Why Fallout 3 Won’t Work For Mass Effect 3.

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.

9 Comments
10 Comments
Edited by Willin

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.

Posted by Nottle

Remember the time the Grey Warden came back to life after giving up his life to kill the archdemon? Or when you totally killed/ never recruited Leliana but she still appeared the next game? Or when Flemeth lived because of some minor plot point in Dragon Age 2?

Yeah, Bioware has the power to completely not give a crap about "canon."

Posted by Willin
@Nottle: Mass Effect 3 is based on a possible reality while Dragon Age was 100% fantasy. They can get away with more in that universe.
Posted by Brodehouse

Dragon Age carry over issues are mostly because that feature wasn't a thing when they started making that game. That game began production before Mass Effect. It was intended to be like all other BioWare games to that point; a single story that ends. Mass Effect was designed to not have a 'canon' for Shepard's choices and rely on this new save carry over system. Dragon Age was not. They wrote themselves into a corner in DA:O because they didn't expect to carry those decisions over when they started.

Posted by Dookysharpgun

When those ten minutes render my 150 hours meaningless, I think I have every right to believe my experience has been soured.

And in truth, nothing but the ending would have to be changed, because everything else stacks up rather well, it’s just the ending choice and star child that made no sense. The Reapers were afraid of what the Illusive man could achieve, and everything else up until the charge to the citadel would be fine, but once it got to star child, there was seemingly another ending created for the game, where he is actually Harbringer, who you actually get to talk to, unlike the version we’ve seen, taking control of the Illusive Man’s corpse like Saren in ME1. If anything, ME3 would be easier to change, because none of the choices you’ve made in the game have any effect on the endgame content, but they should have had, like this potential ending was believed to have had: it basically used your galactic readiness and all that lark, integrated it, so that you and your squadmates could potentially die, or you could face Harbringer alone or with a squad. Granted, it was still based around the stupid ending choice, but it would have made some semblance of sense. It would take them a while, but I think that fleshing out the ending more, giving it that Bioware flare, even a boss fight like the Illusive man/Harbringer was supposed to be, would have been a lot better than the shoehorning of the player into some stupid, arbitrary choice right off the bat, that rendered everything the player has ever done utterly pointless.

If I feel by the end of a trilogy that all my efforts have been for nothing, and that was not the intended ending that should have been perceived, and I also hold that view with the majority of people this time, then I know something was up with it. On top of that, I compare this ending to Deus Ex: HR’s ending, but even then, HR was a prequel, it had an established canon that couldn’t be changed...however, ME3 was the last game in the trilogy, the last place where any writer should shove in an ending with no realistic outcome that isn’t effected by any choices the player makes in the game. It was badly presented, and a slight change, even some reason for the star child to exist beyond ‘because it does’, would make some sense, but as far as we know, we have a badly implemented ending, that never takes into account anything to do with the previous 150 hours of game time we’ve sunk into this series, instead opting for a much lazier approach with no substance to it. I, like many others, can't forget the ending, because it influences the previous games in such a way as to make them a perverse waste of time. Hell, I know people who wanted to replay the entire trilogy again after they finished playing ME3...but when they finished ME3, they didn't want to do it anymore, because that ending, despite the game that came before it, is now what they're playing towards, and it is highly unappealing and pointless.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

Frankly i just don't give a damn anymore about BioWare. I used to be a "hater" as some people would call me. Now I'm just completely indifferent. BioWare will continue down its chosen path and people will still enjoy their games.

Posted by Nottle

@Willin said:

@Nottle: Mass Effect 3 is based on a possible reality while Dragon Age was 100% fantasy. They can get away with more in that universe.

That makes no sense, and that's not the point. It's retconning the story. You don't make an ending where your given a very difficult choice where you choose between sacrificing yourself, sacrificing the guy thats been with you since the beginning, and creating a possible child abomination and just shrug it off when the expansion rolls around by saying "if you took the hit, no biggie, grey warden returns for no explained reason."

Saying it's fantasy so things don't have to be explained in any way is crazy.

Posted by Fredchuckdave

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

Frankly i just don't give a damn anymore about BioWare. I used to be a "hater" as some people would call me. Now I'm just completely indifferent. BioWare will continue down its chosen path and people will still enjoy their games.

Hey they started out kinda good, maybe, okay not really. And they've deteriorated ever since, that aberration known as Mass Effect 2 aside. A few years ago they were THE sole reason everyone started hailing Western RPGs as this marvel and hating on everything else. Meanwhile, Dark Souls is probably the most progressively regressive game out there, Xenoblade is in all likelihood the best RPG of this generation, and Bioware shit sells much better than either. At least it's not as bad as the FPS situation, yet.

Edited by MisterSamMan

I will say, I would have prefer a Fallout 3 style slideshow that showed the effects of your choices instead of the stargazer & child part.

Posted by AlexW00d

@Nottle said:

Remember the time the Grey Warden came back to life after giving up his life to kill the archdemon? Or when you totally killed/ never recruited Leliana but she still appeared the next game? Or when Flemeth lived because of some minor plot point in Dragon Age 2?

Yeah, Bioware has the power to completely not give a crap about "canon."

DA:O and DA:2 run parallel to one another, so that is why Flemeth is in 2 regardless of what happens. Not sure about the things you mention though, I played Origins on PS3 and 2 on PC. The Grey Warden is never in DA2 though.