To start, here’s a friendly reminder that the endings of Mass Effect 3 are garbage.
One thing I really love in games is when your actions directly affect the ending. My problem with it is that, more often than not, it’s too simple. You either get the Good ending or the Bad ending. Save everyone or kill everyone. There is no in-between.
I don’t like that. It makes your choices feel mostly pointless; for example, in the first Knights of the Old Republic game, even if you max out on the Light side or Dark side, your ending is decided by a single choice at the end of the game.
A good example of choice in game mattering is Undertale. Depending on how many people you kill, when you decide to start or stop, and a few other factors, you can get either the Neutral ending (which has 16 or so different variants), the Pacifist ending or the Genocide ending. Is it a fantastic amount? Not really. But it’s better than just the two.
A really good example is Nier: Automata. Now, I won’t spoil anything, but some of these endings are simply ridiculous. There’s the ending for just beating the game with that respective character, but then there are some really dumb ones. Counted together, this game has 26 different endings.
And I need to get them all.
Unfortunately, there are more bad examples than good ones. Most, if not all, Telltale adventure games have the exact same ending, no matter what choices you make. For example, in season 2 of Batman, it doesn’t matter what you do: in the end, you need to fight the Joker. You’re choices just change what variety of Joker you need to fight.
You know what would’ve been cooler? If you could’ve actually saved the Joker. What if, instead of just going down the same route of every Batman story ever, you actually could save the Joker and make him a genuine good guy? I’m not saying you could cure his mental disease, but you could teach him to control himself and become a good person.
Nope. You have to beat the hell out of him either way. In this game about choice, none of your choices actually matter. Which is why I find it hard to care about Telltale games.
The games I like the best are the ones with either a ludicrous amount of endings or no real ‘good-bad’ endings. Games like Bloodborne and Dark Souls 1 do this really well, where it is completely impossible to tell which is objectively good or bad. In the end, it’s up to the player to decide which path is ‘good’ and which one is ‘bad’.
Y’know. Just like how actual good and evil are in real life. It’s all a matter of perspective.
I understand that it’s extremely difficult to make games with either numerous endings or completely gray endings. And yes, I understand that not every game has a place for numerous endings like this. I don’t expect a Mario game to suddenly make me choose between showing Bowser mercy or just killing him. It’s a god damn Mario game, of course it wouldn’t do that.
Although that would be pretty fucking awesome, I’m not gonna lie.
Still, any game that takes the time and effort to create an experience where your choices do matter earns praise from me. If you guys have any recommendations, feel free to let me know. I’m always down to try something new.
Or I’ll just go play Bloodborne for the seventh time. Whichever happens first, really.