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The Rabbit's Take on ME3 and Bioware

First of all I would like to state that minor plot holes aside the Mass Effect franchise consists of 3 out of my top 5 favorite games ever(yes even the third one), The others being Neverwinter Nights and Dragon Age: Origins. And that the last 10 minustes aside, ME3 comtained some of the most powerful storytelling I have experienced across all forms of media.

That being said, the ending sucked so hard that it ruined my desire to continue with the franchise in any way(similar to how Dragon Age 2 killed my support of the Dragon Age franchise), and unless something is done to resolve it I will purchase NO dlc, NO merchandise, and NO future games involving the Mass Effect universe. Further I urge everyone else out there to follow suit. If BioWare is going to treat their fanbase, their supporters, and their customers with such blatant disrespect as what they pawned off on us as the end of that story then they deserve none of it.

I am not so arrogant as to say that BioWare "owes" me a new ending, nor as naive as to assume that their promises of X number of different endings or that a thouseand different variables would affect the story's outcome would be kept. BioWare is a company in the business of making money, and will further that purpose however they see fit, period. What I am saying is that I(like everyone else who has played Mass Effect or any other BioWare game), is well within my rights to NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER BIOWARE GAME AGAIN in response. Especially given the trend they are begining to action frst, graphics second, and story somewhere later close to the bottom(I cite Dragon Age 2 as my example). If I wanted action alone I would go to Epic Games or Infinity Ward, but if I need a deeply engorsing story with excellent character development and a RPG foundation I would go to BioWare(at least I used to). Regardless, serious reparations are in order for my continued business.

But on to the real reason for this tirade... The problem I(if no one else) had with the ending is no so much that I didn't get the "happy" ending that we all hoped for, or even that every ending that was functionally exactly the same. The promlem I had was that the way it ended didn't make any sense. The way ME3 ended wasn't consistant with anything that was presented in the game leading up to it, let alone the rest of the franchise. I understand that it was supposed to be a twist, and your not supposed to see it coming, but a good twist needs to at least have some foundation established earlier in order to work. Take "The Sixth Sense" for example, which contained possibly the greatest twist in cinematic history(Bruce Willis was dead the whole time), the twist had been established at the very beginning but because of the rest of the movie distracting you or your not paying attention it was perfect. The end of ME3 however, did not have that. It was an uninspired cop out that had no foundation with regards to their own storytelling, no resolution for any of the characters that had been developed thus far, no moral/philosophical dilemma to come to terms with, and no appreciable resolution for either this game or the series as a whole. Nothing that happened from the time Shepard got up after being blasted by Harbinger through the end credits and the Stargazer appeared to be anything but the execution of a desire to END THE SERIES, with zero concern for the story, storytelling process, franchise, fanbase, etc.

In all fairness however, I didnt have a problem with the whole TIM/Shepard/Anderson scene(though a boss fight would have been nice); I just would have had Shepard sit down with or without Anderson afterwards, with the Citadel arms opening and had him watch as either the Crucibe worked and supernova'd the Sol system or didnt(not the galaxy), and Hackett either led the fleet to victory or lead them to defeat as appropriate if necessary. All based on the ammount of war assets collected that pertained to "Sword", "Hammer", and Crucible(which btw, they had already established over the course of the game). The whole of what I would change if I was in charge of the dlc that everyone wants to replace the end is a subject for another post.

What it comes down to is this, in order to have a ending which takes into account the players choices throughout this game as well as the other two(since its the end of a trilogy), the ending must contain these scenarios: the reapers succeed or fail as a result of the Crucible/Sword fleet/etc. since thats the only way it can actually end now, Shepard lives or dies since this is his story and all, what happened to your squadmates(both those selected for the final mission as well as not) since next to Shepard and the reapers they are the most important part of the story, and what impact all of Shepard's actions have on the galaxy and its civilizations since they are what motivated him to do all of this in the first place. I dont care if "Shepard must die" and since it is his story therefore what happens after his death does not apply, if what happens after Shapard's death contributes to the resolution of his story then it must be included. Every complete story since the time of Aristotle has contained 5 phases: introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. And off the top of my head I can think of at leas one of these thing that is missing in ME3.

There, I have said my peace. I hope now someone from BioWare sees this, takes it into consideration, and fixes it. Otherwise I am done with them forever and they can go bankrupt and live lives of sadness and regret knowing that they lost one of the medium's most innovative companies because they though they were untouchable by ruining their best franchise(s) through poor storytelling for all I care.

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