I am sick. I started to
get sick on Sunday night, but it was only yesterday that I really
felt the full brunt of something (probably a cold) trying to make my
life miserable. I feel sad about this. Yes, I don't like to get sick
ever, but I wish it would have hit one night later. Either that, or
I wish I finished Mass Effect 3 on Sunday instead of last night.
Weird request, right?
Maybe, you're thinking, Malik wishes he would have finished ME3
without a sick feeling so he could have enjoyed the end of the game
better. Maybe, you could be thinking, playing an action packed
ending while sick made the game harder than it should have been. If
you think either of these, then you are wrong.
A lot has been said on
the internet about how ME3 has a bad ending. I knew that going in. I
have seen some bad endings. A lot of bad endings. I've seen games
end with just one screen of text that starts with "CONGRATURATION!"
I've seen endings that destroy the mood by having Fei and Elly dance
through the sky, naked, while wishing a fond farewell to their
nemesis (damn you, Xenogears ending!). I've seen the list of Animal
House like one line summaries...for 108 characters (Suikoden 1-5).
I've seen a nu chasing a frog through scrolling credits (true,
that's only one of a dozen endings for Chrono Trigger). I've seen
bad in so many forms. It doesn't phase me anymore to hear a game
ends poorly. I mean as long as it is all wrapped up in some way,
then it's all fine if the game offered me fun. I can write off a bad
ending pretty easily if the game was solid.
That being said, the end
of ME3 actually ruined how I feel about the game. I mean this was
just a flat-out horrible ending. I would rather have seen "CONGRATURATION!"
than this crap. I would rather have had the power fail in my house
before the end began than have seen and played through this. I would
rather...I would rather have never played ME2 and realized that I
can enjoy this series...then I never would have played ME3. It would
have ended with the first Mass Effect, which left me not wanting
more. I definitely would have preferred beating the game on Sunday
so, when I started to feel sick, I would honestly believe that the
ending was so bad that it caused me physical harm and illness. I
really think the ending had something to do with how I feel, because
something this bad cannot be healthy for you.
By the way, if you
are the type who thinks the ending to Neon Genesis Evangelion (the
TV ending and not the movie ending) was bad, then the end of ME3 may
make you think that was a pretty good ending in a vicarious way.
Without any real
spoilers, I'll just cover a few of the most obvious problems in the
ending in a nice brief format.
No closure is given for
any of the plot elements you have come to know and be invested in.
What happened to your crew? Did they survive? Is the galaxy ready to
rebuild? Who knows.
Deus Ex Machina is not
something that should be found in any game (unless it's a classic
god game, since that's kind of the name of the game). The way ME3
ended, just felt like Bioware really didn't know how to end it...so
they just said, "let's have a magical space child and have the
reapers fly away. The end!" Yes, a magical space child (who comes
from the most tedious part of the normal game...if you've played,
you know the damned kid all too well) who just explains everything
that doesn't matter in the most annoying way possible. All that
right before the reapers just fly away home.
The game basically
says what the final outcome will be for the final 30 minutes as you
listen to each NPC tell you a farewell. Really? Do I
need the game to basically announce, repeatedly, breaking the fourth
wall, how the series is ending and in what general way it will end?
Can you wait until the actual ending and just let it play out?
I guess not when the actually ending is this bad.
(Medium spoiler on this
one...skip to the next if you need to) No room for closure is given.
It's one thing to have no real closure, but Bioware didn't even
leave room for it when they decided to destroy the relays. I mean
the ending, considering relays are needed to travel the galaxy, is
with a bunch of alien soldiers trapped on Earth and never able to
get back home (unless they travel for hundreds or thousands of
years). I guess maybe some Asari will be able to see home again
since they live long lives.
The game offers some
choices that are pretty much not even choices. It's like saying
"pick a hand" while I hold two closed fists in front of you. You
pick one, and instead of me opening my hand to show you what you
got, I punch you with that hand. Then you decide to ask what's in
the other hand...and I punch you again. Different choice, same exact
choice in the end.
Lastly, you work hand
building up a giant fleet of allies during the game. Why? In the end
it felt like having a large force didn't prevent a bad ending. I
mean ME2 goes through some major changes if you try for the good
ending. ME3 just feels like the only ending offered is bad. Really
Being sick, it's hard to
form coherent thoughts. It's also hard to play anything with any
action to it (drugs to battle being sick give me the reaction speed
of mud). So, while I wait to recover, I'll be stuck with a final
thought; the last game I played before feeling this bad was ME3. I'm
now stuck with memories of ME3 for a couple of days, with no escape.
Congraturations to me.
dwelling on the ending of ME3, I spent some time just surfing the
web for what other people thought in full (I can now stop worrying
I found one blog that seemed to strike most of the correct
points as to why I felt so let down. Well, I should say I
found a blog that explains the problems on a literary scale...and
that covers a good deal of what actually broke the ending. At
least what broke the ending initially. The ending has some
other continuity issues, but nothing can work well if the literary
structure goes to crap.