So I got over myself and played through Mass Effect 3.
If you’ve heard the endings for Mass Effect 3 are bullshit, they are. I know I’m jumping the gun here, going straight to the end, but those endings were crap! Not spoiling, but they throw this Deus Ex type choose from multiple (3) different endings that have different outcomes, but they have one thing in common, it always occurs, and this will be the only spoiler: the galactic civilization ceases to exist.
There is a theory out there. That the ending sequence was a hallucination. The theory is something very similar to that of the one surrounding Final Fantasy VIII’s second half. Play the sequence with that in mind, you’ll be surprised how it fits. Of course if it is true, BioWare will pull off the most sinister application of DLC ever. To get the true ending to one of the best series ever, buy the DLC.
That could just be a pipe dream, something that desperate fans try to cling on to in the face of an immensely disappointing end to something they’ve invested literally hours and technically years of their lives. I’m hoping it is not a pipe dream and I hope BioWare has the decency, if this theory proves true, that the DLC will be free at least for those with the online pass.
If it is just desperation however, I applaud BioWare for taking a very daring path, I am damn sure they knew they’d take some flak for this. We did not see these endings coming and they were quite new. I’m not saying I like them, though. All the good you did in the galaxy, all of that for nothing. Not really cool. Also, the game throws in concepts at the very last minute that are very hard to swallow, things never before mentioned or even hinted at before in the series. They just slam it in your face: this is how it is, deal with it. One of these concepts is not a matter of lore or universe, but quite mechanical: they remove the main point of Mass Effect at the end. The consequences of your actions by giving you basically a bad end no matter what you choose.
[SPOILERS Here’s what happens: You find what controls the Reapers. What it is is unknown. It just is there. Then you get to choose between attempting to take control of the Reapers, destroying them or merging all life, organic and synthetic, creating a new order of life. What all of these have in common is that the Crucible, the device that enables you these three options, destroys each and every mass relay in the process, effectively killing the galactic society. Then you see the Normandy was in transit through a relay, but the collapsing network catches up to them and it is seemingly destroyed. Afterwards, the Normandy’s wreckage is on a verdant planet and the airlock opens and out comes Joker and I would guess your love interest and one random squad member to inspect the planet. After the credits, a man and a child are taking a walk in a wooded area on some alien planet and the child asks if “all that happened” to which the man responds yes, but some details have been lost to time. The child then asks to hear another story about “the Shepard.” After this, if your galactic readiness was high enough and you chose to destroy the Reapers, another CGI cutscene starts: it depicts concrete rubble, same type that was in London before Harbinger’s laser hit Shepard and you see a marine with N7 dog tags lying amidst the rubble and then the marine gasps for air. This might be the setup for the theory mentioned above. SPOILERS END]
As for the gameplay, well, it’s ok. It’s not better than in Mass Effect 2. The camera behind Shepard is incredibly wobbly, where as the one in Mass Effect 2 stoutly followed Shepard. That’s about all I can think of.
Moving on, the characters were great in this. The interaction between your squad members was a joy to see and gave you, the player, a great sense of immersion, those guys who follow you around aren’t just the guys with overload and warp, but they also speak to one another. There is one thing though. Why did BioWare give EDI a sexy robot body? Yes, it is sexy, you’d have to be insane not to acknowledge that, but the question is: why? Did the body have to be sexy? I don’t know if I’m complaining, but sometimes it was hard to take the character seriously when you find yourself staring at robot tits. Enormous, shapely tits.
All the “assets” EDI’s body possessed could be explained away by its original function being an infiltration unit. Not the stealthy, cloaking type, but the one with a disguise. Somehow I think Eva Core, the name of the body’s original AI, wasn’t hired for talent but literally for her ass. In Mass Effect 2, EDI was a hologram of a sphere with a cylinder-thing and a ring around the cylinder. You had to judge the character based on its actions, not because it had a human face, ginormous tits and a great ass. It tested your view of what’s alive and what isn’t. It’s easier to go for the former because it looks human.
We’ll see what happens in the coming months. Whether or not BioWare gives us a “true” end as DLC or what we see is what we get. The series, as I see it, is over in any case. They did slap Halo with a defibrillator after 3 so I don’t know. We’ll see.