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News & Features Discussion  » General: Soap Box: Mass Effect 3 Part 2 - The 5%

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16298

OP  4/10/12 3:24:22 PM#1

Yesterday, we took a look at the first 95% of Mass Effect 3, the part that BioWare did very well. In today's Soap Box, we look at the final 5% of Mass Effect 3 and at the controversy swirling about the last chapter of the last game in the astonishingly successful trilogy of games.

I find myself faced with the prospect of no Commander Shepard in my future, at least not one whose ending I will not already know should I choose to revisit the ME trilogy again. And it's OK if, after all is said and done, Shepard is gone (though I would fervently wish otherwise). But let her go in peace, with dignity, with nobility, with her companions by her side as they would have been no matter what. Better than that, let us, we who are Shepard, choose the way she exits the series. After all, Bioware, you allowed us to become the noble Commander Shepard. What a wonderful gift that has been for five years.

Read more of Suzie Ford's Soap Box: Mass Effect 3 Part 2 - The 5%.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/09
Posts: 20

4/12/12 10:37:22 AM#2

I played Mass Effect, and was not sold on Bioware's ability as a story teller, so I didn't continue playing the series.  That being said, I'm sorry you had this experience with Mass Effect 3 (but I am not surprised that you did). 


Elite Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 8080

Logic be damned!

4/12/12 10:40:24 AM#3

"It's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, then were suddenly silenced. I feel something terrible has happened"

Sums up my reaction to the ending.

It just doesn't make any sense and is so piss poor in quality, it is like they had another company who never played ME1 or 2 or even played any of ME3 suddenly swooped in and wrote an ending that completely stole every original idea from other "popular" science fiction franchises.

Disappointing doesn't go far enough.

It was offensive.


I've probably been lurking for way, way too long.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/23/10
Posts: 38

Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.

4/12/12 10:42:46 AM#4

Personally, I didn't want Shepard to live through this at all costs. In fact, I expected the Paragon choice in the end to be Shepard sacrificing himself/herself and save the galaxy for good, while the Renegade choice to be Shepard to live, but the threat for the galaxy to be imminent, though maybe not in Shepard's lifetime. Thus, you would have a totally selfless option, which would probably make you sad, and a selfish one, leaving a bad taste, but in line with the concept of paragon and renegade choices that Bioware created.

What we got instead is simply a badly written ending. Whether this is because of a writer's block, or people at Bioware truly believed it was better, I don't know. My main problem is that putting the endings the way they currently are, the game makes every choice you made to reach there, every relationship you had, every person you saved or killed, entirely pointless. I must give it to Bioware - it does take some talent to make you not care anymore for a game series that you used to care about.

I think a lot of people feel the same, and this is what the real problem with ME3 is. Only when I think how many times I replayed ME1 and ME2, and now I don't want to hear about the series - you've done your job really well, Bioware.


Highlighted Blogger

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 1752

Co-Leader of Inquisition

4/12/12 10:42:46 AM#5

Suzie Rants! :)

This is one of the reasons I skipped on this game.  I don't want to pay 60$ to have the developers spit in my face at the end of the game.    I got enough of that when I picked up Dark Souls for the PS3 a few months back.  That was a seriously challenging game I pumped 60 hours into just so at the end of the game I could LITERALLY die in a fire.   CLICKY LINK TO SEE. It pisses me off when a great game is ruined by something like that.

For me (and I think many others would agree) is that something seems to have gone horribly wrong over at Bioware right around the time EA sunk their claws into them.  Dragon Age 2 was a shadow of the original, TOR was a dumbed-down single player game with a monthly fee, and now the ME3 fiasco.  I applaud the efforts by people to try and hold the people responsible for this accountable for what is just complete stupidity, but I think it's just the symptom of a bigger problem.   Bioware in general needs to get their proverbial shit together and seriously take a hard look at what it has become.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 1800

4/12/12 10:43:22 AM#6

Watch this and you will understand ending much better. It's actually cool.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2370

4/12/12 10:49:15 AM#7

Aww Suzie, you dun gon' and made me luv yew


Originally posted by thedarkess

Watch this and you will understand ending much better. It's actually cool.




While a nice theory, it's still only that. People keep quoting that which was created by the fan community to come to grips with the ending as if it were fact, but until it's specifically stated so by the creators of the game, I'm not counting on it. For one, all these theories take place around the time the beam hits Shep, which means the indoctrination would begin post-beam, a beam that desintegrated everything else it ever touched. Indoctrination doesn't explain that part, unless you're going beyond the person and mean the indoctrination is happening to the soul/spirit (seeing as conceivably that would be all that's left of the person), or the beam just decided to ignore Shep entirely (also unlikely seeing as he was clearly in pain after). In either case, you'd have to once again explain it off with the term "space magic" which is more than half the problem people have in the first place.


"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  User Deleted
4/12/12 11:08:32 AM#8

BioWare needs to understand that artistic integrity is not an end. You can be as true to your artistic vision as you want, but if that vision is crap, its integrity will not protect it. 


Guild Wars 2 Guild Leader

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 1114

Deliciously Trashy

4/12/12 11:10:00 AM#9

Originally posted by thedarkess

Watch this and you will understand ending much better. It's actually cool.


Indoctrination is fun, but we, as fans, shouldn't have had to make up an ending that fit within the ridiculousness of the one BioWare presented us. Indocrination also only covers few of the plot holes, but doesn't touch aspects of the ending like the Normandy fleeing.

Patrick Weekes should've been the lead writer, especially after Drew left; that's probably one of the biggest reasons why the writing of several bits (especially the ending) failed so hard.

I'm still smarting over the ending to this series. I know the ending to trilogies tends to be weak because it's difficult to end something like that on a satisfying note, but this was about as far away from satisfying as possible. When one of my best friend who was a total Renegade-Shep, gets the same exact ending as my 1000% Paragon-Shep.... Not cool.

And inregards to choices from other games playing a huge game, why the hell did Cerebus have a peice of the human-reaper larva from 2, when I nuked the base to hell? That still remains one of my biggest isues with the plots. It's not possible.


Guild Wars 2 Guild Leader

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 1114

Deliciously Trashy

4/12/12 11:12:58 AM#10

Originally posted by WhySoShort

BioWare needs to understand that artistic integrity is not an end. You can be as true to your artistic vision as you want, but if that vision is crap, its integrity will not protect it. 


Indeed. Casey Hudson's head is so far up a pipe with this 'artisic vision' bs, he fails to see his vision is sorely flawed and needs to reevaulate. This medium, especially with blockbuster games/series with scores of hours of investment by players, needs to be handled differently than a movie, or even an idie game (or possibely even a single game - I do believe I would've been ok with the ending had it merely been the end to a one game, not s series; and the artistic integrity pill would've gone down a bit easier).


Guild Wars 2 Guild Leader

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 1114

Deliciously Trashy

4/12/12 11:14:21 AM#11

Originally posted by BadSpock

It was offensive.


It well and truly was.

I should stop posting now @_@


Novice Member

Joined: 8/28/05
Posts: 675

4/12/12 11:20:52 AM#12

I don't get why Bioware can't say, "We made a mistake with the ending."

I can see why they wouldn't want to spend months making a dlc that would make it right, since fans would want it for free. They only have so many people and they have other projects. I think they believe that this will not have a huge effect on the bottom line for future games, so why make a new ending?


A kid runs into the living room and knocks over a vase. His mother sees him do it and walks up to him and asks, "Why did you break that vase?" The kid says, "What vase?" The mother points to the object laying on the floor, "That vase. Why did you break it?" The kid won't look to where his mother is pointing, but instead replies, "I don't see a vase."

The mother, who is becoming frustrated, bends down and picks up a broken piece of the vase and holds it up for the kid to see, "This!" The kid finally looks at it and says, "Its not broken."


Advanced Member

Joined: 6/03/03
Posts: 1

4/12/12 12:06:18 PM#13

Everytime someone from Bioware uses "artistic integrity" in all seriousness, I want to paraphrase Inigo Montoya right back at them -

"You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean."


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/12/07
Posts: 481

4/12/12 12:20:30 PM#14

Originally posted by DannySF

Everytime someone from Bioware uses "artistic integrity" in all seriousness, I want to paraphrase Inigo Montoya right back at them -

"You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean."


That's epic.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/28/04
Posts: 699

4/12/12 12:29:26 PM#15

I wish I could see those pictures but they don't get any bigger (the Casper + whatever).


Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1252

4/12/12 12:32:01 PM#16

What I don't understand is why they chose the path of the star-kid in the first place? What possible reason was there? They've been playing things as a Star Wars / Starship Troopers / action sci-fi movie from the very conception of the trilogy, why would they completely go the other way right at the end? It's like Suzie says, it's as if they brought in a group of writers who had never seen any of the previous content and asked them to write up an ending. How can Bioware not see that the ending just doesn't fit the theme they had through all three games?

It confuses the hell out of me, it really does, I just can't come up with any rational reason why they would switch themes right at the very end. It's confusing, frustrating, and ultimately, bloody annoying.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/09
Posts: 581

4/12/12 12:38:45 PM#17

Thanks for linking MrBtongue! He's great.


Further viewing for everyone interested:


The Mass Effect 3 Indoctrination Theory (MrBtongue):


Mass Effect 3 and Art Envy (Instig8iveJournalism):


Mass Effect 3 plot analysis (smudboy, not finished yet...):


Mass Effect 2 plot analysis (smudboy):

Hype train -> Reality


Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/09
Posts: 581

4/12/12 1:00:45 PM#18

Btw. Mass Effect 2 plot analysis:

Actually, ME2's story was already pretty bad - but few people noticed it or cared that much back then, so Bioware got away with it.


Hype train -> Reality


Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/12
Posts: 11

4/12/12 1:11:01 PM#19

This is the game BioWare wanted to make all along.  The people who think they "retconned" the reapers at the end don't understand what the word means.  This was their plan from the beginning.  They never revealed what the reapers were, what they wanted, or if they worked for someone else.  But they left little hints...

That's from the first game, look at the second paragraph of the description.  "beings of light" controlling the reapers to stop synthetic life from taking over.  That makes zero sense until you see the ending.

I understand the complaints where choices didn't seem to have that much of an impact directly.  Yeah, they did promise that, didn't they?  But they did from an emotional standpoint.  If you freed the geth (either on their own or got them to stop fighting the quarians) choosing the destruction option is totally absurd.  "Thanks for the help, geth... suckers!"  If you told Legion to spin on it and chose the quarians, then destroying all synthetics didn't seem like such a bad choice.  Heck, get enough points, and you get to kill all synthetics and even live at the end.  Happily ever after!!!

I want to know how people thought the game was going to end.  It was established in the previous games that the reapers numbered in the hundreds of millions and that all of the combined resources of the galaxy didn't stand a chance against them.  Was the Crucible suppose to just be a super weapon that targeted only reapers and wiped them out?  Would that have been the awesome ending everyone was waiting for?  Shepard comes sliding down off a giant pile of reaper corpses, having sacrificed nothing in his/her entire quest, then takes the love interest by the hand and skips off into the sunset?

The "happy" ending to the story is the synthesis ending where Shepard ends the cycle of destruction and evolves all species to the point where organics are no longer at odds with synthetics.  Joker and EDI walking out of the ship was a ham-fisted swipe at an Adam and Eve type of ending.

Shepard is a hero in that ending.  Shepard got all of the races to work together (unlocking enough points for the synthesis ending) and chooses an ending where nobody else dies not even the reapers.

All of it did matter, because if Shepard had been selfish, had told people he/she didn't want their help, chose one side over another instead of getting them to work together, that ending isn't possible.

...unless you play through multiple times and do multiplayer... okay I just defeated my own argument.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/20/04
Posts: 6

Sometimes I think i'm crazy. Other times I know i'm nuts.

4/12/12 1:16:01 PM#20

The really sad thing is, even with all the anger flowing out of the community, many (not all) of us know in our hearts that as soon as the Extended Cut comes out, we're going to play it.  And, if we're honest with ourselves, we'd have likely been willing to pay for it, just for the chance to get more "clarity".  And yes, I am definitely including myself in this group, because I want something that makes sense.  It doesn't have to be "happy".  It would actually be pretty fitting if it was bitter sweet (like several previous moments in the game where a former compainion sacrificed themselves to do the "right" thing).  I just want it to be good.

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