For those who don’t know, I’m into PC gaming and happen to be a long time fan of the Mass Effect series. Today, I’ve got a few amazing things to share with you on the ending of ME3, as well as an utterly jaw-dropping tribute song by one of its fans which has been circulating on the Internet.
Having played through the trilogy, I think the ending of ME3 didn’t live up to its potential given the incredible flood of attention to detail, character development, and sheer effort that the authors and dev teams poured into the series. Besides this, my only other gripe is the weapon overheat bug in ME1 that occurs from applying the version 1.2 patch. All in all, not bad. It could have been worse … a lot worse.
As far as closure on the Commander Shepard story arc goes, one reason why so many fans hated ME3’s ending is because Bioware did something that’s rare in entertainment media and seems nigh on unthinkable to most fans: they ended the story while the series was riding high and closed the book abruptly on its characters while the plot had some life left.
I for one would have loved a fourth installment showcasing a post-Reaper reality in which the focus now turns to rebuilding the galaxy and reviving the tatters of civilization.
Sadly, they didn’t go that route, but the strong point in this decision is that it compartmentalizes the first Mass Effect series from the projects that are soon to follow. Bioware has indeed hinted at future projects, including a movie and an entirely new game that will have a different story arc. Put in that light, it makes sense to close the first one, albeit for as much as we’ve all grown to love the depth of Shepard’s tale, I don’t there’s any pleasing the fans to end it so soon. On the other hand, short of an author milking a plot until it dries up and everyone walks away bored, there will always be some contention that ‘it could have ended better.’ As a writer, I think it all comes down to something of a calculated risk (and believe me, that’s a whole other discussion for a whole other post on a whole other day).
But I digress.
In the wake of the end of ME3, huge volumes of fan videos have popped up online. While there are many excellent ones, the real diamond in the rough has been this song: ‘Reignite.’ Written and performed by a Mexican singer named Malukah (SoundCloud link here), this song has become an inspiration to fans and seems to have been featured in at least one major electronic music festival to date.
One point about ‘Reignite’ that was especially brilliant was its inspiration stemming from the ME3 soundtrack melodies of ‘Leaving Earth’ and ‘An End Once and for All,’ which you may remember from the game’s beginning and from its finale (where the mass effect relays are systematically blown up in a cascade of colourful shock waves).
While the hat goes off to Clint Mansell for their creation, I’d always felt these parts could have used something more to complete them. Malukah doesn’t disappoint, and with a voice rivalling that of Tarja Turunen, she gracefully lends it the heart and soul that it deserves.
First, the original version:
And here’s the electronic version, remixed by Headhunterz: