Artistic Integrity: The Mass Effect 3 Ending Fiasco

Article by guest writer Dr. Young Gun

Recently, I’ve been pretty quiet in the DOM Army, but now I’m back! This time I’ve got another controversial scenario that has been getting a lot of attention in the gamer section of the news. We’re talking about the Mass Effect 3 ending. Now without playing through the Mass Effect series it’s hard to get involved in the argument. This has been one of the largest issues of controversy between writers and gamers of all time.

While Mass Effect is one of my favorite series, and I have my own opinion, I’m going to try to give an unbiased estimate of the argument. The Mass Effect series’ hallmark lies in gamer choice, and a customization of the story to how you want to play it. Throughout the three games, the gamer decides who lives, who dies, how he wants to interact with other characters, and how he wants to build lasting relationships with his teammates. However, in the last ten to fifteen minutes of gameplay the game begins to guide you through the decisions. It also introduces a new character in the last few minutes, which is done in order resolve the story faster, and brings about 5-10 plot holes depending on who you talk to. It is also a vague ending that allows for subsequent games to be sold.

 When it comes down to the argument, the gamers feel that they deserve an ending that coincides with the story, and that the hundreds of hours of gameplay have been destroyed by a vague ending, with plot holes, and only 3 choices. Also, they feel that since they bought the game and have been promised multiple endings that they are owed a quality product that delivers on the promises. However, the developers and writers believe that their artistic vision should not be changed due to a popular dislike with an ending. Now, the developers have already decided that they will not change the ending, but will still provide some cinematics to expand on the current ending. We’ll see how that pans out when it is released.

Now one last kicker before I give my opinion. The game offers a downloadable content on the first day the game was released. This means that they are selling additional content that is already included in the game. So effectively, you are paying some money to unlock a part of the game that is somewhat integral to the story.

Opinion time! I understand that making a video game with the amount of choice Mass Effect has is a very difficult thing to do. While the few choices at the end were less than ideal, they were necessary to resolve the game. Also, the vague ending was done to preserve the series future, so I can live with it. I believe the reason gamers where so upset were the plot holes and the lack of closure with your squad mates, which I believe (hopefully) will be resolved with the extra cinematics. So, I support Bioware in their defending their artists and choosing not to change the ending; however, once they began chop the story into pieces and sell the parts as downloadable content on the release of the game, like the one in the video, that is important to the story just to make extra money they can no longer argue for the integrity of their vision because it is now about the game as a product. It’d be like charging 5 dollars extra at the movies to see a car chase scene. If you paid you get to watch, but if not then you just see the person in the next scene. I know I wasn’t able to cover every issue fully, so please investigate on your own. I covered the topics that I saw relevant to the argument. Thanks for reading let me know what you think about the situation!

Trust me I’m almost a Doctor.

-Dr. Young Gun  

One Response to “Artistic Integrity: The Mass Effect 3 Ending Fiasco”

  • Big Al: May 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Thanks for the Killer article Dr. Young Gun! To the guys reading this, do you agree or disagree with him? Sound off like you’ve got a pair!

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