Missing the point

I know I said I was done with ME3, but G4 just put out this interview with Casey Hudson and some of the other creators of Mass Effect. It’s interesting to me how the creators are ignoring a big part of the problem. They’re right to say that people want closure, but that’s only part of it. The other part is thatthe ending sucks.

As I said before, I’m not angry about it, but I dislike the ending on a narrative level for the reasons I discussed in the previous post on this topic: it doesn’t really fit canon, etc. Hudson and company are plugging their ears and ignoring those criticisms, and insisting that people just want another chance “to say goodbye” to the characters that they love so much. Again, that’s part of it, but I think it’s more about the crappy, poorly-thought-out nature of the final events.

We may be rabid fans, but we’re not stupid (not all of us, anyway). We knew this game was going to be an extended farewell. We knew it was goodbye. It’s not the fact of that goodbye that fans are upset about. It’s the shitty dollar-store card made of lead and asbestos that BioWare sent along with a bottle of Sutter Home white zinfandel. After years of champagne and caviar, Shepard’s retirement party was catered by White Castle.

I’ve got a million of these.

Really, it comes down to quality control. It seems like they rushed it at the end, and instead of the quality writing we’ve become accustomed to, we got a rejected storyboard concocted by the B-string writing staff at 3am the night before a big deadline. The result: instead of a bang, ME went out with a “meh,” after which it rolled over, farted, and slept through its shift at Arby’s.

To reiterate, the problem, as I see it, is shitty, shitty writing. It seems particularly interesting to me that the exact same thing happened with the most recent Mass Effect novel, but as far as I’m aware nobody has drawn parallels between the two screwups. Closure is nice, but after the end I remember thinking that I just didn’t care anymore. 30 minutes before I had been totally infatuated with all the characters. Tali, whom I chose to romance back in ME2, was planning to build a house on the quarian homeworld, and I was still all gushy from how cute that was. But at the end, that fanboy adoration totally evaporated.

If the ending is able to kill the enthusiasm of a diehard fan like me–not just for the current installment, but for the whole series–there’s really something wrong.

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