Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mass Effect 3 - Part 5 *SPOILERS*

SPOILERS AHEAD for the ending of Mass Effect 3!

Still reading?

So aside from suffering further rounds of "homage" and Easter Eggs -- "The first shuttle is away!" Yay! -- the ending, at least the ending I experienced, concluded with Shepherd saving the galaxy by blowing everything and anything to hell. The Ghost Child in Shepherd's Max Payne-like nightmares that turned out to be "The Catalyst" tells Shepherd flatly that all robotic life will be wiped out if she puts a few well-placed shots into a crazily exposed conduit. And because Shepherd has a bit of robot about her, it means her destruction as well.

That's what Shepherd came to do. Put an end to the Reapers. And in the process mimic some scenes from LOST.

It came as a bit of a surprise that the destruction of the Reapers and all the mass effect relays basically destroyed the galaxy. (This is something I predicated in a previous blog.) It was a bit of a, "Wait, what?" reaction on my part. In my head I imagined all the Reaper tech just shutting down and collapsing in a heap all over the galaxy. Cue the inter-species celebrations, ticker tape parade, and medal ceremony. Nope. Earth's surface is essentially "glassed" and Joker just maybe got the Normandy far enough away from the explosion to fight another day.

The ending wasn't enough to make me want to send BioWare cupcakes or file an FTC complaint or just go crazy with a "That's not how it should have ended! Those leftist feminist ruin everything!" diatribe. If anything, the ending kind of made me sad that I predicted the end of the game -- the close out of a trilogy -- only a couple hours into the third chapter. I wanted a surprise, a real smack to the face, from BioWare. Something that would have been unexpected (along the lines of Jade Empire characters saving the day). It makes sense from a trilogy standpoint to end things so definitively but it did kind of undermine the entirety of the struggle in the trilogy: trying to save organic life in the galaxy. After all that, the Reapers won!

Granted, my ending was one of (supposedly) 7 different endings, some where everyone survives and Earth isn't vaporized. But I'm not sure I want to dive back in again after witnessing the end of the galaxy, particularly because it means scavenging space for War Assets, which isn't actually that fun.

When the game "ends" it re-launches Shepherd into the last part of the game where she's about to assault the Illusive Man's hideout. But I think I'm done at this point. I already destroyed the galaxy once, why do I need to do it again?

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