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  • Mass Effect 3: You were supposed to be the chose one...

    Okay, I love the Mass Effect franchise, I really do.
    I enjoyed the first game as much as I enjoyed the second one and was anxious for the third.
    Granted 2 lost alot of RPG feeling, but it also lost shitloads of annoying gathering missions and got rid of a crappy UI.

    To start off I have to say I enjoyed Mass Effect 3 too, overall I spent 40+ hours in the game(incl. all DLCs), never felt it was a drag or that the game forced me to do something I don't want to.
    Also I did enjoy the ending I chose, just for what it was, a damn epic end.

    A short disclaimer right now, if you still think about playing the Mass Effect series, or have yet to play 3, stop reading now.
    I am serious, you will rob yourself of the possibility to enjoy the game, enjoy the end and bring the series to rest.

    Now, as I was saying I loved the end for what it is, I also hated it for what it could have been...
    I will explain why a bit later.

    With the new Extended Cut there has been an added 4th choice, but here are all choices you have.
    (If you are still reading before playing, this is where the spoilers hit!)

    The Choices (pure "what happens" rundown):

    Control the Reapers
    Shepard chooses to control the reapers, he looses his body and transcends to a digital form as a reaper subconsciesness and can alter their curse of action.
    The reapers stop fighting humanity, and turn into a police force to protect the galaxy.

    Shepard fuses with the Crucibles stream, adds his energy to it resulting in a fuse of synthetics and organics(really now?).
    Organics seek perfection by synthetic impants etc.
    Synthetics gain feelings and strive to be more like organics.
    Reapers even help rebuilding all planets and shit.
    So this is the next step in organic and synthetic evolution and the true "solution" the Catalyst presents.

    Destroy the Reapers
    Shepard kills off all forms of synthetic life or technology in the galaxy.
    (Yes EDI you're going down, this is why Joker takes Liara in return )
    Reapers die, humanity wins, we came that far to do this anyway, right?

    Refuse to make a choice
    (extended cut ending)
    You don't choose any of the above and try to fight the Reapers like you did before.
    Resulting in total annihalation of all sentient organic life and the reapers winning.
    (Gee thanks for adding this ending Bioware...)

    Now let me explain the two different theories that exist out there, and one of my own.

    Those theories are:

    1. The Indoctrination theory
    2. The "grandpas war stories" theory
    3. The "sorry folks that's it" theory (mine)

    Let's start of with the biggest one, you can google so many posts about it, but here is the rundown.

    1. The Indoctrination theory

    Now across the internet the indoctrination theory formed.
    The basic idea here is that the Reapers are trying to indoctrinate Shepard since Earth, and managed to get him till the Beam and before Citadel.
    There are many indicators, the "kid/catalyst" being the main one that is supposed to give it away, or Anderson on the Citadel.

    Now the consensus here is that they managed to finally indoctrinate shepard either shortly before re-entering citadel, or after the "Illusive Man" intermezzo.
    Everything he experiences after that is a dream, even the outcome.
    This theory would then transform the endings like this:

    Control the reapers
    Game Over, you get fully indoctrinated, with the knowledge you had(you did bring together all organic life after all) the Reapers do not harvest all organic live anymore, but rather continue in a dominant state, you could think about a dictatorship across the galaxy.

    Game Over, you just got every organic and synthetic in the whole galaxy indoctrinated smartass...

    Game Over, you choose to continue like it was, yeah like that has worked out so well so far.

    Destroy the reapers
    You win!
    This is the only choice where Shepard seems to resist Reaper indoctrination, and thus he is seen "waking up" to continue doing what he has to do.
    It is unclear however if he really managed to kill off all Reapers or this was still part of the indoctrination dream.

    Bottom line of this theory is, there is only one right choice, to destroy the Reapers, the rest is just a nice dream while in reality the Intelligence and the Reapers win.

    2. Grandpas war stories

    Now after all the endings there is another part that shows a kid and a gramps staring at two planets, clearly the one the Normandy goes down on after any end.
    (You would get to see this only after second playthrough before extended cut)

    The kid asks something like:
    "So grandpa is this really what happend back then?!"
    Grandpa says:
    "Well somthing along those lines, this was a long time ago!"
    "Weeee wanna go to the stars to"

    The theory here, or rather the observation is that the whole story really was a fairy tale about what has happend during some kind of war.
    It is totally unclear if it is either intended to point towards full fiction, or rather legend.

    So we do not know if there ever was a war with the Reapers, if there ever were Reapers to begin with, or what has happend to all life (you do not see if they're organic or synthetic).
    Bottom line here would be:

    We were all screwed, it's really just a tale someone else told (Final Fantasy much?!).

    Now after reading shitloads of all that I came up with my conclusion:

    3. That's all folks

    I do agree that the indoctrination- or the gramps theory are both valid, however having played alot of Bioware games in the past, and also seing where Dragon Age is going I have to come to one conslusion of my own...

    There is not more to it!

    As much as I'd loved Bioware playing with us this much, and even showing the discussions above exist, you do get the feeling they did the end right.
    I fear there is no indoctrination theory, and the getaway with the war stories just seems to cheesy.

    In my opinion the ends stay as they are, they mean exactly what is shown on screen, and even the refusal ending, as stupid as that may be shows that you are to accept what just happened, without hidden agenda.

    Why people come up with these theories is very very simple: they are dissappointed how it ended.
    Now as I said if Bioware ever comes up with another DLC called "The Endgame" that shows the true ending(that actually only works if you picked "Destroy"), I would have to admit this being the best, and worst idea in gaming history ever!

    So those theories dismissed, why does it still suck ass?!

    Nothing you have done in the 6 years of the previous games really matters!

    Now please let that sentence sink in a while.

    Nothing you have achieved or choosen in all three Mass Effect Games makes a fucking difference!

    This is really a god damn bugger.

    So let's go into some details:

    Man have you invested in those...
    In 1 you had to make a choice between 2 companions you knew one will die, and this early on in the game.
    In 2 you had to equip them all to give em a fighting chance, do stupid missions to get them loyal, even choose all of them on the right slot to get them alive through the final mission.
    At then end of 2 you felt you had the right damn team to kick some Reaper butt, and you where happy if you got em all alive.

    Now here's reality:
    It does not fucking matter, you will start 3 with a fresh pumped up marine and all of the old guys are gone, and you have no damn clue why.
    You do find out a bit later, but you will never gain all of them back as fighting companions.
    All it will help you to have had them loyal, is that you sometimes(!) get a reputation answer option more(renegade/paragon), that in exactly one case may help you bringing both allys through as a war asset, otherwise you'll lose one.
    During 3, you can accidentially kill off your old companions just by giving ONE damn wrong answer that isn't even that obvious and only takes affect 3 hours later(!).
    That's it, that is really all, no benfit if you have them in the team, no need to balance your team as they do chicken shit damage and in the end you're alone anyway.

    Love Interest
    During the games you either pick a love interest, or you make the choice to fuck everything that isn't gone when counted to 3.
    You can now either stick with your interest, or freely move back and forth through 2 and 3.
    (Liara in 1, Tali in 2, and you can go back to Liara in 3 if you want)
    When you do intermezzos with Jack, or Traynor(Femshep), while having a love interest you feel guilty, sometimes you even get punished for it(Liara - Shadow Broker... she knows!).
    When I switched to Tali in 2, and stayed with her through 3 I thought, damn something must be happening to me for this.
    Liara going crazy, Asswhooping me through the Reapers fight or something...

    Knock Knock...
    It does not matter!
    (We heard this before right)

    There is no difference in outcome, storyline or any downside if you have a LI, had one, switched it or just been a plain ass to everyone.
    The only damn difference is that your LI puts your name on the KIA list after the end.
    If you stayed with Liara and chose "Destroy" the bitch even hangs with Joker in the end?!

    In 1, people responded to you differently if you were full paragon or full renegade.
    They either suspected you to shoot them, or they appealed to your humanity.
    In 2 this stopped, but most of the time the choices involved blowing someone up painfully, or torturing or stuff.
    You needed to have a certain renegade or paragon ranking though to see the options at all, during conversations or cutscenes.
    In 3, hey guess what, it does not matter what you have been or are.
    Really the renegade option most of the time means shooting someone, while paragon means preventing someone shooting someone or himself.
    It has no influence in how the world perceives you, or how the story turns out.
    It gives you red glowy eyes and scars, that's it, the paragon or renegade choices in conversations and cutscenes are ALWAYS available.

    Game choices:

    Remeber those hard choices we had to go through like if we destroy the Collector Base or not.
    If we kill off the rachni queen, if Wrex dies or lives, if Ashley dies or lives.
    Those made up the biggest part of the fascination about the games, you really did save the game and think if that was smart, sometimes even go back and redo decisions.

    Now kids what did we learn so far?! Right...
    A few things explained:
    - Ashley hates you anyway and she is not a companion through 2 and 3
    - Krogan leader(does not matter if wrex or another one) is there for negotiations but he kinda hates you suddenly and you have to gain his trust again first anyway
    - Rachni Queen will be indoctrinated to build Reaper rachni, either it's the one you let live, or the Reapers just build another one from spare rachni parts.
    - The collector base makes a difference in 10 EMS (+10 on the War Assets) if not destroyed, Illusive man recovers what he needs in any case
    - Remeber that funghi race you could kill or let live?! Yeah me neither...

    War assets:
    Okay this is a big one...

    Most of the time in the game you spend collecting war assets throughout the galaxy.
    Either you do all side mission, scan every damn planet or find every bloody intel in every mission you do.
    It's tons to go through, but guess what....

    Correct, nothing changes if you go into the final mission, not if you are right above the "minimum" bar on the War Assets or if you have got a 100 whooping percent.

    So you unite every single race on the whole damn galaxy, you bring together synthetics and organics again(quarians and geth), you get every rivalry in the galaxy out of the picture to have them fight by your side to do exactly what?!
    Not a damn thing...
    It changes the amount of enemies you encounter during your final mission and if you are below minimum you can only select "control" from the endings... but



    You can either lock yourself out of an ending option, but no matter what you have done in any of the previous games, it has no effect on the outcome or options of the game.

    This my friends is why it sucks...

    In a game so heavy on choice, leading you so hard up to those choices and really giving you the feeling the choices matter, to stand there with litterally 4 endings that are the same, no matter who you where or what you did, is just breathtakingly disappointing.

    The whole game pushes you through with cerberus- / reaper attacks, assasins and planets lost to and end that could not be more unsatisfiying for a customer who paid 3 damn games and shitloads of DLCs.

    I still would encourage everyone to play 1, 2 and 3 to see what all the fuzz is about, but really play it dont just shortcut through.
    I know playing 1 today is hard, like playing DA1 again, but you will lose so much with the genesis comics, of what actually made the first game so great and what now makes 2 and 3 so disappointing.
    This article was originally published in blog: Mass Effect 3: You were supposed to be the chose one... started by Deadlift
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