‘Mass Effect 2′ Writer Talks Proposed ‘Mass Effect 3′ Endings

Published 1 year ago by , Updated June 20th, 2013 at 7:16 am,

Mass Effect 3 Potential Endings

Like it or not, the ending to Mass Effect 3 was seen as a massive disappointment to a large population of gamers. So much so that even an extended version of the endings couldn’t undo the damage BioWare had already done.

However, now that there is some distance between us and Mass Effect 3‘s ending(s), we can hopefully look at them objectively, or at least talk about them without sighing heavily. And that’s just what Mass Effect writer Drew Karpyshyn did in a recent interview. But what makes the interview interesting is Karpyshyn wasn’t involved with Mass Effect 3, so his perspective comes from that of an insider/outsider.

Karpyshyn, as some might know, actually left BioWare shortly before the release of Mass Effect 2 and was succeeded by Mac Walters. But even if he didn’t stay on for ME3‘s development, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t clued into the developer’s various ending possibilities. With Mass Effect already outlined as a trilogy, Karpyshyn had some inside knowledge about where BioWare was looking to go.

As it turns out, though, a lot of the ideas that the BioWare writers bounced around during Karpyshyn’s tenure never made it into Mass Effect 3. For example, there was talk of giving dark energy a major role in the final game’s narrative, with the Reapers hoping to stop the spread of the resource.

“Maybe the Reapers kept wiping out organic life because organics keep evolving to the state where they would use biotics and dark energy and that caused an entropic effect that would hasten the end of the universe. Being immortal beings, that’s something they wouldn’t want to see.”

The BioWare team also tossed around the idea of putting a Matrix-esque spin on things, with the Reapers constantly “restarting” the universe in the hopes of finding the perfect biotics.

“Then we thought, let’s take it to the next level. Maybe the Reapers are looking at a way to stop this. Maybe there’s an inevitable descent into the opposite of the Big Bang (the Big Crunch) and the Reapers realize that the only way they can stop it is by using biotics, but since they can’t use biotics they have to keep rebuilding society – as they try and find the perfect group to use biotics for this purpose. The Asari were close but they weren’t quite right, the Protheans were close as well.”

Mass Effect Characters Mural

In fact, such a story thread was circulated around the net as a potential end game to Mass Effect 3‘s story, and fans were quick to latch onto its viability. Some fans even cited the hypothetical ending as a better option, a sentiment that Karpyshyn doesn’t agree with.

“I find it funny that fans end up hearing a couple things they like about it and in their minds they add in all the details they specifically want. It’s like vaporware – vaporware is always perfect, anytime someone talks about the new greatest game. It’s perfect until it comes out. I’m a little weary about going into too much detail because, whatever we came up with, it probably wouldn’t be what people want it to be.”

That might be true — fans did have certain expectations — but that shouldn’t take away from the potential impact of one ending versus another. However, neither of the proposed conclusions address some of the bigger problems gamers had with Mass Effect 3, specifically the game’s inability to factor in three game’s worth of decisions.

Now that Mass Effect 3 and all of its DLC expansions have come and gone, there isn’t much more to be said about the game. Writers like Karpyshyn may have had good ideas, but we’ll never know how those ideas would have been realized. The only thing gamers can hope for is that Mass Effect 4 will be better.

What do you think of Karpyshyn’s hypothetical Mass Effect 3 storylines? Would you have preferred the final game explore one of those ideas?

Source: AM640 (via Eurogamer)

TAGS: BioWare, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3


  • bio

    Even if he was right that people still wouldnt like it… it still connects all three games and actually does make sense.

    • doc

      It’s not perfect but I don’t see how it would be particularly unlikeable.

      • bio

        I didnt say people would not like it. Im saying if he was right.

  • 1015

    I actually enjoyed the ending of ME3 until I realized that none of the choices I had made in the series actually mattered. I was upset, I

    • doc

      I immedaiately hated it because I knew most of it was unexplained deus-ex-machina-magic. Total cliché.

      I read too much sci-fi.

    • Matt

      You must have not made any choice in the entire series then, because the choices I made had galaxy-wide implications.

  • 1015

    *I wasn’t pissed though. And I don’t see a reason not to buy ME4 if they’re gonna start fresh with a new character, I think Bioware will definitely learn from their mistake, just like Microsoft. I can forgive Bioware for their mistake. On the other hand, I cannot and will not forgive Microsoft for their former anti-consumerist master plan. Bioware made a mistake, Microsoft just didn’t care.

  • Alter

    MEHEM *cough* ughhh sorry 😛

  • Garrus Vakarian

    I’ve developed a serious in-depth attachment to the game when it first came out. The animations, dubbing, sounds, characters and story were amazing. The whole game borrowed lots of stuff from other sci-fis. It was an awesome experience.

  • http://facebook.com/nerdsyncproductions Chris_tuffer

    I liked it. Thought it was awesome. I’ve played every expansion, DLC, everything from the Mass Effect series 100%. I love it just the way it is, and I like to believe that Shepard lived and is with Tali.

  • http://adityaviyer.com Aditya V. Iyer

    I totally hated the ending, well I reasoned after the extended cut came out. Well got over it but after reading this, so wish this was implemented and he didn’t left :/

  • 1015

    I understand the disappointment with the ending. It was still a great series and I don’t know why some people are boycotting Mass Effect 4 because they thought 3’s ending was bad. Even though your choices didn’t really matter, I shed a man tear when the Shepard I developed an attachment to sacrificed himself for the good of humanity, however cliché that ending may be. I am eagerly awaiting ME4’s reveal and am excited to see what Frostbite 3 will bring to the table.

  • digimass

    I was so pissed, i actually scream at eh TV because the ending was so bad. And reading those to potential endings, they would have been way better and not as lame as the ending as it is now

  • Cristov

    A lot of fans thought Drew’s dark energy plot was better, but why would Bioware even consider it when they were changing the game to an action/shooter to entice more people to the franchise? I don’t think they wanted to go that dark, and the only ones who would’ve been satisfied would be the fans (like me) who played from the beginning. New players wouldn’t have been interested playing a third game that has a really complicated storyline.

  • Max King

    Look, I liked the ending of ME3, it left a slightly sour taste in my mouth because Shepard died, but then again, you don’t have this perfect “hero” figure like Shepard and let him or her live after a fight like that. It would do the franchise injustice to see Shepard grow old and die in peace. He was a warrior, to the core. And if he had to die because of it, then so be it. All I know is, if they turn Mass Effect into some Call Of Duty knock off with the frostbite three engine, I will be a very unhappy camper. I want to see a RTS Mass Effect game with RPG elements modeled after space combat. That would be great.

  • steamcamel

    All of those ideas are infinitely better than the retarded crap that walters came up with.

  • Ricardo

    Here there’s a main problem. When you make a story, any story of any kind, you, as the publisher and/or main writter, you have to make the WHOLE story. You can came up with a good idea, but BEFORE make ANYTHING with this idea, you have to develope it as a whole. You have to know how and when it will gonna end, you have to know who the bad guys are and why are bad guys, or any plot twist, before publish anything. Specially if your story will have more than one episode. Now I see that’s Bioware’s problem here. They make ME1 without knowing who the reapers are, what they want, and without a proper ending for the story. They improvise on the fly and that’s something you have never, EVER do. It always end bad.