BioShock Creator "Sad" Over ME3's Ending Scandal

RhombusHatesYou

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Furioso said:
Fancy talk from the creator of another game with terrible endings, anyone else remember how dumb the endings to Bioshock were?
It's like watching Bethesda defend Obsidian for poor QA.
 

Fynik

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If I may express myself thusly:

In my opinion, Barnett and Ken are wrong. Not just slightly wrong, but very wrong. Definitively wrong. Entirely wrong.

The argument that in order for something to be art and in order for art to be meaningful in expressing the 'idea of the author', you have to give full power to the artist is entirely reasonable for, well, yeah, Harry Potter (Written by one woman of great talent). It's also rather entirely applicable to, say, a movie (generally produced and directed and... actored? Actornated? Actorrated? by a group of people of variable talent). Because both of those mediums are condensed idea-forms and themes given a certain narrative structure. "I" write a book and "you" read it. "I" direct a movie and "you" watch it. The artists in question strive to create something and you then enjoy the product and have no say in the matter of how it shapes itself. And on the surface, that sentence seems to apply just as well to gaming. But... it really doesn't.

Because games are interactive. In the medium of gaming, the choices the player makes -is meant to matter-. That's what "playing" a game is all about. If you didn't have any input capacity, you'd be watching a movie. You'd be reading a book. You'd be passively experiencing a story that you have no control over, at all, in any way. But when you're playing a game, you exert some small amount of control, you interact with the setting, you play the game.

Does that neccesarily mean the players have to be able to control everything? No, not really. Half-Life 1 and 2 are fantastic games, but you can't really say you direct the flow of the story. You just control Gordon (and decide what to do and where to go and how you get there and how you get past obstacles and so wieter). But even in that relatively limited sphere of interaction (which gun, which enemy, which approach) you honestly cannot bloody tell me that you're not, in some way, shape or form, shaping the overall "narrative" of the game. There's an entirely different experiental context to a Gordon that bashes every single enemy with a crowbar (A poor MIT graduate gone mad) to a Gordon that snipes every enemy with careful pistol shots (A poor MIT graduate gone marks-mad)

And this is rather why people, in large, are so upset about the ending in Me3. Player choice and player interaction goes double for an RPG, and especially an RPG series where one of the main points have been defining "Your Shepard" (for naysayers, notice how it's never expressed as "You get to experience ME3 just like Bioware wanted! Playing Bio-Shep! Doing things the Bioware way! ONE LONG SEQUENCE OF QUICK TIME EVENTS!). Paragon, renegade, which class, which skills, which characters, which romance, which planets saved, which curious morality questions answered, which upgrades, so on, so on, so on, ad infinis.

The problem with the line "If computer games are art than I fully endorse the author of the artwork to have a statement about what they believe should happen," is that; in gaming, PLAYERS ARE THE ARTISTS just as much as the producers. If you want to get crazy, maybe even more so. I've always thought of the game developers as simply supplying the paint, or the paper mache, or the sandbox. Then I create my own narrative. But that's just me, and I'm certifiable insane.

See, in ME1+2+3, the "author of the artwork" has already made a statement about what they believe should happen. Namely, you romance Tali, you punch the journalist, and you fry those xenophobic council members, you safeguard the Collector Base and you accidently off Grunt on the suicide mission because you panick and ordered him to do something entirely silly. Can anyone here tell me their game played out 'exactly' like that? No, no probably not.

So that's two different artworks already, based on the same base setting.

I'm not going to get all up in arms about the ending, I've read too much Joe Haldeman to be upset by deeply unsatisfying deux ex machina out of the blue no context leftside endings in Sci Fi. But to state that the game developers have singular creative control over the finalized expression of the games they make, and that players who play those games aren't allowed to bicker and ***** and moan about the choices presented and the narrative structure and the story and the ending?
That's just misunderstanding what gaming and interactivity is. That's not games, gentlemen, ladies. That's passive storytelling. That's what I hate the most, the "pretend safehouse" style of storytelling. It's why I couldn't get into Final Fantasy. I was always just guiding the characters from one cut scene to the next.

That's why I did get into Mass Effect, because at least there, I could decide to blow up a planet if it annoyed me too much.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Fynik said:
I've read too much Joe Haldeman to be upset by deeply unsatisfying deux ex machina out of the blue no context leftside endings in Sci Fi.
It's a scientific fact that Joe Haldeman has a Deus Ex Machina shaped arsehole.
 

ablac

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So what I got from his statement was "If you dont like the ending or would prefer one which fitted with the series then you dont respect videogames as art". Sure he can write the ending no one is disputing that. What we are mad about is that it was a very poor ending which made everything which came before it not matter whatsoever. Our choices didnt make a difference and choice is what Mass Effect is all about. The game can be radically different based on your actions and this ending was complete bull. I cant find the link but someone wrote a better ending (it added a fourth choice which rewarded doing well throughout the game) on deviantart. If someone can find the link then please add it or send it to me so i can add it. I like to think that is how the game ended really. For me at least that is the true ending and it was a damn better ending than anything he came up with. I dont mind a sad ending either but making everything youve done count for naught in a mass effect game is not right.

Also Escapist please change the catchpas because the text ones dont seem to work most of the time and the audio ones are just too difficult for this.
 

Deviluk

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I thought it would be just like the ME2 ending, where my choices and efforts actually counted. Where I could happily reflect that all my crew were saved, and I beat the collectors and gave a finger to the illusive man at the same time, because I put in the effort to do all the extra stuff. My brother didn't, and so he lost half his crew, and also saved the collectors base for humans.

Whats the difference in the ending of the entire saga? 90% of my favourite characters die anyway, and all we said to each other was "what ending did you choose?" "Blue." "Oh, I picked green." "Bye." "Bye."

C'mon Bioware, we know you can do better, you promised better. MY shepherd is MY character, and the ultimate decision for self-sacrifice results in the same ending every time, and therefore cannot reflect swathes of the ways gamers played the games.

Plus, screw games as art, if it means they have a license to suck. The filming industry has entertaining movies, and artistic movies. People prefer the former. If game designers want to be considered artists, then they should've put down the mouse and keyboard and picked up a paintbrush years ago, BEFORE starting Mass Effect.
 

Korolev

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Yeah, I agree with Ken. As much as I disliked the ending to ME3, I really think they should just leave it as it is. Getting them to change it would just feel weird and almost a little insulting. I have strong disagreements as to the way they ended it, but if that's the way they ended it, that's the way they ended it. For them to come crying to us, cap in hand, begging us to let them make an ending that will make us "happy" seems... extremely awkward and nauseating. I'd rather they didn't change the ending than seeing them grovel in the dirt trying to make us happy, because that's not what I want to see. It would just feel weird.
 

Gameonicon

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I like that people are reacting and that they demand a proper ending. How often does a TV series end on a similar note? Very often and it is not because it is out of "art" it's because of money. Games, film, comics, books, fashion, and architecture might all be artforms but seriously who cares? They serve only one purpose and it is to create profit for their shareholders. This is the reason why they have changed the "Mass Effect" formula and why the ending sucks. In a few weeks or months we will all realise how EA/Biowares DLC strategies are also "art".
 

Raesvelg

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There are times that I think Bioware's biggest mistake was in giving an ounce of credit to its fans...

RED BLUE OR GREEN BLARHGALELGH!

Seriously people. Destroy all synthetic life, assume control of the Reapers, or fuse all synthetic and organic life into a new paradigm. The implications for each ending are vastly different, and people are instead preferring to harp on the fact that the cutscenes were pretty much the same, albeit with different colors.
 

Tien Shen

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SO according to Ken, Bethesda shouldn't have released DLC that fixed the ending of Fallout 3 so the player didn't die?

The Fallout 3 fans were happy and Bethesda sold a load of DLC and made money, everyone was happy.
 

Moonlight Butterfly

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Nimcha said:
xXxJessicaxXx said:
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No they don't because everyone is either dead (Mass relays exploded and killed them) or they are stuck in Sol.

That pretty much negates anything you did in the entire series including ME3.

Meanwhile the Normandy is randomly stuck somewhere. The Bioware community manager says Joker didn't didn't go through a relay but there isn't any other systems through the Charon relay and the only habitable planet (which it clearly isn't) is Earth...
No, the relays explosion is clearly contained to only the relay itself. It's nothing like in Arrival where it is barreled by an outside force (the asteroid).

The species' militaries are in the Sol system. That's not everyone. The civilians are still mostly on their home planets or systems near to that.

I don't know why people keep forgetting this basic stuff.

The only thing that you're right about is the Normandy, that sequence made the least sense of all.
Wrex (who was touted as being all important to the fate of the Krogan) is stuck there along with the entire quarian fleet (which included the liveships) two of the most important choices are instantly negated
 

Jaeke

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ThreeKneeNick said:
Criticism/critique and interpretation are as much a part of art as creation is, mr Barnett.
Here, here.

Video Games are only considered art by the one's who experience it, even the creator's/developers, ultimately, are not the one's who decide of a game is great.

On a seperate note: it's Bioware's fault, problem, and consequence for possibly the worst "betrayal" of customers Video Game history. They don't deserve any sympathy.
 

mightybozz

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The JK Rowling comparison would be valid if the last book had ended when Voldemort blasted Harry into that Kings' Cross limbo dimension. Because that would be an ending which was unsatisfying, conflicted entirely with the themes of the book and the motivations of the characters, and left the audience confused and annoyed.

This is an interactive medium. ME has always had the RPG-lite/choose your own adventure feel. Throughout the series you are encouraged to work with different species and help everyone get along, and a major stimulus for doing so has been the looming threat of the Reapers.

To avoid spoilers: ME3 ended with a forced choice with no explanation. A choice which my interpretation of Shepherd as a character would never have accepted. It is also full of plot holes, thematically dissonant and devoid of payoff.

This makes it a bad ending. I've yet to see anyone deny that the ending is at least sloppy.

The developers in this interview need to learn that there is nothing sacred about a completed work (if indeed this is one). It can be improved.

It makes me laugh to hear the "games are art, therefore cannot be touched" argument deployed in favour of an ending like this, which I think can probably be blamed on shifting writing staff through the three games, each with different ideas for the series as a whole. There isn't a strong artistic vision behind the game, so claiming that it is immune to criticism on that basis rings false.
 

Abedeus

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I can't BE more disappointed with the endings. Even if the games ended with Shepard sitting on the toilet and everything turning out to be a toilet-blackout session of delusions and daydreaming it would still have less plotholes than the current endings.

Das Boot said:
zefiris said:
Actually, it's a good thing. The embarassing bit are people like you, stomping their feet like five year olds about other people using their rights as customers.
Guess what happens during many bad movies in cinemas. People leave in the middle, demand a refund...and get it.
Guess what happens when you go to a restaurant, and you get a half cooked meal. You...get a refund.

It's proper customer behavior. In fact, it is behavior customers should utilize, because this is how capitalism WORKS.

A company that disrespects the wishes of its customers needs to be punished monetarily. It's simply the basis of the entire way our economic system is supposed to play out.


This entire brouhaha really brings out people not getting basic things about art and/or capitalism. It's really sad and makes me fear for the education system of the western world in general.
Actually this is more like going to a restaurant ordering a meal eating it all and then demanding your money back because the last bite was a little cold. Or going to a movie watching the whole thing and then demanding your money because you didnt like it. To fucking bad boo hoo. You bought a product and then used said product. We dont give a fuck if you liked it or not because you bought it and used it.

You cant return a movie because you didnt like the ending or demand that it should be changed.

The people who are demanding refunds or that the ending should be changed need to be lined up and get their skulls bashed in. The world could do with a few less idiots like them.
A little cold would be a good analogy.

If the endings were just sad and bittersweet.

This here is eating a delicious dinner and finding a pile of shit under the tomatoes.

Also, no, games are not like movies. ME was about choice, making decisions and living the character. In 5 minutes of ending they:

a) lied about 16 different endings, when they had only 3, and two of them had slight variations.
b) completely ruined the "choice matters" thing.
c) destroyed the main character, who spent last three games and 90 hours of gameplay fighting enemy stronger and more advanced than any race in the universe, and defied all odds, just to go "Okay.jpg" at the fucking end, in face of a Deus Ex Machina.

Hope you get a perma ban for that last part, where you wish death to people who want to use the power they have as a consumer to affect the developers. Seriously, you have some mental issues and need a shrink if you get so angry over random people you don't know on the Internet as to wish them deaths.