At this point, just about everyone has weighed in on the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy. But there is one gentleman, a certain gigantic, green-skinned guy in purple shorts, who has yet to make his opinions known. So when Hulk starts talking, people tend to listen, particularly when he's sounding off about the people who disliked BioWare's original ending and successfully petitioned to have it changed.
"Film Crit Hulk," the nom de plume of a sharp film critic who just happens to write in (borderline unreadable) ALL CAPS, has made his displeasure known in a new article at badass digest. After many people asked him to share his (or maybe her?) thoughts on the end of the game, presumably thinking he'd hate it, Hulk has this to say: "YOU WERE ALL WRONG. IN FACT, YOU WERE ALL SO WRONG THAT IT MAKES HULK HORRIFICALLY SAD."
THE ORIGINAL ENDING OF MASS EFFECT 3 IS BEAUTIFUL, STUNNING AND POETIC. AFTER A LIFETIME OF WAR AND FURY, SHEPARD COMES FACE TO FACE WITH THE CATALYST (REPRESENTED BY THE FORM OF A CHILD, MUCH LIKE THE ONE SHEPARD HAD BEEN DREAMING OF ALL GAME) AND YOU HAVE A LONG, IN-DEPTH CONVERSATION ABOUT THE NATURE OF CYCLES. THIS IS RATHER APT, AS ALL THREE GAMES HAVE BEEN ABOUT THE NATURE OF CYCLES FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, WHETHER THEY TAKE THE FORMS OF VIOLENCE, REVENGE, LOVE, CREATION OR DEATH. IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT CYCLES AND THE WAYS WE BREAK THEM, CONTINUE THEM OR HARMONIZE THEM. AND THUS, IN THIS CLIMACTIC MOMENT, IT IS RATHER APPROPRIATE THAT YOU ARE GIVEN THREE DISTINCT PHILOSOPHICAL OPTIONS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS OUROBOROTICAL CYCLE. AND DESPITE SMALL DIFFERENCES, ALL THREE LEAD TO VERY SIMILAR ENDINGS.
WHICH IS THE EXACT POINT.
Not content to just say his piece and leave it at that, Hulk then goes after the popular criticisms leveled at the original ending—that it didn't provide closure, that it rendered the choices leading up to it meaningless. "YOU DON'T ACTUALLY NEED AN EPILOGUE TO SHOW WHAT EVERYONE IS DOING FROM THAT POINT ON TO HAVE 'RESOLUTION,'" Hulk writes, presumably breaking 10 keyboards with his ham-sized fists. "THAT IS NONSENSE."
Hulk then goes on at length about the nature of art and expression (very smart stuff for a hulking green monster), concluding that the Mass Effect series was not "about choice," but rather used choice as a tool to tell a story about cycles. (For what it's worth: I agree with this idea, particularly that Mass Effect was never a game about choice. I've never felt comfortable saying that games are about choice just because they feature choices—the recent Walking Dead game is the rare exception to this, in that it really does feel like it's about choice. But we're not talking about me here, we're talking about Hulk.)
"YOU DECIDED YOU DIDN'T WANT VIDEO GAMES TO BE STORIES, OR EVEN ART," Hulk writes.
AT THE END OF LAST YEAR HULK SURMISED WHEN WE WOULD GET OUR CITIZEN KANE OF GAMING AND HULK DIDN'T KNOW IF WE'D EVER GET THERE... WELL, FINE. HULK THINKS THAT WITH THE MASS EFFECT SERIES WE FOUND IT. THE UNIFYING THREE PRONGED ORIGINAL ENDING OF MASS EFFECT 3 IS A PURE ARTISTIC STATEMENT.
AND THE GAMER COMMUNITY AT LARGE PROVED THEY WEREN'T READY.
WE WERE ALL GIVEN A BEAUTIFUL, ARTICULATE, POETIC ENDING TO A GREAT STORY AND FOR MANY OF YOU, YOUR CHOICE WAS TO SPIT IN ITS FUCKING FACE.
Well, no one ever said Hulk was shy about telling us what he really thinks.
Film Crit Hulk Smash: A Few Words On The Ending Of MASS EFFECT 3 [Badass Digest]