New bombshell on Mass Effect 3 conclusion

The final parts of Mass Effect 3 were meant to leave fans feeling happy that they had spent the past 5 years with such a great character, and allowed him/her to go off to pastures new, instead what most gamers feel is something that was put together at the last minute. The ending of the game has caused a huge deal of upset, so much so that some gamers have now started to file complaints to the FTC about it, which to us seems a little too extreme – but is it?

We say this because we have since learned that some of the final parts of the game were a last-minute thing and we were meant to have a more pleasing ending, but decided that going with the ending they did would lead to “lots of speculation for everyone,” which was reported here. There was even a different ending planned but this was canned at the last minute because of a few technical issues.

Most endings require you to defeat a boss but the closest to this happens more than an hour before the end of Mass Effect 3, so when you actually get to the end it’s a little anticlimactic. So we now know that Bioware had different options such as a showdown with the Illusive Man, which would have been far better for the game and knowing that they did not go ahead will surely upset fans all the more?

There’s now the worry that the cut content will make its way to us by way of a DLC, something that we discussed not that long ago. Now this will not be an issue if it was offered to us free (as a goodwill gesture), but this is very unlikely to happen.

Okay, we know that the ending was bad but do you think this issue has been taken way out of proportion, remember it’s only 5 or 10 minutes of the game because the rest of it is pretty good? There’s also the fact that Bioware has said they are open to suggestions and will make a statement on users comments once they have had time to digest all the information they have gathered.

Where do you stand on the Mass Effect 3 ending debate?

  • Tim Wilson

    I think the FTC complaint is way too far.  Sure the game’s ending didn’t meet the standard of excellence we’re used to from Bioware, but it’s hardly a legal thing.  It wouldn’t have been a problem if the previous 2 games and the entirety of this one weren’t a deliberate buildup to the final moments of the game, at which point nothing you did actually matters since everyone gets the same endings anyway… and the endings themselves are cookie cutters of each other.

  • Barxalot Howler

    I think the FTC complaint is premature.

    BioWare deceived fans with promises in January 2012 during pre-release PR.
    Promising your product contains X and not Y then delivering Y and not X personally left me feeling defrauded.
    Fortunately, fraud is not in and of itself a crime.

    • Dean

      lol fraud is acutally a crime

      • Barxalot Howler

        simple terms: fraud is the method used to commit the crime

  • LemonFerret

     I still can’t believe that they managed to piss off 90% of the fanbase.
    What did they think they were doing? And did they really believe that
    statements like “Not all people will be happy with ME3’s ending”  would make up for the needlessly
    depressing, nonsensical, just plain badly written endings?

    • Cru9

      Thats what happens when you listen to your bottom line instead of your fanbase. EA’s deception has gone to a knew low. Just look at the facts ME3 in single player is shorter that ME1 even if you do all side quests, and the 1 day DLC is the icing on the cake.

  • Hyperforce

    well the FTC complaint is going too far.
    But I do feel something has to be done to fix the ending.
    Right now the Indoctrination theory allows for Bioware to create an interesting and also very clever ending DLC. But the question is if they will do it.

    If they don’t, they have left us with a badly written uncharacteristic ending at best, and no ending at all at worst.

  • Toni Heino

    FTC complaint is going way too far.

    But ending should be fixed, i dont mind if you have to pay for extra content if it is considerable.

    Ending isnt bad for a movie, book, or such, but for a interactive storytelling where your own choises have been accumulating to those final decisions, it should close down the whole package from ME1 > ME3 to get the feeling of job well done and now i can relax, or rest in peace. for example Fallout series finish up nicely stories of different parts of the game, now in ME3 it just ended… thats it… what you chose didnt and dont matter in the end.

  • Deathdefire

    How is FTC complaints “Going too far”? Casey Hudson himself said 2 months ago that we wouldn’t be getting an ending that is essentially “Pull lever A, B or C” but that’s exactly what we got and because of that statement I believed that we would be getting vastly different endings depending on what we did in all three games, that was not the case and that (At least in Australian Law) Is illegal.

    Here straight from the Australian Consumer Law website:

    “What is misleading & deceptive conduct?

    There is a very broad provision in the Australian Consumer Law that prohibits conduct by a corporation that is misleading or deceptive, or would be likely to mislead or deceive you.

    It makes no difference whether the business intended to mislead or deceive you—it is how the conduct of the business affected your thoughts and beliefs that matters.

    If the overall impression left by an advertisement, promotion, quotation, statement or other representation made by a business creates a misleading impression in your mind—such as to the price, value or the quality of any goods and services—then the conduct is likely to breach the law.”

    Casey Hudsons statement:

    “This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we’re taking into account so many decisions that you’ve made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It’s not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C.”

    That statement served to lead me (and others) to believe that the ending of the game would be vastly different therefore creating a misleading impression on what we were really getting, which is illegal.

  • LightningRod Stevie

     The FTC complaint isn’t helping us build bridges with EA/Bioware.

    However, it doesn’t change the fact that Bioware still owes us 16 different endings, with closure, and that take our previous chocies into account. This is what they promised and advertised, this is what we should have got. We’re only asking for what was advertised.

  • Shep

    The FTC is not the main issue so why all focus on that? It is one or 2 people out of 37,000. Focus on the main issue please which is the ending and that we were lied to given no choices and no closure.

  • Captjeanlucian

    I didn’t mind the ending which is comparable like the one in DX:HR because it didn’t spend 3 games building up to it,

    You don’t just end a trilogy with a poorly executed deus ex machina.

  • Nuklear

    As a die hard Mass Effect fan im pretty pissed at the endings, the whole idea that ive kept my Shep alive this far to have a lucid alien space kid energy (That was the kid on earth all along?) tell me i have to die either way is crazy. Bioware just got lazy near the end and stuck the middle finger up to all the fans, like me, who have played from the first game 5 years ago. There should have been a “Shep Lives” Story End so that the time poured into the trilogy (near enough 300 hours) was actually worth it.. All the endings are practically the same, ME is based on the fact that how you play determines how it ends and as far as ive seen all of the endings remain practically the same. If Shep wants to go renegade in the end and let the reapers win or kill them all and survive its his/her choice. As fans we have every right to get the endings we deserve to one of the best trilogy games out there, Fallout 3 pulled it off and won fans back and thats what Bioware need to do now. 

    • JCENAdaBest

      You didn’t get it; when the Reeper blasted you to the ground on your run to the beam, from then on it is a dream; hence the little boy who died on earth being the ‘crucible’. The Geth actually explained to you earlier in the game that your mind has to make sense of things you don’t understand or that isn’t in your nature by filling in the blanks with things you do know eg the little boy being the ‘crucible’ and Anderson leading you to the control panel despite the fact that you were the only one to make it up the beam and how Anderson managed to overtake you despite clearly saying that he followed you up the beam and so on…

      • Leanna Pizer

        Almost everyone knows about the Endoc theory people…
        The problem with that is that if it is true, they left the final game on a cliff hanger.
        Bioware either game us a shitty ending filled with plot holes that makes no sense. Or an incomplete ending that ends on a cliff hanger.
        We need ending DLC whether that theory is correct or not. To either make the ending make sense or prove that theory correct and continue from where the game left off.

  • Dougtulane

    An FTC complaint is ridiculous. That said, the ending completely ruined my entire experience with the series, and crushed my faith in Bioware. I won’t ever by a game of theirs for more than $20. EA has utterly ruined them. I’m sure the scads of cash make it easier to accept, but they’ve lost their position as the only storytellers in the industry that could compete with movies, and even books. 

  • MaZiK

    Just by the by……there is an ending where Shepard lives……or am I the only person who waited till the end of the credits?

    • Sadie

       ****SPOILERS ****

      Sort of.  If you have a high enough EMS and choose the destroy option, you get an additional scene right before the credits where you see Shepard’s N7 armor in rubble and suddenly the chest heaves as if the occupant is taking a breath.  Nobody is quite sure what it means though.  A lot of people use it for support of the Indoctrination Theory simply because where is he?  Hope that helps!  

  • Pjrsmith

    The ending didn’t ruin the game for me, just left me feeling a bit cheated! would have been nice to have different endings not just different colours and effects.

  • JCENAdaBest

    For me, the problem lies in the fact that the ending doesn’t actually make sense unless you achieve the perfect ending. This is the really bad thing. Small luxuries such as getting all the answers you want, a perfect ending literally and a stronger hint that the end (SPOILER) is a dream would have been welcomed but these were not a necessity. I liked the sad ending, but it had to be made clear as to what the ending meant.

  • James Conklin

    The problem with the ending is, instead of the branching denouement promised time and time again in dev interviews in the pre-release media blitz, we get funneled into an equivalence class of endings wherein our choices don’t matter. The unintended consequences of this include retroactively ruining the trilogy – why did we play the series in the first place if our decisions didn’t really shape the end? Any attempt to replay any of the games now seems futile, and replayability had been one of the best selling points of the series until this point. 

    An addendum – I believe this backlash will prove very harmful to the company. Those most disappointed by the ending are those who had been the core fanbase, who’d bought collector’s editions and every scrap of DLC and who try to turn their friends onto the series. It takes a lot of satisfaction before a fan will become a word-of-mouth spokesman for a franchise or studio. It takes a very small disappointment to turn him into the opposite.

    • Craig S

      Well said, especially your last point. The people that think this game is “good” do not realize the work it took to play the first two games and get sucked up in the announcements from the developers that this will be the great conclusion to a very imaginitive game.

      Bioware should take the blame for alienating their principles and creativity in order to make sales deadlines for EA.

      • Jeitiiea

         I agree – I think all fans would have happily waited another six months if it meant getting an actual ending, rather than the “pick your favorite colour” choice we received.

  • Bill Hartwell

    ME3 ending proves that every statement by Bioware developers was a lie, right up to the days before release. Can no longer trust them – with my entertainment, my money, my belief that they will provide value for my gaming time, effort, and money.

  • Pavelvs

    No. None of this has gone over the line. The movement is strong, and I support them. After spending 5 years getting attached to their product called Mass Effect and finding out that they just coped out but putting in the bullcrap endings makes the consumers fill with rage, and rightly so. The fans were all let down by either BioWare or EA, or whatever.
    The solutions are already circulating the web. If either of these entities cared about the fans whatsoever, they would implement the changes.
    Make it right, BioWare or EA. 
    Because if you do not, you will lose everything and more. Your fans. 

  • Rean

    its not out of proportion.
    those 5 minutes ruin THREE games worth of 100hours playtime and entirely annihilate replayability of the game.

  • Morales Pablo6

    The entire ending was botched. A five year old could have written a Disney esque happy ending and done better.

    Shepard singlehandedly does more short term, and long term damage in the span of one cutscene than virtually every  Reaper invasion to date combined.

    They promised multiple endings, they promised that the choices would matter, that everything you’ve done for the past three games would come to save you or bite you in the ass.

    Instead we got an ending that not only destroys the replay value of the ME franchise in its entirety, but it also destroys even whatever fond nostalgia you may have held for the ME series in general. You’ll look at ME1 and think to yourself “And all that was for nothing.”

    You’ll look to ME2 and think “And that was 40 hours of wasted time”

    Then you’ll look at ME3 and think “And its all your fault.”

    The Game is good. But its ending is amazing in the simple truth that it mannages to destroy the entire franchise in less than five minutes

    • Daniel

      Could not have said it better!

  • Sshodan

    The ending is a failure on so many levels that it’s not even funny. If anyone had told me that BioWare can drop it like that I would not have believed them… Until I had a misfortune to witness it for myself.
    It’s not just bad end, it’s an abysmal quality as well, hasty put together and completely nonsensical. When we pay for our games we should get value for your money not something like this.
    It’s a common practice in the industry to “hype” the games, and often it is done by outright laying about what will be in them, and that has to stop – the developers have to be held accountable for their words and promises and it seams that Mass Effect is going to be the first franchise to experience that.

  • Daniel

    I agree with most of the posts here in that the main concern we ALL have is how this game ending can be fixed. Like most of you I actually had to go back and replay some of ME3 because I could not believe that it actually ended like this.
    The FTC complaint may seem like a bit too much, but if it changes the minds of EA/Bioware to realize they cannot get away with this then I think its a start. Hopefully the developers will listen to the uproar and correct their mistake through a future DLC or hopefully a sequel to this game in order to make right with the fans and keep the franchise going.

  • Alamandorious

    The vast bulk of the Retake Mass Effect movement does not believe complaints to the FTC are required.

    We still have faith that through constructive, mature dialogue that Bioware can come to its senses and fix the ending.  To deliver what they promised us.

  • Liam Phoenix

    The last few minutes not only practically erase all the truly spectacular moments in ME3 from my mind, but they wriggle back through time and taint fond memories of ME1&2 as well. It really was that bad, and it was contradictory to all promises we were made, the product was most definitely not as advertised.

  • Alexander Geo Keever

    Although I appreciate that this article is quite unbiased in it’s posted format (my commendations for that), I need to point out that once again, the FTC complain thing is being exaggerated.

    It is not “fans”. It was ONE fan. Please don’t exaggerate.

  • Ronnie Nielsen

    I think its way to early to consider something like FTC. Its only been out in asia for a couple of days.

  • Mpalma715

    I just cant help but feel EA Bioware has lost touch with their customers.
    I believe that they intended to sell dlc to add to the end from the beginning.
    All press is good press in the media. Hey lets make the ending like this so the customer is left wanting more and we will give it to them in small doses of dlc to drag it out and make an extra 60 bucks. What a bunch of greedy CRAP!

  • Cazza49

    It wasn’t just that the ending was bad. I could take that. It was that the ending literally invalidated everything you did, by cutting off the entire galaxy from the Mass Relay travels. Wrex will never lead the Krogan to a bright new culture. The Quarian fleet will never be able to colonise their homeworld. The Turians will need a new Primach.

    Mass starvation and economic collapse everywhere are sure to result.

    • Monstamann

      finally someone else thought of that too…. GO KROGAN!

  • Toofloated

    i may be the one person out there, but i’ll say it, the ending i picked i THOROUGHLY enjoyed

    • Ih8people

      Yes my explosion was also my favourate colour.

      • Monstamann

        Mine was too…. after beating the game three different times expecting a BETTER ENDING!!!

  • Jonny

    Same ending for everyone if you are colour blind right?

  • Lennox

    I can’t say anything different than whats already been echoed on the forum, and I’m totally exasperated and angry about the ending. From the onset of the first game I believed/hoped that we were going to have “harbinger” as the antagonist of this final game. they could of cut and pasted the ending of the first game replacing saryn with the illusive man (TIM), and “sovereign” with “harbinger” and I think fans would be happier than this. 

  • Edgar

    The fact that the starchild states that conflict between sentient organics and sentient synthetics is inevitable is morally wrong to begin with, simply because it claims our conflict is genetically encoded and thereby denies the concept of free will. Then to top it off he offers us a final solution to the “synthetic” (or geth) problem. Which we in that very same game established to be a sentient lifeform. The ending is an offense to human progress as a species. Clearly social darwinism isn’t as far from our minds as we would like to believe. Synthesis effectively states that all conflict is bound up in our genetical make up. Disgusting…

    • Yolktern

      You forgot to include a diatribe about it being RAAYYYYYYCCEEESSSS (racist)

  • Guest

    I would have loved to have kicked Harbinger’s *ss.
    With his multilaser spamming it would have been awesomely frustrating.
    Yet…we got a crappy ending and no real boss…Marauder Shields ;). 

    • Preet Basson

      I would have loved to have kicked Harbinger’s *ss.’ 
      i was thinking the same thing, all through the game. ‘Wheres Harbinger, Where u hidin, I want to kick ur teeth in’. All he does is a beam and gone. 

      • Guest

        Don’t get me wrong. I was playing on insanity and the Marauder took me out about 10 times before I could get the couple of headshots aligned needed to kill him. Hearing that the entire force was decimated and killing those 3 husks over and over again made me cringe and I simply wanted something that was more satisfying. Harbinger would have been the ideal boss, yet he flies away. Oh well, let’s hope that it was all an indoctrination dream and that a final proper conclusion comes in a free DLC pack at some point.

  • Rinu

    I condemn the attempt to filing complaints to the FTC. It’ll doom BW’s open attitude completely (who would be really surprised?) and it reminds me these US law suit like suing McDonalds because they didn’t warn you that the hot coffee is hot! It won’t achieve anything.

  • superguest

    the ending is that bad

  • Yo34

    god child said synthetics (reapers) were created to stop organics basically becoming too advanced and making different synthetics which would eventually rebel against their creators and wipe out all organic life so in order to stop this god child sent his reapers every 50,000 years to prune back organics so to speak leaving the least advanced so that this never happened. In other words saving organic life even though it meant killing a helluva lot of them by doing that it meant that organics were not wiped out completely .. I can see this idea makes sense but then you united Tali and the Geth and it turns out the Geth were atually peaceable and only attacked the Quarians in self defence also we have Edi .. so where this ending makes sense they’ve totally made it a moot point with the Geth and Edi .. if Bioware’s intention was to mind frick us then well done team .. I think they must have been as confused as us whilst putting this little gem of an ending together.

  • Lynch189

    the ending just spits on everything you did and basically says your choices dont matter, your interactions with the geth and edi prove that the catalyst is just talking out his ass just because his people got scared of ai s he created the reapers without trying to get along with the ai races which he bascially became in his solution i would love for there to be an option just to tell him to f@ck off so you can rub his face in fact that youve got both organics and synthetics working to gether against him which completely smashes his theory that the two races cant get along.
    the biggest  problem i have with the end  is that it leaves me with more questions then answers like, why is joker in the middle of a jump with the team members i took with me back on board the normandy? would they not have been caught in the blast from harbinger and why did they just abandon shepard there since he was still alive
    the entire ending no matter which one you choose is full of plot holes that a writer couldnt have missed i know that it had to be changed at the last minute but they could have pushed back the release date a few weeks to work on something better instead of releasing a game with an ending that basically invalidates everything youve already done up to that point.
    if at some point they do a dlc ending they better do it for free or they will definetly lose the respect gamers every where.

  • Own up to failure Bioware

    All they have to do is come out and accept the “Indoctrination Theory”,  it fits in the universe they created far better than anything they offered as an ending.  It also leaves open the possibility of future Mass Effect properties (whether they are DLC or sequels) which include or don’t include Commander Shepard.  As it is now the entire Mass Effect franchise is dead.  From a business point of view I don’t understand why you would kill a cash cow so early and so poorly.  They must realize that the customers complaining won’t buy anymore of their Mass Effect branded anything? Right?

  • Hlkstarrr

    I am a little confused with ending you have all the buildup to get to the and when you get there it’s like you ran into a brick wall. Also when I down loaded the recent update it completely erased my progress/save(s)  from the game I had started.