So I finished Mass Effect 3, and I’m a little shocked about all the controversy over the ending. Or endings. I’m assuming that the average Mass Effect player has played other games. If so, why no such outrage over, say, the end of Halo 3?
The way I see it, Mass Effect 3 more or less followed the structure of the TV series Babylon 5. (If you take a look at the Crucible, it sorta has the same look to it.) And, no spoilers here or anything, but Babylon 5 more or less ended in a similar way … to at least the good endings, anyway.
Another thing that’s bugging me is that Bioware is apparently retooling the game because of the fan response. As someone who appreciates comics, novels, TV shows, movies, and other forms of storytelling, this seriously, seriously bugs me. If, for example, someone retooled Casablanca because fans were complaining that the ending was a huge downer, then we’d think that was an interference of artistic integrity. Now fans are forcing Bioware to give them a happy ending. No outrage there? Anyone?
I would personally take a disappointing ending the way the artists intended than read something that was forced on because fans just didn’t like it. Heck, I’m the guy who once played Descent, for my money the worst ending for any video game I can recall. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s a still image of a space ship flying away with text that seems to be setting up a sequel.) Perhaps the choose-your-adventure format gave the player an illusion of choice, but most of the time that’s all it was: an illusion.
Besides, isn’t that what fanfiction is for?