Endings Matter.

Dear Bioware,

I have been a loyal fan of your work since the first Baldur’s Gate came out. I bought all the expansions. I bought Baldur’s Gate 2, plus expansions. I’ve pretty much bought every game you ever put out, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. There were a few missteps along the way, but my love was rekindled with Mass Effect. Dragon Age won my heart completely, and I entered rabid fangirl territory. See, I don’t play many video games. As a writer, I’m in it for the story and the characters, not the combat, not the loot, not the shiny graphics. And few game companies write a game in a way that’s compelling to me. I don’t care to be forced to play a male toon. I don’t even want someone else picking my name for me. So your games had been a rare treat. You had all my love, support, and money.

Then you came out with Mass Effect 2. Which, frankly, was a janky piece of shit. You tailored the game as a weaksauce shooter, selling out your loyal RPG fans. There was, essentially, no story. Build your team, then go fight Megatron. The end. The only reason I didn’t utterly loathe that game was the fact that you offered fan service in the form of an awkward romance with Garrus Vakarian. This shook my faith in you.

But I had loved Dragon Age SO MUCH. I ran out and got Dragon Age 2 as soon as I could. And that game was a kick in the face. You took away all choice, all agency, from your players. You railroaded us. You gave us mental patients and zealots for our love interests. And you made it so none of our choices mattered. I was livid over that. My Bioware love took a huge hit.

At this point, I was ready to wash my hands of you. I intended to walk away from the Mass Effect franchise. I’d rather finish my damned fan-fic project and end Shepard’s saga my way than let you butcher it even more. But then I started hearing that you were throwing a bone to your RPG fans via narrative mode. That if we were in it for the story, we could play our way. I heard a few more exciting promises. I believed them.

So once again, on release day, I bought your game. I bought multiple copies, as ours is a gaming household. I carved out room in a schedule, which I really shouldn’t have done, but this is how much I love these characters, this saga. I’ll get my work done; I always do. But I had to play this game. I had to know how it ended.

And now I do. I feel… as if a beloved character from one of my favorite books has just been carelessly offed by the author. It’s egregious. The endings you offered are worse than KOTOR2. They’re ALL horrendous. What you’ve done with this lovely trilogy is quite unspeakable. Furthermore, the introduction of a certain character at the end was completely deus ex machina. It was lazy. It was clumsy. I am utterly disappointed.

I’ve been seeing whispers of a “secret” ending. You have to play through again to unlock this. But without knowing more, I am too disheartened to invest anymore time into this mess. You let your fans down, Bioware. We shouldn’t have to work that hard for the chance to see the characters with whom we’ve spent so much time off to a worthy finale. Enough is enough.

And I, for one, am out.

Former fangirl, signing off.

(Hey, Bethesda, how you doing? Yeah, I’ve got some money to spend.)

Your torch has burnt out.

It is pitch black.

You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

If you recognize these lines, then you’re as much of a dork as I am. In case you’re not, they come from Zork, the first computer game I ever played. I was just a little kid, playing a text based game on a neighbor kid’s computer. I didn’t get my own computer until after I graduated from college.

I’ve always loved computer games. I realize that makes me a nerd, but I’m totally okay with that. In fact, I even watch a show that celebrates my nerdliness: Big Bang Theory. If you haven’t watched it, you should really check it out. But you’ll find it funnier if you’re actually a geek yourself. It’s about four eggheads and the hot girl who moves in across the hall from two of them. She’s like the control among all the abnormally smart people. Imagine one of them attending her Halloween party dressed as the Doppler Effect. (Do you even know what that is?) Hilarity ensues.

Anyhow, I digress. This was about video games, specifically this one:

Best. Game. Ever. If you’ve never played a video game in your life, but you like sci-fi, you should check this out. The world-building is fantastic. It has amazing story lines. It has great dialog. Great graphics. It has romance! You even get lucky in this game and fall in love with one of your NPCs (Non Player Characters).

Buy it! Play it! I’m so bummed that I finished the thing, but it was SO good, that I wanted to play it again, right away, with a different character class to see how that was. Del Rey is releasing a line of novels, based on this game world. And the sad part? I kind of want to read them! This shit is just that good.

GOGO MASS EFFECT 2! I’m waiting!