The Mass Effect Effect
Back in early spring, a couple of my co-workers convinced me to start playing Mass Effect. I started out with ME1 a couple of characters in ME and once I had one all the way through the game, I imported it into ME2. Next thing I know, I have 5 characters run through ME1 and then ME2, all with different story choices. I was eagerly awaiting the release of ME3.
I loved the way your choices in each game effected the story line in the next game. Character would not appear and would be mentioned in the next as having been killed. Pick a back story of being earthborn and get a certain quest line or pick station born and get a different quest line. This choice follows you into the next game as well. Talk to a fan, complete all the interactions and he appears in the next games. Don’t complete all the interactions and he doesn’t appear.
I took the day off for the release of Mass Effect 3 and played my way through. The game was every bit as good or better than the first 2. Familiar characters appeared, storylines were continued or wrapped up. You get messages for people you had met in the previous games. A nice feature was added for those with iOS device, the Mass Effect Datapad. It allows you to receive twitter-like messages from character you interact with when you complete certain stages of the game. Some are hilarious, others a bit sad. It is also an easy way to build up war assets by completing fleet missions on you iPhone/iPad.
I started hearing a lot of grumbling about the ending of the game as people rushed through to complete the game. Everyone was loving the game up until the last few minutes. I heard petitions were being written to change the ending, people were creating dozens of threads on the forums discussing the ending and if it was possible get get a different ending by getting the best possble outcome for every mission, side quest or PVPing.
It took me a few days to get to the final ending. I get to the final choice, made my decision and sat there in shock as the final cut scene played out. I could understand what all the furor was about now. I felt like uninstalling the game, the previous 2 games as well and asking for my money back. The ending was such a disconnect from the rest of the game. It was like the final 10 minutes was written by someone who had no contact with the previous games or even the rest of the current game. Choices I had made over the course of 3 games that had effect ed the entire story line, suddenly did not matter. Then I watched the final cut scene and a few more things jumped out at me. People were in locations the had no way of being, the Normandy was in a bit where it had been and no reason being where it was. My reaction was and still is WTF!.
Bioware, being the company it is, was following all the feedback on the forums, Twitter and other media and has stated that it was surprised at all of the feedback. They did listen and have stated there will be a free DLC to be released that will CLARIFY the ending for people, not change it. Here is hoping it will allow all of us to make sense of the ending!