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Submitted by Criminal 1423d ago | news

The argument over Mass Effect 3's ending makes Ken Levine sad

Vox Games - Game makers, not game players, should retain control over the games they make and how they end, a panel of developers said during a weekend talk at the Smithsonian to celebrate the new exhibit, "The Art of Video Games." (Ken Levine, Mass Effect 3, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

Software_Lover  +   1423d ago
Mass Effect is my favorite series this gen....
and I'm not a paid critical analyst either!!!!! I don't have a HUGE PROBLEM with the endings and I never went on the internet to bash the devs or put up money to get the ending changed. I agree with Levine, that devs have the artistic freedom to do what they want. I also agree with alot of the vocal people in stating that the Mass Effect 3 endings were missing something. There was nothing emotional or WOW at the end. They were all the same ending. But of course, there is the conundrum. I would have been fine with the endings and thought nothing of it if it wasn't blasted everyday over the internet.

Bioware should have had drastically different endings. Even one where Shephard cant save the galaxy at all. One where he dies while trying, a la the Halo Reach ending when you are letting Master Chief escape. I have many ideas in my head.

Lynn43308890   1423d ago | Spam
wallis  +   1423d ago
I think to help put it all into comparison singularity has the same number of endings as mass effect 3. See now a cheesy plot hook of "omg it's the end pick the cutscene you want" isn't exactly a misthrown ball when we're dealing with a linear fps, but when you're playing a massive rpg you don't really expect to come across that. Fallout new vegas has more and endings and hell that didn't put us through god knows many years of crapping our pants about deciding to let those rachni live.

And also of course Ken Levine would say this. I love him and I love his games but a)what he makes serves a different role to things like mass effect. I consume Bioshocks story while living in it's world in the same way I consume the story of a novel or any standard narrative. But with mass effect it's more like a choose your own adventure novel - you don't flick back and forth all those pages to find out it all has the same ending. That's a rip, you could have just read a normal book!

And b) he's a freaking games developer so of course he's going to have vested interests. He can't seriously expect us to take his word on it? He's selling a different product and even if he wasn't he'd still be the one who stands to lose if the status quo ever tipped in the favour of the gamer.
da_2pacalypse  +   1423d ago
As much as I respect Ken because of how great of a artist he is... I could care less what he has to say about the topic. He makes games that are completely different. He writes a novel while ME fans expected Bioware to write a universe. I think Bioware overall relied too much on how good the other two ME games were and ended up failing in ME3 because they didn't strive to achieve something they hadn't already achieved in ME3.

Bioware's older games are good because they always innovated in terms of story. ME3 had no innovation in terms of story, it relied on the old story of the ME franchise and brought nothing new to the table, which is why the ending failed.

Think about it, all the good side quests in ME3 were awesome because they featured cameos from favourite characters of past games. They didn't do anything new/jaw dropping.
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Pushagree  +   1423d ago
I could have told anyone here that Mass Effect 3 would be terrible before the game even came out. The demo was boring, the graphics were the same as the last one, and the sex scenes (pretty much the selling point of the game for a lot of lonely gamers) were a step backward from the last game (ive seen teen dramas with more intensity...). It's your fault if you bought such an obviously bad game. Don't whine to bioware to change something that you have no creative rights to in the first place because they probably are not capable of making it anyway.
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STONEY4  +   1423d ago
Nobody anywhere is complaining about the game being bad, so I don't know the point you're trying to make. All of the complaints are about the ending.
--Onilink--  +   1423d ago
well the endings were also bad... but yeah thats not the main point. Still i would have liked less plotholes and a little more "making sense" in the endings
Anon1974  +   1423d ago
This isn't directed at you guys above because you raise some points but just in regards to this issue in general. This is why people don't take videogames seriously. Can you imagine if there was this much nerd rage about the ending of a book, or movie? It's a shameful display of entitlement on the part of a minority of gamers that's making us all look like jack asses.

News flash. When someone paints a picture, you don't get to petition them to use more red. When a team creates a piece of art, that's their vision and their work. What gives you the right to demand they compromise their vision to be more what "you" want? "Oh, but we were promised our choices would make a difference!" Are you kidding? I don't remember the outrage and petitions when Fable 2's choices didn't amount to jack. If you don't like it, don't give them your money.

I don't think I've ever witnessed more gamers acting like spoiled children in my entire life. "Mh..mhh...the dlc..the endings..they changed it from the first...meeeehhhh!" while targeting Bioware staff with anonymous hate campaigns. It just makes me sick realizing there are so many useless gamers out there so devoid of any common sense to speak of. And now we'll probably end up with dumbed down stories from now on to make sure everyone is equally pissed off to appease the most people possible. Well done.

God I hope Bioware isn't taking this nonsense seriously. But let me tell you how I really feel... :)
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Sharingan_no_Kakashi  +   1423d ago
Sums it uppretty nicely .
Hicken  +   1423d ago
No, it doesn't. And none of the responses noted addressed the primary issue: that gamers were promised their decisions would influence the outcome, and yet that influence is hardly noticeable, if at all.

Are you okay with developers promising something and backing out on it? Is it alright if they have you invest hundreds of hours of your time and hundreds of dollars of your money into their games with the understanding that what you do will influence the outcome of the game, and then have no influence at all?

I'm not.

If there was only one ending, and it was designed for there to be only one ending in the first place, people would have been fine with that. I'm certain fans would not have complained about the ending if there was only supposed to be one. But that wasn't the case at all; straight from the developers' mouths, multiple endings influenced by your actions over the course of three games were supposed to be available.

They weren't.

Artistic freedom is important. But an artist also has to bear in mind the wishes of their audience. It's less of a painting, and more a piece of music, in that respect. Mass Effect's fans were expecting a rock song, and instead they got jazz.
wallis  +   1423d ago
Nailed it. If I go to a heavy metal festival I don't wanna hear the musicians banging out techno. There has to be a line of reason in the defence of artistic freedom but at the same time as consumers we need to defend our rights. We shouldn't have things promised that aren't delivered and when a company fails to understand their core audience they should feel it in their bones. And to make it worse this has only highlighted the divide between the journalists and gamers - we've been dismissed and called everything under the sun when we're the people who buy the God damn game and make it happen. Yeah there'd be no mass effect without bioware but there'd be no mass effect without us either.
FCOLitsjustagame  +   1423d ago
Actually no, my problem with the endings is they are stupid, badly written, make no freaking sense and do not follow the rules established in the ME galaxy. Its a shame because they did such a good job in the rest of the game and then just crapped out at the end because either they didnt know what to do or they were "trying" to be "cool" and "artistic" and failed miserably.
cogniveritas  +   1423d ago
I feel like I would be failed in a story writing class if I wrote in the element of "the little boy from Mass Effect". That single element felt too oddly forced into the story as important as the wanted to make it. I think that is a fair criticism.
ArchangelMike  +   1423d ago
TBH, had there not been the fanrage, I would not have really noticed anything amiss with the ending. It wass till very emotionally engaging for me - infact, I'd go as far as saying it was the most emotionally engaging experience in my video gaming history.

I think the Bioware is now in a position where they have to offer an alternative tie-in to the current ending. But fans should not forget that EA is a business; writers and voice actors need to be contracted and paid. Some may not be available and might have already move on to other projects.

It's not like Bioware can now just pull out 10 different endings out of a hat, it'll take time, and money! What if EA are not willing to spend that money?
FCOLitsjustagame  +   1423d ago
I really dont think MOST games are art, neither are most movies or TV shows. They are Products, meant to selll to the masses. Art is something you do for yourself and if society likes it maybe you can make money on it, but you certainly dont do it for money. MOST games, movies, TV shows and now a days most books are done to make money. There are still those in all of those generas that are done for the person themselves and their vision and Indi games and films and if they make money they make money if not, then at least they got to put their vision out there.

ME is not art, its a block buster meant to sell and make lots and lots of money for the company. If they do not have an eye and ear towards the fans, they are idiots pure and simple.
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DeadIIIRed  +   1423d ago
Art is any outward expression of a person's or persons' emotions no matter how trivial. Whether it's good art or bad art is arbitrary.
FCOLitsjustagame  +   1423d ago
Exactly. Its not there to make money its there to express those emotions. If it happens to make money then good for them but that's not its purpose.

Video games, at least the ones from the big companies like this one, are created to make money. They are a product not art.

Now some of the indie games, that are created because the creator had and inspiration and wanted to create it (and then offer to sell to others because they think people will enjoy it) those are art.
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miamicanesruleall  +   1423d ago
Bioware is fantastic. Mass Effect 3 is fantastic. I think people who have a problem with the endings don't really understand what Bioware's vision for the series is/was. I have been with this franchise since day one and have no problem with what Bioware did. I look forward to DLC to come for ME3, because the ME series is my favorite this gen hands down, nothing comes close, not even Uncharted. I think it's refreshing for a game series to have controversy, especially when so called fans are in an uproar because the series didn't end the way they wanted it to. That's not your decision, that's not your call. Maybe the end was inevitable from the beginning.
lover2012  +   1423d ago
don't bring uncharted series into this
Megaton  +   1422d ago
It's controversy for the wrong reasons. Controversy because something is an incoherent mess isn't the same as controversy for pushing boundaries or something. It's incompetence in writing and execution, nothing more.
BrutallyBlunt  +   1423d ago
Anybody here see the movie or read the book Misery by Stephen King?
Sanador  +   1423d ago
Remember when the internet raged over the ending of Romeo and Juliet?!?! So Walt Shakespeare ended up making Sleeping Beauty instead. Yeah. That's about how stupid this argument is.
Krakn3Dfx  +   1423d ago
Eh, endings, am I right?
ginsunuva  +   1423d ago
Now every developer is scared to death about their endings. Mwahahahaha
Krakn3Dfx  +   1423d ago
No, now every developer is waiting to see if Bioware can get away with selling people the end of their game.
ThreshStar  +   1423d ago
I'll go with the argument that Video Games are a form of art...just like books, television shows, movies, music, paintings, etc.

However, there is one MAJOR difference that is overlooked. All of the above listed with the exception of Video Games are forms of art in which you see or listen to. That's it. You experience something through an artist's idea.

Video Games are an INTERACTIVE ART. The second something becomes interactive, you are RELYING on the people interacting with your artistic vision - you are no longer the sole share-holder in your artistic vision.

Imagine an interactive art piece at an art gallery. You set up rules as to HOW to interactive will the art piece. If someone interacts with it that is not listed in the rules, then are they to blame for "not following the rules" or are they creating a "whole new artistic experience"?

The point I'm making is once something becomes INTERACTIVE, it's hard to judge it as "this is my art and don't tell me what to do with it". Then why not make it just a book, a movie, a tv show, a song piece...rather than something that REQUIRES an audience to participate?

I think Bioware has disregarded this notion as well as other Video Game companies. I get that you're creating am I just your vessel to be told what to do with it? Or do I get atleast SOME type of say because I'm now involved in the "artistic process"? If no, then don't ask me to participate in the first place.
guitarded77  +   1423d ago
I can't wait to finish the game... I want the happy ending.
unknownhero1123  +   1423d ago
I just want an ending that makes sense.
ShiftyLookingCow  +   1422d ago
Garrus goes to disco!
upallnightgamer  +   1423d ago
It's a give-and-take, Mr. Levine. Without the makers, players have nothing to play. Without players, makers have no way to spin their wares. I'm not gonna yell at Team Ninja to change NGIII back to how it was, but hopefully, they'll learn from the mass of disappointed fans who grew up with the series and give us back the style and LACK of QTE in the next iteration.
Campy da Camper  +   1423d ago
Meh, im an odd breed. I love rpgs but for the openess and upgrading really. I skip most cut scenes because i am not into 50 hour stories. The only games i really got into story wise was god of war, heavy rain, uncharted series and darkness one and two. i love the exploration and side quests but hit the start button on most games when the cut scenes come up
eak3  +   1423d ago
You can't expect Bioware to change the ending. They have been dumping on the public for awhile now with dayone DLC's and other nonsense. You pay them back for this crap buy not buying their product.
ShabbaRanks  +   1423d ago
ME1 was the only one that was good... Then ME2 came out and EA decided it was time to rip people off… So I said goodbye to Mass Effect, anyway just when I heard that planet exploration was removed from ME2 I was like WHYYY !!!!

So goodbye overrated franchise we had fun in the first one, time to move on !
glennco  +   1423d ago
you can't buy this sort of publicity
Braid  +   1423d ago
You're not alone Ken, you're not alone.

Not only that but this whole worldwide moaning campaign is getting so irritating that I feel like I could throw a destructive b#tchslap right onto the mouth of the first friend of mine who would dare to bring up Mass Effect 3 to the conversation and use the term "besides the last five minutes".

I've been a gamer for more than fifteen years and nothing related to games went that absurd before in my years of gaming experience. Please calm the f#ck down and start playing another game already, the whole gaming media is getting bombarded by billions of new articles daily regarding the ME3 ending. I almost started to wish that Bioware could release a DLC to make this anomaly stop growing further even though I strongly opposed to that idea before. Jeez, the ending was just fine. It seemed like it was rushed out but it was not that bad. What's with all the nerd rage, I fail to understand.
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Software_Lover  +   1422d ago
I think, as I noted above, the nerd rage is that none of your decisions from the first two games mattered. IT WAS ALL A LIE. If you played the first 2 games, imported your character, you would get the same exact ending and experience basically, as the guy who just started playing at Mass Effect 3.

Who you let live, who you let die, with the exceptions of a few missions/cutscenes here and there, does nothing to change the ending.

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