Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Game Over

No player choice, No closure or catharsis, Rushed, Unpolished, Plot holes, Lore errors, Not as advertised...
There are a lot of ways Bioware could have ended the Mass Effect trilogy. A Bittersweet Ending or even a Downer Ending I could respect. But going with an Gainax Ending was probably one of the worst possible ways to rap things up in my opinion. Adding insult to injury the three more or less identical endings that Bioware decided to go with really undermine some of the most poignant themes in the series, particularly with regards to tolerance and free will. Basically it feels like a copout in the sense that all the hard work Shepard has done creating trust and co-operation is undermined by a final choice (via info-dumping Deus ex machina A.I.) where the player must choose from three highly reductive options.

Science fiction is always a product of the time in which it is created. So, to put it in real world terms it would be like says the three possible solutions to ethnic, cultural, religious, political, sexual or philosophical differences are:

  1. Force segregation between such groups
  2. Genocidally exterminate all but one group
  3. Force all groups into a quasi-singular group
Granted unity is a lofty hypothetical goal which might very well be unobtainable in reality. So, I guess you could argue that the writers were a jaded bunch or else they're trolling..."guess what guys! The solutions to conflicts between whites and blacks is to force them to live in completely divided regions, kill all the blacks/whites, or make them all grey skinned." Ironically, the third option is the most annoying to me because the underling message is essentially we'd all get along if we were all the same. News flash! People will find reasons to hate each other no matter what you do at a macro level. The only real solution is to stop zealous tribalism and an "us versus them" mentality on an individual basis.

It's like the Matrix sequels all over again except in video game form.

Sorry...I'll stop ranting now.

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