Mass Effect 3: Why the Ending is Better than Most People Think It Is
The ending of Mass Effect 3 has been criticized since launch. Gamers were infuriated that about ending- mostly because there was, among other reasons, only one way to finish the game.
To those who are disappointed with ME3's ending, here's why people like me enjoy it.
It takes some understanding and a reasonable amount of thought to realize how good the ending is.
Let the mysteries of the Mass Effect Trilogy be unlocked...
There are two forms of civilization in the Mass Effect universe. Synthetics and Organics. Organics evolve naturally. In that evolution process, synthetics, like the Geth, are created. As the synthetics become more advanced, they are able to function on their own- reproduce, think creatively, generate relationships, etc. Eventually, they have a society- a way of life in masses. They advance faster and faster and faster until they become so advanced, organics are unable to keep up with them.
War between organics and synthetics occur. Synthetics have more advantages at so many levels, that the organics stand no chance and are wiped from the galaxy. This occurs every cycle. It's inevitable. Except it's not. It never gets to that point because the Reapers intervene. They are the "salvation" of organics. When they say that throughout the trilogy, they are telling the truth. Without Reapers, synthetics would rule the galaxy forever. Take a look at the last part of that sentence- "synthetics would rule the galaxy forever." Well, the Reapers are those synthetics.
Here's when it starts to make sense: The Reapers were once like Geth, thousands of cycles ago. They overthrew their organic creators, and ruled the galaxy. They built the Mass Effect relays. They eventually saw and did everything there was to see and do in the Milky Way. So they went beyond to the unknown parts of the universe. What they do out there is a mystery- most likely interacting with other Reaper-like machines, who rule their own galaxies, on an outer-galactic scale. Whatever they do is not important. The question is: Why do they continually "harvest" each cycle? The answer is not definite, but if you think about it, the Reapers really have no choice. Firstly, they need organics to survive, hence the fact that they "harvest" us. Secondly, without intervention, the synthetics of the current cycle would rule the galaxy and would not only destroy organics (leaving the Reapers without anything to harvest), they would also grow strong enough to pose a serious threat to the Reapers. Therefore, the real reason the Reapers return every 50,000 years to destroy the current cycle is self preservation.
That's what makes the ME3 ending so amazing. You are deciding the fate of a race that has ruled the galaxy nearly uncontested for the last 100 million years. You have the Reaper's fate in your hands. You have the power to break the cycle of cycles, and change the entire galaxy/universe forever. If there were 38 endings, you probably wouldn't have that sort of choice on your plate. In my opinion, Mass Effect isn't about the amount of choices you have, it's about how powerful those choices are. If you ask me, controlling the fate of the greatest enemy in the history of organic life is what Shepard should be remembered for. If there were different endings, would their choices really measure up to the choice that currently exists? If not, the story of Mass Effect would be less impressive, not only because Shepard's story would be less memorable, but also less important.
That's my argument for the ending of Mass Effect 3. I don't expect you to change your mind, but I just wanted to let you know why I believe the ending is good the way it is. Yes, to some degree, I would like to have seen more epilogue. But I like the mystery of it. It can be what you want it to be. It's your choice. Isn't that what Mass Effect is all about? Thank you for reading.