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Mass Effect 3: The Ending and The Explanation

Everyone knows about Bioware is changing the ending to Mass Effect 3. It may be “The Extended Cut” but it is still altering how the end of the story of Shepard will be portrayed and how the franchise will dictate itself from here. Upon speaking with many fans about the ending, many hated it and fewer loved it. I find the ending to be fine. But the biggest complaint by many people is those who had their save files from ME1 did not see ALL of their choices changing the ending.

The ending went one of two ways and it was up to you to decide. There is a reason why Bioware ended Mass Effect 3 the way they did. Mainly it relies upon a technical and writing issue. There are a lot of ways to build your own Commander Shepard through the three games. The choices you make determine what the next series of events plays out. Your love interest can be the same or it can change. Bioware made many executive decisions when writing ME3.

Let me start of simple, Anderson could have been a council member depending on who you elected. However, no matter what choice you pick, Udina is still the representative for the humans on the council. Imagine Anderson being a member of the council and then think about how the first sequence of ME3 played out. It would dramatically change the entire course of the game. Far too much would be different and the writing staff would have to essentially write two different games. At least, that is the broad spectrum of things.

Yes, the Mass Effect series is known for moral choices with a cause and effect. But trying to account for every single moral choice you make through the course of two other games is not only a hassle, but a time consuming process. If Bioware was to write an ending for every moral choice you made after three whole games it would take longer than the year and a half (or so) that it took for the version of ME3 we received.

Now the usual rebuttal would probably be, “Well they still should have done it, because it would have made a better game.” No doubt that ME3 would be a kick ass title if the story accounted for every moral choice you made, but there is a little thing called time that gets in the way. When a big name franchise such as Mass Effect gets a new game fans anxiously await more news to come out. Impatient fans are very difficult to please because if you rush a product that will not like it but if it takes too long they will not like the fact it took two or more years.

Too much time on a product can ruin it like a wildfire to a forest. And Mass Effect 3 would have taken a lot longer to develop if Bioware did what the elitist crybaby fanchildren wanted. But then, those same fans would bitch and moan about how the game would take forever, and they may even lose interest. Not only is this a writing issue but it is also a programming issue. Having to write all the extra dialogue and sequences is just pen to paper. But when you have a video game you must also generate the world, the characters, and use the voice actors longer. Video games are not made off of smiles and dreams. They are made of cold hard cash. And all the things previously mentioned require money to execute.

This is the technical side, or rather, the developers side to why ME3 is the way it is (story wise). Many elitist willfully ignorant fans are not able to see the two sides of the coin. Just because they are the consumer, does not man they know everything that goes into the game. Bioware should not have to explain themselves for their own creative decision. Maybe some of you are in college, so I will leave you with something that I hope happens to you.

Next time you have a large essay to write, I hope that your professor tells you that he did not like what he read refuses to grade it and will threaten to give you a failing grade and disown you as his student unless you come back the next day with a new essay he will like. Take that feeling, and that is how Bioware’s writers feel. Quite frankly, I hope these elitist fans would stop ruining video games for those who can appreciate something someone else made.

1 Comment

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  1. Allan S says
    April 12, 2012, 12:36 AM

    I’m not sure where to begin with this. First of all, I’m not really a Mass Effect fan. Most of my experience of the game series is by proxy through my brother Aaron, who had played ME 1 and 2 SEVERAL times, while I have only recently started playing the first game. However, I have followed the fan outcry over the ending after my brother Aaron described it to me. And honestly, I’m siding with the fans. I have heard several opinions on why they hated the ending and they all seem to converge on the same key points that any person even remotely familiar with writing fiction would agree makes for a bad ending.

    Given writing would be required to convey those points, I’m going to relent on voicing them here. Instead, I think I’ll create a Counter-point editorial, if you don’t mind that is.


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