Tag Archives: Mass Effect 3

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CCI 2012: Video Game News Roundup

Hey there, people. It’s me again. Comic-Con has been rather quiet when it comes to video games. Just like day 1, nothing much happened in that area of nerdism so I decided to combine day 2, 3 and 4 into one article.

A Mass Effect anime will invade our television sets soon

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is an anime series which is set right before the event of Mass Effect 3. The plot centers on James Vega (voiced by the corny Freddie Prinze Jr.), telling the story of his team’s encounter with the Collectors aka the bad guys in Mass Effect 2. Here’s a brief description of the storyline taken from the official website:

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is the prequel to the highly-anticipated Mass Effect 3 and follows the early career of Alliance Marine, James Vega. Vega leads an elite Special Forces squad into battle against a mysterious alien threat known as The Collectors. Stationed at a colony in a remote star system, Vega and his soldiers must protect the civilians from a ruthless invasion determined to capture the population for unknown purposes. Learn more about the Mass Effect universe with an unprecedented glimpse into the haunted past of Mass Effect’s newest hero!

If you ask me, I don’t really give a shit about the anime. Given how crappy the ending is, there is no reason for me to care. Plus, the animation looks pretty bad. We’re talking about “made using Flash by a bunch of middle-schoolers” level of disaster. Don’t get me wrong. Flash can look fantastic when done right, but Paragon Lost does not seem to be the case. But what do I know? Some people liked the ending. That includes our very own CheeseBadger, who is oh-so-sarcastic all the time. Maybe some of you will enjoy this. As for me, I’ll pass.

By the way, the anime is coming out in November this year.

Oh, there’s also this Mass Effect 3 DLC tease

Word on the street is that BioWare released a teaser. Some speculate it’s for an upcoming DLC. Apparently the story is set underwater and there will be Atlas’s (the Cerberus robot thingy).  I’m not holding my breath for this one. Here’s an interesting question: was that pun intended?

(We’ll update this post as soon as we find the teaser on Youtube.)

The Last of Us introduces a new, bearded character

The trailer shows Joel, Ellie and the new character getting into a building after fending off the zombies, or whatever they’re called. I mean, technically speaking, they have some fungal infection in their brains or some crazy ass shit like that. That part isn’t so zombie-like, but since they’re acting as if they’re high on bath salts, we’ll just refer to them as zombies. They’re crazy, and I think they eat people. Let’s not pretend they’re anything other than zombies, aight?

Anyways, this mysterious figure, Bill, handcuffs Ellie and points the gun at Joel. The men get into an argument as Ellie breaks free to hit Bill with the steel pipe she was handcuffed to. Joel stops her after the first hit and the three talk things out. In short, Bill is the typical “trust nobody” type of guy who’s reluctant to help the protagonists in zombie movies. He’ll probably end up being eaten because he’s not a team player. Now all we need are some token (insert stereotypical minority ethnicity here) guy/gal, a dumb blonde, and a dickish beefcake to make the most predictable zombie video game ever. I am still intrigued by the story though.

More Resident Evil 6 details

Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, Resident Evil 6’s producer, has released more details on the game.

  • Jill and Claire will not be in the game. Claire will be mentioned.
  • You can switch camera to your character’s right or left.
  • For those hardcore players, the hud display can be switched off.
  • Weapons are scattered throughout levels. No purchases are necessary.
  • You no longer have worry about your AI partner’s inventory. He/She will pick up various items based on his/her needs.
  • Swapping items is possible when you’re playing online co-op.
  • Weapons are not individually upgraded. Instead, you upgrade weapons, among many other skills, through the allocation of skill points.
  • As of current, the game is not going to support Playstation Move.

Capcom has also revealed the voices behind the main characters:

  • Leon S Kennedy – Matthew Mercer
  • Helena Harper – Laura Bailey
  • Chris Redfield – Roger Craig Smith
  • Piers Nivans – Chris Emerson
  • Jake Muller – Troy Baker
  • Sherry Birkin – Eden Riegel
  • Ada Wong / Carla Radames – Courtnay Taylor

I swear to god Laura Bailey and Troy Baker were in every single thing that came out in the last twelve months. Both of them played the Boss in Saints Row The Third (Caucasian female and male respectively), as well as different supporting roles Mass Effect 3 (Laura as the asari lieutenant at the beginning of Priority: Thessia, I think, and Troy as the notoriously comical Kai Leng), and many more. Just look at their IMDB profiles yourself. Here’s Laura’s and here’s Troy’s.

They’re both quite attractive. Just saying…

A Deadpool video game is coming out…

And surprisingly, he’s not voiced by Nolan North, or is he? Oh wait, he is. All that I care about is Deadpool himself actually showed up in Comic Con to announce the game himself, and that was awesome.

The game is being developed by High Moon Studios and will be published by Activision. Anyways, here’s the teaser:

[youtube

The gameplay itself doesn’t look particularly interesting. It’s seems like another third-person hack-&-slash / shooting. Perhaps the witty dialogue may just be the game changer. Who knows? It’s too early to tell.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Comic Con coverage. Big shoutouts to all of you who read the articles. I know it sounds corny but you are the reason why we’re doing this. We don’t get paid. Please keep following us on Facebook or Twitter (or start now if you haven’t already done so) for more pop culture opinions.

(Surprisingly Not Crazy) Thoughts On Mass Effect 3′s Ending, Old & New (Mostly New)

Unlike Adam (aka CheeseBadger), I’m not a fan of the Extended Cut.

Sugarcoating a piece of crap doesn’t make it food. It might look more like food, but it’s still not edible. This is the case of the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut.

When you talk about Mass Effect as a franchise, one word comes to mind: choices. The choices we make throughout the series shape events within the game. Every dialogue you pick results in consequences. This is the reason why the first two games had so much replayability. While the story follows a single plot line, the variations are enough for us to play through the games over and over again.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for a majority of Mass Effect 3. The dialogues are the same lines read in a different tone. Most decisions are exposed to be frauds. One prominent example would be your choice of human councilor being invalidated. Regardless of your choice in Mass Effect 1, you end up with Udina in ME3. Another one will be the Rachni Queen. Had you released her in ME1, she would fall under the Reapers’ control; had you killed her, she’ll return in husk form, or something like that.

However, I would also like to point out there are also many parts of ME3 which were done right. The missions in Tuchanka, for one, have shown us glimpses of the game’s massive, unreached potential. Another great example will be the missions in Rannoch.

When it came down to the ending, BioWare choked, big time. Maybe more so than the New York Knicks against the Indiana Pacers in 1995.

My Character

The in-game default doesn’t look as good as the concept art. Just go with this one.

Before we get any further, I think it’s only right for you to learn a little bit about my character. I’m a guy, but I love me some FemShep. Hell, my “canon” Shepard is a FemShep, simply because I grew up watching cartoons and playing video games featuring Jennifer Hale’s voice. Call it nostalgia. Plus I like watching women kick ass.

You know, her voice is featured in 100+ video games, more than anyone else.

Anyways, Alexis Shepard is a paragade spacer, war hero. In ME1, she romances no one, saves the Rachni queen, picks Ashley over Kaidan, keeps Wrex alive, and saves the council. In ME2, she’s reborn. She gives the Illusive Man a finger by blowing up the Collector’s base. Throughout the journey in ME2, she falls for Garrus, because of his scars. They test his reach and her flexibility right before the suicide mission. Everyone gets out alive. Alexis 2 : 0 Reaper

In ME3, Alexis Shepard decides to help the krogans cure the genophage. She manages to repair the soured relationship between geths and quarians. As for Garrus, they talked about making that vid money and adopting Krogan babies.

TURIAN BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t even care if it’s krogan anymore. (Credit goes to Rossilyn on DeviantArt)

Why, BioWare? WHY?

*sniffs*
It’s an allergy, and something got into my eyes, OK?

The Endings Pre-Extend Cut

After the Alliance finally completes the Crucible aka Reapa Killa, Shepard returns to Earth for a final showdown against the Reapers. She gets there, kicks asses, being a badass. Then she is told she needs to get all the way to the Citadel to activate the Crucible. To accomplish that, she along with a bunch of human shields have to rush to a beam which will take her directly to the Citadel. Once she reaches the Citadel, she sees the Illusive Man, indoctrinated and all. Admiral Anderson was there as well. Depending on your dialogue with TIM, Anderson may or may not die. Either case, TIM is gone for good after this one.

Come to think about it, it kind of looks like a penis with a huge dick head.

Then, you’ll reach the Catalyst, the kid who’s controlling the Reapers. Basically, he tells you that the Reapers exist to destroy everyone before the synthetics destroy organics and vice versa. Well, technically, Reapers don’t destroy. They just suck your essence or something to become even more powerful, or something like that. It doesn’t really matter. Bottom line, they’re here killing everyone before the civilization destroys itself.

Yup.

The Catalyst then presents you with a few options:

  1. Control – You get to become part of the Reaper consciousness, and withdraw the Reaper forces immediately.
  2. Synthesis – Since Shepard is part synthetic, all thanks to Cerberus, she can jump down some light beams and convert everyone into part organic, part synthetic. Reapers will not reap anymore, simply because there are no classifications between organic or synthetic.
  3. Destroy – You blow up the Catalyst. Reapers die. All synthetics will die as a result. The geths you worked so hard to save, along with EDI, are no exceptions. If you were bothered enough to do side fetch quests or multiplayer, Shepard will survive. There will be no epilogue whatsoever.
  4. Shoot the Catalyst, and nothing happens.
  5. Throw your controller at your TV screen.

It’s really a matter of picking your poison, since the only difference lies in the hues of cinematics. They are completely identical. Whatever you did earlier in the game don’t matter; whomever you romanced doesn’t matter. The ending boils down to a number (the EMS) and three options.

In a nutshell, the relay network is destroyed, and your crew escapes from Earth for no good reason. They land on a planet where Garrus and Tali will starve to death. Somehow, the destruction of mass relays did not lead to a complete annihilation of the galactic system (as indicated in Mass Effect 2).

The Ending in Extended Cut

I’ll be honest. I just watched the gameplay footage on Youtube. I didn’t even bother to play through the game again.

First of all, there is an extended scene during the beam dash, in which Shepard calls for a pickup from Normandy. One of the two squad-mates you brought along will say goodbye. You’ll get a different version if he/she happens to be your love interest.

VIDEO REMOVED BY YOUTUBE

Second, there are a few more investigative dialogue options for the Starchild aka Catalyst.

Third, there is a new ending which allows you to refuse the Catalyst’s options. The entire civilization is wiped out and the cycle continues. EMS doesn’t change anything.

Fourth, the endings now include epilogues of sorts, narrated by different people depending on your choice.

VIDEO REMOVED BY YOUTUBE

VIDEO REMOVED BY YOUTUBE

Fifth, depending on your EMS, your crew is either stranded in the jungle-like planet after their escape or they fly off elsewhere.

Sixth, should you opt for the destroy ending and has a high enough EMS, your love interest will refuse to put your name on the memorial in the Normandy.

However, the Shepard breathing scene is not elaborated upon.

Do I like it?

Watching the extended cut for the first time definitely left a taste of bitterness. However, after watching it for multiple times, it’s not as bad as I first thought. It went from an F- to a C-.

Why don’t I like it?

There are quite a few reasons as to why I still find the ending not likable.

1. The beam dash scene makes no sense

Do you seriously expect a Reaper to allow its arch nemesis to say her goodbyes to her boyfriend? Come on. If I’m a Reaper, their asses will be grass. OK, even assuming that the Normandy has some sort of technology that keeps itself invisible from the Reapers, the logic behind this scene still doesn’t add up. Why bother wasting all that personnel on being human shields when the Normandy can drop Shepard off at the beam with no casualties? The melodramatic goodbyes are there solely for the fluffs.

2. The refusal ending

The Extended Cut was created in response to the outcry over the original endings. BioWare maintained that there would be no new endings. Yet, we see a new ending. That wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t feel completely unnecessary. Yes, we wanted an ending in which we get to refuse the Catalyst, but not at the expense of the entire civilization. This option feels like a middle finger from BioWare to some of us. Somehow, I find it comical.

3. The “Shepard is still alive” tease

This is actually one of my biggest complaints of the original ending. Given that Mass Effect 3 is supposedly the final entry of a franchise, fans would like closures on their characters. Shepard’s breath leaves fans in confusion. Is she alive? Is she on the Citadel? How does she manage to cheat death once again? Are Shepard and Garrus going to adopt Krogan babies? Plus, the scene has essentially betrayed the game’s very own theme – sacrifice.

I understand certain stories have ended on a cliffhanger, allowing audiences to interpret the protagonist’s fate. However, Mass Effect is not one of them. We know our protagonists way too well, and we dove into Mass Effect 3 fully expecting closure. Throughout the game, Shepard is tying up loose ends stemmed from ME1 and ME2. Showing Shepard taking a breath at the end only brings in more questions. You want to leave your viewers wanting more, not asking questions out of bewilderment.

4. Starchild aka the Catalyst

The Catalyst is just mind-blowingly lazy writing. Mac Walters and Casey Hudson essentially pulled a Deux Ex Machina with the Starchild. The last thing you want to do in the final stages of a story is to introduce a key character. The character will almost be impossible for audiences to relate to. As a result, it is extremely hard to empathize with Starchild.

The logic of the Catalyst is also very questionable. Destroying us before we destroy ourselves? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Imagine France coming out of nowhere and fire nuclear weapons at the United States and China, in attempt on ending all disputes over human right issues.

Even assuming that the Starchild’s logic is intentionally flawed, it is, as mentioned, hard to relate to the character. The Catalyst’s logic is right because “the writers said so.” However, a character’s authority doesn’t come from the writers, but rather his/her/its development. Walters, Hudson, as well as the guys behind Extended Cut, have failed to realize this point.

5. The Destroy ending invalidates what some of the players worked for

The speculations were indeed right. The Destroy ending will effectively kill off EDI and the geths. Now here’s the problem. A lot of us play as paragon Shepards who worked really hard to make sure that quarians and geths end up in peace. Hell, some of us picked the geths over the quarians because the latter were the ones who started the entire conflict. As much as I know life’s a bitch and then you die, Mass Effect 3 is not real life, and this goes to my next point:

6. Just because it’s sad doesn’t make it realistic

For those who claim “MASS EFFECT 3 ENDING REALISTIC BECAUSE IT SAD”, let’s keep it real for a second. Nothing about Mass Effect is realistic. Sorry for waking you up from your fantasies but I haven’t heard any stories of some big ass AI robots created for the sole purpose of killing invading earth yet. Hell, I haven’t seen a xenosexual couple yet. Oh wait, the last one is actually possible.

In case you haven’t heard, not every soldier who fights in wars died. Not every cop who fights crimes gets killed on the line of duty.

7. If I want a dose of real life, I’ll be listening to Wu Tang Clan

Unlike Mass Effect 3, Wu Tang Clan actually provide sound advices, some damn good ones at that. When I play video games, I’m looking for an escape. I knew I couldn’t kick asses across outer space in real life. That’s why I played Mass Effect. I don’t need video games to remind me life sucks.

What’s done right then?

1. The soundtrack

The final track pre-EC matches the game very well – great in the first 95%, sucked in the last 5%.

The remixed track sounds much better. The drums are pretty good. The tone sounds way more uplifting and much more “definite” towards the end. Sorry, I wish I could elaborate more but I’m no music critic.

2. The beam dash goodbye scene

*sniff*sniff* ONCE AGAIN, I’M NOT CRYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sniff*sniff*

I know I know. It still doesn’t make sense. But there’s just so much fluff. Shekarian are so adorable. WHY??????

*eats a tub of ice cream*

3. The control ending is so much better

Pre-EC, the control ending is seen as the ultimate no-no choice, as electing for control simply means you’re giving in and the cycle continues. However, it’s explained in this one that by ascending to be the Reapers’ consciousness, Shepard successfully accomplishes what she had set out for – ending the reaping cycle. Furthermore, she has the full Reaper force in her hands. Now she can be the great American (or Canadian, if you play as BroShep) savior of the poor.

This totally happens in my head canon.

Bottom line

Extended Cut managed to present the ending in a way that makes it passable. Some plot holes were filled, I’ll give them that. However, it is still nowhere close to reaching its full potential. The most frustrating part about the original ending is its complete lack of ambition. The EC failed to fix that.

When you’re shooting a basketball, the follow through is as important as the stance and the stroke. ME1 is BioWare setting their feet; ME2 is their stroke; ME3 is their follow through. With a bad follow through, the shot is likely to miss. This is what happened to the franchise as a whole. It missed. When you miss a shot, you can rush into the post and bust your ass for an offensive rebound. However, BioWare didn’t realize that their miss was a game-tying shot, and responded with a half-assed effort a few seconds t00 late. As a result, the game was lost. Their fans were gone.

The EC is just too little, too late.

If BioWare by any chance decides to make a romance DLC, I’m game. Yea, the EC is good enough for me to purchase that DLC. (Credit goes to Siberfeder on DeviantArt)

We shall end this with even more Shekarian. Listen to Jennifer Hale’s heart-break in the second one. *bursts into tears*

Thoughts On Mass Effect 3’s Endings, Old & New


Mass Effect
is a series in gaming that is unique in many aspects. It’s one of the first to actually portray a truly mature, adult story, in a relatively Hard SF setting. It’s a series that has won many fans because of its engaging, emotionally resonant story and characters, that let you place yourself in the midst of a galactic saga that had social relevance and metaphor for our own, without being preachy or condescending. Along with this, the game has several choices and story branches, throughout all three entries in the series, that could potentially alter the story, it’s meaning, depth, subtext, and character development greatly. It’s in this that I can only regard what the Mass Effect story has meant to me, and My Story, My Shepard. With this in mind, I feel it’s necessary to give you some context for why I loved the original ending, what It meant to me, and why I accepted it as it was entirely, from the beginning of Mass Effect 3, to the very last scene. It goes without saying however, that this article contains SPOILERS, but I’ll say it anyway.

Some people play their Shepards or any game character, as extensions of themselves. In Mass Effect, the beauty of this was that it was meant to be played multiple times through. You were encouraged to explore the game, and see as much or as little as you liked. Since Mass Effect 1, I’ve had two game saves.

1.) My main game. Magnus Shepard, Renegade, Earthborn Survivor of Torfan, Ruthless Commander who’d get the job done at any cost. This was my “Canon” game. The one that mattered, the one where I made decisions I felt “My” Shepard would make, even if I didn’t personally agree with them.

2.) My alternate game. Veronica Shepard. Paragon, War Hero Colonist, who made the tough decisions and did everything she could to ensure her teams survival, at great risk to herself.

I am going to talk about Magnus, because to me, his story is the one I found more intellectually stimulating and meaningful, while Veronica’s story was more personally and emotionally engaging. Magnus Shepard was a bigoted, xenophobic, borderline genocidal control freak. He was cold and hard to everyone around him. In the first game, he made no thought of killing the entire Rachni Species, or shooting an insubordinate Krogan party member in the face, if it meant getting the mission done. He made the tough choices that many would never entertain making, and he made them without questioning himself.

Tough, racist choices.

All of this changed after he died in Mass Effect 2. Being resurrected via the Lazarus Project left him scarred, both literally and metaphorically. His choices led to the destruction of his crew, and himself, despite believing he had truly done the right thing. From then on, he continued to make the hard decisions, and choosing what he now began to believe were the “bad choices”, but held steadfast onto the firm belief that what he was doing was right. That it was for humanity’s sake, and that he’d be vindicated in the end. This is what led him to side easily with The Illusive Man, who represented the flip side of the coin for Magnus, a man who claimed to represent mankind’s best interests.

Magnus joined believing that what he was doing was the right thing, again, despite initially being led to believe he was making a “bad” choice by those he cared about. Slowly, his facade began to crumble, and he opened up to his old love interest, Ashley, the one person he felt vulnerable around. Unfortunately, even she rejected his decisions, claiming that siding with The Illusive Man was going too far. After losing even her, he became destitute, and even more firm in his belief that the ends would justify the means, and hurried his crew, not wasting any more time in approaching the Collectors, and in turn, the Reapers head on.

He was a man who had been broken, and felt everything that was lost so far, was acceptable if only to stop the threat that faced the galaxy. His team suffered HEAVY losses, on the raid of The Collectors base, and upon taking the base, was faced with yet another difficult choice, to preserve the base for study, or to destroy it. Believing his life was spared for a reason, he made the “bad” choice to preserve it, in an effort to gain the upper hand against the Reapers. Again it’d seem, he and the Illusive Man were but a shade of grey apart.

“There… EarthI wish you could see it like I doShepardIt’s so… perfect.” – The Illusive Man

In Mass Effect 3, now recovering from the scars he’d received during the previous two games, he found himself in the middle of a direct Reaper attack. Having spent so many lives at a great cost was beginning to weigh heavy on his shoulders, and seeing an innocent boy’s life taken, despite all the sacrifices he’d made, started to crack at his seams. Throughout all of Mass Effect 3, Magnus began to slip deeper into the hole he’d created for himself, making “bad” choices to kill many of his former crew (Mordin, Legion, etc), if it meant the survival of the human race. Believing once again, that all of this was for a reason, that his choices were just, despite the massive amounts of guilt they brought to him. All of this culminated in nearly everyone he knew, more or less being hurt by him. Every choice he made, brought pain to another life, and not even Ashley, his former love interest could console him at the final hour. When it came time to storm the uploading beam to the Crucible, (a term that literally means ‘”test”), he did it full on, with no more care for the value of his life, believing that this was it. By cruel and ironic fate, he awoke the only one alive, and struggled aboard the Crucible, activating it, and was presented with the famous choice so many players struggled with at the end of the game.

This moment was revelatory for Magnus. All this time, he had made so many bad choices, all in the name of destroying the Reapers. Of righting things for the universe. To make sure the ends justified the means. However, when presented with the three options before him, Magnus had an epiphany. That all of his choices, were made so he could be here, at this moment, to stop all the pain and destruction he had seen. The synthetic VS organic wars of times past, present and future, were naught but for his very whims. With a heavy heart full of regret, sorrow, guilt, and penance, he jumped into the Crucible’s light, sacrificing himself to unite all organic and synthetic life once and for all. He had spent his life making the hard, “bad” choices, and now, only moments before his death, got to repay everyone back, and repent for his sins, and the lives he had taken, only now seemingly for needless reasons. Synthesis united the galaxy, but death redeemed Magnus Shepard, and invited a peace internal and external, for himself, and the galaxy in turn. In my opinion, it was a brilliant ending, and everyone but me HATED it.

Sorry, wrong ending I loved that everyone else hated.

So Yeah. I liked the original ending. It was overwhelmingly deep and thought provoking for me. Magnus was a complicated, unlikable protagonist, with true depth and many layers to his personality. At one point, there is even a song inside Shepard’s cabin, that in my opinion, sums up the many feelings my Shepard had, and his decisions throughout the games. The song is called “Bad Choices” by Shout Out Out Out Out, and it’s inclusion was no random choice by the game creators I’m sure, since it’s lyrics read like a personal journal entry for my Shepard:

I’m self destructing I admit.

I make so, many bad, bad choices.

But here’s the thing, 

that I admit.

I always know they’re bad choices.

It’s a simple set of lyrics. It’s a brilliant song. It sums up my Shepard perfectly, and to that end, my Mass Effect game perfectly. I finished the game in awe, and found myself itching to play it again. Imagine my shock when, after going online to see the Internet’s reaction to such a brilliant game, I found nearly UNANIMOUS hatred at the game’s ending. All of this was compounded even further, when in defense of the game’s ending, which I didn’t feel needed defending, people began speaking about “The Indoctrination Theory”.

What is The Indoctrination Theory you ask? Well here’s a link to it, but I’ll try to sum it up for you as quickly and adequately I can. Basically, there are several allusions and implications throughout all three games, that The Reapers, have all this time, been controlling you. All of your decisions are an elaborate attempt to sway you to their side, as they have Saren, and The Illusive Man alike. Towards the end, there are several continued hints towards this, and ultimately, it is speculated the choosing to Control The Reapers, Synthesize, or Destroy The Reapers, is a test of your internal will, as this is a a mental projection inside your mind, and a metaphysical ending rather than a literal one.

Choosing Synthesis or Control resulted in the Reapers winning over your mind, and only Destruction won your will back from them, with the only hard proof to this assertion being the brief cutscene that you get only from destruction. The cutscene in question, shows Shepard buried in apparently Earth-like rubble, awakening for a half breath, before cutting away. This implies the ending was all in Shepard’s mind, and by choosing Destruction, you’ve defeated the attempt at “Indoctrination” The Reapers have made on you. Personally, I thought this ending was genius. Even though the new ending is decidedly more literal, the mere CONCEPT that The Reapers had indoctrinated ME, the player, was brilliant. I had spent nearly 4 years, gnawing at the bit to kill the Reapers, every last one. And what did I end up picking? Synthesis. Not killing them. I had successfully been indoctrinated.

Bravo.

But alas, it was not enough for the gaming populace who demanded a “new” ending to a game, claiming it was “broken” and didn’t make sense. While some of the more sensible detractors did make a few good points on logistical aspects, I found myself unable to empathize with them, because my gaming experience was so enjoyable. It was with a sense of relief then, that I was one of the few people overjoyed to hear that Bioware was not changing the ending, but were rather adding further closure, and character depth.

Not this kind of depth though.

Now, for the new endings. While I won’t go into all the specifics, (I’ll leave that to my co-writer, Jason, who I’m sure shares a different viewpoint on the original ending’s, and the series overall ending than I do), the new endings definitely provide closure in many aspects. Closure to plotholes, closure to the ultimate fate of many of the species in the galaxy, closure to Shepard’s fate him/herself, and a more final closure to the series all in all. In particular, I found the wholly new ending, which the Internet seems to have dubbed the “Rejection” ending, very interesting, and just as satisfying as the others. In it, you refuse to accept the choices given to you, claiming that it is one sacrifice too many, that the Reapers will be fought on Humanity’s/Turian’s/Krogan’s/et al’s terms. The AI you speak to responds angrily, and we flash forward to the distant future, to see a hologram of Liara T’Soni, explaining to an unseen viewer, all the details of the war against the Reapers, with the hope that a future races watching will continue. The hologram itself was a neat callback to an earlier scene in the game, where Liara actually does archive you, and all their information, for just such a use. The game ends on a new coda, with a child and her mother stargazing, speaking of you in legendary terms, as The Shepard Who United The Galaxy. It also illustrates that all of the information Shepard provided, along with the archived warnings and information, led to future races finally defeating the Reapers once and for all, effectively proving The AI wrong. Seeing Shepard spoken about within this context,  gains a bit more meaning, in terms of how legends are made, told, and passed down.

“Tell me more about The Shepard.”

The new endings will undoubtedly still frustrate many gamers. I have no doubt that no matter what Bioware put out, people would have found things wrong with it. So many people’s stories were very personal to them, as mine was for me, and satisfying everyone is nigh impossible, but these endings are a great attempt at bridging people who hated it, and people like me who loved it, to find some happy common ground in the middle. Because if there’s anything that we should take from playing Mass Effect, it’s that we can only all prosper, if we unite together. And that’s something worth fighting for, no matter what choices you make.