Mass Effect die hards have played through Mass Effect 3 at least once, with the most hardcore of the bunch having played it through multiple times–stopping short at the last mission so not to relive the horrendous ending BioWare created. Mass Effect 3′s ending left us with no sense of completion, no sense of success, and what Bioware wanted to be a humble ending, instead came out non-nonsensical and plain wrong. In fact, the fan outcry has forced BioWare to re-do the conclusion. Still, there have been worse video game endings. Commander Shepard is not alone in the world of crappy conclusions. Here are some that are actually worse.
The 3rd Birthday
If you ever want to see how not to do an ending, take a look at The 3rd Birthday. The whole game’s a confusing, embarrassing mess from the start but woof, man. This ending’s in a league of its own.
SPOILERS: The final moments of Aya Brea’s third adventure are also the final moments of her life. Not only do you, the player, pull the trigger on this once-revered heroine, you find out the enemies you’ve been fighting the entire time, the Twisted, are actually remnants of Aya’s soul that was split apart when her sister-clone Eve “dived” into her to protect her from soldiers who crashed her wedding to kill her for no reason. Really, the entire impetus for the plot rests on “soldiers who crash a wedding for no reason.” Oh, and this all happens in the past by the way, during an event called “Time Zero.” Or something. So you find out that, for the entire game, you weren’t REALLY playing as Aya, but her simpering doormat of a sister, Eve who made the dive into the body of her sis, which just brings up all sorts of creepy connotations, especially when Kyle, Aya’s fiancee, seems eager to go forward with the wedding in Time Zero. Then, to set everything right, Eve is told to kill the real Aya, which doesn’t make a lick of sense since her violent death is what triggered the existence of the Twisted to begin with. Oh, well. Bang, dead. Then Kyle goes off to search for “eternity.” Which might mean he’s going to search for Aya, but look, Kyle, man, I hate to tell you this, but I just killed her.
Nonsensical revelations heaped on the player one after the other, terribly translated dialogue, twists for the sake twists — this is the worst kind of ending to give a game… a game I waited 10 years to play. It’s one thing to kill the main character in the end, but to reveal you weren’t even playing as her to begin with? That’s one hell of a knife twist. This is what happens when you hand the creative reins over to a writer who lacks any understanding of plot. Keep this guy away from pens, chalk or anything that could possibly write a word, Square Enix. This is the absolute nadir of video game storytelling. It makes Metroid: Other M look like Silent Hill 2.
When I think about the worst video game endings, I think of unresolved cliffhangers. And the first game that comes to mind is Shenmue. As much as I love Shenmue, its ending left me baffled. I still remember that winter break back in 2000 sitting in my room having my childhood crushed by this ending or lack there of.
I had just ripped through all 70 members of the members of the Mad Angels, all in hopes of getting my hands on Lan Di, the man who murdered the father of protagonist Ryo Hazuki. Only to be told that the killer had left for Hong Kong.
What made this all the more excruciating and painful was the fact that I had to work at the docks loading boxes for two hours…only to be subject to get the most lackluster conclusion to a video game. It was disappointing, considering that Shenmue was such a beautifully crafted experience. To top it off, I then had to wait two years for the sequel…and Lan Di escaped again.
I’ll admit that Shenmue II answered more questions and was slightly more satisfying than the first, but it still ended on a cliffhanger. And here we are awaiting a sequel that might never see the light of day.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Mass Effect 3 aside, a follow-up to horrendous endings is most definitely Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The ending was so short, so unexplained, that it really made no sense until Revelations came out.. Or so we thought. Even when Revelations did release, the ending still didn’t make any sense what-so-ever.
Without spoilers: Say I called you. And I was in the middle of an extremely important sentence and I hung up in the middle of the sentence, and didn’t talk to you for a year.
That was the ending of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. And Ubisoft had the audacity to not even explain it in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. What the hell?
With spoilers: You don’t just stab some bitch without an explanation.