[Gaming] Mass Effect 3 : It's here and thy ending is queeeeeeer.

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If that were the case, you could just toss the Crucible into the pile of unfired Chekhov's guns the game already has.
 
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ME2 spoilers.

I remember Tali's recruitment in ME2 involved the planet Haestrom's star aging at a faster than normal rate, due to an overabundance of dark energy. Dark energy, you remember, is produced by running an electric current through element zero (eezo), and is the basis for all FTL travel in the Mass Effect universe.

Afterwards, there was a lot of fan speculation that the galaxy's use of eezo and dark energy was going to rapidly age their stars, and ultimately lead to the destruction of the galaxy. There was further speculation that this was why the Reapers had their cycle of destruction, to prevent organic life from abusing eezo too much, and turning all the stars in the galaxy into little brown dwarfs.

Was this plot thread resolved in Mass Effect 3? Or was it abandoned? Again, I haven't played the game, and I don't intend to, but if it was just dropped without any mention, I suspect Bioware originally wanted to go with the fans' theory, but changed it to the current lame version (synthetics will destroy organics!) when the fans managed to guess it.
 
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ME2 spoilers.

I remember Tali's recruitment in ME2 involved the planet Haestrom's star aging at a faster than normal rate, due to an overabundance of dark energy. Dark energy, you remember, is produced by running an electric current through element zero (eezo), and is the basis for all FTL travel in the Mass Effect universe.

Afterwards, there was a lot of fan speculation that the galaxy's use of eezo and dark energy was going to rapidly age their stars, and ultimately lead to the destruction of the galaxy. There was further speculation that this was why the Reapers had their cycle of destruction, to prevent organic life from abusing eezo too much, and turning all the stars in the galaxy into little brown dwarfs.

Was this plot thread resolved in Mass Effect 3? Or was it abandoned? Again, I haven't played the game, and I don't intend to, but if it was just dropped without any mention, I suspect Bioware originally wanted to go with the fans' theory, but changed it to the current lame version (synthetics will destroy organics!) when the fans managed to guess it.
Nope, no resolution or even acknowledgement of it. Like I said, the pile of unfired Chekhov's guns the series has.
 
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Huh, that's a pity. I think the fan theory is better than the official "created will destroy the creator" one.
 
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Huh, that's a pity. I think the fan theory is better than the official "created will destroy the creator" one.
I still can't get over the hypocrisy of the whole thing. I mean, you made giant galaxy destroying sentient machines in order to prevent the construction of galaxy destroying sentient machines? Plus the fact that it spits in the face of one of the biggest achievements I did just a few missions earlier. Poor Legion is rolling in his grave.
 
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Like mentioned before me, such an ending would be more of a slap in the face then the one we have now. You don't have people spent three games crafting a storyline only for the player to lose no matter what. We play games to have a chance to win, that is the nature of games in general. This is one of the reasons I hated, with a passion, an old game called Haven: Call of the King. You play the game working your ass off, helping your friends, all to call some great savior, and then what happens? You lose to the bad guy in the final boss fight no matter what, he kills the savior, straps you to a rock, and leaves you to starve to death. The camera starts zooming out with the voices of the people you met, telling you that you should never have gotten involved. Everything you attempted in the end was for nothing at all and even all your friends taunt you for it.

Even taking all that, at least Haven was upfront about the fact (and in part because of the ending, the series died). If Mass Effect 3 was simply implying we are in a dream and at no point during the entire thing, actually CONFIRMS this fact, then it did it's job poorly. You always have to establish something to represent the dream, and the biggest representation of the dream in my opinion was the shadowy figures floating around, the slightly desaturated coloring of the background, and the fact Shepard could only move at a snail speed, even when running. The only thing that carried over into this "death dream" would be the boy. Then we also see Shepard "waking up" around rubble if you get the secret ending after the Destruction option, which means it has to be after he blew up something to cause all that rubble. It wouldn't be him "dying" at the console on the Citadel, unless his awakening was also supposed to be part of the dream, and then what is the point of showing it?

I have said it before, but so many people are spending way to much time bending a pipe that is not long enough to bend that way. There was no real foreshadowing. If the dreams were foreshadowing, they have no consistency. If the ending was a dream, we have no conclusion, all we have is defeat. In all case the story was told poorly, will leave more people angry then happy, because a three game trilogy ended with a whimper. When it comes to all this discussion, again, Occam's Razor, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Arguing dreams, Indoctrination, small implications and fan based attempts to fill plot holes through further implication just continues to complicate the whole thing.

But there *is* subtle foreshadowing, and a lot of it. Shepard was something of a nobody in the first game, and the Reapers first targeted Saren for indoctrination -- a respected Spectre of the council -- and used him as a sleeper agent. When Shepard beats him and Sovereign, the Reapers -- through the Collectors -- do seem very determined to get Shepard. Mass Effect: Redemption is all about the Collectors trying to retrieve Shepard's body, and you spend half of Mass Effect 2 being targeted by the Collectors and taunted by Harbinger: "You cannot escape your destiny"/"Why do you resist us"/"We are the Harbinger of your destiny"/etc. It would also be very easy to make the argument that the whole point of the Arrival DLC was the Reapers -- through the indoctrinated humans -- trying to kidnap/knock out/indoctrinate Shepard. And WTF is up with those dreams? (Which are supposed to be one of the signs, per the codex.)

Indoctrination is a huge part of the Reapers' strategy to conquer the galaxy, and Shepard has spent so much time around Reapears/Reaper tech, I don't think it's a stretch at all to say he might be facing indoctrination after he's critically injured and his mental defenses are down. I'm not sure it's any more of a stretch than assuming that Bioware (which, DA2 aside, has a very solid track record of releasing tier-one games) completely dropped the ball at the 1-yard line on their most popular franchise and released a nonsensical ending to fans. There are a LOT of clues in the ending sequence that it might be a dream -- and most telling of all is that Shepard ONLY survives if you have high EMS and choose the "Destruction" option. (And if you re-load your last save, it puts you right before you make that choice!)

I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until they release an official statement, so I'm waiting to see what the rest of the week brings. There have been some interesting, albeit unverified, leaks coming out this morning. I just can't believe what we were given is it.
 
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So the choice is between them being shitty writers or them being disingenuous, fuck-faced, shitty writers?
 
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So the choice is between them being shitty writers or them being disingenuous, fuck-faced, shitty writers?
Assuming that I'm correct... which is a big "if" at this point...

What you see as disingenuous and fuck-faced, I see as brilliant and innovative -- but I guess that's where we'll have to disagree.
 
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But there *is* subtle foreshadowing, and a lot of it. Shepard was something of a nobody in the first game, and the Reapers first targeted Saren for indoctrination -- a respected Spectre of the council -- and used him as a sleeper agent. When Shepard beats him and Sovereign, the Reapers -- through the Collectors -- do seem very determined to get Shepard. Mass Effect: Redemption is all about the Collectors trying to retrieve Shepard's body, and you spend half of Mass Effect 2 being targeted by the Collectors and taunted by Harbinger: "You cannot escape your destiny"/"Why do you resist us"/"We are the Harbinger of your destiny"/etc. It would also be very easy to make the argument that the whole point of the Arrival DLC was the Reapers -- through the indoctrinated humans -- trying to kidnap/knock out/indoctrinate Shepard. And WTF is up with those dreams? (Which are supposed to be one of the signs, per the codex.)

Indoctrination is a huge part of the Reapers' strategy to conquer the galaxy, and Shepard has spent so much time around Reapears/Reaper tech, I don't think it's a stretch at all to say he might be facing indoctrination after he's critically injured and his mental defenses are down. I'm not sure it's any more of a stretch than assuming that Bioware (which, DA2 aside, has a very solid track record of releasing tier-one games) completely dropped the ball at the 1-yard line on their most popular franchise and released a nonsensical ending to fans. There are a LOT of clues in the ending sequence that it might be a dream -- and most telling of all is that Shepard ONLY survives if you have high EMS and choose the "Destruction" option. (And if you re-load your last save, it puts you right before you make that choice!)
That is not foreshadowing, that is a lot of assumption. Foreshadowing has to be outright enough that you miss it the first time, but clear enough that once you reach the conclusion you can go "Oh, I get it!". The dreams are not enough of a foreshadow, because it only starts happening after the kid is killed, hinting more to mental trauma over the fact he just watched his planet get taken over and a little kid he tried to save brutally murdered. If the dreams started happening in ME2, in which we saw Shepard was suffering from night terrors in general over upcoming events, or even maybe a few times he hears a shadowy voice which startles him but we never learn what it was until later, that would be foreshadowing.

Everything else is assumption. The Collectors blew up Shepard's ship, killing him, which is not exactly in-line with Indoctrination practices. They likely only wanted his body as a trophy, or maybe even to prevent even the possibility of him being resurrected or simply unconscious. It is true that in Arrival the Indoctrinated kept him alive after knocking him out, but going by Occam's Razor, that is likely because Harbinger wanted to get some revenge on the little bug that has been messing with him, not Indoctrinate him, otherwise why did they remove him from the Reaper Relic Room? Why not strap him down right next to that thing? Why take him to another room a good distance away if the INTENTION was Indoctrination? It likely never was, the scientists were probably keeping him as a trophy to give to their masters, as they knew the Reapers and him are at odds. Think of it like in the old days when a soldier may find himself capturing a general of a neighboring enemy kingdom, one that he knows the King hates with a passion. The could kill him and bring the corpse, but giving him over alive to the King is likely going to win more brownie points, as the King now gets to personally carry out his revenge.

Also, how is the ending with the EMS and Shepard destroy the Reapers a clue to it being a dream? The reason it only happens during the Destruction side of the event is because in the other two, Shepard has to disintegrate himself to carry out the action. The Destruction arc is the only one where he simply undergoes an explosion, meaning it is possible he survives in the rubble of the Citadel. There is nothing telling about that at all, it's pretty much a given because it's a little hard to survive disintegration.

Once again, Occam's Razor. You want to give them the benefit of a doubt, and that is fine, but I think you are attempting very, VERY hard to bring in possibilities, that when put under scrutiny, don't hold up under common sense. In the end it all remains uninspirsed, bad writing. As for them "dropping the ball", we did see what they did to Dragon Age 2, so it's not like the precedent isn't there for them to do something shitty.
 
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Casey Hudson said:
It's not so much that there is a fixed set of alternative endings, but all of your choices really determine how things end up in the universe. So, how you approach the end-game, for every player, you're going to have a different set of results in terms of who is alive and who is dead, and which civilisations survived and which ones were wiped out.There is a huge set of consequences that start stacking up as you approach the end-game. And even in terms of the ending itself, it continues to break down to some very large decisions. So it's not like a classic game ending where everything is linear and you make a choice between a few things - it really does layer in many, many different choices, up to the final moments, where it's going to be different for everyone who plays it.
That right there, is disingenuous. Hell, it's an outright, bold-faced lie.
 
S

Soliloquy

You know, it strikes me that Bioware could have gotten away with the 3-choices-at-the-end ending if they also provided some sort of epilogue about the effects of all your actions like in the first two Fallout games.

It'd probably go against the ambiguity that it looks like they were going for, but it would satisfy gamers a lot more.

<-- Has not played a single Mass Effect game
 
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To paraphrase Giant Bomb, "Mass Effect should have been the best thing about this generation of games, but I can't say it is."
 
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You know, it strikes me that Bioware could have gotten away with the 3-choices-at-the-end ending if they also provided some sort of epilogue about the effects of all your actions like in the first two Fallout games.

It'd probably go against the ambiguity that it looks like they were going for, but it would satisfy gamers a lot more.

<-- Has not played a single Mass Effect game
They did this in DA:O, no reason they couldn't have done it here. =/
 

GasBandit

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Seems like Gabe is once again illustrating why Tycho does the thinking while he just paints the pretty pictures. Though, I dunno, maybe Tycho agrees with him. I had a hard time deciphering Tycho's exact position other than "I like endings that leave a jillion unanswered questions, it happens all the time in Sci Fi."

I mean, I never played ME1, I did play ME2 but not ME3 (though I have read just about every spoiler now), and even I'm miffed at Gabe's "I don't see what the problem is, choices are stupid anyway" position.
 
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Seems like Gabe is once again illustrating why Tycho does the thinking while he just paints the pretty pictures. Though, I dunno, maybe Tycho agrees with him. I had a hard time deciphering Tycho's exact position other than "I like endings that leave a jillion unanswered questions, it happens all the time in Sci Fi."

I mean, I never played ME1, I did play ME2 but not ME3 (though I have read just about every spoiler now), and even I'm miffed at Gabe's "I don't see what the problem is, choices are stupid anyway" position.
Gabe's position is a lot like my own when I first beat the game. It was a position of denial. Though, my ego is fully capable of figuring out when it's just being stubborn and is totally wrong. I don't know that his is.

And wow, do I like Giant Bomb's position on it. The whole crew went on about how Mass Effect should have been the franchise where all the stops were pulled. No corners cut. All that stuff that should have happened rather than have been rushed to market to maximize immediate profits rather than looking at the long term where it has this reputation of nigh perfection. Unfortunately, we gamers are about the shittiest consumers on the planet and don't really reward that kind of thing.

And lastly, IGN calling unhappy Mass Effect players whiny, entitled babies (after giving it a 9.5 and calling it one of the best games ever made). How does IGN even review that game with any sort of straight face? They have a fucking employee playing a role in the fucking game! It's like the complete opposite of when Giant Bomb wouldn't review Bastion because they had done a bunch of in-depth in-studio stuff with Supergiant games and there would have been a conflict of interest. I guess that's why people give GB respect and IGN is best known for how many letters you need to spell ignorant.
 
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Honestly, when Gabe says things like:
I don't really know why the Mass Relays blowing up is bad
He basically discredits his whole argument.
 
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So, I shouldn't even bother getting started with this series then?
Mass Effect 1 has the best story and RPG elements of the bunch by a long shot but it's shooting mechanics leave much to be desired.

Mass Effect 2 had much better shooting than ME1 and had a nice seven samurai feel going for it's story but it was definitely a step down overall storywise over the first game.

Mass Effect 3 had the tightest shooting of the bunch but was definitely rushed (the sidequests are fucking Dragon Age 2 awful) and well, you read about the hate over how it ends.
 
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ME1's shooting mechanics had the heat dissipation system. I loved that thing. :(
Yeah, but it was still going for more an RPG rolling the dice whether or not whatever you shot at was actually hit. ME2 definitely improved it by going more straight up 3rd person shooter there.

I too miss the heat thing and the adding of neato mods to guns that ME1 had, however, I liked that the guns were actually different from each other in ME2. I still stand by that ME2 was a better shooter than ME1 while ME1 was a better RPG.
 
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There were certain RPG elements that ME1 could have done without, aka lots of spam gear just to take up space.
 
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Interesting image that appeared online, not sure how valid it is.

Seems I might have to partly apologize to HowDroll, considering she seems to be the closest to correct about what might be happening here. I still think the writing and foreshadowing was badly handled, but looking at the information, the Indoctrination angle seems to be the path they are going to go with it. Going back and watching the opening again, no one other then Shepard ever acknowledges this kids existence, Shepard is the one that sees him out the window, Shepard is the one that notices him in the ducts and the kid vanishes when Anderson appears, and if you watch the kid get on the transport none of the soldiers seem to acknowledge him being there. He had to climb onto the transport himself. So more foreshadowing is there then I originally was giving credit at least. That, with the dreams, really is starting to point to the kid never existed at all, he was something created to manipulate Shepard's emotions. Then people looked up the kids model and noticed the name.

I sure hope if that is the case and another ending is incoming through DLC, that I don't have to pay for it, because that is bullshit.

 
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