By Willin 10 Comments
The main argument I am hearing about changing the Mass Effect 3 ending is ‘Bethesda did it for Fallout 3 and it worked’. Sure it’s trying to fix the problem of ‘It has a shitty ending’ but these are two entirely different situations, mainly the reason why it’s bad and how they fixed it.
*Fallout 3 Spoilers*
In Fallout 3 the main character has to enter a code to a machine which is inside a room that’s heavily radiated. The player has many choices to do this. He can do it himself which results in his death, he can refuse to do it and leaves or he can ask one of his companions to do it, which if the ‘Broken Steel’ DLC is not installed, is refused as well. All three of these endings results in the game ending. The reasons why this is considered a bad ending is because of two things: All three endings leaves it impossible for the player to continue playing the game which the player either has to load an old save or start a new character completely from scratch. The other reason is because the situation the player is in can be fixed without the player dying as three of the player’s companions are not affected by radiation (Fawkes, Charon and Sergeant RL -3). These options of asking the companion to put in the code are available but even though this will cause no harm to anyone and gives Washington DC fresh clean water the companions refuse. Their reason is roughly ‘It’s your destiny’. Of course you can see how this can called a horrible ending but Bethesda listened to outcry and made ‘Broken Steel’, a piece of DLC that allows the player to convince the companions of entering the code as well as a new quest line following the.. fallout of your actions.
*Mass Effect 3 Spoilers*
Now from what I can tell the reason why Mass Effect 3’s ending is considered horrible is because the condition the universe is in after Shepherd’s actions negates the actions from over the last 3 games and how that choice is laid out to the player. Mainly the destruction of the Mass Relays, the crash landing of the Normandy and the child from the beginning being ‘The Soul of the Citadel’ as well as some plot holes. The reason why Fallout 3’s ending was changed successfully was because the actual event of the ending still happened. You still had to fight to Project Purity and put in the code. The actual ending wasn't changed, it was what the player can do that changed, allowing players to continue playing the game after the ending. The change was almost purely mechanical. The reason why Mass Effect 3 cannot change so easily is because the issues people are having are 100% plot and writing. To really change the issue of Mass Effect 3’s ending you would have to completely overhaul the plot. Dialogue would have to be rerecorded, new animations, new graphics, new set pieces, part of the plot will have to be rewritten and parts would just need to be removed completely. This would be both incredibly expensive and time consuming. Current DLC plans would either be on hold or rushed. Pretty much the last third of the game would need to be changed completely. With Broken Steel they changed few things about the ending and added alot more to the game as well as a way to continue your game. Even if all that happens, even if Bioware develops this piece of DLC or revision that ending is still going to be in your mind. You’re not going to forget it so really you’re still going to remember Mass Effect 3 had a bad ending.
You cannot draw comparisons between Fallout 3 and Mass Effect 3 just because they have a similar problem. That similar problem has different causes with different solutions. The same can be said about Halo 2’s ending. This isn’t something that can be fixed with a few pieces of dialogue. Everything goes into account and I don’t think Bioware is going to throw years of development away from an excellent game just because the last 10 minutes of it wasn’t up to the extreme high standards Bioware has had with the series.
Do not let those 10 minutes sour your experience over the 150 hours you had of amazing gaming bliss.