Mass Effect, We Deserve Better.
My road to the ending of Mass Effect 3 was an easy yet complicated one. It involved playing through Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 (on the PS3 and 360), and with all of it culminating in a playthrough and a half in Mass Effect 3 (also scattered within both the PS3 and 360 versions). In case you’re wondering why I went through all that just to complete the Mass Effect trilogy, well here’s the quick story.
I’m normally late to the party when it comes to some games and as a sports/wrestling video game writer, it is hard to get into a franchise and play it from start to finish with so much going on elsewhere in my gaming world. So after much convincing from my friends and hearing about how great the story was, I got Mass Effect 2 on the PS3. Why the PS3? So I could avoid playing the first Mass Effect thanks to the comic that lets you make the main choices, and get all the DLC alongside the game for $20. I like cheap deals on great games, sue me. So as the release date for Mass Effect 3 came near, I played the hell out of ME2 and finally got into the story.
Once Mass Effect 3 had finally hit store shelves, I was done with ME2, alongside the DLC, and was ready to finish the fight. Then halfway through that fight, my save file ended up getting corrupted and 18 hours of gameplay vanished without a trace.
So aware of the failings that came with the PS3 copy and the random freezes, I went ahead and traded in 2 and 3 to get the entire trilogy used at GameStop. I was told playing through one is better then going through the comic, so I gave in. Then from May all the way to the week of the Mass Effect 3’s Extended Cut release, I played nothing but Mass Effect. Went ahead and bought all the DLC for both 2 and 3, and finally caught up to where I last left off on the PS3 version.
As I entered the closing moments of Mass Effect 3, I couldn’t help but think that all the hours I put into this franchise was somewhat tainted. I already heard about how disappointing the ending to the game was (without it being spoiled) but told myself that I wouldn’t judge it until I finished it, yet right at the start of that finish, I was already in awe (and not the good type).
After viewing my ending, which I choose without a care in the world, I went ahead and looked up the remaining endings. I did have the power point presentation that is the Extended Cut DLC downloaded ahead of time so I got the full package once I completed the game. After viewing all the different endings and watching the indoctrination theory on YouTube, I picked up my Mass Effect trilogy and traded them back to GameStop with the thought of never seeing them again…ever again.
Don’t get me wrong, Mass Effect is a great series, but after 80+ hours of enjoyable gameplay and enticing storytelling, the last 10 minutes of that game, left a horrible taste in my mouth. Then came the announcement of the Leviathan DLC. This single player add-on takes place in the middle of Mass Effect 3 about a reaper named, you guessed it, Leviathan. With a brand new adventure, new missions, new story related twists and turns; this “3-hour” single player DLC adds some new depth to the reaper invasion happening during Mass Effect 3.
I heard the announcement, watched the trailer, and then quietly went into a thinking state of mind to see if paying $10 for a single player add-on that does nothing to the ending was worth it, but all that came to mind was how I wanted to hire a krogan mercenary to punch every person involved with this game directly in the face.
You give us this great franchise, amazing story, gained a loyal fan base, who lives and breathes renegade or paragon, only to give us the crappiest ending to a game that leaves us with way more questions than answers, and you expect us to pay $10 for a DLC that does absolutely nothing to the ending we were given? Hell, you even had the audacity to say it “somehow” affects the games ending. If it does, what was the point of the extended cut DLC? *Kind of spoiler alert* unless you tell me the person you talk to in the end changes into a walrus or some other alien creature, this DLC is nothing but a side attraction. Not to mention, in order to play Leviathan you need to load a save file somewhere in the middle of the game in order to play it, and then finish the game again. It’s like you want us to watch that ending again, see if we can spot the difference, and hope we can forgive and forget.
Bioware can give us all the free multiplayer maps, guns, and characters all they want, but I think many people would agree that we all put in hours upon hours into this franchise for the single player experience and its story, not the multiplayer. This is what fans paid tons of money on. What they invested tons of hours into. Anyone who says the ending was good and that this DLC will be awesome is in every way indoctrinated. If only Leviathan was put in at the same time the From Ashes DLC was, more than likely I would have paid the $10 to play through it. Hell, it would have made more sense.
For gamers who never played Mass Effect and are purchasing Mass Effect 3 with their Wii U later this holiday season, they have it a little better (little because they’re paying $60 for what is now a $30 game elsewhere). They don’t know what to expect in terms of the story and aside what the media, or their friends, have talked about; they won’t have the same experience as those who played the trilogy on Xbox or even the PS3 (aside the fact you can’t technically play through one).
Unless I see the announcement of Mass Effect 4 and the story actually makes sense and explains what the hell happened at the end of 3, or we get DLC that is post-ending, I’m done with the Mass Effect series. As much as we all know that EA is trying to milk this franchise to the bone, I don’t think Mass Effect deserved that treatment. Not just I, but the fans of the Mass Effect franchise deserve better than this.
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below or tweet me what you think about all this at twitter.com/just_cow.