Friday, March 23, 2012

Endgame (A.K.A. 100+ hours and the only choices I get are different colored explosions?) **ME3 Spoilers Inside**

Mass Effect. Great game series, loved them all. Yup, even with the micro-managing in the first one, but I could do without the mineral scanning of the second one. I've replayed them numerous times. And I've even started up a second play through of the third game, even knowing that no matter what I do will get the ending that makes me feel like Commander Shepard failed.
That's right, I feel like Shepard failed.
All of the endings weren't the commander overcoming the Reapers. All the choices were given by the Reapers. I didn't feel like there was anything about forging the galaxy's own future but instead going with 3 choices that were pretty much the same. Sure, the implications of what happens afterwards are a bit different between them all but I still felt like the commander failed, all three endings where what the Reapers' creator gave not one that the commander did. And even if I go with the indoctrination theory, the commander still failed, succumbing to the Reapers.
Now, before anyone jumps on me about not really having a choice in the games I need to say this. It's all about the illusion of choice. Of course there are only so many ways that it could have played out, but I wanted to feel like I accomplished something, like my avatar managed to succeed at some monumental task. I know that it's not truly up to my decision, that it's still a scripted outcome, I just want a good illusion of it.  As a game master, it's up to me to give the illusion of choice even when there really isn't a choice and this isn't something that I do regularly when I run a game, in fact, it's something that I really try not to do. I let the players decide what's going to happen, but in a video game I don't think that it can be done where it's free and open for the players to choose from an unlimited number of options. And that is where the illusion of choice, or influence, comes in. Please, make me feel like I had some input in the outcome.
Of course, I have pulled the "No matter what you do, the outcome will still be the same." in a game, but only once and I learned my lesson to never do it again.
Did I hate the endings? No, I'm just a bit disappointed. And yes, I do understand then endings and have dissected them quite a bit. I do feel like they were a bit rushed, too.
Does it mean I'm disappointed in the game? Oh, HELL no! I love the game. Just because it didn't end the way I wanted it to doesn't mean that the game itself isn't good, in fact it's going to suck more of my time and probably more of my hard earned money too!
Was I expecting a happy ending? No, I wasn't. I was fully expecting for Shepard to die, I just wasn't expecting things to go as bad as they did. I was hoping it would be just one of the endings and not all of them. To me it would have been a perfect ending for someone who just blazed through the game without completing the side quests.
Do I support getting a new ending? Yes. At least I support getting some clarification or additional information. If BioWare wants to leave the ending as is and say deal with it, I'll accept it, I won't be really happy about it, but I'll accept it.
I think BioWare did an exceptional job with this series and I don't think the flaming hatred is warranted. I appreciate the work of the Retake Mass Effect campaign and how they are trying to keep everything civil and level headed. But as the meme states, haters are going to hate, just don't let it get you down.
To BioWare, I love the game and will still love the series. Good job over all and I look forward to throwing more money and time at you in the future. And the multiplayer has been one of the things that I have had the most fun in playing. Just give me the ability to drive a Mako or Hammerhead or Something in multiplayer with a HUGE map and I'll be happy. Nothing quite like taking a tank for a spin.
To Penny Arcade and Child's Play, I'm sorry that things got out of control and caused issues for you guys, I love what you do and hope that you will continue to do it for many years to come, maybe centuries if we get the technology to stick your brains in jars... MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!! Sorry, the Renegade side got out, but it would be for the good of the galaxy! Honest!
Keep your rifle handy and your aim true! Don the Evil Bassman