Fantastic game, very shiny, nice characters, awesome plot arc tie-ups, all that. It really was good, and I loved it. I know that's not what you're here to read. Look, I hated the ending. I know a lot of people think that means I didn't understand it. Don't worry, I got it perfectly well. Mass Effect is good at bashing important plot details over the head in obvious ways, and the ending wasn't suddenly this massive subtle message that only the intellectual elite can get (well, unless Indoctrination Theory is true...fingers crossed?) Commander Shepard is a speck among the cosmos. Individual efforts are futile. We're all doomed. This fight was hopeless from the beginning, and you knew that, so here's God Child to smack you over the head with it one more time. At the end of the day, Existentialism and Cosmicism reign supreme. Yes. I got the ending. I understand. I'm not stupid. I also have a fairly decent memory. See, I seem to remember the end of the first Mass Effect. Sovereign says "organic life is just a fluke" and "I'm the vanguard of your destruction" and all that pleasant stuff. It's a hopeless fight, and we're going to lose. Then, of course, against all odds, Shepards goes and wins. Yes, that's right, you WIN. Then I remember the second game. The Collectors are snatching up colonists. Shepard actually dies. Everything is hopeless, this mission through the Omega 4 relay is a suicide mission. Harbinger says similar things to Sovereign about organic life being puny and useless. We're doomed to failure. Then, funny story, Shepard wins. Again. WINS. After a countless series of obvious victories, consistent reinforcement that the Reapers and their genocidal cosmicist reign of terror can be defeated, that everyone in the galaxy can hold hands and be friends, we get a punch in the balls saying that actually it wasn't possible to win, ever. It's not subtle. It's also not "bittersweet." See, "bittersweet" involves some "sweet" and not just "bitter." I was unaware that stories can only end in two ways: "rainbows and unicorns" or "horrifying existentialist implied genocide." I'm tired of hearing that the only reason people hated the ending was because there were no "rainbows and unicorns." It's a false dichotomy. Most people understand the ending, and most people just think it sucks.
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