The controversy of Mass Effect

Mass Effect 3 was one of the most anticipated games ever, but it has also been one the most controversial games. The people finding issue with the game are not the normal hodgepodge of upset parents; this time it’s the fans.

A game that is having a "mass affect" on its players. Image from Gbatemp.net.

The first major issue with the game upon its release was a problem with transferring data from earlier games in the series. It was an issue that many gamers would claim are just one of many that make an otherwise great game less than great. The data transfer only really affected one thing specifically, and that was custom faces. In the previous installments of the game, players were allowed to create custom faces for their characters and transfer them between games. Many gamers became attached to the looks of their characters, and outraged to find out an error with the porting system prevented them from using their custom characters.

Another issue that has recently been reported on some of the game’s forums is one that players are referring to as a “black screen of death.” This screen appears upon loading the disc, with many players unable to play the game at all. Both issues require a well-needed patch. BioWare, the developer for ME3, has only announced plans on releasing one patch at this time, aimed at fixing the porting problems for custom character faces. For some users who have already beat the game, it is too little, too late.

The biggest controversy facing ME3 is one dealing with the game’s multiple endings. Many long-term ME fans found the endings unsatisfying. Fans of the series say that the endings fail to bring closure to the series. Fans took to the game’s message boards demanding a better ending to the series. BioWare representatives have no plans on tying up the series by changing the ending found in the main storyline.

Instead, BioWare has announced plans of releasing add-on content to tie up some of the loose ends left by the ending. The poorly-designed ending may have been a play on BioWare’s part to sell more game content to its eagerly awaiting fans, who found the game’s main storyline ending unsatisfactory.

While what the fans are calling a terrible ending may have been a ploy on the part of BioWare’s marketing staff, this controversy brings to question how much influence fans should have on a game. A game, like a book, is just another story where the author or creator map out and create a world and has the right and ability to end it any way they choose. Though unlike with a book, developers can change the ending with a simple addition to the existing game, but just because developers can does not mean that they should change the ending of the creative work to suit the tastes of their fans.