Most of you may be unfamiliar with the name Spike Murphy, but not long ago he made waves across the BioWare forums when he filed a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint against EA for the broken ending of Mass Effect 3.
"Against EA. After reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims," wrote Murphy in his post on BioWare forums, adding "This is not something I was happy to do, but after the terrible ending that was in no way the product that had been advertised to me and the lack of any kind of response from Bioware/EA to address this, I felt it was one of my only recourses. I'll be returning my copy of the game before the end of my 30 day return policy if the ending still hasn't been addressed by then."
Several complaints lodged against the game maker gained momentum in the wake of his brave effort against BioWare's controversial ending to the trilogy. Nevertheless, the debate over unsatisfactory endings to Mass Effect 3 continues to hog the limelight across BioWare forums and social media sites.
With the release of Extended Cut DLC a few days back, the gamers worldwide would be eager to hear what one of the biggest critics of the franchise has to say about the changes with extended endings.
"I liked the new endings," Murphy told Shacknews, adding: "Many plot holes were filled in, and a lot of the sequences seem so organic and natural to the story that it seems shocking they didn't include them in the first place. Most importantly, there's a real epilogue now, one which gives context and consequence not just to our final choice, but to all the choices we had made to get there. The ending feels complete, whereas before it seemed rushed, unfinished, and frankly like they didn't know what to do."
Much to the fans chagrin, the new extended endings failed to answer a few glaring questions relating to the fate of the alien races, who joined Commander Shepard in his battle to reclaim Earth. Besides, the future of Shepard's love interest lies in the dark, while the fate of the entire universe still hangs at the razor's edge with Destroy ending seemingly the best option (Shepard wakes up from the rubble and seems alive when the player chooses this option).
Murphy shares his viewpoints with Shacknews while comparing the new endings to the original and labels the old ending as "incomplete and full of holes."
"We all needed that cathartic release of seeing the results of our actions, of giving everything we had done context and meaning, and in their attempt to be vague and mysterious they instead robbed their entire narrative of meaning," laments Murphy, expressing his dissatisfaction over the poorly written script for the original ending.
It seems the diehard critic's passion for the game drove him to the extremes towards filing a complaint with the FTC and later the Better Business Bureau. Despite his fondness for the extended endings, Murphy reveals his distaste for minor issues that marred the gamers' experience with new endings.
"I wanted the Catalyst to address the fact that the Quarians and Geth made peace, invalidating its argument," Murphy explains, adding "it would have been nice if you could beat the Reapers when you choose to reject the Crucible."
Further talking about the future of BioWare and the franchise, Murphy sheds light on his take with BioWare's decision to change the way the game ended. According to Shacknews, he says if BioWare hadn't changed the ending, he probably wouldn't have bought another Mass Effect game.
"I feel that there is a much greater amount of trust and faith asked of gamers as opposed to other art mediums because of the large investment of time and energy necessary in playing through a game and thereby appreciating the art," emphasises the game's noted critic.
"Because of that, a betrayal of that trust between artist (the designers) and their audience like we found with the original ending of ME3 is far greater than, say, having a bad ending on an otherwise good movie. As it stands, I'd be open to another Mass Effect game," explains Murphy.
As of now, it's still debatable if the new endings truly justified fan expectations or just patched up a broken game to hide the obvious plot-holes. Maybe the forthcoming single-player DLCs have an answer, we should wait and see.