There's plenty of ranting and raving in the video game industry - where franchise enthusiasts take to comment boards and forums in order to express their outrage over a creative (or not so creative) decision made by a developer or publisher. However, it shouldn't come as a surprise to hear that the debate over the, arguably, underwhelming ending to Mass Effect 3 continues to draw-in more and more frustrated gamers.
Recently, BioWare attempted to calm the ground swell of frustrated fans by asserting that the team is listening to feedback and intends to address the issue in the not-too-distant future. The developer even asserted that, while they are proud of the ending they crafted, updating the finale or outright dramatically changing it around is not entirely out of the question. However, if BioWare does intend to rework the Mass Effect 3 ending, it would be news to voice actress Jennifer Hale who plays the female version of Commander Shepard.
According to a recent interview with Edge, Hale asserted that she has not yet been contacted by the developer to voice an update, DLC epilogue, or revision of the current Mass Effect 3 ending:
"I prefer to live in denial about it because it makes me too sad. I was surprised about the level of passion about the ending. But there's something really great about that, too: It says people are invested and they really care and they don't want to let go, which is awesome because I don't, either."
"I have mixed feelings about [the prospect of a new ending]. I really respect the team and what they did and how hard they worked. And endings are hard! They're cutting new ground; the players are so involved in this game that to come up with an ending to something everyone's got their hand in is a huge challenge. So maybe it's going to take a little work to get everything sorted in a way that's going to make everybody happy."
Of course, it shouldn't entirely come as a surprise that Hale has yet to hear from BioWare as, much like the actress indicates, the developer appears to have been equally caught off-gaurd by the tone and scope of the group demanding a new ending. As a result, as BioWare executives had already indicated, the team is now in the process of figuring out their next move - especially since they're already hard at work on Mass Effect 3 DLC - so it's likely to be awhile before they're going to have a plan in motion (assuming they don't just let the controversy fizzle out altogether).
That said, it's interesting to hear Hale's thoughts on the matter - as they, no doubt, represent the views of a lot of fans. BioWare set the bar very high and, even if you are frustrated, it's hard not admit that closing out something as ambitious as the Commander Shepard trilogy was always going to present some stumbling blocks, if not outright disappointment.
It's easy to understand why gamers are anxious for an improved ending or, at the very least, a sense of the options that BioWare is currently mulling over - but, as we've previously mentioned and as Hale asserts here, the best thing to do now is wait and offer constructive feedback for the team. The last thing any Mass Effect fan wants to see is a rushed mea culpa - just to put out the PR fires.
At this point, despite mixed claims from BioWare, we'd still encourage gamers who are mulling over the Mass Effect 3 endings to check out our Mass Effect 3 Endings Explained? The ‘Indoctrination Theory’ Answer post - at least until something official comes out of the developer or EA camp.
Mass Effect 3 is available now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.