfalutin art majors who appreciate art for art’s sake. Having read through some of the comments, I see that I was quite mistaken and that Mass Effect fans are somewhat representative of the world itself. Some are smart, some are dumb, etcetera. I’m disappointed that the former wasn’t true, but that’s how it goes, I guess. A bunch of entitled clowns who think, because they paid $60 or whatever to play a game, that they own the ending. It’s disappointing at best. Maybe I’ll be eating my own words after finishing the game, but I kind of suspect not. We’ll see, I guess.