Jun 2012 27

by Bob Suicide

[Bob Suicide in Beyond The Sea]

If you haven’t finished the game stop reading now…unless you’re like me and you don’t mind a spoiler here and there. Although, with the amount of news surrounding the Mass Effect 3 ending, I can’t imagine the size of the rock you’d have to live under to avoid spoiling it. But, if you haven’t seen the new DLC, don’t worry I’m not going to give anything away. It’s a free download. So, I recommend taking a peek if you’ve finished ME3. Even if you hate it, you can just delete it from your hard drive. A word of warning though, just like the original ending, you can’t delete it from your brain.

In case you missed it, here is my review of the original ending to ME 3*:

Unfortunately, the new download doesn’t change the ending in any major way, it merely adds more dialogue to it in the hopes that it will “explain” it more. Herein lies the problem: sure the ending sucked and the cut scene was pretty lame, but the real issue isn’t the “unanswered questions” – it’s the game play and the overall storyline.

As a stand-alone vignette, the ending cut scene was “fine.” I don’t care that Shepard died. I don’t care that I didn’t get to see what happened to Joker and EDI. I don’t even worry about what the universe is going to do now that the mass relays are destroyed. They’ll figure it out. There are TONS of franchises out there than have open-ended endings that allow the viewer to imagine the real conclusion to the story. And, not all of them are as bad as the ending to The Sopranos. Remember how Milo and Otis just walked off into the wild blue yonder. Well half of you imagined them making it back to the farm and the other half imagined aliens beaming down and a mutant bear attacking…both are fine endings. And, therein lies the joy of a properly structured open-ended ending.

The problem lies in the whole structure of the final mission. It’s a complete departure from the complex character interaction and unique choice model found throughout the rest of the series.

For some reason, I really thought the download would include a change in the final mission’s gameplay. I’m not sure if I read that somewhere, it’s more likely that I just imagined that all my prayers would be answered. ‘Cause, honestly, that’s the only way it would fix it for me. That’s where they dropped the ball.

But, the lack of a change in gameplay highlights just what we’ve come to expect from what was recently voted the worst company in the US by Consumerist readers. I wholeheartedly support placing the blame on the shoulders of game publishers EA. Honestly, you can blame them for anything bad that happens this year. It makes life SO much easier.

This is EA’s fix. It’s like putting a Band Aid on a gangrenous wound.

You still lost the leg.

You’ll never get those hours of game play back. You’re still left with the feeling that the choices you made didn’t matter and all of the wonderful gaming experience built up by 1 and 2 was dashed in a second by some star child’s really shitty logic. Logic, which includes pears of exposition like, “You wouldn’t know them.” Thanks.

But, at the end of the day, the download is better than the original ending. Something is better than nothing. And, Canadian developers BioWare should be lauded for their ability to listen and respond to the fans in a way that no other company has dared to do. Dragon Age 2 aside, they’ve been at the forefront of game development; churning out some of top games and revolutionizing the gaming experience. Combining that with the unique desire to please their fanbase – a desire typically only found on Kickstarter these days – makes this a company I want to love and support.

They’ve provided a compromise and they did it for free. BioWare has opened a door and hopefully, other developers will dare to walk through it. For the amount of testing and surveying that goes on before launch, hopefully BioWare has set a precedent for continued feedback after launch.

So, in the hopes for this new future, I’ll take what I can get. I’ll love this new download for what it is and what I hope it’ll be: a game-changing (pun-intended) step toward a new dynamic between developer and gamer. I’ll appreciate that complaints were heard and an unprecedented attempt to change was made. I’ll love my fellow gamers for speaking up and taking a passionate stand about the level of quality we expect and deserve!

After all, if we can combine all organic and synthetic life, we can certainly find a way to get along.

*If you don’t want to take my word re the ME3 ending, take Hitlers:

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