Why Retake Mass Effect 3 is doomed
No spoilers so don’t worry.
After finishing my first run of ME 3 (about 42 hours during which I made sure to listen to all characters after all missions and I even missed the whole Grissom Academy mission) I finally allowed myself to check the forums more carefully in search for some scenes I might have missed the first time. My goal was to find out what kind of ME 2 save I should import to see everything there is to see (I could just go to You Tube but I prefer to experience it in-game).
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find much of what I was looking for as the forums are flooded with “ending threads” (so I’ll just go with a full paragon import then). Yes there are a few threads out there with interesting content but they are quickly buried.
I decided to play along and start reading what this “Retake Mass Effect” movement was all about. As I suspected I wasn’t able to find a satisfying answer.
No clear and unique message
At first it was “we don’t get enough closure”. For me the whole game was about “closure” but I can see how more could have been done at the end. I’m a ME fan so I can’t honestly be against people wanting more. I’d gladly take 10 hours of cutscenes following the end and then would be ready to get another 10 hours …
Of course I was on the forums for only about 5 minutes so I kept digging and I was now seeing “the ending doesn’t make any sense” (see indoctrination theory below), “we want a happy ending”, “we want more choices”, “we want more time with our love interest”, “the game was too short”, and so on …
So yes the ending seems to piss some people but I’d be damned if I could say what piss the majority … The forums are such a mess right now that if there are really some people over at Bioware trying to make any sense out of this I’m sorry for them.
In such a movement there’s no clear leader so there’s also no clear message. It reminds me a bit the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. While we knew the background was something about inequity there was no way of knowing “what should be done exactly to make all these people happy”. It was going from taxing more rich people all the way down to the entire collapse of the capitalist system. Eventually people got bored talking about it and now it became part of history (and we know how good are people to remember history…).
The minority problem
Retake Mass Effect came from the forums. We all know a minority of people are active on forums but they’re also the only people we hear so the message is amplified. Now let’s consider that Bioware was to do something tomorrow that would please the majority of people upset about the ending. You really think it would stop the rage? No. You’d still have a minority that is still not pleased and would keep on raging. Satisfied customers would simply leave the forums and once again a minority would keep the flames active.
By now every gaming website out there have covered this story. Boredom about the story will soon follow. The only persons able to bring it up again are people from Bioware and by the time they do so most might even not remember what is was all about (assuming one knows what it is really about right now …).
If the movement can’t find a leader and make one clear statement then time will take care of it. You can only go for so much time saying “blah blah ending blah blah suck blah blah change whatever”. Even if the movement do make some valid points time is the “real enemy” here.
The indoctrination theory and the release deadline
I’m not sure why some people are fighting so hard against what is now called the “indoctrination theory”. If you bought the Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 it is clearly stated that it’s exactly what’s happening (the darkest hours, page 8 of 9). Yes they were having technical difficulties to have the scene play the way they wanted so they changed the rendering but they still didn’t change the whole idea behind it. That’s exactly the same thing I do. When facing a technical difficulty I don’t change my whole plan. I just find another way to get it done.
But, and there’s a but, the path they took might not have been the best one because it do requires people to make some educated guesses. Caught between programmers unable to do what was asked fast enough and the deadline getting closer and closer they took what they felt like the right exit but maybe not the best one.
Even for someone like me who enjoyed the ending I must admit that there are differences between what we heard during interviews and what was ultimately delivered. From my point of view it’s still not enough to create so much drama but in a way I think I can understand what sparked the whole Retake Mass Effect thing.
For more about the “indoctrination theory” (links are SPOILERS):
The damns DLCs
We always knew DLCs were coming post-release. Bioware have been teasing us with lines like “keep your save games” and other stuff like that. Were the so wanted answers/closure/whatever always supposed to be part of these DLCs? I wouldn’t be surprised even though it seems like a risky plan.
I highly doubt they will actually change anything about the ending but they made it pretty clear that it’s highly possible that they will add to it.
As for me I already knew I’d buy every ME3 DLCs (beside probably appearance packs that I really don’t care about in a single-player game) so if Retake Mass Effect gets Bioware to give me even more of Mass Effect then that’s good news to me. As to know if it will please all the angry gamers out there I honestly don’t care. My fun isn’t based on others’ opinions.
Before you reply to this post
Just adding this in case this would get the attention of some angry gamers. Don’t try to “explain” to me what Retake Mass Effect really is about because all you’ll end up doing is to repeat one of the many versions I’ve already read on the Mass Effect forums and honestly at this point I’m already bored by all the justifications. Every day I see the same points posted again in new posts as well as new ways to complain about the ending.
It’s not like changing my opinion would change anything about whatever request you might have anyway … I’m not THAT important you know