This article is about Mass Effect 3’s ending and contains SPOILERS. This article will also have SPOILERS for the endings of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.
You have been warned!
So, yeah, ME3’s ending. Not exactly what we expected, right? I remember playing through the game for the first time (without the Extended Cut DLC), and getting to the Catalyst and the Three Big Buttons. I picked Synthesis and watched the green space magic unfold. My initial reaction was one of disappointment. It was a mediocre ending, mostly because of how vague it was. I wasn’t satisfied, but I wasn’t all that upset either. I’d enjoyed the game as a whole. The ending just felt incomplete to me.
Afterwards, I went online to read about it, and that’s when I encountered the full force Nerd Rage Storm tearing apart the ending. To say that I was surprised would be an understatement. I was outright shocked by the sheer quantity of negativity aimed at Bioware over this ending.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a good ending. At least, not in my opinion. As I said, I found it vague and unsatisfying. But it was kind-of sort-of the ending I was expecting. After all, we’d already had two games that ended with a similar Big Decision.
Give me a moment to explain what I mean.
One of the biggest points of contention was the Three Big Buttons the Catalyst presents Shepard. But this never really bothered me. Structurally, the Three Big Buttons are similar to the Save/Abandon the Council or the Destroy/Capture the Collector Base decisions at the end of the earlier games.
Let’s take a moment and review them.
Near the end of Mass Effect, the player must decide whether to save the Destiny Ascension or go for the throat and attack Sovereign directly. The choices throughout the game have no bearing on this moment. It is always there, always the same. Neither option has a huge impact on the story. Sovereign is dead either way.
Near the end of Mass Effect 2, the player either captures or destroys the Collector Base. The choices throughout the game have no bearing on this moment. It is always there, always the same. Neither option has a huge impact on the story. Cerberus gets their hands on the human-reaper regardless.
At the end of Mass Effect 3, the player must pick Red, Blue, or Green. The choices throughout the game … well, you know. Basically, we get a different colored cut scene out of the deal.
I could go on with other aspects, but I just don’t see the need. I guess I’m saying the ending to Mass Effect 3 wasn’t that big of a deal for me. The game had so many awesome moments in it, like the genophage conflict and the war between the Quarians and the Geth, that my overall feelings about the game remain positive to this day.
After all, as soon as I finished my first game and the credits stopped, I loaded a different character and started a new game. Right then, right there.
How many fans of the series did exactly the same thing?