Obvious spoilers ahead for those who are yet to beat the game, but I’ll do my best to keep them to a minimum. By now I’m sure we’re all aware of the Mass Effect 3 ending debacle. With the game being your choice for most anticipated release of this year, and its perfect score, all the negativity surrounding the game may seem a bit unwarranted.
Granted, the entire Mass Effect franchise is built on the premise of player freedom and the ability to make game-altering decision, and a lot of players felt that the ending did not live up to that, but in the middle of your outrage, did you ever stop to think that you’ve fallen victim to the Reapers’ #1 weapon? Yes, you’ve been indoctrinated. You, the actual gamer, not your Shephard, but you yourself. Scared yet?
Mass Effect 3 – Shepard’s Indoctrination
Having played the previous Mass Effect games multiple times, I felt I had a pretty good understanding of the stakes I was up against in Mass Effect 3. The sad truth however is that I didn’t, and neither did the hundreds of gamers who moaned and griped about getting a new ending from Bioware. You see, from the moment the Reapers attacked Earth, a war began raging outside of the game-one that you may not even realize until now.
As the game progresses you unwittingly partake in the battle for your mind, one where the victor is decided in the final scene of the game. You have 3 choices: attempt to control the Reapers, flip evolution the middle finger and merge organic and non-organic lifeforms, or destroy the Reapers. It is assumed that all three choices kill Shepard, destroy the Mass Relays, and leave the Normandy crew stranded. Here’s where I propose to you a simple question: if the Mass Relays are destroyed, why do the planets still exist? If you recall in Mass Effect 2, destroying a Mass Relay destroys all planets within that galaxy. I’ll let you ponder on that side note for a minute.
Back to the three choices. If you believe, even for a minute, that you can control the Reapers, then you’ve been indoctrinated. If you believe you can combine both life forms, you’ve also been indoctrinated. If you attempt to destroy the Reapers and you fail, you die.
So how do you win?
Watch this video:
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The Theory of Indoctrination adds a very complex layer to an already complex game; one that makes you rethink your choices and second guess yourself. Could this be what Bioware was attempting to achieve?