Monday, April 16, 2012

Mass Effect ending continued

Just attaching a link to a funny forum thread re: the ME3 ending...

Edit re: the new ME3 "clarification" endings.

After I wrote the cathartic exercise of my previous post, I was ready to move on. Then, I discovered that they're releasing clarifications in a DLC in June. There are a few issues here: 1) clarification v. new ending, 2) was this planned all along?, 3) 3 months ~ is that really all the time that you need?

1. I agree that the way to handle this is a clarification, not a new ending. The damage is already done, both to the narrative coherence of the plot and to Bioware's reputation for excellence. EA's reputation can hardly be damaged more... Trying to "fix" an ending is not going to undo that damage and in fact might only compound it by turning the story into a caricature of itself ~ something of a zombie with scotch tape on the corners of its mouth to simulate a smile. Cynically, the best business decision is to cut the losses and salvage that which is not broken.

2. Conspiracy theorists have forwarded the argument that Bioware/EA intended to make the "best ending" a paid-DLC after teasing everyone with a speculation-prompting one, and only changed it to a free-DLC "real ending" when a consensus emerged that the included ending was in fact a "shitty one." I'm a huge cynic and I've seen companies do some bone-headed things before, but I'm inclined to disbelieve this. However, in issue three below, there may be support for this argument.

3. The DLC is scheduled for June. That's like 3-4 months at the most after this "RetakeME3" story broke. That seems to be a very short time frame to write, produce, and animate meaningful "clarification" endings. It would be impossible to create a new ending in that time frame. In addition, the voice actors have apparently not received any request to do new recordings. Therefore, if the new "clarification" endings are well-conceived and smartly produced with dialogue and player interaction, it would support a conclusion that the endings were in the can all along. If so, Bioware has got a lot of 'splaining to do regarding why the endings weren't implemented in the release. Time constraints (at best)? Paid DLC plans (at worst)?

Well, it's not worth speculating any more about something that hasn't happened yet, but it will be interesting to see what they pull out of their @$$3$ within the next 2 months.