Poll: Was the Mass effect 3 ending that bad?

Souplex

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It was terrible, and the Extended Cut was an extended cut of something terrible.
 

Souplex

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Silentpony said:
Wasn't the whole problem that it was rewritten on the fly? I was on the Bioware forums, HOLDING THE LINE!, when the game first dropped and the ending shat the bed. I remember seeing a Dev post on one of the threads that the original ending had been leaked, so it was scrapped, and only one of the writers had time to write the new ending, and it wasn't given to the other writers too proof-read, edit and keep in tone, and was rushed into animation and voice acting.

Its no excuse for sloppy writing, but I think it was less a bad script and more a rough draft over a burger at lunchtime patch-job.
I still don't understand why they didn't just go with the leaked ending.
Anti-spoiler culture is ruining media.
 

Casual Shinji

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Worgen said:
I'm still seeing what sounds like most of you are pissed at how you got to the ending rather then the ending itself. That the ending was only bad since ultimately none of your game choices mattered at all and you just chose one of 3 different things right at the end.
I'd say it's both how we got there and what we got that people are pissed at.

Aerosteam said:
The game went downhill after leaving Earth.
I'd argue the Earth should never have functioned as the centre of the whole conflict to begin with. This makes it fall into the typical scenario with these space tales that humans are "the special", and it clashes tonally knowing the Reapers are vaporizing the Earth while you're off goofing around on the Citidal. But then the same could be said about the other planets getting fried, which calls into question having the backdrop of ME3 be the Reaper war.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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Souplex said:
Silentpony said:
Wasn't the whole problem that it was rewritten on the fly? I was on the Bioware forums, HOLDING THE LINE!, when the game first dropped and the ending shat the bed. I remember seeing a Dev post on one of the threads that the original ending had been leaked, so it was scrapped, and only one of the writers had time to write the new ending, and it wasn't given to the other writers too proof-read, edit and keep in tone, and was rushed into animation and voice acting.

Its no excuse for sloppy writing, but I think it was less a bad script and more a rough draft over a burger at lunchtime patch-job.
I still don't understand why they didn't just go with the leaked ending.
Anti-spoiler culture is ruining media.
Agreed. I understand not wanting to be spoiled, but if a script is leaked, implying Bioware didn't want it known, then its on the gamers not to read the script and keep themselves unspoiled, as opposed to Bioware needing to do a day-1 rewrite of the entire thing.
 

Erttheking

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Worgen said:
I'm still seeing what sounds like most of you are pissed at how you got to the ending rather then the ending itself. That the ending was only bad since ultimately none of your game choices mattered at all and you just chose one of 3 different things right at the end.
No, even ignoring the choices not meaning anything, I still find it bad because it was a bunch of utter nonsense that told us that suddenly the Geth-Quarian conflict was apparently the very center of what Mass Effect was all about and then we resolved all conflict in the galaxy by blowing everything up with space magic and then...infecting everyone with magic nanobots or something? It was a white hot mess.
 

CaitSeith

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Souplex said:
Silentpony said:
Wasn't the whole problem that it was rewritten on the fly? I was on the Bioware forums, HOLDING THE LINE!, when the game first dropped and the ending shat the bed. I remember seeing a Dev post on one of the threads that the original ending had been leaked, so it was scrapped, and only one of the writers had time to write the new ending, and it wasn't given to the other writers too proof-read, edit and keep in tone, and was rushed into animation and voice acting.

Its no excuse for sloppy writing, but I think it was less a bad script and more a rough draft over a burger at lunchtime patch-job.
I still don't understand why they didn't just go with the leaked ending.
Anti-spoiler culture is ruining media.
Smells like the usual EA's decision making genius at work to me.
 

Xprimentyl

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There needs to be a fourth option in the poll: ?Yes, it was bad, but not THAT bad.? No, the ending wasn?t THAT bad. Disappointing? Sure. But the unholy, irredeemable blight on the face of gaming that so many made it out to be? Not by a mile. Mass Effect was a fantastic (if imperfect) ride all the way to those final minutes where it sputtered, put on its hazard lights and rolled into the shoulder lane. I can think of TONS of games that did it worse, and plenty that were bad from the beginning let alone their pathetic finales.
 

CaitSeith

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Worgen said:
I'm still seeing what sounds like most of you are pissed at how you got to the ending rather then the ending itself. That the ending was only bad since ultimately none of your game choices mattered at all and you just chose one of 3 different things right at the end.
Technically your decisions did matter.

Technically you originally had 6 endings (the Reject ending wasn't part of the original). The access to them depends on having enough War Assets (by doing side-quests, scanning the galaxy and even having kept characters alive from previous games) to raise your Effective Military Strength to specific thresholds. A low value gives you only one ending. A medium gives you the choice between two endings. And a high value gives you the three flavor choice.

Technically the War Assets mechanic fits Mass Effect 3 main theme: bring all people together to defeat the Reapers. But...



Unfortunately the problem with the 6 endings is that not only by being too similar between them all of them give the same sense of satisfying climax (or better said: the same lack of it), but that their build up really didn't come from the rest of the game. It came from a bad dialog 5 minutes beforehand which changed the conflict from "bringing people together to defeat the Reapers" to "which of the Deus Ex Machina's options to choose" (a pretty bad change with a bad execution).

This is how that build up for the climax and the options were presented in the original version:

Compare it with the previous scene. Here it keeps on consistent with "bringing the people together to defeat the Reapers" narrative that the rest of the game had.
 

Weresquirrel

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So, here's my take on it.

It was pretty bad. But the badness of it was exacerbated by 3 things:

1) Misleading information being teased by the studio - I don't really need to go into detail here, since it's all been said before by much more eloquent people. They said it wouldn't be a simple A, B or C ending, and it technically wasn't. It was just an A written in different colours.
For the record, I don't think that an ABC ending couldn't have worked. With the sheer volume of choices made across the other 2 games, there's no way they could have made it so that every individual choice had significant changes. There had to be some compromises.

2) The relative strength of ME2's ending - Terminator baby reaper boss fight aside, I think that it could be fairly universally agreed that the suicide mission was a triumph. It took the choices you made in the game leading up to it, and you had to make decisions. Loyalties were tested, as well as your own ability to analyse your squad and their abilities. If ME3 had something similar, but set on a much grander scale? That could have been amazing!

3) A betrayal of the core principles of Mass Effect - Mass Effect was by and large a series about making choices, and having the results of those choices pay off later, for good or ill. But to take a series that was about seeing how your choices can affect the outcome, and give an ending with no closure? Just one of three different colour explosions, and an advert saying "Look out for more DLC later!"? It's like the roller coaster was building up and up and up, but instead of the drop down it just plateaued and stopped in the gift shop. It was basically narrative blue balls. The extended cut tried to mitigate some of the damage, but the experience was already soured.
 

Asita

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It's pretty bad. For starters we had what amounted to the villians of the franchise (and make no mistake, they were villains rather than just antagonists) trying to change the central narrative of the franchise in literally the last few minutes of the entire trilogy. That in and of itself is practically a cardinal sin of writing, and in cases like ME3 it has the additional slap in the face of setting aside the immediate and tangible problem (you know, the giant mechanical space squids who had thus far shown nothing but overt contempt for everyone else and that were KILLING EVERYONE EVEN AS YOU WERE TALKING) in favor of an abstract eventuality (sometime well after the Reaper war, organics and synthetics might fight again because they're "just too different").

Furthermore, what was reframed as the 'real' conflict had been presented as ultimately BS by the franchise as a whole. It's the same song and dance we'd seen many times over. Oh, the Turians and humans will always have difficulties, remember the Contact War? Humans and Batarians will never get along. I mean they hate each other. The Rachni are an intrinsic threat to galactic civilization. If you save them then our children's children will suffer for it. You can't cure the genophage! Krogans are naturally imperialistic savages. Getting rid of the genophage will just doom us to another Krogan Rebellion! The Quarians are just vagabonds who don't add anything of value and deserve to keep roaming because of the Geth. The Geth are synthetics, they're naturally hostile to organics and exemplify why the rules about AI are in place! An AI is naturally dangerous. We can't ever trust EDI with run of the ship! The thing is though, every single one of these is wrong. It's not that these groups are too different or naturally at odds with each other, it's that fear and preconception have kept people from discovering that. Yes, it takes effort, but with effort each of those prejudices can be overcome and the race grows beyond its stereotype. The catalyst's logic is more of the same, only this time the narrative insists that we treat it as wisdom that we must accept rather than a continuation of the same damn cycle of fear that we'd seen many times before in this same story.

Then we hit another cardinal sin of lack of denouement or catharsis. Boom, Mass Relays explode (dooming the galactic civilization that is only possible because of them, and - as per Arrival showing the devastating effects of destroying a Relay - obliterating who knows how many systems), Normandy crash lands and...nothing. Dragon Age did better than that, and much of its denouement was in the form of slides. Heck, someone online cobbled together a generator that mimics the Dragon Age denouement, and that alone makes it so much more bearable. It doesn't fix the former problem, but it does illustrate how even ignoring that problem the ending was lacking a critical element of narrative structure.

From a writing standpoint, the ending was a hot mess that shouldn't have been greenlit.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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CaitSeith said:
Souplex said:
Silentpony said:
Wasn't the whole problem that it was rewritten on the fly? I was on the Bioware forums, HOLDING THE LINE!, when the game first dropped and the ending shat the bed. I remember seeing a Dev post on one of the threads that the original ending had been leaked, so it was scrapped, and only one of the writers had time to write the new ending, and it wasn't given to the other writers too proof-read, edit and keep in tone, and was rushed into animation and voice acting.

Its no excuse for sloppy writing, but I think it was less a bad script and more a rough draft over a burger at lunchtime patch-job.
I still don't understand why they didn't just go with the leaked ending.
Anti-spoiler culture is ruining media.
Smells like the usual EA's decision making genius at work to me.
EA is well known for pushing release dates up too. My bro's GF worked on Andromeda and she said EA pushed the game release up by 6 months to free up more people to work on Star Wars so it could make movie's release date. And yes, after Andromeda flopped, she and her entire team were put to work on Battlefront 2.
 

Auron225

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Why not. Why the hell not have another ME3 ending thread.

As someone who got the patched ending the first time around, and given that I picked Destroy (which I firmly believe is the intended ending), I liked it overall. I can totally see where everyone is coming from in why it's... disappointing, to say the least, but I like it. That scene at the end of the Destroy ending, from when Shepard starts firing his pistol, right through as "An End, Once And For All" plays still gives me chills.
 
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I'm mad. I was mad when the ending was first leaked. I was then mad on the Escapist (although I'm still mad, so I suppose that's 'I am' rather than 'I was', though there is less opportunity to be mad about the ME 3 ending than there was when the site was more active). I was then mad on the internet in general (and once again, I'm still mad). Then once I heard of the indoctrination theory, I was skeptically mad. Then when the extended endings were released, I was even madder.

My maddness burns stronger than any sun. Eons from now, when beings look towards the skies, my anger will still be there. When the universe fades and all sense of existance is lost, my anger will still be there, saying : "I'm mad." Whenever I'm asked "Are you still mad about ME 3?", I just reply "I'm mad."

Seriously though, I really am mad. The endless posting on internet forums doesn't help ease the anger that I feel towards ME 3, and in particular it's ending.

RIP in Peace Maurauder Shields. He was the ending we needed, but not the ending we deserved.
 

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Yes, yes it was. Well, I suppose some people overreacted to it but it certainly was a very bad ending to a story. I apologise for posting a 40 minute video full of complaints but this really is one of the best explanations out there.


As for me. When I first played it the ending left me cold and a bit confused. That might not sound so bad but it is a far cry of the mass effect 2 ending which had me humming the music (has me humming the music right now, thinking about it) and had me biting my nails as the game took half my team away. Samara was shot in the face with a missile, Miranda and Garrus were eaten by bugs and Grunt was crushed under ruble. (I rushed after my crew after they were kidnapped by the collectors, not taking the time to do the remaining loyalty missions. I later learned that you just have to postpone the mission on the reaper corps as much as possible) I remember it all and that was my first of many playthroughs. In any case, back to mass effect 3's ending. It basically renders the entire plot until then moot and places you in a meaningless choice posed by the bad guys for no good reason from their or your perspective. It makes no sense internally, it makes no sense thematically an it trivialises everything before it. It's dull, it's nonsense and it does not work. Not only that, but after the first two games which had a good ending and a great ending this was certainly below expectation. I ussually tend to think of the whole thing as though the ending never happened. Like I said, when I first played it I was a bit confused. I told myself that I could see what they were going for even though I didn't really think it worked out. Then a friend asked 'so is the ending as bad as everyone says' and I heard myself answering 'it's pretty bad'. Don't get me wrong, it is a bad ending to some video games half a decade ago. There are certainly better things to worry about than the mass effect 3 ending and at least some of the reaction to the whole affair was disproportionate. But the ending certainly sucked, big time.

I think this is one of the most confused rambles I have posted on the escapist so far, so I recommend you just watch the video or let other people explain it.

votemarvel said:
Edit: Oh and a small rant about the ending of the Rannoch arc. No matter what we pick the Geth as a race are destroyed.

Remember why Legion was called Legion in the first place? It was because there were thousands of individual Geth in that hardware platform. Yet even in the good ending those beings are killed! They are merged into a new singular being. We do the digital version of what the Reapers do to organic races.
Agreed. The pathological desire for individualism killed legion and his race. This was sharply changed from mass effect 2 where the Geth made it pretty clear that they were happy with themselves the way they were. Legion even has a line, I think in their loyalty mission, where they say so outright by saying that they don't want any part in the organics praised individuality. So yeah, that one was a thorn in my sight too.
 

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Worgen said:
So I didn't hate the ending of ME3, I actually thought the ending itself was pretty good, granted I did play it awhile after release when they had expanded the ending. The neding itself that I got was good, the everyone joining the singularity ending, the problem I had wasn't the ending, it was how you got to the ending. Just letting you choose what ending you wanted from like 4 different ones was super lazy.
I should perhaps reply to this specifically: what a strange question. When people say the ending they mean the last bit of the game, not the end result of it in canon. They also tend to see the ending in relation to the larger whole of mass effect 1, 2 and 3 and in that relation there was little to no build up to the specific endings we got. Something journey road.

Even then though, taking your question with a lot of charity. No, didn't much like the coloured explosions. I wanted to see some reapers shot to bits with a bit of violence and oomph. The weapon used was far too much of a plot device with its ability to specifically destroy synthetics, mind control reapers or the gibberish green thingy. I wanted to kill me some reapers so without having to murder the geth, or to mindcontrol the WMD's or to do the gibberish green thingy.
 

jademunky

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Samtemdo8 said:
I am just extremely worried that Game of Thrones will suffer the same fate as Mass Effect 3.
With the sheer amount of characters and how polarized the fanbase is regarding them, it seems impossible for 2/3 of people NOT to be pissed off nomatter how it ends.
 

Canadamus Prime

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I don't know, I never played ME3 because I was already on an anti-EA kick by then also the first trailer I saw for it turned me off because it looked too much like CoD. However it was described to me and it did sound like a massive disappointment esp. considering Bioware built it up Peter Molyneux style. However the backlash against it was one of the biggest examples of First World Problems I've ever seen in my life. Holy fuck, get some goddamn perspective!
 

JohnnyDelRay

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The ending isn't as bad as many people make it out to be. But it is pretty crap. And that was enough to stir up a lot of hate from the community, because of simply how much love and fandom and time they invested in the whole damn series. Dragon Age didn't have a spectacular ending, but at least it wasn't garbage.

So 2 things:
a) the hype that Bioware pumped it up with, especially the "your actions will affect every outcome in the end" bullshit, and
b) the sheer quality and immersion that the rest of the trilogy's story, gameplay, and design warranted, led to a big giant WTF.

I didn't really rage all that much, I admit I felt very let down but I didn't let it bother me all that much because to me it wasn't that great a series anyway. But life goes on, I didn't even want to see how they fixed it with the extended cut on youtube or anything, just muttered a quiet "fuckit" and moved on.
 

Dalisclock

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I didn't get around to ME3 until around 2015 so I missed the original ending drama firsthand(still read a lot about it at the time though).

I felt it was disappointing, but not terrible. It feels extremely simplistic and underdeveloped, with all the feeling of "We were writing by the seat of our pants half the time and thus the ending wasn't really planned out" so we get the Crucible, which is a thing that nobody knows what it does but somehow every cycle it's improved despite nobody knowing what it does which does magical space stuff because reasons. And the space brat who personifies the reapers who decides "Oh, you got here. I give up. Make a choice now to decide how this all goes".

Learning about the Dark Energy plot from ME2 only reinforces that the writers really didn't know what they were trying to accomplish, which is why it doesn't feel satisfying. Granted, when you start with "Robo Cthulhu shows up every 50K to kill everyone" doesn't leave a lot of avenues that involve a good ending.