Mass Effect 3 has been the subject of near-universal scorn over its ending. We won't go into spoilers here, but we will say that for a series based on the power of choices and the repercussions of those choices, Mass Effect 3 really didn't offer a whole lot of wiggle room in the outcome. No matter your actions, 95 percent of the final scene is identical.
That's not even going into the fact that what happens is more illogical than the ending of the Watchmen film. Again, we're not trying to spoil it for you, but the final result of even the good ending can easily be extrapolated as a starving, lawless society cut off from the universe and engaged in a bitter civil war over a scorched planet. That is the most plausible course of events.
Luckily, BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka has issued a statement saying that the creative team behind Mass Effect 3 is hard at work on downloadable content designed to answer some of their fans' criticisms. There's not likely to be a whole new ending, but more like a series of explanatory epilogues that won't contradict the original ending. Either way, fans have spoken and moved a very crappy mountain.
There are more than a few games in the world that have cheated their players on the endings. We're not talking about old-school adventures that gave you little more than "Thanks for saving President Ronnie! Let's go get a hamburger!" We mean modern epic titles with plenty of space in their memory that should've freakin' known better.
After fighting his way through some of Greek mythology's greatest heroes, Kratos kills the Sisters of Fate and manages to return to the moment when his father Zeus murdered him. Kratos attempts to turn the tables on Zeus, only to have his sister Athena jump in front of the sword. Zeus flies away, and tells his fellow Olympians that they must crush Kratos, who is at that moment climbing Olympus on the back of the titan Gaia. Then the curtain falls and we're told to wait for God of War III, something that wouldn't be released for three more years and on a next-generation platform to boot.
So basically, SCEA decided that if you wanted to know how everything you did turned out in God of War II, you had to buy an entire new gaming system. That seems rather unfair.
Mostly, the Final Fantasy series is pretty good about their endings. Case in point, XII has one of the best endings ever done in any game we've ever played. While IX remains one of our favorite titles in the series, when it comes to the ultimate showdown, they really dropped the ball.
See, IX's whole purpose was nostalgia. It was a cutting-edge game that would hearken back to the NES and SNES days. To that purpose they basically hijacked IV's ending of having the evil half of a set of brothers be revealed to have been possessed by an even greater evil.
Thing is, at least in IV, they mentioned this greater evil a couple of times before he showed up. Go ask any Final Fanatic who Necron is and we'll bet you dollars to doughnuts they won't have an answer. This revelation means that our main hero, Zidane, spends a whole year digging himself and his brother, Kuja, out of ruins because he felt guilty about Kuja's possession. A year? We won't even help our evil brother move a couch. Necron was so forgettable that he wasn't even included in the all-star game Dissidia as the villainous representative of IX.
Put together, the cinematic trailers for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are one of the greatest video game short films of all time. Honestly, while watching them we were more into wondering why they didn't just make a movie instead of a video game. The game is good, though, easily the best in the series, but they really pussed out on the endings.
We can't believe with the technology they had at their hands that the endings are merely comic panels with no voice-over, and are in general only one or two pages long. We'd understand if they didn't want to hire voice actors, but they already had them for the in-game content, so what was a few more sentences going to cost them? We'll never understand how Capcom made the best video game trailer and the best superhero trailer and still couldn't give us something similar to close out the experience.
The Portal series is essentially the Evil Dead of video games, in that the second one can't really decide if it's a sequel or a remake. Regardless, the original finale of Portal was the weakest attempt at an ending we've ever seen. Essentially, Chell regains consciousness outside of Aperture after defeating GLaDOS...that's it. When Portal 2 was coming down the line, Valve released a patch that added Chell being drug back into the facility by an unseen robot, which is still pretty weak. Valve tried again in the comic "Rat Man," but no matter what they do there is no getting around the fact that they obviously got to the end of the game and said, "Now what?"
Both the Arkham games have fairly disappointing endings, which does make a kind of sense as Batman's war on crime never truly ends. However, Arkham City really ranked high on the failed-ending meter.
After a final battle with the dying Joker, the only cure to the Joker's illness is lost. As Joker prepares his final exit, Batman remarks that it's funny; he was going to save Joker even after all the horrible things he's done. Later, he respectfully carries the body of his nemesis out of Arkham City and lays him gently on the hood of a police car.
You know who he didn't do that with? Talia Al Ghul, his lover and the mother of his freakin' son. Talia risked her life and the possibility of Joker becoming immortal to save Batman when Joker had him perfectly poised for the coup de grace. Later, Batman is willing to let every person in Arkham City die in order to rescue her, and has to be locked out of his own surveillance system by Alfred to keep him from doing it.
After all that, Joker shoots her anyway, and even though if you play post game and travel back to the scene of the final battle her body is mysteriously gone, there is no getting around the fact that when it came time to honor a victim in the battle of Arkham City, Batman traded a psychopath for his girlfriend whose death he was directly responsible for along with Joker. That seems... wrong.
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