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March 6th, 2012, 04:25
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
No, it actually wasn't hyberbole. At least I can't think of any RPG that did something like this…

It's actually possible to get everyone, including Shepard, killed at the end of the game.

As far as I know, this type of end game is unique. I don't know if it was all that fun to pick perfectly good characters to do various jobs then having them get killed anyway but it DID make the end of the game far more emotionally powerful. I had three coffins at the end of my game that were there because of my choices - and a bunch more that were still alive because of my choices, too. The way that was played up in the CGI and in the music was extremely well done.
I think the general idea is strong, but the actual execution (in my opinion) is very poor - it's simply far too easy to get the "best" ending. The results of the final mission are not at all representative of any choices, but the result of how much content the player is willing to complete (any completionist-type players will automatically get the "best" ending).

Rather than giving the player difficult choices that have various repercussions, the player is given a black and white "checklist" - did I upgrade the ship, or for some inexplicable reason, ignore it? Did I complete the loyalty missions for all the companions? Do I have a basic grasp of common sense for selecting which crew members should do each task based on their class? The idea was solid, but the execution was far from ambitious or satisfying, as it failed to make you ponder your actions throughout the game or wonder if you could have chosen differently for a better outcome. There are no difficult choices to make that would cause the ending to play out differently, so the only way to get a less than stellar outcome is to deliberately do so by outright skipping side-quests and not upgrading the ship.

Ironically enough, Bioware themselves previously accomplished this sort of ending much better with Dragon Age: Origins. Various endings could take place based on actual choices, and there was no easy way to get a "best ending." Some of the political choices towards the end were pretty varied, and at times, it was a bit difficult to decide what to do. DA:O's ending wasn't as ambitious as it could have been, and some of the answers to the most interesting and difficult choices will never be known (*ahem* Morrigan situation…thanks again for DA2!), but it was far more satisfying than ME2 and a really strong ending overall.
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