Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are trying to explain some awkward situation and the more you say, the digger the grave you're digging for yourself?
Like that age-old classic of stand-up comedy from Gennady Khazanov:
"Well, you're a doctor, right? Did you know your son smokes?"
"Wait, what? He smokes? How often?"
"Not a lot, only when he's drunk."
"Nah, only when he's lost a lot of money gambling."
First, they promise us that all of our efforts will matter in the final battle, including who we killed, who we saved, the Rachni playing a large role, etc, etc, no ABC endings, yadda yadda. That cheating on your LI will catch up to you, that we'll get new LIs, that there'll be more choices to make.
Final game comes out. ABC ending, ending contradicts established canon, Cronos Station and Earth play out perfectly IDENTICALLY for everyone, the only variance being some lines of dialogue and line-up of characters in the London FOB; no Rachni in sight. LI conflicts are limited to dull-spirited single-scene dialogues with the exception of those involving Tali (her snark is fun), new LIs underscore the game's now-traditional giving-the-shaft-to-straight-females (what was added? a gay dude, a gay girl, a bisexual girl, and Kaidan turned bisexual; that's three new options for guys (two gay, one hetero) and two new options for girls (both gay)) which in addition to (underhanded) death of one and nasty cheating of another totally deprives the FemShep of dudes to hook up with. And the ME2 LIs are largely ignored and/or sidelined, not even getting proper closure or sex scenes.
They try to explain stuff via Twitter - how not everyone on the Citadel is dead, the relays aren't gone, there was no XK-class galactic extinction event, etc, etc. Which outlines two issues at once:
A) There's more plot holes than we immediately noticed
B) Their explanations actually run contrary to what THEY showed us in the previous games
They say they are proud of the endings, and will not be changing them, due to "artistic integrity".
They announce the EC DLC to bring "clarity and closure", "no new endings" and "no changing endings", but will see more of our ME2 companions.
We wait, listening to what little trickles out, fuming at how they first pretended we were wrong about EVERYTHING in our interpretations, then cooling off as they ask for our opinions, then freeze up when they SUDDENLY announce it's coming out in a few days' time when we honestly expected it to take until the end of summer.
So it comes out. Endings changed, some more intently, some less; clarity is "achieved" by straight-up rewriting most of the ending dialogue and replaces one brand of illogically stupid with another; closure is gained via epilogue slides, stuff many claim should've been there in the first place. War Assets still don't matter at all outside of deciding which flavour of the final cutscene you get. LI closure added clunkily and only for ME3-squadmate LIs, ME2 get the shaft again. Plot holes filled with the writing equivalent of chalk - sorta holds, but only until you poke.
Normandy crash depressing? Normandy doesn't crash, Normandy only LANDS on that planet, and then flies away. What. Joker turning tail illogical? Joker doesn't want to, but is ordered by Hackett and convinced by your LI. WHAT. Relays blowing up cause extinction events? Relays don't blow up, they sorta fall apart and are easily fixed by duct tape and kind words. Same for the Citadel. WHAT. THE. FRAK. "Artistic integrity" my ass.
Even overlooking the fact that a nine-year-old could've thought of better ways than to say the equivalent of "they're not really dead, they're only asleep" (which may have worked as a joke, but this isn't supposed to be a comedy!) as a plot hole filler, changing legitimate, if flawed, heart-wrenching drama into a nonsensical and rather non-sequitur travelogue is about as smart as taking an epic space romance/space opera hybrid and turning it into heart-wrenching drama this whole sordid mess began with.
Oh, and there's a fourth ending now, too. Sure, it's a non-standard gameover that was obviously done to troll everyone who hated the original endings, but there IS a new ending. Sorta. Kinda.
And they're BACK to explaining the plot holes on Twitter. Genius!
It's one of those cases where not doing anything was actually better than doing something totally random. Totally random you can get away with only if you're cute, like Pinkie Pie, or awesome, like Deadpool. Or BOTH.
Seriously, if they simply took a random fan's script and adapted it, I'm betting a LOT more people would've walked away satisfied.
Digging a Deeper Hole (a.k.a. The Foot-In-Mouth Paradigm)
Blog entry posted by Noelemahc, Jun 27, 2012.
About the Author
A Russian Econ major with a minor in graphomania. Used to write for a Russian gaming magazine a while back, apparently wasn't very good or they wouldn't've cancelled his column to replace it with one devoted to listing erotic fanservice moments in videogames and anime series. Has a penchant for long-winded distracted rants and a bizarre affection for very old videogames.