I will start with this – I haven’t played Mass Effect 3 yet. However, I have played through and enjoyed the first and second iterations of Mass Effect.
That said, I think it is silly for people to be so disappointed with how the game ends. I don’t care if the series ends with Shepherd simply waking up from a bad dream in the Final Fantasy Universe or if you find out that Tali is really a man. Fact of the matter is that you should expect to be disappointed in this series.
Two Reasons –
Reason One – Simply because you are expecting to save the universe and everything will end up okay in the end. Mass Effect has given you a lot of lose-lose scenarios to deal with in the past. This is not going to be any different. The only real choice is whether or not to buy this game new… to which I answer ‘No’.
Reason Two – If you want a better ending you will pay for it. EA and other publishers are moving towards a business plan of micro-transactions. Think about all the expansion packs and such that come out for almost every game. The goal is to keep you playing and paying for new content.
A lot of people claim to want more realism in games; this also hinders their arguments about bad game endings, certain weapons being over-powered or the constant ratings debate in sports games.
Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but saving the universe is bound to end in disappointment from some angle. If you want to be pleased with the ending of a game you also might want to try out going back to the games you have already played and enjoyed. The best ending is one that leaves you talking about what might happen next. Check out the movie Inception and try to tell me otherwise.
The worst thing video games have done is make you feel like the protagonist always wins or achieves the perfect ending. The world is a cruel place and it is high time gamers learned that too.
This will be no more true than when EA/Bioware release an add-on that will give you a chance to finish the game with a fairy tale wedding and hugs all around.