Would you like to play a game?

Well, I finally finished Mass Effect 3. After all this time, I’m done.

I liked the Citadel DLC. It’s really big and it’s nice that the stakes are much lower. I also liked the combat simulator, it’s a lot more fun than the Pinnacle station from the first game. Plus I got to play with Zaeed again, who I sorely missed in the regular game. It was nice to see him, Javik, Wrex, and Grunt all hanging out shooting up empty beer bottles. I thought at first they were playing “cuckoo”, which was said to be a game played by bored Russian officers from the tsarist era – basically you turn off off the lights, hide behind furniture, then shoot at anyone who shouts “cuckoo”.

And let me just say that Kai Leng’s stupid ponytail and black trench coat annoyed the hell out of me. All he needs are sunglasses to complete the Matrix douchebag look. He’s like a prepubescent child’s vision of “awesome badass”. I enjoyed shooting him in the face with my sniper rifle.

As for the infamous ending, it wasn’t as bad as the online hyperbole made it out to be, but I still found it disappointing. First, this is a video game – where is my final boss? Yeah, I killed like a dozen Banshees and Brutes while defending the missile battery but that didn’t feel like a climactic battle. There was Saren in the first game and the Human Reaper in the second, but all we got was Space Boy in this one.

Speaking of which, none of the choices he gave seemed representative of what my Shepard tried to accomplish. The Destroy ending would have been the best choice for my character, except that it kills all synthetics and there’s no way my Shep would kill EDI and her geth allies.

Anyway, I discovered there’s a fourth ending. Just like Global Thermonuclear War, you can also choose not to play, or rather, you can circle “none of the above” and shoot Space Boy in the head. He’s unaffected but he says that the cycle will play out like normal and galactic civilization ends up destroyed. In the epilogue we see the warning Liara recorded for the next cycle, then we see some future alien telling her kid tales of “The Shepard” and how they owe their lives to this person. The end. I wanted a good-ish ending, so I reloaded and went with Synthesis because what the hell, let’s just end this.

Whatever ending you choose, the setting will be irrevocably changed, which is really too bad because I like this space opera galaxy of theirs. Why did we need to be fighting genocidal robot space squids, anyway? We could have had a spy game in the style of Alpha Protocol about the secret war between the STG and the Shadow Broker or a Seven Samurai one about recruiting mercenaries to defend an outpost against Batarian slavers or one of any number of scenarios. I know there’s a Mass Effect 4 coming but I don’t know how that’s even supposed to work.

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