Saturday, 7 April 2012

On The End of Mass Effect 3 - An early retrospective...

    So here I am... still trying to wrap my head around what happened, what I witnessed at the end of my five-years-long journey and what led to it - what went wrong. For me, Mass Effect has always been one of the greatest endeavors in creating noteworthy, engaging and enthralling science fiction. It wrestled with all of the genre's cliches, inconsistencies and stagnation and came out - via force or wit - victorious. The starting point of this epic drama was not it's strongest part, far from it. But in each chapter the people behind the mythos added to it, nurtured and enriched it. After reading books, comics, bits and pieces it all becomes and amalgam of different cultures, historic facts and information. It seems complete. It's real. It's a living entity.

    The least you can expect from it is to offer some closure. To the player, to the leading character, but most importantly - to ITSELF. Mass Effect as an entity was entitled to grandeur, to present such a catharsis that future generation of gamers - and art-lovers in general - would remember and treasure. Expectations where high, a situation totally understandable after the magnificent second part - but we had FAITH in the people making it, birthing it. They would lead us, and through the eyes of Shepard take us on a trip through fire and pain, baptize us in fire and drag us - or what would be left of us - to the other side of the blackness. As Jacob Taylor stated while being on board the Normandy SR-2 "we're going to lose people, no way around it". We were ready to feel loss. Just not of this kind.

    That loss, that disappointment, came in the form of losing Mass Effect entirely. After the supposed, botched, marketie and underwhelming "end" all I am left with from my beloved universe is a taste of non-existence. Like, by being led to a curtain-fall like this they totally ruined the entity as a whole. I grab the controller to restart, to see the alternatives and discover a total lack of motivation. The magic is gone. It's lost...


    Whilst listening to the soundtrack, reminiscing on the events experienced I feel a sense of healing. The darkness comes back to haunt my thoughts, to shut out the music. But this... this is stronger than the darkness.
    It is the essence of it, the very core. The reason why I respect and love Mass Effect. It is the sheer genius and ability of all the people that came together to take me away from this tiresome place, during nights of serenity and wonder, on a journey through the stars, into the cosmos. Because it is the people, their stories and the feelings that bind them together that form the singularity into which we were drawn in 2007. A singularity that pulled us back some months ago, and up to the last five minutes, those agonizing FIVE MINUTES, had left us awed and speechless.

    I am still betrayed. But before betraying me, Mass Effect gave me so much more than most other, sincere even, offerings would or could have. It made me dream, long and wait. While driving the knife in my back, I caught in it a glimpse of regret. Like wanting to set things right.

    Maybe it will.

    The knife is still there. But as I am left waiting for the darkness of disappointment to clear, my love for it is not bleeding out. And as I reach out to place the disk in the drive once more, I feel the scar. I am wounded. But still hoping...

    Still smiling.


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