Will Changing Mass Effect 3's Ending Do Any Good?
With all the recent uproar about the ending to Mass Effect 3, after observing Bioware's forum and Twitter, among others, and seeing how everyone's responding, I figured I'd chime in with my own two cents.
A recent post by Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare, has stated they're working on "a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey."
So what does that mean?
A lot of people seem to think they're going to expand on the endings and add to it, maybe add more choices, or release ending DLC to expand on the whole ending in itself. There's nothing wrong with this in itself, but what about the people who like the ending the way it is now? You can't just pick and choose what's canon, if Bioware does do that, whether you get the DLC or not it will be canon.
They're caught in a tough spot here, the general consensus is that the ending is not satisfactory and doesn't give closure on the characters you've come to know and love, the ending distorts or even in some cases contradicts what we previously knew about the reapers, and all the choices end up the same except for a color change.
So what should Bioware do?
It could be as big as an all out expansion pack or as small as a post on the forums saying what happens to each character, it's hard to judge their options. They've released novels, comic books, and (soon to be) animated movies, any of those would be suitable should the ending be "real" and not indoctrination, but it would cause the player to have to purchase another item to get the closure they want, unless it's a free comic online or something of the sort.
An expansion pack isn't a bad idea if it would add on a sufficient amount of *new* content to justify a $20-$40 price tag, And with the ending in its current state, I don't see how they could pull it off without resorting to the Indoctrination theory.
The indoctrination theory seems interesting, if Bioware fully intended for the ending in the game to be final, seeing the backlash from the fans against it, the indoctrination theory could give them the escape route they need to satisfy everyone's needs with extra content, but it will likely come at a cost. The indoctrination theory, for what it's worth, does make sense though.
I think there's a solution that will make everyone happy, though.
Epilogues could solve this whole dilemma. They wouldn't cost much to make, just a good amount of text and maybe some concept art to throw in as the background for them.
Basically, I'd recommend cutting everything from the game past when the Reapers are shown on Earth, and have epilogues fill in the blanks. The Mass Relays shouldn't be destroyed in every ending, I agree with that, so only in the destruction ending should they be destroyed.
This gives them the freedom to diverge into the repercussions of your actions with minimal cost, if synthesis is your choice, they can give you a good few paragraphs about how the whole galaxy changes, or if control of the reapers are selected it seems like the galaxy now has a protector watching from dark space, instead of imminent destruction.
Same thing with the characters, let's say you told Garrus to play hard and reckless, and get the job done how he wants in the first game, and let him kill Sidonis in the second, maybe he goes on to become a high ranking official of the Turian military, and promotes Primarch Victus, since he, too, plays loose with rules. Likewise if you had told Garrus in the first game things are done by the book for a reason, he fires Victus or demotes him to get him back on track. Little things like that.
Same with Shepard, except there should be around 10-15 different epilogues for Shepard depending on the choices for the whole series. If destruction is chosen, and your war assets are high enough, Shepard is found alive and some of the technology from the Citadel and crucible will help rebuild the Mass Relays.
Those are just ideas of course, but you see what I mean, you could get the diversity depending on your choices, and it would come at minimal cost to Bioware and EA.
The only negative about this, is people who don't like the idea of the catalyst creating the reapers and thinking it screws with the lore or turns it on itself, will still be dissatisfied, although if I were Bioware, I think I'd go with the epilogues, they worked well in Dragon Age: Origins, and I think they would be a fitting conclusion to Mass Effect 3.
So what do you guys think? Are you all for epilogues? How about ending DLC? Do you like the indoctrination theory? Let me know in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading!