2012 Year in Review – Mass Defect: Mass Effect 3 ending sparks player outrage

Sections: Developers, Features, Game-Companies, Gaming News, Genres, Publishers, Role-Playing

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Bioware-developed RPG Mass Effect and its sequels were all about choice. Even little things your character did could end up having universal consequences. So when Mass Effect 3 offered the same ending options to players regardless of what choices they had made, many were unsatisfied.  Also, a lot of players who had participated since the beginning felt there were a number of contradictions. Characters acted inconsistently, the ending left some plot holes and contradicted already established parts of the series’ canon. For example, the ending results in the destruction of the mass relays which allow interstellar travel. The Mass Effect games previously said the destruction of the mass relays would wipe out most of the life in the universe.

The overwhelming negative reaction caused Bioware to release, for free, an “Extended Cut” add-on to tie up some loose ends and give more closure. Even this move didn’t please everyone. Opponents of the idea warned what a dangerous precedent this is. Will other companies knuckle under and change unpopular endings if enough people cry out? Or was this Bioware’s admission that it dropped the ball on this one? This all overshadowed a game that earned critical acclaim otherwise.

EA has already gone on record saying Shepard won’t star in the next Mass Effect trilogy. Taking that, and an ending that rubbed so much of the fanbase the wrong way into account, the next game will have to work hard to earn people’s trust.


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