The Lasting Effect – The Mass Effect 3 Ending

Posted: March 21, 2012 by vindanton in Video Games

By: Jason Green

The following is my personal opinion on the ending of the Mass Effect 3 game. To be clear, I loved everything about the game up until the end. So deal with it!


            The ending of Mass Effect 3 is so outrageously baffling it’s as if Bioware wanted people to hate the ending. I didn’t think it was terrible just very rushed leaving me unsatisfied.

As Shepard sprints toward the transport beam that will take him to the citadel, Harbinger, the leader of all Reapers lands in front of him and shoots a powerful laser at Shepard seemingly killing him. However, Shepard is only wounded and still manages to make his way to the beam thus being transported to the citadel, and here is where things start to get out of hand.

Once you enter the citadel you run into Admiral Anderson.  How did he suddenly end up in front of Shepard when Shepard was the only one shown getting to the transport?

After Shepard reaches Anderson, another main antagonist known as the Illusive Man literally appears out of nowhere. When Shepard is seen walking into the room with Anderson there is nobody else in there and than suddenly the Illusive man is behind Shepard. After they have their confrontation and Shepard is brought up the top floor of the citadel, he meets the rouge A.I. known as the Catalyst. The Catalyst is the force that controls the Reapers.

It tells Shepard that the reason the Reapers come to wipe out all life in the galaxy is because if they do not, our race and all other advanced races will make robots so advanced that they’ll eventually turn on us and destroy us all. So basically the leader of the Reapers, a race of massive sentient machines, says that the reasons he made these machines was so they could kill us before other machines do? What kind of logic is that?

After Shepard talks to the Catalyst, he is given three choices.

Choice one: Destroy the Reapers.

Choice two: Control the Reapers, which would make them retreat.

Choice three: Merge all organic and robotic life together, which would also somehow make the Reapers retreat. These three choices are the biggest complaint about the ending. Everything you’ve accomplished up to this point is for what, picking A, B, or C?

That leads me into my biggest gripe about the ending, there’s only ONE ending. The only thing each choice changes are the color of the laser the citadel shoots out at the end. Everything else is exactly the same.

Casey Hudson, executive producer, stated in the January edition of Gameinformerthat the ending of the game would be the collaboration of everything you’ve accomplished up to that point and show the outcome of your decisions. Either he never read the script or he was just flat out lying because the ending has none of that. After the Reapers are destroyed, or retreat, the citadel than destroys all the mass relays which are the devices that transport the space ships all over the galaxy.

Casey Hudson

It was noted in Mass Effect 2 that if a mass relay is to destroy the explosion is so powerful that it takes out a star system. Think about that for a second; no matter which choice you make the mass relays end up blowing up; every one of them. That means Shepard killed more people in 30 seconds than the Reapers could of ever dreamed of.

After that we see the Normandy in the middle of a relay jump when the relay explodes. Wait wasn’t the Normandy just on Earth with Shepard? How come it’s suddenly in space thousands of miles from earth? The Normandy than crash lands on an alien planet, the crew walks outside to see where they are, and that’s where the game ends.

The ending has gaping plot holes and has no closure. Why did the mass relays blow up? Why was the Normandy suddenly in space? What happened to my crew after they crash-landed? What’s going to happen to the millions of other races stranded near Earth now that the relays are destroyed? There’s no way for them to get back home, so they’re just stranded there.

There is a very brief scene at the end of the very end that shows Shepard’s body laying in rubble and he/she suddenly begins breathing. As far as I know the Citadel blew up in space. So how did he/she survive an explosion from space and a fall to earth?

As I stated, Mass Effect 3 is a fantastic game. It’s just plagued with a sour ending. Bioware already stated they’re going to explain what happened, but as of now, I’m still having trouble sleeping.


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