March 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM ET
When speaking with msnbc.com last week, Mac Walters, the lead writer of "Mass Effect 3," promised that the game would offer a definitive conclusion to Commander Shepard's trials and tribulations. While that's exactly the case, it's not the conclusion that many people were hoping for. Some have even gone so far as to launch an online campaign to change the ending.
The following is courtesy of Destructoid, and is somewhat spoiler-ish, so be warned: Many players are not at all pleased that the three possible final outcomes are each too gloomy. Some even feel that the choices they make throughout the game don’t have an impact on the ending at all.
In a poll on the official BioWare forums, 89 percent of the 31,000+ votes are demanding a "brighter" ending, either as a patch or DLC. One disgruntled gamer has even crafted an alternative outcome as well, which is also quite popular. You also have the requisite Twitter and Facebook protests as well.
Destructoid's comparison of this particular quotient of the "Mass Effect" fan-base to Kathy Bates' psycho fan in the Stephen King classic "Misery" is fairly appropriate. As Walters also noted, there is much love and devotion to the "Mass Effect" universe, which is why such an adverse reaction is not at all surprising.
Sometimes, a story has to end in a particular way, even if it's not what everyone wants. But the notion to have a brand new ending, one that consensus, not the creator dictates, is an intriguing one. Shouldn't the dedicated player be ultimately allowed to end the journey as they feel fit?
After all, the creator of the game supplies the actors and sets the stage, but it is the player who says action and makes everything come alive. No other form of media allows for such a degree of participation and freedom from the audience, so why should it not be explored to the fullest extent?
The notion of slapping on a happier ending is also temping, now that technology makes it feasible. That is the purpose of DLC after-all, the augmentation and enhancement of an experience, often after the fact. It's up to BioWare to make the next move, if they feel the demand for an alternate resolution is loud enough.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.