Tweet of the Day: Brave: A Rave, Plus A Question and a Picture
So this is the end of Mass Effect. Not just of the last game, but of the trilogy as a whole. Right now, I am of two minds. I am not wholly satisfied with the so called Extended Cut but at the same time, there are some redeeming qualities to it that I can not, in good conscience, ignore:
- It provides closure: For those who wanted to see what happened to the characters they came to love and the galaxy as a whole.
- Injected some measure of reasoning to the actions/words of the God Child: They showed more of the logic behind the Reapers actions and how the Catalyst works.
- There is something for everyone: The endings appear to be based on fan input/outcry.
- The filled in some of the plot holes and contradictions: Not all of them, but by lessing the impact of the Catalyst, it showed that the damage was reversible.
- It brings back some elements of classic science fiction such as Transhumanism and the meaning of godhood/transcendence.
Yet, two facts remain. One, the underlying logic behind the God Child is still flawed, although the designers lampsahed it and second an option to reject the preexisting choices is given, but it ends up being a giant middle finger to those who criticized the lack of logic in the ending (like myself). The God Child literally turns around and walks away and you lose. Further more it is hinted that someone in the next cycle did take one of the options and achieved “peace” (whatever that means).
Another lesson here is that games still have the potential to reach the next level of interactive storytelling. We will have to wait for the next generation of consoles and perhaps a new crop of game designers to see if they learned the right lessons from this experience.
And what is the final lesson(s) from the Mass Effect debacle:
- Treat your audience with respect.
- Do not try to outsmart your audience, you will only end up outsmarting yourself.
- And sometimes the simplest solutions (such as ending the game after Anderson’s death and having the Catalyst destroy the Reapers) are by far the best.
NOTE: For those interested in my theory/version of events, take a look at this pair of fics.