People often equate the ending of Mass Effect 3 to being mugged on vacation. “There I was, minding my own business and having a good time, when suddenly, something smacked me over the head out of nowhere and stole everything I worked for.” It’s certainly one of the most controversial video game endings of all-time if not one of the outright most hated.
Now, you can add author Ty Franck to the list of gamers who thought that the Mass Effect 3 ending was a tremendous disappointment.
In an interview with Glixel, the co-author of The Expanse spoke about the conclusion of the Mass Effect trilogy and shared some rather strong sentiments regarding it.
“The first two and a half games promised so much and set up such a fantastic universe, and then the end of the third one, it just… It made everything that had come before irrelevant,” said Franck. “It was just a fucking terrible ending. It really felt like there was a fantastic ending that I had been promised, and then when I got to it… You know what? The ending of Mass Effect for me was like the ending of Lost, where [you] became aware that they really didn’t know where they were going the whole time and they’d kind of just been making things up.”
Yikes. The sting of Franck’s words are made that much more painful by their familiarity. The popular sentiment regarding the conclusion of the Mass Effect series was that BioWare realized they would never be able to come up with an ending – or endings – that tied everything that happened together, so they decided to kind of phone the conclusion in a bit. Franck did admit that he learned some valuable lessons about conclusions from the game, though.
“When we hit book nine of The Expanse, that will be the last book—and we’ve known the ending from the beginning. That’s because I like endings,” said Franck. “I think great media, great art, whatever, is all about the edges of the canvas, and anything that you try to string on too long gets a little threadbare. I also think that because of that—because endings are so important—you better know what your ending is and you better be setting that ending up right from the beginning. Otherwise, it just feels muddy and unsatisfying.”