Freitag, 9. März 2012

Three reasons why I didn't like the ending of Mass Effect 3

While I really enjoyed most of the series and especially the last one right up until the part I will talk about, the ending of the Mass Effect series bothers me.

Obviously there are going to be SPOILERS for everyone who hasn't played until the end yet!

1. Deus ex Machina (and not even an original one)

At the end Shepard talks to the Catalyst, an AI or VI or something else that controls the reapers and offers an easy indirect way out of the conflict.
In Game 1 we fought Sovereign, in Game 2 we fought Harbinger (indirectly, I'll grant that), and Game 3 has one great direct Reaper confrontation, but Harbinger is only mentioned in passing.
For 2, even 3 Games the Reapers were THE enemy. Which we didn't really get to fight in ME3. I was expecting a confrontation with Harbinger at least. Didn't happen.
What we got reminded me of the Shadows/Vorlon conflict in Babylon 5, if only for the unexpected solution (which Bab5 actually pulled off by telling them to get the hell out of our galaxy).

2. Where did hell did that problem come from?

The Catalyst mentions that the reason for the Reaper's existence and their cycle of harvesting developed species is to find a solution for the problem of organic versus synthetic lifeforms.

Granted, the geth and their conflict with the Quarians have been going since before the first game, we fought the occasional rogue AI, but if there ever was an overall philosophy of the existential struggle of organic vs. synthetic in the games, I missed it. And even if there had been, the Geth conflict gets solved beautifully in game 3. So, no problem anymore, right?

No. Of course there are still the Reapers, but since they are to serve as a solution for the problem, they can't be used as an example for the problem, right? So the Reapers were created as a race of synthetics to destroying* organics to stop the problem of synthetics destroying organics?
Come again?

*I Know they technically harvest them, but this still eradicates all of the specific species' life and culture, and, you know, individual people.

3. Where do we go from here?

Much of what made the ME universe unique is gone now.
The Mass Relays are gone, the citadel is gone, and I can't for the life of me figure out why that was necessary. Shepard is - in most endings - gone. The Normandy crashes on a strange planet, interstellar travel is probably still possible, but... did the ending showing the fate of the galaxy and the characters we came to love really only last about a minute?

What the hell? That's it? Nothing about rebuilding Earth, Thessia, the Citadel or other places? No showing of our characters and their life with their people now that they saved them and the galaxy?

I liked how in the end Shepard and Anderson watch Eath, that was beautiful and emotional. But why wasn't there more of it?
All this struggle, the doubts, the fear, and this is what the characters fought for?

Apart from these three reasons there's still a fuckload of unanswered questions and inconsistencies left.

No, I don't like the ending. It sucked.