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Mass Effect 3 Thrilling Ideas and Hints

This is a sprawling sci-fi epic about a fractious alliance of alien races fighting off an invasion of ancient, unknowable technogods. If you’ve played the first two (which I strongly recommend you do before starting the third), you’re familiar with the Reapers, the massive alien robots that threaten civilization. They’ve now swarmed every galaxy, basically destroying Earth in the process. Expect “Mass Effect” spinoffs and tie-ins and new trilogies until there’s no money left in the name. Meanwhile, just enjoy “Mass Effect 3,” a thrilling cap to one of gaming’s best series.
Mass Effect 3 executive producer Casey Hudson has responded to players upset about the game's ending, admitting fans needed more closure and answers.

The statement comes days after the release of Mass Effect 3: Final Hours, a behind-the-scenes app/documentary. This revealed how Mass Effect 3's ending was once supposed to offer detailed information about the universe's origin, through a dialogue sequence at the very end of the game.

Casey Hudson, following ending backlash, said he and the development team now "recognise that some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers and more time to say goodbye to their stories".

"Your feedback has always mattered," he stressed. "Mass Effect is a collaboration between developers and players, and we continue to listen.

"So where do we go from here? Throughout the next year, we will support Mass Effect 3 by working on new content. And we'll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be."

"This is not the last you'll hear of Commander Shepard," Hudson said.

In a Mass Effect 3: Final Hours interview (posted on BioWare's forums), Hudson revealed that forthcoming DLC "would likely happen before or during the events of Mass Effect 3 - not after".

Mass Effect writer Mac Walters explained what the information-imparting ending once was, and why it was decided against. Mass Effect 3 developer BioWare has given its most explicit hint yet that it may be considering changing the ending to the game, after fan complaints and an Internet campaign that has so far raised over $66,000 for charity.

After a weekend of unrelenting fan activism the following new statement has appeared on BioWare's Facebook page, a statement that goes out of its way to imply that changes to the ending are being considered:

'We are aware that there are concerns about a recent post from this account regarding the ending of the game. In this post it was stated that at this time we do not have plans to change the ending.

We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending.

Your feedback and opinions are of the utmost importance to us. We apologize for any confusion this has caused. Our top priority regarding this discussion is to keep communication with you, our loyal fans, open and productive.'

Obviously discussing the game's ending is a tricky thing to do without getting mired in spoilers, but we will be making an attempt to do so on Wednesday. Although fan and critical response to the game has been almost universally positive the very end of the game - literally the last 10 or 15 minutes - has proven hugely divisive.

Without going into any details the ending (there are actually three, but the differences are very minor) certainly seems surprisingly rushed, given it’s the culmination of a three game epic. Whether BioWare's plan was always to offer downloadable content to expand upon it isn't clear, but that certainly seems to be what they're implying now.

Game director Casey Hudson has already promised to discuss the ending in more detail when more fans have completed the game, although when he'll judge that to be he isn't saying.

However, he did make a new post on the BioWare forums over the weekend, in which he recognised that, 'some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers, and more time to say goodbye to their stories - and these comments are equally valid. Player feedback such as this has always been an essential ingredient in the development of the series.'

'So where do we go from here?' he asked. 'Throughout the next year, we will support Mass Effect 3 by working on new content.  And we’ll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be. This is not the last you’ll hear of Commander Shepard.'

In the meantime the 'Retake Mass Effect 3' campaign to have the ending changed has now raised over $66,000, all of which is being given to the Child's Play charity (so BioWare will have to pay to make the changes themselves). A fan petition for the ending to be supplemented with additional information has now raised over $66,000 for the gaming charity Child's Play.

"We would like to dispel the perception that we are angry or entitled," the campaign's mission statement read. "We simply wish to express our hope that there could be a different direction for a series we have all grown to love."
The true power of the “Mass Effect” series lies with the importance it places on player choice. Choices made in the first game transform your experience in the third. Characters who played major roles in my play-through of “Mass Effect 3” might have permanently died years ago in your “Mass Effect” universe. As this is the third game in the series, the power of those choices and the relationships you may or may not have made are even more potent.

I’m not normally a science--fiction fan. I also tend to get annoyed by games that try too hard to emulate movies with lengthy cut scenes and excess dialogue. The power of choice and interactivity make “Mass Effect 3” transcend those limitations. By the end of “Mass Effect 3,” I felt like I had experienced my own personal sci-fi epic, one I had affected in ways major and minor.

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