Posted 11:04am on Mon 9 April 2012
- Posts: 6,475
On Friday night I reached the ending of Mass Effect 3 and it was one of the best endings I have ever seen. This may seem strange given the fuss over the endings but it was a powerful moment which I doubt I will forget any time soon. The only trouble was that it wasn't actually the end but how I wish it had of been.
I'll spoiler the details for those who have not made this journey yet.
I'm not sure to what extent the endings differ but on my ending Shepard and co make their charge towards the beam to the Citadel and the Reaper takes each of them down. At this point the game gives the impression that it is all over. Complete failure. I was stunned, I couldn't believe all my efforts had been in vain. Surely the game wouldn't end here? And then it struck me that this was a perfect way to end for a bad ending.
All through the game the conversations remind us of how greatly the odds are stacked against us. Nobody is certain of success, any confidence towards the goal is replaced with 'it has to work' messages. The final morale boosting speeches in London lay it out plain and simple, this is a one way journey for many people but success must come at any cost.
To fail on such a mammoth task was unthinkable but yet the game fooled me into thinking it had happened. It was a powerful moment and completely convincing. It fitted perfectly with the size of the objective and the underlying doubt in many people. Failure was always painted as a very plausible outcome. To fail to this degree was a jaw dropping moment. And then our hero staggers to his feet and I was disappointed. What followed had nowhere near the same impact.
Complete and utter failure. The sole objective was not achieved but yet it was a powerful moment that bettered anything that followed on after. It would have been a morbid, yet fantastic ending.
Many games come with a variety of endings. Usually a bad ending is one of the possible outcomes but it isn't often where a complete failure is an ending. Even games that come with a so called bad ending usually have some degree of success to them e.g. character x, y and z perished but at least you achieved the goal.
My preferred ending moment of Mass Effect 3 would have been my biggest failing in a game but it would have been one of the most memorable moments. The only other game I can think of where I have seen complete failure being a possible ending was in Heavy Rain.
So what do you guys think, is there more room for complete failure in game conclusions? Are there any other games that do have complete failure or any 'bad' endings you believe could have been improved with complete failure?
Posted 10:24am on Tue 10 April 2012
- Posts: 8,041
Of course, and for reasons I've outlined in the ME3 spoiler thread, I actually think complete failure was one of the best possible outcomes for that series given the whole Reaper extinction cycle thing.
Posted 11:20am on Tue 10 April 2012
- Posts: 6,475
But yet so few games allow a complete failure as a possible conclusion.
Edit: should point out that I didn't read your thread because I failed the qualification criteria, namely "do not read this thread if you've not completed every game in the series". I've never played the 1st game.