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“Mass Affect”: What destroyed Mass Effect 3’s ending?

The ‘Masses’ Affected:

The internet has been set ablaze over Bioware’s “Mass Effect 3” controversial ending. “Horrible!” as some described it. Wow! Gamers are not playing when it comes to “playing” huh? I’m hearing  everything from boycotting, to burning their copies, to returning their games — with Amazon even jumping into the fray, offering refunds, organized charities — in an attempt to fund Bioware to change the ending, to article after article of distaste.

Word on the street is that gamers are upset over the Mass Effect 3 ending mostly because it didn’t honor the choices they made from the very beginning (Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2) until now and didn’t have the impact they were expecting. This much-praised RPG from Bioware boasted that the decisions you made throughout the triology would have a significant impact throughout your journey — something gamers craved and got excited for.

At first I didn’t think it was that serious, I saw a couple of articles but no “biggie” right? Just a couple of disgruntled gamers expressing their opinion — perfectly fine. Then, those one or two articles turned into three, four, five, then literally flooded the internet before you knew it. As I saw this materialize I couldn’t help but wonder, so I came up with some theories and results on why Mass Effect 3 may have disappointed many — compiling info according to what different gamers said about their beloved Mass Effect 3 — essentially “Cause and Affect”.

Cause: Did Business destroy Mass Effect 3’s ending?

Is there a possible scenario where Bioware may have decided to go —  dare I say, “casual” and “casually” end the series considering those who may be new to  the franchise? Almost essentially making ME3 a stand alone title and being independent enough of ME and ME2  so that it could be enjoyed by as many as possible — thus the business side of things.


Very possible, in this day and age where money unfortunately sometimes takes precedent over creativity that scenario would not be far fetched — Example going multi-platform, not that it is always a bad thing. Speaking of…

Cause: Did the PS3 destroy Mass Effect 3’s ending?

Mass Effect was originally an Xbox 360 exclusive, when Bioware announced that the Mass Effect franchise was going multi-platform back in 2009, it was first thought to be an PS3 “exclusive issue” — meaning those that owned a PS3 couldn’t fully enjoy the experience because they were only getting Mass Effect 2 and on — entirely missing out on the original. And yeah Bioware made attempt to alleviate this by having a Interactive Comic called “Mass Effect: Genesis” a — “Everything that happened so far”  if you will, included on the Mass Effect 2 disc, with the attempt to catch PS3 gamers up on what they missed from the original Mass Effect. While allowing the player to make key decisions, it’s pretty safe to say it is not the same as playing it yourself. Not being able to be fully immersed and emotionally connected to characters would prove the difference. In contrast 360 gamers could use their save from the first game,  while continuing their journey and the game would honor everything they did in part 1.

Now my question is  this: Do you think the choice they made to go multi-platform (possibly unbeknownst  to them at the time) and trying to cater to PS3 owners hurt the ending? Now before you answer no, you would have to agree that the Interactive Comic delivered a near perfect translation and covered everything it needed to cover. Is it possible Bioware knowing they (PS3 owners) would never be able to experience everything made an attempt to give everyone equal opportunity? Not knowing later they would have to tinker with the final act — thus causing an uproar.With the idea of going multi-plat it seemed they had to give PS3 gamers some assurance —  as if to say “Hey PS3 owners, we got you”, “You won’t need to experience the original Mass Effect to play the rest”  — essentially leaving the Xbox (360) side feeling cheated.


Highly unlikely, from everything I hear, the “Interactive Comic” was sufficient enough for Bioware to execute their original plan — regardless of what platform they brought it to.

Cause: Did gamers (Yes you) Destroy Mass Effect 3’s ending?

The expectations of this game were sky high (Spike VG’A’s “Most Anticipated Game” of 2012) and I know from experience we sometimes as gamers hype something up so much in our minds it could never live up to it’s calling. We see this happen from time to time — even in other forms of entertainment movies, music etc. I guess it’s just human nature, when we anticipate we sometimes put unfair expectations that block us from enjoying the game purely (for what it is).


I’m not going to say gamers did not have a legitimate gripe but I know the above analysis could have played a role — this one’s a Wash.

Cause: Did Bioware themselves destroy Mass Effect 3’s ending?

Possibly, none of these theories are true and — dare I say, may very well just be a poorly executed ending on Bioware’s part. In this particular game and genre, the Mass Effect franchise — a RPG where decisions are so critical to a  outcome, it may be extremely difficult to try an execute what Bioware did, it’s one thing to do it in one game (and I can’t even downplay that) but to do it through a course of a trilogy — where you truly give gamers the power! I could only imagine. Maybe all along  the story was never going to be as dynamic as gamers thought — it happens people.


As a wise man once said after asking the question “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” — ‘The world may never know’ — sounds about right. Like I stated earlier it must be hard to truly honor a choices system sprinkled throughout a trilogy, which led to and ultimately presented a stale and generic finish — according to many. If it is indeed difficult to pull-off,  Bioware may have needed to take more time to work on it, possibly five to seven years — to develop every possible scenario and path a human user might take — and have it all make sense. Now the real question is, could you have waited that long?

Remember gamers, these are just  theories, and is to be taken as such,  I was just baffled by the outcry of the community and this is  just me trying to make sense of it all…that’s all.

Know matter how you feel, there is no doubt Mass Effect 3 left the the ‘masses’ affected.  What do you think of these theories? CCU wants to hear from you.

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One Comment

  1. Horrible article…didn’t even bother to finish it. Points you bring up are not the issue at all.

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