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Gaming Game endings: are we being too harsh?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 30 Apr 2012.

  1. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt New Member

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  2. NethLyn

    NethLyn Member

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    I don't know about ME3's ending as I haven't played it, nor do I know about any changes but no we're not being too harsh, now these games want to be mini-movies and have players invest in the story to the level of carrying saves forward into the newest episode, the paying public can critique the ending as much as the rest of the game.

    I'm getting bored of "everyone dies and only you are left to fight on in the sequel", or flagging up to the player that everyone dies in the marketing as with one big 360 shooter series, it's lazy and annoying. See also the Marines in whichever FPS you like, none of whom are ever really there for you to fight alongside all the time, they're there, they get wasted, you're on your tod again. Maybe Aliens Colonial Marines will change that, or it'll be more of the same.
     
  3. greypilgers

    greypilgers New Member

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    Just as an after-thought, I definitely take issue with any thinking that the story should take second place in most games. Having a constant shoot-fest, or hack-fest, or whatever, is all well and good, but why are we doing it? What's the motivation? Why should we care? Story for me encompasses not just plot, but environment/world, characters, incidentals, etc and is iportant to give perspective to the game.

    The Serious Sam games are ok for a short blast, but who really cares enough to go all the way to the end multiple times? Now how many people have replayed Mass Effect, Skyrim, Witcher, even Bad Company 2?? Doubtless much of that is due to replay value from the gameplay itself, but also because the story was coherently and amusingly put together.

    Millions of gamers invest sometimes incredible amounts of time into their favourite story-driven games, and I agree it is impossible to please everybody all of the time, but if you promote a story-driven series such as Mass Effect, the conclusion of the story is just as important, if not more so, than any other feature of the franchise. The ending is the point of the whole adventure. It must be something that gives a satisfying end to the average gamer.

    A good article, this is, and one that will no doubt get much commentary.

    Thanks, Bit!
     
  4. themassau

    themassau New Member

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    i think he biggest difference between games now and old games is that in old games we had stories whit multiple branches even in shooters. a perfect example are the old tomb raider game you had more ways to get to your objective. like a dark ally that is a short cut or a special aria to get bonus weapons. so even if the endings wouldn't be so great but you had a branched story than it would be really worth a replay.
     
  5. Morrius

    Morrius New Member

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    Generally, a game ending doesn't need to be stellar, it just needs to cap off the action in a satisfying way. However, ME3 requires different considerations, partly because it's a plot-driven trilogy which has always promised to take your decisions into account, and partly because the developers made very loud and specific promises on what the ending would contain. What we got instead was an extremely lazy, cliché and and dimwitted ending which threw much of the mythos of the series out of the window in brief snippets of footage, and offered very little differentiation from one ending to the next.

    My real gripe with it isn't that it wasn't a super-happy ending, or that the plotting wasn't great (which it wasn't!) but rather that it was handled and produced terribly. The ending leaps nonsensically from one quick sequence to the next with little regard for continuity, barrels through a couple of 'wtf' resolutions and then crashes into a brick wall. I firmly believe they either ran out of time to produce the ending they wanted, or they changed their mind late into development and cobbled something together from the assets they had. I'd like to believe the 'indoctrination theory', but I don't have much hope.

    I don't think fans have the right to ask for a new ending, but they have the right to vociferously voice their opinion on Bioware's dropped ball. The loudest noise might be streaming from the grungy corners of the internet (gaming forums and whatnot) but ask any man on the street, and he'll most likely tell you how bad he thought the ending was. It's a terrible ending to a great series, and a damn shame.
     
  6. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Doubtful - he'll probably say "Mass what?" with a baffled expression on his face. It's easy to forget that 90% of the population don't give a damn about games, and if they are aware of any it will likely only be the very few that have hundreds of millions of dollars of marketing behind them (CoD, BF, FIFA etc.)
     
  7. Hovis

    Hovis New Member

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    Mass Effect 3 has a bad ending because it has a bad plot. That is to say that the Crucible storyline, the magic weapon of doom found behind a sofa on Mars minutes before the aliens arrive. That whole plotline is end to end tosh. If it wasn't so heavily beefed up by the brilliance of the individual chapters, most notably the trip to the Krogan and Quarian homeworlds, then it would be absolutely terrible.

    ME3 gets a lot of stick because it has that crap ending and it has other crap elements, but it gets those chiefly because expectations were above anything else yet produced. Deus Ex had a similarly crap ending, as did Skyrim and Witcher 2, but nobody cared. Mass Effect was unique in that respect.
     
  8. Hovis

    Hovis New Member

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    Worth noting though that there are games that have brilliant endings. Case in point would be GTA4. It's not impossible to do. It's just that a lot of games writers just don't have the chops for it. Not their fault.
     
  9. K404

    K404 It IS cold and it IS fast

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    This. Example: I didn't bother completing Painkiller because I had no idea what I was working towards, or what the context was. I had a location and some enemies and every now and then, a boss fight. Why?

    If people get bored of the game, then they won't make it to the end. It's a catch-22 either way. Uninteresting game? Well, players don't get to the end so a good conclusion isn't needed. Interesting game? Well, people will play to the end and expect the ending to hold up to the quality of the rest.


    If people want to do the same thing 8 times in slightly different locations with slightly different weather effects with slightly different weapons because those demolition effects and falling bodies are oh so satisfying, fine. Let them. I'm ok with suggesting that they're banal, boring sheeple. Bad Company 2, i'm looking at you here.
     
  10. Fused

    Fused Member

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    Now I think about it, there are quite a few games I play just for the story, namely the Final Fantasy series. I started FFX and must admit I thought the gameplay was good but not amazing. The story however drew me in! I played just to find out what would happen to the characters. Fast forward to FFXIII and I thought the gameplay was pretty bad or at least uninteresting but the story just about kept me hooked. Its enough that I will probably buy and play FFXIII-3 even though nothing has convinced me yet that the gameplay will be interesting.

    I thought the industry was moving towards more interesting and clever stories to back up games? SINS is a great game with great gameplay and no real story, however it gets a bit dull when not playing with friends after you outsmarted the computer again again.

    I have less and less times for games in my life now actually starting to read as much as I play so its looking like only a game where I get both good gameplay and good story we'll draw me in. Haven't played ME3 yet still haven't found time to play the other 2.

    Just my two pennies,
    -Fused
     
  11. Freemanator

    Freemanator New Member

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    If Bioware spent the time saved on coming up with a good ending, with improving the gameplay, then why did they have the super button. Sprint, use, cover and vault, all together. A great way to die just before a check point because instead of ducking to recover health, you boldly leap out to meet your alien doom.

    But maybe I have it wrong? Great stories make you play through the game more than once, and so did the super button. Time after time after time
     
  12. Morrius

    Morrius New Member

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    ME2 and 3 were extremely mainstream titles, plenty of folks who don't venture much out of the COD/FIFA stuff picked it up :)
     
  13. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Having not actually gotten around to it I can't say that I can really comment on it. However from hearsay, it seems that hype got the better of us once again. The buildup had been immense, if not made even larger in the context of Mass Effect 3. And that's where it falls flat. The sheer hype of it, the supposed ending conflicts with the expectation of most gamers who believe or rather subscribe into the progress driven conclusion, where there is one end and the end is when the player is on top.

    There is indeed a fine balance, and the game that strikes a good balance between introducing gameplay elements and story would be The Witcher. Yes it does rely on cliches, but it's never too overbearing, you don't really feel like you are intentionally crippled just enough until a certain point. It's fantastic.

    On the other hand I do agree that a story should be there at least for the sake of context, the more vivid the better.
     
  14. Hovis

    Hovis New Member

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    I can see where you're coming from but it's not a hype thing. The game itself right up until the end is brilliant, almost flawless (despite some misgivings about the central plot). By the time you're at the end everything is poised for the cherry on top, the big finale, you're sitting at the end of anything up to a hundred hour play through which has, up to now, been the finest example of video game story telling yet made...

    And then it just craps itself inside out, right there in front of you. It's not just that it's a bad ending, it's that it is unrelated to anything. It makes no sense. It offers no answers. I mean The Witcher 2 has a very bland and unsatisfying ending, but at least it makes sense. There is no sense to ME3's main plot thread, and when it ends, BOOM. It's a panorama of stupidity, as far as the eye can see.
     
  15. feathers

    feathers Well-Known Member

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    Never mind about game endings... I though the beginning of Mass effect 3 was crap. Ridiculous story and abominable console graphics/gameplay.
     
  16. pendragon

    pendragon I pickle they

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    dear Ben

    I think you completely missed the point when it comes to why the ending in ME3 was so harshly criticized .. Mass Effect (unlike your average fps/or 3rd person shooter) is a story-game.. The storyline is HUGELY important ..The character interaction and the choices you make in the game are very much an essential component of the game's experience. Because of this when the ending was so badly executed, gamers were upset and rightly so. So in reply to the title of your article: No - when a game is all about story (and the story [ie ending] is bad, gamers aren't 'too hard' on it ... it's like saying people are unfair to criticize Street Fighter controls because the graphics are so good (IMHO)
     
  17. Beasteh

    Beasteh New Member

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    It's not awful by videogame standards, but I agree with you - the writing just wasn't up to scratch. However, the ending was particularly bad in that it didn't provide any closure. What happened to Garrus, and Shep's lesser friends? Is the world better off due to Shep's actions? Did we take the Earth back, like the marketing campaign encouraged us to?

    In response to the article, the argument that "not everyone reaches the end" doesn't wash with me. If that's true, why have a final boss, or bother with art assets & level designs in the late stages of the game? After all "no-one is going to play it!" Story is as integral to the game as these other elements.
     
  18. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Need I mention the ending to final fantasy 7. It was a serious disappointment. I think mass effect has the problem of having an epic story, told that story over 3 games (investment higher than FF7 and for some people time played too), top that off with endings such as heavy rains its not unreadonable to have high expectations.
     
  19. NetSphere

    NetSphere New Member

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    I'm not entirely I understand what they mean when they say that the ending only counts for 1% and the effort is much greater. Or the gameplay argument for that matter.

    Some games are a lot more about gameplay with a bit of plot and others are a lot more about story and less about gameplay. You have both.

    Case in point:
    For gameplay: Dark Messiah of might and magic and Bulletstorm. Screw the story, it was pretty fun killing stuff in all variety of ways!
    For story: Baldur's gate and Skyrim. Overall good fun, you're epic in your own way. I can't say i am a big fan combat in either but the story was really good.

    A few games out there are a gem that can encompass both. For me, that's Deus Ex the original.

    For me, the gameplay will determine whether you actually get to the ending and so rank the game between ugh! and good. Obviously, the gameplay has to be sufficient to reach the ending. And the ending can make the difference between good and great/insane/awesome/etc..

    As much as i would like to give DXHR my personal #1 GOTY 2011, that goes to Bastion. From beginning to end, I loved that game. The style, the gameplay, everything was just excellent.

    To be honest though, if you aren't willing to put in that so called extra 10% to get that last 1% from the ending, can you really call that game the pinnacle of what your company can achieve (at that time?).

    Lastly, for Mass Effect 3, I also didn't get the ending. For me, it should have been
    Shepard is lying next to Anderson. He hears Admiral hackett, crawls over to console. Activates console. Crucible makes all the Reapers kaplode somehow. He survives. The world carries on.
    The second he got lifted up by the platform, I knew something was going to go wrong. And from there, it was just another 5 minutes of WTF!?! There's something about giving extra effort to make the ending better. Then there's something about making not-quite as much extra effort and making the ending even worse than just leaving it.
     
  20. alf-

    alf- Member

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    i think we place too much importance on endings, look at the sopranos it has probably the best known ending in TV history, which is hated and lauded in equal measure , yet even if you did hate the ending, can you really say the sopranos isn't one of greatest TV shows of all time? (well you can, but obviously you would be wrong ;) )
    the way i see it, i have put several hundred of hours into the mass effect series and other than the poor ending and various other small niggles i have gotten plenty of enjoyment from the series, so overall I'm very happy with the series.

    As for the mass effect ending itself, i didn't particularly like it as it left so much unanswered and it created even more questions, but i suppose we are spoiled, we are so used to having all loose ends neatly tidied up.
    Though i am happy they didn't just finish the series off with a reaper boss fight after which we lived happily ever after, at very least the ending took in consideration how big the reaper threat was built up to be, to be able to the end the game with no collateral damage would have diminished the whole idea of the reaper invasion.
     
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