The Mass Effect 3 Ending - The third word
The Mass Effect 3 Ending - The third word
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Mass Effect 3. It also has an apology for spoiling the game so much though. That's in the first article, so you don't have to worry about accidentally reading spoilers if you want to see me apologise!
The Mass Effect 3 ending controversy is definitely the big issue in video games right now - which might be a tad annoying if you haven't yet found 35 spare hours to sit down and finish the game. For this, I humbly beg your forgiveness for talking about it so much here on GameArena, but there's a lot to be said and we strive to present you with as many sides of an argument as we can.
That's why we've got Rohan (rwh) detailing what he loves so much about the game in his article Little Blue Babies. And why, as a counter-point we have Junglist detailing what he thinks is wrong with the ending - and why he thinks changing it might not be destroying the 'art'.
I'm whole-heartedly for keeping the Mass Effect 3 ending the way it is. It certainly wasn't the greatest ending in a video game, but I felt like it was a good finishing point for the story. I won't go on and on about why I think that is - I discuss it at length in the GA Podcast special spoiler episode alongside Luke and Rohan.
Instead I'll point out that I think it's interesting that what I enjoyed about ME3 is different to what Rohan enjoyed, and what Luke disliked about the game's ending is different to what Junglist disliked.
Four very opinionated people all landed at different places with ME3, and we all got there in different ways. There's definitely weight to Junglist's argument against the social engineering aspects of ME3, and how those aspects affect whether or not the game can be called 'art' or not.
Nevertheless I think Jung was overzealously reductive in comparing a changing of the ending to the patching of buggy software.
Luke's arguments (on the podcast) - that the game presents you a significant amount of information, like your Paragon/Renegade metres, and then fails to actually use that information in a satisfying way - is also a worthwhile argument solely aimed at a failure in his eyes to correctly convey the information at hand.
Other arguments - the plot specific ones - also have weight in my eyes. I don't know why my team was back on the Normandy, and I don't have an answer as to why Joker was legging it out of the Sol system when you blew it all up (well, I do have the ability to put on my best George Lucas voice and say 'You see, the magic of cinema...' before I run away).
This all said, I still think it would be dangerous for BioWare to alter the ending at the behest of vocal fans. Not dangerous because it will jeopardise how people look at video games in the frame of reference of 'art'. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and it doesn't matter whether other people think video games are art or not.
No, changing the ending of a game would be dangerous because it would turn the previously hilarious> habit of video game petitions into a weapon of considerable power.
The current petition for those who didn't like the game ending is about 60,000 people strong. The first week of Mass Effect 3 sales was about two million strong (according to VGChartz).
Keep in mind that the two million sales was from the first week alone, and that the petition has been in place since... um... a day before the 35 hour long game came out... so this percentage number is by no means scientific.
Still, it presents a pretty clear picture. Giving into the demands of those wanting the ending to be changed would be a mistake.
Of course, if you have other thoughts I'd love to hear them.
Comments on this Article
Thu 22 Mar 12, 1:17pmMalthius
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Thu 22 Mar 12, 1:23pmGreySquirrel
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Thu 22 Mar 12, 1:27pmGreySquirrel
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Thu 22 Mar 12, 1:59pmpearty2011
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Thu 22 Mar 12, 2:15pmPaul
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Thu 22 Mar 12, 4:42pmBeeJaY
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