I think that, like most articles written in response to the outcry about the ending, that article suffers from a fundamental lack of understanding about what the people complaining about the ending are upset about, which I at least tried to explain a bit in my last post.
I've intended to play this series for some time, but now understanding what's awaiting me, I feel like it would be masochistic to become emotionally invested in it, and after this I feel uncomfortable about the idea of paying money for the older games... like I'd rather not play them than give them my money to be fucked with.
I'm kind of torn on that, just because of what how vehement the reaction is says about the rest of the series. To use a really hyperbolic example, you didn't seen internet campaigns to change the endings of games like Superman 64 -- it's because
of how worthwhile the Mass Effect series is in general that there's so much outcry about the ending of the series. I would wager that, short of what I would imagine would be a non-majority chunk of Mass Effect's playerbase who are/were MMO players, the ME series is probably the longest investment most of the people who played it have ever put into a single video game character and story. It takes a lot to get people who don't normally do so to invest that much time into a franchise, and I don't think it's just luck that led to Mass Effect pulling it off. Last fifteen minutes aside, it had some of the best characters (Shepard him/herself, Wrex, Joker, Garrus, Tali, Liara) this generation of video games(maybe video games as a whole) has seen, some of the best missions and scenarios (Virmire and Ilos in ME1, Collector Base and Shadow Broker DLC in ME2, Rannoch and Tuchanka in ME3 stand out), some fun plottwists I won't mention and antagonists (Harbinger isn't exactly deep but is probably one of the most enjoyable villains ever), but I think the little stuff is what made ME so good. The ambient dialogue when you're in cities and such, which got a lot better as the series progressed in spite of starting pretty good, the interaction between Shepard and the crew, the impact of choices for most of the series... in many ways the storytelling was the best evolution of a lot of mechanics I remember seeing way back when I first started playing RPGs sixteen or seventeen years ago.
I'm noticing that I'm having a really difficult time getting myself to replay ME3, unlike the previous two games in the series, so there's certainly some accuracy in not wanting to set yourself up for the sucker punch at the end and in what vonFielder said about not wanting to continue to recommend it to people, but I still feel like I have to. To me, it's worth it to get immersed in the journey and enjoy it for what it is for so long even knowing that probably the end isn't going to feel so good. The rest of the body of work is still fantastic. This might have devolved into more a philosophical thing than a game opinion but sometimes I think in life it's worth it to suffer a little pain to enjoy the good times that come with it and to me this is one of those times. I'd still play again if I could go back, regardless of how disappointing the end ended up being. My video game experience is still a little better for having "known" Shepard and his crew.
More Cowbell said:
So, basically, ME3 is a a game that revolves around making choices, but in the end all these choices are nullified by one final decision? Sounds disappointing. Thanks for answering.
The line the devs are giving now is more that they intended to wrap up the choices earlier in the game so the unrelated end-game choice was more intended to be made with the knowledge of how it would impact those situations in mind, to be a little more precise, but that's the general idea... it doesn't really seem like a fitting end to the build-up. The final entry lacks a real climax.