Significance of Mass Effect 3 ending

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While we’ve seen a number of people state that the Mass Effect 3 ending is a satisfying conclusion, it seems that many more gamers are unhappy with the way their beloved franchise ended in the latest release. The surge in complaints made such an impact that the director of the game had to respond, and explain why and how he wanted an ending to remember.

The game director doesn’t seem to have helped matters when he tackled the issues fans have with Mass Effect 3 a few days ago, which had been during an interview with a popular blog while answering a direct question on the game’s ending. You can see the answer to this question here, and also feedback on other questions some gamers have had like the same sex relationships. Do you think Casey Hudson’s answers justified what they tried to achieve with Mass Effect 3?

Also See: Mass Effect 3 Omega DLC not for all platforms

More recently we found a forum posting that touched on the Mass Effect 3 ending, and this time it came from BioWare’s Chris Priestly. In the post, can be found here, it was explained that they’re listening to fan feedback and this should encourage ME3 fans to speak out about the ending if there’s any upset. The reasons given for listening more than giving answers is thanks to not enough people completing the game, and it’s Priestly’s view that more people need to complete the game first and during this time active discussions can take place to gauge gamer opinion.

Did you love the Mass Effect 3 ending, and how much has this impacted your love for the Mass Effect franchise? Please keep the comments spoiler free as much as possible, although if you’ve not completed the game you might not want to read the comments below in case anyone spoils the ending for you.

The bottom-line – Too many fans are angry for the developers to sit back without giving more detailed answers, and asking gamers to try and “interpret” the ending will only make matters worse while armies of fans discuss why the ending is a disgrace in their opinion, so BioWare listen up while the users comment on what you did wrong.

  • Guest101

    Well basically i am annoyed because your choices in mass
    effect 2 are irrelevant… i wont go into details.. But really the ending just
    annoyed me… you dont built fans up in me2 for a huge final battle with harbinger and you don’t get it…

  • im commander shepard

    The ending just made no sense, the mass effect universe is so well built, the science, politics cultures and mass effect lore all make this game franchise so great. The ending ignores so much of it that it feels as if its turned into a different game by the last 10 min.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LY2WPIUPASG4UEHA5WZRONWRGY Ste

    You can’t polish a turd.

    When something is bad, it’s bad. Period.
    Maybe Bioware got too comfortable and doesn’t know to handle disatisfied customers anymore.

    Either way, it sucked. No amount of DLC is going to change that. Whether it’s free or $10 is behind the point now.

    Besides what kind of mentally challenged company thinks witholding the actual ending of a trilogy is a good idea ???!!!?

    Imagine watching the final film of Lord of the Rings, it’s in its final moments, Frodo is standing on the ledge of the volcano, holding the ring in his hand, he lets go and then suddenly…right out of the frigging blue…Sauron appears and asks Frodo what’s his favourite colour, of which the answer will determine the fate all living being in the world. Frodo chooses one, it doesn’t matter. THE END !!!!!

    YESSSSSS !!!!!! Narrative GENIUSSSSSS !!!!!!!

    Basically Bioware took the last hour of the game and is gonna stretch it a bit more before releasing it as a complementary DLC worth only $10-15 + !!!!

    Aren’t we spoiled ?
    Or are they the spoiled ones ?

  • Lee_robertsons

    Yup played 1 & 2 imported and spend nearly £200 on all the games and DLC only for all my choices through the whole series to be pointless at the end of mass effect 3. A real let down from a massive fan of the games.

    Also I had 1 bad play through and 1 good right from Mass effect 1 and again it makes no difference come the end so are left thinking what was the point. It feels like all they did was cut and paste the 3 endings and tweak them slightly and thats about it.

    I think they will find out very quickly when they realise no-one is replaying the game. I have twice and no more.

  • Scruffy

    The endings were nothing more than a redesign of the end to Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  

    The basis of the Mass Effect franchise is the idea that “your choices make a difference.”  Throughout ME3, the choices you made in ME1 and ME2 made little to no difference in the game.  The choices you made throughout all 3 games made absolutely no difference in the end of ME3.  That is one of, if not the main, reason why most of us are angry.  They completely discarded the core of the game in the final 10-15 mins.

    Another issue is the lack of closure.  We are given nothing by these endings.  There are no answered questions or explanations.  We are left with more questions and plot holes.

    Also, no matter which ending you picked, the game ended pretty much the same way.  The only difference being a red, green, or blue colored laser.  That is it.  The videos after made absolutely no sense either.

    And to top it all off, after supporting this franchise for over 5 years and sitting through a terrible ending, BioWare hits you with a screen that basically says, “Haha…screw you.  We gave you nothing, but buy the DLC that is coming out soon.”  It was a huge slap in the face.

    They royally screwed the pooch with those endings.  Their silence on the matter isn’t exactly helping either.  I understand the concept behind the idea of being artsy, but endings that claim to “leave the players/viewers speculating” only work when they are done correctly (i.e. the ending to the movie Inception).  This ending was terribly done and BioWare will lose DLC sales because of it.

    Why buy DLC if you know that your game play will always result in the same 3 terrible endings?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000196388992 Heartbreak Ray

    Bottom Line, Bioware made alot of promises pre game release on what to expect from the game and its ending. So far they have not come through on any of it. They said the game will be based on every decision you make and everything you do will have an effect on the outcome of the game. They also promised multiple times that all of your questions will be answered. They clearly stated that Shepherds story would come to an end completely with a solid ending that describes everything. Well none of the choices you made mattered after all. In previous games you had control over how things played out, you could do what was necessary and save everyone. Well no matter what thane and maelon die. You cant really save the asari home world properly, rather or not you shoot udina someone else will, rather or not you out anderson on council udina takes his place, save the council or not there wont be a human council like they said there was, so on and so on in mass effect 3 you learn nothing matters. To make matters worse no matter what you do through the game the game always give you the same choices for the ending as if you could kill everyone and do everything wrong and still pretty much get the same ending. Also the whole galactic readiness is just a numbers game, it doesnt really give you different cut scenes or change much on a galactic scale. I wont go into all the comments I read on how Bioware put middle finger to its consumers by lying to us but the fact remains they failed us all. Not to mention, Illusive man was right all along? Did Shepherd just say that?! Also the part about all our questions will be answered? Where exactly does this ever happen. Who exactly are the reapers, when the relays blow up how come they didn’t destroy all the galaxy like they said in the arrival DLC, Who is this brat kid and pretty much what the hell is going on. The not only put the middle finger at us again by not answering questions but they give us many more questions to be answered. Bioware simply should be running out of middle fingers to flip at its fans or ex-fans. Its just not the bad ending but its basically not an ending at all. I waiting all this time, invested all this time and paid all this money for nothing in the end is how people feel. Never before have I purchased an incomplete game. Super Mario Brothers had a better ending and not just cause it was happier but because it was complete. Also Mass Effect 2 was better in alot of peoples opinion. Just a thought..

  • Jonflora1

    The post-decision visuals struck me as a hasty edit, I suspect more will be revealed as dlc, in Bioware I trust.

  • Charleswalterc

    Well what can i say all that build up and for what as fan of Mass Effect the ending came well short you did well in the other parts if the game.But the ending was biiter , bitter letdown i was not  expecting that kind of ending from you guys .The only game where i experiened an ending like that was in Metal Gear Solid.

    I mean come on the ending in mass effect 3 has spoilt the entire series of mass effect games for me and only a DLC with an alternate ending will suffice.Look i am not saying that you give us a fairytale ending, but the ending in mass effect 3 left me asking more questions rather than giving closure.In your defence you have listened to your fans feedback before i emlpoy Biowre to do so again. 

  • BeeJay

    Personally, I liked it. CONTROVERSIAL OPINION MUCH?

    I reckon that alot of people are complaining not because of the ending itself, but because in the last 10 minutes it went VERY Asimov on them and they can’t be bothered to think about deep philisophical questions or consider the future consequences on the ME universe. All endings have one definate, the destruction of intersystem travel. But the other ramifications; Shepard Surviving, the Synthesis or the Control, they all have very different consequences. In the first, I imagine Shepard searching for his crew afterwards and heading the next council, reconstructing the relays. Second, I imagine Joker and EDI being the first synthesised parents and eternal galactic peace. Third, I dunno, something about the reapers sorting out new relays maybe? All in all,  there is a world more than the ending, you just have to interpret intelligently.

    • Scruffy

      ” they can’t be bothered to think about deep philisophical questions or consider the future consequences on the ME universe.” 

      Haha.  Spare us your attempts to sound intelligent.  As I said in my other post, it was the utter neglect of the core of the Mass Effect series, the idea that choices matter, that ruined the ending.  I could have gone full paragon throughout all 3 games and ended up with the exact same ending as if I went full renegade.  Your choices don’t matter.  They changed the game completely just for the final 10-15 minutes.

      Also, BioWare harped on the idea that there wouldn’t be an “A, B, or C” ending.  They did the exact opposite.

      “All endings have one definate, the destruction of intersystem travel. But the other ramifications; Shepard Surviving, the Synthesis or the Control, they all have very different consequences.”

      You do realize that this is the end of the Commander Shepard storyline right?  They stated many times that there wouldn’t be another game after ME3 with Shepard in it.

      Als, they promised us closure and answers, both of which we did not receive.  What happened to your crew? Why did one of my crew members that I took on the final mission step off the Normandy?  What happened to all the other races stranded around Earth?  Why did Joker run away?  Where is Joker now?  Etc., etc., etc.

      Don’t even get me started on the Star Kid.  A Deus Ex Machina-esque entity comes out of nowhere to end it all.  First off, why would Shepard even listen to the entity that was controlling the reapers?  Why was Saren and Sovereign needed in the first game if this AI existed in and controlled the Citadel the entire time?  Makes no sense.

      “In the first, I imagine Shepard searching for his crew afterwards and heading the next council, reconstructing the relays.”  

      No one knows how the relays work.  That is made apparent early on in the series.  Also, as I said, Shepard’s story is over.

      “Second, I imagine Joker and EDI being the first synthesised parents and eternal galactic peace.” 

      Don’t even get me started on the space magic.  How the hell did the synthesis stuff work?  Shepard steps into a beam and *POOF* it works?  A complete lack of imagination.

      One other thing.  The logic behind the star kid is terrible.  “We are here to destroy intelligent organic life so that they don’t create synthetic life which will destroy organic life.”  The entire trilogy, the reapers claim that we aren’t able to understand their logic.  This explanation is so simplistic, a 3 year old could have come up with it.  They dumbed the game down for the FPS/Call of Duty players so they could increase their market at the cost of a well-written RPG.

      This ending was an attempt to appear “artsy” and nothing more.  It was a design stolen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution and other games before it.  Throughout the entire trilogy, the reapers are the enemy, and when it comes to the end, you don’t even fight them.  Harbinger, the main reaper, makes a 30 second appearance.  Hell, Cerberus seems more like the main enemy in this game than the Reapers do.  This game deserves no higher than a 6/10.

    • Antswareing

      Shepard only survives though if you do the renegade ending which means EDI and the geth are all destroyed. I want to know why Shepard cant survive doing the Paragon ending????

  • http://www.facebook.com/David.Rosowski David Rosowski II

    im sorry, 43k people out of 4-5 million is not A LOT of people. that’s less that a tenth of 1%

    here are the problems.

    1) too many people bought masseffect 3 without playing 1 or 2. They dont understand 1/2 the stuff going on, and are not emotionally invested in the storyline.

    2) the b!tching started less than 48 hours after the game’s release… this means the people who are whining  about the ending BLAZED through the game, didnt take their time or get the galaxy ready, so they automatically received the shittiest ending of them all. The ride was also quick and uneventful.

    3) people are also noticing that a lot of the complainers dont have previous save files (see #1) and a LOAD of decisions from 1 + 2 are already made for you.

    4) there are about 16 different endings. **SPOILER ALERT***

    Collector’s Base Saved in ME2

    Readiness Rating < 1750 – Earth is destroyed regardless of whatever decisions you made.
    Readiness Rating 1750 – Choose to Save the Reapers and the Earth will be saved.
    Readiness Rating 2050 – Choose to become a Reaper and the Earth will be saved.
    Readiness Rating 2350 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Earth is destroyed.
    Readiness Rating 2650 – Choose to destroy the Repears and the Earth will be somewhat destroyed
    Readiness Rating 2800 – Earth and the Galaxy will be saved once you’re able to create synergy
    Readiness Rating 4000 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.
    Readiness Rating 5000 – Choose to destroy the reapers and not Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.

    Collector’s Base Destroyed in ME2

    Readiness Rating < 1750 – Earth is destroyed regardless of whatever decisions you made.
    Readiness Rating 1750 – Choose to become a Reaper and the Earth will be destroyed.
    Readiness Rating 1900 – Choose to destroy the Repears and the Earth will be somewhat -destroyed
    Readiness Rating 2350 – Choose to become a Reaper and the Earth will be saved.
    Readiness Rating 2650 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Earth will be saved.
    Readiness Rating 2800 – Earth and the Galaxy will be saved once you’re able to create synergy
    Readiness Rating 4000 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.
    Readiness Rating 5000 – Choose to destroy the reapers and not Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.

     

    • Scruffy

      “43k people out of 4-5 million is not A LOT of people. that’s less that a tenth of 1%”It is between 80-90% of the people on the Mass Effect forums who dislike the ending.”2) the b!tching started less than 48 hours after the game’s release… this means the people who are whining  about the ending BLAZED through the game, didnt take their time or get the galaxy ready, so they automatically received the shittiest ending of them all. The ride was also quick and uneventful.”The ending of the game was released before the game was released.  “3) people are also noticing that a lot of the complainers dont have previous save files (see #1) and a LOAD of decisions from 1 + 2 are already made for you.”I’d like to see where you got that information.  I had multiple save files from ME1 and ME2.”4) there are about 16 different endings.”
      HAHAHAHAHA!  Lets go through them.

      Readiness Rating < 1750 – Earth is destroyed regardless of whatever decisions you made. – ENDING LOOKS EXACTLY LIKEReadiness Rating 1750 – Choose to Save the Reapers and the Earth will be saved.- WHICH LOOKS EXACTLY LIKEReadiness Rating 2050 – Choose to become a Reaper and the Earth will be saved.- WHICH LOOKS EXACTLY LIKEReadiness Rating 2350 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Earth is destroyed.- WHICH LOOKS EXACTLY LIKEReadiness Rating 2650 – Choose to destroy the Repears and the Earth will be somewhat destroyed- WHICH LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE
      Readiness Rating 2800 – Earth and the Galaxy will be saved once you’re able to create synergy- WHICH LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE
      Readiness Rating 4000 – Choose to destroy the Reapers and Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.- WHICH LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE
      Readiness Rating 5000 – Choose to destroy the reapers and not Save Anderson to see Shepard lives.- THIS.Face it.  Every single ending is the same.  Whichever path you take results in all the mass relays exploding (which makes one wonder why their explosions didn't result in massive death), Joker is running away (why? we have no idea), your teammate magically appears on the Normandy (how?  we have no idea), they crash land on a planet which isn't Earth (where?  we have no idea), and some random scene with a grandpa and his grandkid appears (why?  we have no idea).On top of all that, we have no idea what happens to our teammates or the massive armada.Don't even get me started on the random AI that appears on top of the Citadel.  Hell, the reapers aren't even paid much attention in the end either.  We see Harbinger for 30s and then that is it.  The reapers were supposed to be the main villain, the true force of evil, but we don't even interact with them.  We talk to some star child who's logic is beyond idiotic.We know they had no idea how they were going to end it, and they were working on the end as late as November.  They rushed the ending and it shows.  This is the end of Shepard's arc and they promised us some closure.  We got none.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gerard-Schmidt/1168727980 Gerard Schmidt

        Bang On….the whole game felt like a code rush to get the latest product out……coming, read or not…..NOT

    • http://twitter.com/Megastratix Nstratx

      1. The numbers are still too many for Bioware to ignore. even an official statement may calm down those fans who feel they were ignored or just given the trollface at the ending. I think the fans have every right to complain about it since this will also affect how other developers go around creating similar games to this. 

      2. Many have completed the game fully and have even done a second playthrough to ensure that they have not missed anything out. the average time it takes to complete this game is around 24 hours so blazing through it, no matter what, will still summate to the same allotted time frame. I have played through it twice and learned more about the game along the second time (only small conversations really) with full EMS for the “perfect” endings on both occasions – still don’t like the ending, too many plotholes and retcon. 

      3. I, and many many others, have been long time fans of the series and bought each game on day 1 release. By the time ME3 can out i have at least 10 different saves from previous playthroughs, each with different choices made and character dead. check the forums and see that a large proportion have played the other games and is one of the main reasons behind this outcry. 

      4. Those 16 different endings all reach the same conclusion with little, if any, changes to the outcome. the main point of contention between fans and Bioware is that no decisions during the ME series that the player has made really has an affect on the ending. yes it affects other areas but you would think that for a galaxy spanning game with the premise that the player is in control would at least include an epilogue about what happened. You may also have seen the pick-a-colour meme going around. That is pretty much the difference between the ending.

  • Sam

    I’d there are a lot of other problems being eclipsed by the ending thing. If you take the indoctrination theory, I liked the ending, it’s different, it’s daring and it’s provocative. Still people are spending way to much time talking about that problem in particular. I think there other problems that should get some attention

    1- I pretty much went trough the WHOLE game + all side quests and the prothean DLC in like under 25 hours. Thats totally ridiculous. Seems every game is shorter.

    2- Love/romance/sex scene are not all on the same level. Some really fell mediocre in comparison to others. Miranda’s romance really sucks in comparison to the one with Liara or Ashley. The one with Tali also was a tease that gave us pretty much nothing more. The one with Miranda probably is the worst. There is a fan thread of over 6000 pages for Miranda (on the bioware forum), which is bigger than for any other character. I think Miranda really deserved better than what she got.

    3- You don’t get to choose your dialogue options now. You pretty much listen to people talk (and Shepard answering without having the choice of answer) for 10 minutes and you often only get to choose answers once of twice per conversation. They removed the middle option, claiming they wanted to force us to make a real choice, not just a neutral one. Well that’s BS. Most of the time, either option will lead to the same result (anyway in the end none of your choices really matters so, pointless to replay the game). You don’t get to talk much to your teammates and, when you do, you only listen to one line or two. You don’t even get to ask questions. You press the space bar 2-3 times then they only tell you (what up/hello/yo) Really a shame after what could be done in ME1/2

    4- Eddie? I don’t mind the character, I don’t mind her getting into a body, I liked her conversations with Joker but, bringing her as a playable character was stupid and useless. There are a lot of old characters that should have been there in her place.

    5- Vega? Really? Did anyone even care about that moron? I would kill to get Miranda or Jack back on the normandy. So much more depth to those characters.

    6- This game was about getting all the answers and bringing closure. Well I’d say it’s a big fail for that too. I hope they fix it and I hope I won’t have to pay 50$ to get what I deserve as a fan.

    I kind of like the ending but, the game is way to short, way to dumbed down and way to much like final fantasy 13. Choices didn’t matter, conversations got diluted and some characters didn’t get the screen time they deserved.

  • Dynasty2201

    Or!

    Or maybe you’re all too butt hurt about the ending you think you ‘deserve’.

    News flash people: Bioware own the game and control it, not you.You buy the right to play the content.  You have no control over that content.
    So if Bioware add a ‘**it’ ending, you have no right to make them change it.  If they change it, good for Bioware.  They’re not obligated, and nothing you say or petition or cry about will force them to give you something you have no entitlement to.

    And yes, ME3 is the end of Shepard’s story.  So, MAYBE, Bioware have a new Mass Effect in the pipeline, and the ending of ME3 is the cliffhanger to ME4 that nobody knows about.  So it’s like Lost, where the crazy ‘wtf’ ending only makes sense when the next season starts/ends.

    And then you’ll all jump over Bioware kissing and licking them for their genius.

    Gamers are so arrogant, self-entitled and ignorant.  You couldnt write some of the stuff gamers come out with when they rage about their beloved franchise(s).

    And Im sure the ME3 ending is fine.  I’ve just started playing on the PC, maybe 2 hours in now. 

    Just because ME2 suggests a battle with the Harbringer doesnt mean ME3 HAS to finish with that battle.  Stop rating an ending before the product is released and then getting pissed when it doenst match your self-entitled expectations.

    • Scruffy

      “Or maybe you’re all too butt hurt about the ending you think you ‘deserve’.”

      Awesome.  This should be fun.

      “News flash people: Bioware own the game and control it, not you.You buy the right to play the content.  You have no control over that content.”

      Yea, you may be right, but it is still a consumer rated and purchased product.  We have a right to express our dislike and outrage at the subpar product that was released.  Why do you try to stifle free speech?

      “So if Bioware add a ‘**it’ ending, you have no right to make them change it.  If they change it, good for Bioware.  They’re not obligated, and nothing you say or petition or cry about will force them to give you something you have no entitlement to.”

      I love the use of the word “entitled” in this situation.  I don’t think I’m entitled to anything.  I think Mass Effect is “entitled” to a better ending, though.  Also, we know we have no right to make them change it.  Damn, some of you guys are slow.  They aren’t obliged to change anything, no matter how much complaining people do.  We get that.

      Their decision may affect their sales though.  I don’t doubt that DLC sales will be highly reduced.

      “And yes, ME3 is the end of Shepard’s story.  So, MAYBE, Bioware have a new Mass Effect in the pipeline, and the ending of ME3 is the cliffhanger to ME4 that nobody knows about.  So it’s like Lost, where the crazy ‘wtf’ ending only makes sense when the next season starts/ends.”

      Someone obviously did not pay much attention to the development of the game.  And I quote, “Whether you’re happy or angry at the ending, know this:  it is an ending.  BioWare will not do a “Lost” and leave fans with more questions than answers after finishing the game.”  That is a direct quote from one of Mass Effect 3′s developers.  They promised us they wouldn’t have a “Lost” ending.  

      “Gamers are so arrogant, self-entitled and ignorant.  You couldnt write some of the stuff gamers come out with when they rage about their beloved franchise(s).” 

      We are consumers like all others.  When the third movie of a trilogy is terrible, people complain.  When you are sold an incomplete product, people complain.  The only difference is that this is a medium that can be corrected.  Do they have to correct anything?  Hell no, but like every decision out there, it may affect their sales.  They have to weigh the positives and the negatives.

      As much as people claim that it is some art form that is above reproach, it isn’t the Mona Lisa or the Virgin of the Rocks.

      “And Im sure the ME3 ending is fine.  I’ve just started playing on the PC, maybe 2 hours in now.”

      And there we have it.  I notice a funny trend here.  It seems that the people who are constantly defending the terrible ending are the individuals who haven’t even completed the game yet.  

      “Just because ME2 suggests a battle with the Harbringer doesnt mean ME3 HAS to finish with that battle.”

      Hold on, let me fix that for you.  “Just because the Mass Effect franchise suggests that you are supposed to be battling the Reapers does mean that ME3 should finish with a battle with the Reapers.”

      Some of you must have no concept of how to write a story.  You don’t throw in a random character and ending that wasn’t even hinted at throughout the entire story.  That is a sign of poor writing.

      “Stop rating an ending before the product is released and then getting pissed when it doenst match your self-entitled expectations.”

      Ummm…the game has been released, and a lot of us have played through it already.  Also, people were heavily critical of the ending before the game was released.  

      In the end though, you are right that BioWare doesn’t have to do a damn thing in response to fan outrage.  Much like the Mass Effect franchise (up until the ending of ME3), they are given a choice.  They can choose many different routes, but who knows what the outcome of those routes will be.

      Also, get back to me when you finish the game.  I don’t doubt that you will come on here and defend your position though, even if you realize that the ending is terrible.