Next Week: A Full Analysis and Reinterpretation of Mass Effect

We’re now approaching two full years from the release of Mass Effect 3 and the frustration and controversy that surrounded the game’s original ending.

Many fans found the conclusion to Mass Effect 3 to be totally dissatisfying and completely out of line with the themes of the rest of the series. At the time, we felt the same way, and analyzed at length what we saw in the ending of Mass Effect and how it worked with the rest of the series.

But two years later, with the Extended Cut ending and the various DLC expansions to Mass Effect 3, the trilogy is finally in its most whole, complete state. With all the content finally on the table, Game Front contributor and Mass Effect fanatic Phil Owen (with better than 30 playthroughs between all three games) has made a careful playthrough of the entire Mass Effect series and its DLC. The plan was to put together all the content, clues and textual information the game presents about the Reapers and the Catalyst, in order to truly understand BioWare’s series.

The resulting analysis and interpretation of the Catalyst, the Reapers, and Mass Effect in general, were surprising, and Owen is coming at you next week with a three-part rundown of all the insights he gleaned from playing everything. Check out his interpretation of the series in three parts, one per day, beginning on Monday, Jan. 20. We’ll start with the evidence that explains the Catalyst’s motivations, move on to an interpretation based on the evidence of what the Catalyst’s true plans are, and conclude with some potential, forward-looking scenarios for the Mass Effect universe based on what we learn.

So check back Monday, read Owen’s painstaking look at Mass Effect, and weigh in with your own interpretations of the evidence in the comments!

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49 Comments on Next Week: A Full Analysis and Reinterpretation of Mass Effect


On January 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Well, it’s not like the DLCs change anything. They were added after release, specifically to try to explain the ending. But the ending is still a piece of sh*t, and no amount of retroactive foreshadowing will help it.


On January 17, 2014 at 6:35 pm

What is the main reason to resurrect this topic?
Why don’t you let this game die. Truth be told I loved the first 2 games like thousands of others who had high hopes for the third installment. But hope in the real world means,”disappointment”.
EA and Bioware ruined a franchise that could have been the best if they followed the rules. Fans should just stop, “Hoping”. This game can never be played again and it can never be fixed. I regret playing this series and also I believe its the main reason why I played less games now. I just cannot invest any more hours and years of anticipation on a product that’s not quality checked and approved.
I should be reimbursed for this experience as well as others. As for Mass Effect 4 the only thing I wish would happen is that the fans that feel the same way as I do not buy it.
As for those apologists out there. You are the main reason why the game industry is the way it is today and why it will only get worse.

T. Jetfuel

On January 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Ugh, what a terrible idea this is. GF became my go-to gaming site largely on the strength of having been one of the very few beacons of sanity in the dark days of the Wars Over Mass Effect 3. And now you want to do some kind of a re-evaluation of that righteous stance out of the blue because what? The cynic in me is immediately picturing the stage set for a tearful reunion of the Prodigal Site with Papa BioWare, in time for the promo season for their upcoming productions like “Dragon Age 3″ and “Mass Effect: Dude, Where Is My Shuttle”. I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt, since I really like this site and all, but that cynical voice gets awful strong whenever The Most Disappointing Game of All Time is brought up.

In any case, trying to analyze “the motivations of the Catalyst” is an extremely misguided endeavor in itself. There simply is no rhyme or reason there, just a haphazardly stitched-together web of vaguely portentous-sounding contradictions. “This SpaceMagical Process cannot be forced. So would you like to force it on every living critter in the Universe? Cause you totally can!” and on and on, ad maximum nauseam. As human beings, we cannot help but to try to ascribe a pattern to every sensory output. This is why some people are still talking about this stuff as if there is a meaning to it. But there isn’t. It’s just a terrifying black hole of sense, accidentally called into being by an escalating folie-a-deux between two guys desperate to wrap a bow around the saga and call it done. People who get sucked into it apparently frequently turn up on BioWare forums, eagerly defending the Reaper position on, you know, killing everything. To save it. Or something. Tread carefully on these treacherous grounds.


On January 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm

You cannot include the dlc for the simple fact that dlc is supposed to add to the game, but not be required to get a complete understanding of what is going on. If in this case the dlc is that important then can we agree that they cut out important parts of the game to later sell to us?


On January 17, 2014 at 8:51 pm

You know, I’m actually really looking forward to this. I have had this nagging desire to do the same myself, but I haven’t had the time to devote a full three-game playthrough. As much as I want to say nothing can ever change my mind on the ending, I do still love the universe they created, and I think it’s about time I get some closure of sorts and get over this tragedy.


On January 17, 2014 at 10:51 pm

@MrrBond, do you honestly think this will give you closure? Far from it. There is nothing they can say that will fix anything. I played through it again hoping I would get some sort of different look or feel a little less shafted. Didn’t happen. The ending is just cr_p plain and simple.
Why they’re doing this I don’t know. The only thing they’re going to get if they start sounding like the other idiots, is flamed on site, and it won’t be pretty. People are still PO’d to this day and they’re just reopening a sore point for a lot of people. GS, if you’ve still got the basic same verdict on the game, great, but we don’t want to hear it again. If you’ve changed your tune and now believe it’s not so bad, we again don’t want to hear it and you had better be prepared for some really nasty things being said about your new stance.
Leave it alone. Let us mourn the loss ( or ruining if you prefer) of a great franchise, without having to verbally tear you guys a new ahole, cause it will happen. You have to know it will.


On January 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

I like to think the Citadel DLC is the real ending to the Mass Effect trilogy. The ending is much more satisfying that way.


On January 18, 2014 at 12:26 am

@ fethski – I disagree. There were several characters and situations that were introduced in the Mass Effect 2 DLC, which if you hadn’t played, you wouldn’t fully understand in Mass Effect 3. There was no backstory or exposition, Mass Effect 3 continued on assuming you had played the DLC for Mass Effect 2. So while what you’re saying might be true for other games, it’s clearly not true for this one.


On January 18, 2014 at 12:37 am

Yeah, the main game sucked but the citadel dlc was pretty awsome, my team is eternally partying and enjoying the casino and battle arena, no nead to make them suffer by seeing the real end again.


On January 18, 2014 at 12:46 am

Like others I see little point in this kind of article, the series had its run and it is now time to to let it rest.

What else can we get from this that we do not already understand, we all know the first was the best RPG, the second had the best action and the third was a turd of a story. I doubt we can learn any more from this than say Bioware learns with fan feedback. Mass Effect is a dead horse though it does still upset fans to this day.

I guess one thing is true though it still attracts a lot of comments on Gamefront, which no doubt is why we are getting this three article special.


On January 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

You do realize that the catalyst was a piece of technology & as such had no plans?


On January 18, 2014 at 6:21 am

Thy can still save mass effect 3s ending by starting a prequel to mass effect 3 by going into dark space and head bak to earth and Prevent the end of mass effect 3


On January 18, 2014 at 7:02 am

@axetwin My point remains though. DLC is supposed to be optional especially if it’s paid for. If DLC is needed in order to make sense of the game’s story or ending then it should have been included as part of the core game to begin with.


On January 18, 2014 at 10:02 am

Slow news period? I guess you figured we’d heard enough bs about sexism for a few weeks at least so you’ve decided to resort to the other go-to topic whenever you have nothing else to report on. In any case, whatever hope I could have had for this idea – which is already a non-starter given that we’ve already gone over everything dozens of times and most of us are either too pissed off or now too apathetic to care any more – is made all the worse by the fact that Phil Owen’s in charge of it. I wouldn’t want to see any single contributor take this on by themselves anyway, but especially not Owen who in the past has stated that he not only believes the indoctrination theory to be 100% true, but that in his opinion it actually makes the ending good and therefore absolves BioWare of any and all criticism, despite it being conjecture. Not to mention he loved the Citadel DLC but couldn’t explain how it worked in context with the rest of the game, basically just saying that it didn’t matter. I don’t want to see him OR for that matter Ross Lincoln or Phil Hornshaw do a complete analysis of the games because they can’t be trusted to be impartial, they’ve already staked too much on it and have to operate within an echo chamber or completely backtrack on what they’ve already said. I’d much rather have seen someone who hadn’t already had their say on the games several times take this on.

Overall though, I don’t see the need for it and it appears most readers feel the same way, they’d rather you just stopped talking about it and giving BioWare the sort of publicity that in their cold corporate and shallow minds would actually vindicate their butchering of the ending. I’ll wait for MrBTongue to finally get around to releasing his video analysis instead.


On January 18, 2014 at 10:41 am

guys chill the ending wasn’t even that bad I own all three games and plenty of dlc which might i add does have effect leviathan added more explanation don’t know if u missed that the extended cut gave u info on how things turned out the entire franchise is based for player interpretation which alot of players seem to lack this is in fact one of the best games in the industry the game is complete what more could people want i mean seriously not every story has to have a Disney flipin ending halo didnt on 3 and reach red dead redemption didn’t even gta games don’t have happy go lucky endings with a full walktrhough in full cinematic form on how much u are lacking in the imagination department. ME3 had laughs good times gameplay and some deep sad moments and bioware has a team dedicated to what the franchise is supposed to be the player has access to books magazines dlc and should be able to make their own canon through imagination regarding the plot holes or gaps in between time i mean seriously the whole point of the game is to make your own canon. this whole analysis thing i don’t see the point it explains everything u need to know in leviathan dlc. in conclusion this game was a masterpiece a real work of art that also had great fan service like the extended cut for even the ungrateful ones and citadel dlc one free the other not for obvious reasons yes i did download the extended cut.. it was flipin free why not have more content many other games don’t exhibit this type of dedication, and im proud to know that they are going to keep the ball rolling into a new saga lets go Bioware

Phil Owen

On January 18, 2014 at 10:45 am

OK, let me explain some things about this project.

I started working on this over a month ago on my own and didn’t bring it to Game Front until I had some idea of where it was going. They did not ask me to do this.

Even so, this analysis is not intended to make a new value judgment about Mass Effect 3′s ending. I’m simply here to explain my interpretation of the whole of the Mass Effect saga, the purpose being to ultimately look ahead at what future sequels may have in store. Mass Effect 4 is in production right now, by the way.

Disagree violently with my conclusions all you want next week, or don’t read it, or whatever. I don’t care if you approve. But to be angry that I did this without having a clue about what I wrote or how I framed it is completely unreasonable. There’s no cause to be preemptively mad.

Phil Owen

On January 18, 2014 at 10:53 am


I hate to break it to you, but you clearly don’t have any idea what I have believed about Mass Effect 3′s ending in the past.


On January 18, 2014 at 11:12 am

Funny, I have exactly the opposite opinion. I remember when the Extended Ending DLC came out and my first thought was “Thanks Bioware for listening to us!”. And over the time, as I kept thinking about it, I realized the DLC didn’t fix what was wrong with the game. I also realized I was simply not interested in playing my 7-8 different versions of Shepard to see the disasted called the ending again.

And in my opinion, the real problem is the Starchild/Catalyst. His explanation to the plot completely contradicts the events of ME1, ignores many themes and plots of ME2, nevermind the fact that the whole ME3 “unite the Galaxy” theme becomes unimportant (you can’t win unless you pick these arbitrary endings). And after two years, I have become MORE skeptical about the ending.

Let’s see this guy have to say, maybe he has valid points. Nevertheless, I truly hope Gamefront is not joining the EA “rah rah” PR brigade who is running amok in other websites covertly promoting DA:Inquisition.


On January 18, 2014 at 11:16 am

Phil, the only anger I have is towards Bioware.

I will still probably read your article even if I do feel nothing can really be gained for going over the series again. I still am in love with Mass Effect 1 to this day it is my all time number one RPG even beating the likes of BG2 and DAO.


On January 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Ugh, are you guys by any chance masochists? Do like me and put Mass effect and Bioware to rest, there are too many good games out there.


On January 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm

@JB III Spoken like a true brain dead troll. You’ll eat what ever sh-it they shovel you and like it. After all this time, you still have no clue why people are angry. Go troll somewhere else.


On January 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm

No offence Phil, but that is total asinine. We don’t care what your reasons are. Do you honestly think that you could come up with a different spin, over the thousands of people that have done the same thing. Honestly, what do you think you can come up with that we haven’t already heard.
The only reason I can truly say that you’re doing this is you know it is still a sore spot for a lot of people, and you know it will get comments. You also know most will be negative comments, but you really don’t care. This is a stunt pure and simple, and don’t try and say this was a labor of love. Pull your head out of your backside. Your doing this to start a bit-ching scene all over again. Great journalism there. This site’s getting as bad as GameSpot.


On January 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

even with the extended endings, the series end felt like it was tacked on. the biggest was the end of all the endings being a story, the only one in which that feels like it fits would be the extended ending where you choose not to choose. that being said, the catalysts and the weapon found in the mars archive seemed a little to convenient with the protheans making one in their war with the reapers but not knowing where the power source was, in other words they did not design the weapon, and that implies along with how all their tech originates from the reapers that the design was left by the AI’s bent on our destruction, it makes more sense that the catalyst would be another trap for them to use.

Roy Batty

On January 18, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Great you played it through 30 times…I played it through 18 times (WITH ALL DLC) and STILL think it is a phucked up POS ending. I honestly could only play ME3 twice – one with the original stupid ending and the second with the uber stupid “extended” (ALL DLC) ending (IMO this was even MORE phucked up).

I wanted 3 things:

A. Banzai attack into glory – where Shepard dies attacking and killing the “unknowable” reapers
B. The Scooby Doo ending where every decision made heretofore was taken into account. An ending where you got the girl the gold watch and everything instead of pushing a button and dying (pfffft).

Instead I was given a BS ending which was and IS philosophically BANKRUPT.

Go ahead Phill but I suggest you release the article on March 15 it would be much more apropos.

I am so pissed at EA I have not purchased any more of their sh!t and am not likely to (refuse to get suckered again). An apology would have sufficed but none was/is forthcoming. The termination of Hudson is they only way I would even consider looking at EA games again (too bad his phucking ego got the better of him).

The only thing I will say about ME…it makes me want to read Lord of the Rings over again – now THERE is a masterpiece.

P.S. My Playing through 18 times is MORE than enough – I have a memory that is near photographic – I have to – I work with the world’s most complicated systems management software for over quarter of a million systems in over 100 counties – so I know my phucking SH!T.

Roy Batty

On January 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm

@me edit
Forgot to add 3rd thing:
C. An ending where if you did most things right but not all you would get some ambiguity (a neutral ending if you will)


On January 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Do you people buy a book, read it and then are pissed because it wasn’t good?
That’s the exact same situation you are in.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Okay, I mean to spend an hour addressing all these comments, but let’s get something straight:

We’re talking about critically analyzing the material of the Extended Cut and the ending as it seems BioWare intended it once it had created, reworked, retconned and otherwise filled in all the content for the game.

It’s not a review. It’s not an assessment. It’s not even a qualitative analysis of the content; the idea isn’t to judge what’s there positively or negatively, to make excuses for BioWare, to “explain” the ending, or anything else.

The article just a chance to reinterpret the material with all the textual evidence from the game. As pitched by Phil Owen, it sounded interesting, which is why we wanted to publish it here. We liked reading it, we like thinking about it, and we thought you all would as well.

We’re two years on from Mass Effect 3 at this point. It’s understandable that a lot of people still feel burned by BioWare and Mass Effect 3 — Ross Lincoln and I also have similar feelings about it — but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about the story that is Mass Effect and analyze the vast amount of lore and story involved. There’s a reason we all invested as much in the series as we did over the years. But Game Front is not changing its many assessments of the game up to now (and no one writer speaks for all of us anyway).

The point is, I implore everyone to try to keep an open mind. Criticism is more than just saying “This is bad” or “This is good” — it’s also a chance to look more deeply at a work (such as a video game), to share thoughts about it, and to get more out of it. If doing that with Mass Effect still bothers you so much, please, don’t read Phil’s analysis.

But if you’re interested (and able) to think about the text that is Mass Effect, we welcome other opinions about the material based on what Phil has made of the material, and what he thinks that could potentially lead to in the future — even if it’s all just a thought experiment.

T. Jetfuel

On January 18, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Well, Mr. Hornshaw, I guess the problem for many of us is twofold:

1) We have already spent far too much time debating this stuff to appreciate being confronted by yet another treatise. It is very literally depressing, in the strictest medical sense of the term.

2) And of course, any attempt to arrive at a “true understanding of BioWare’s series”, based on an interpretation of the Catalyst and its malignant outgrowths (such as the “Leviathan” DLC) is already making an assumption that there is an understanding to be arrived at in the first place, rather than just flimsy dazzle to disguise the nature of the act of vandalism that some elements of BioWare committed towards the series in order to bring it to “an end, once and for all” in a manner that would rule out any considerations of continuing the story. Attempting to divine a “true understanding” out of such haphazard material can lead one down some very odd paths, as can be readily observed on BioWare forums in numerous threads that purport to glean some sort of a higher, cosmic wisdom out of “Yo dawg, I made these killer robots kill you to save you from being killed by killer robots!”

At any rate, the question whether the ending is coherent enough to merit this kind of an analysis is a question that criticism seems to have overwhelmingly avoided. And I certainly don’t expect anyone invested in the game enough to play through it 30 times to ask.


On January 19, 2014 at 12:05 am

@Phil. Please……. you call it a thought experiment, I call it a thoughtless experiment. As you can plainly see, it is still a sore subject with most of the people who come here.
A review is more than just saying it’s good or bad? Really………….no kidding. Well who’ld a thunk it. Wow, are you speaking to children now? In the two years after, you don’t think in the many forums most of us go to, that it hasn’t been analyzed in every way possible. That new material is going to be brought forth. Things that no one else has caught on to or discussed in any way? Kind of arrogant don’t cha think, unless your not actually going to talk about the storyline and just discuss various things in the ME universe.
As far as the future goes, are you talking about the next ME cause Bioware doesn’t even know where they’re going.
Should have discussed DA3. Lot less PO’d people over that one, but do what you must, just don’t expect a warm fuzzy response to it. The one thing I’m really interested in, is whether you guys will have a cross burning in your yards.


On January 19, 2014 at 2:21 am

I’m actually a bit curious to see what comes of this. I did something similar for my own information not too long ago, so I’ll be interested to see if time has changed any assessments here. Personally, there were certain aspects that seemed like maybe they fit better than I thought, but ultimately, I find it telling that the sense of dread lingers. I played through ME1 a few months back and still enjoyed it, I played through ME2, and still loved it, and then I started with ME3, and the dread sunk in earlier than it ever had. In fact, for the first time with any of these games, I actually had to take a break during ME3 before I felt ready to finish. Granted, that is an incredibly personal reaction, but I”d say it’s a problem that time has not actually healed this wound, but made it worse. Given that this feature will eventually look toward ME4, I’d say it’s a huge problem that I clearly haven’t gotten over this massive problem.


On January 19, 2014 at 2:23 am

I, for one, am looking forward to reading it, and I hope I am not the only one.

Yes, I do believe Bioware botched the ending of ME3, mostly because it feels like an awful shortcut to a quick and dirty ending, and also because of the way they have so poorly handled the outrage of the community.

But that hasn’t shaken my love of the ME universe, and any thorough analysis will be a welcome read.


On January 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm

I’m really looking forward to reading this. Like many others, I was very disappointed with the way the series ended, and I found myself agreeing almost entirely with every post made by GameFront’s editors. I’ve played the series again since completing ME3, and I’m curious what someone with an intentional eye found in the complete body of material that may be able to synthesize (no pun intended (seriously)) the plot in a way that sheds a more sympathetic light on the conclusion. I’m very willing to admit that I hate the ending with a passion, along with a good bit of the third game, but I hope I’m also open minded.


On January 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm

should be interesting since I did just this. Minus Omega and Citadel DLC for ME3.

I don’t think I have 30 playthroughs, maybe 15 or 20 all in all and I still think …

ME1 > ME 2 > Me3, and that includes the credit soundtrack.

Hate but have to admit though that the extended cut made ME3 slightly less terrible. Emphasis on slighly …


On January 19, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Oh sweet merciful Jesus. Just stop it.

I’d rather shoot myself in the foot than go through that maelstrom of emotion again. It’s over with and I don’t care anymore. Please, please just let it lie.

Some Old Guy

On January 19, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I am looking forward to reading this article and seeing what Owen has to say. The fact that people are still so polarized over ME3 two years after it’s release (FYI: I didn’t find a lot to like about ME3 as a game or a work of fiction) strongly suggests that BioWare did something very, very good with the first two games. An intelligent discussion of the themes of the game, the way it worked together, its construction, where it “went off the rails”, or whatever insight Owen would like to share would welcomed by me.

I have my own thoughts about the series, but I am looking forward to reading some intelligent discussion about Mass Effect. I really felt like they were *so close* to something brilliant, and I think that is worth discussing, along with why they missed.

If these articles are something that you strongly feel is a waste of time, then don’t read it (but I bet you will anyway).

Tommy B Rude

On January 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Wanna reply to Michael way back up at the top.
Simple, GF is hedging their bets. Another Mass Effect is coming out eventually and they want to justify slobbering all over it like the rest of the gaming sites.
Which is probably what most of the fans who swore the series is dead to them will do as well.
Still say players need to lay out the msrp of each bioware game in cash as they come out, take a picture and tweet it to ea with the hashtag #NotOneDime.

T. Jetfuel

On January 19, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I think a part of why this thing still stings so bad (besides the obvious fact that BW gave us such a cool ride until landing hard in the garbage) is that the surreal media spectacle surrounding this thing gave us such a painful taste of what it must be to live under totalitarian rule. No, I’m not suggesting a game compares to real world tyranny in the grand order of things, but I still recall the through-the-looking-glass sensation of a fuller media consensus than I have ever seen on any single issue giving the Emperor’s new threads BW’s much-touted zillion (or whatever) “perfect scores”, while bitterly denouncing us peasants who had seen his bare ass waddling down the Royal Boulevard with our own eyes. Out of all the numerous print publications (from more than one country) I consulted on this and, oh, the entire freaking Internet, I only remember critics from GF and Forbes (of all places) giving any consideration to the subversive idea that there might be some real issue with how BW chose to bury this Epic. It’s a weird underwater sensation to see (almost) the whole Critical Establishment come together… over what a sub-par audience YOU are. It’s almost enough to make you lose touch with your own opinion, but thankfully there are a whole lot of people around who will show you you’re not alone in this. Just not more than half a handful of professional (or semi-/quasi-professional) “critics”.

That’s why the announcement of your upcoming three-part, in-depth consideration of the dashing cut and bold patterns of His Majesty’s memorable outfit on that fateful day feels like such an Et Tu Brute moment.


On January 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Don’t listen to all the haters Phil, I think it’s important that it be re-evaluated after the dust has settled. Personally, even with the extended cut, I still can’t bring myself to play the series anymore. My own quick analysis: The ending has destroyed the feeling that you were making a difference, in the last games, and in the first two. I’m thinking “why would I try hard to unite these people when it doesn’t matter in the end?”

Phil Owen

On January 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Allow me to say this again: I do not in this project say I like or don’t like the ending now. That is not the purpose of this. It is not a re-evaluation. It is analysis. It is interpretation. It is an explanation, as I have come to see it based on weeks of research, of what I think the Catalyst was doing at the end of Mass Effect 3 and why.

Nowhere in the 5000+ words I wrote do I make a value judgment. I do not claim this interpretation makes the ending more or less satisfying than it already is.

That’s it. Pre-emptive anger at what I MIGHT say or think is not going to change whether this project is published this week. Save the emotion for after you actually know what to be mad at me about.


On January 20, 2014 at 1:09 am

People are only mad because you are opening up old wounds by mentioning a very touchy subject Phil. You can not say you did not expect this, I doubt you are that naive.

Forget traditional hot topics like sexism, religion etc. We are gamers and care most about games, what became of Mass Effect and it’s ending is one of the most controversial things that happened to RPG fans in the last few years.

Keep in mind you are going to alienate or win over a lot of fans by what you actually write in the article.

JP Bragg

On January 20, 2014 at 3:59 am

There’s nothing more to say on the game, stop beating a dead horse. Reinterpretation makes it sounds as if Phil Owen is going to try and explain away the rubbish and attempt to convince us that Bioware didn’t completely sh*t the bed with a panicked rush-job. Given some of the other comments have already mentioned how Phil believes the indoc theory I don’t expect anything resembling balance, plus you can’t call it a reinterpretation when the interpretation has already existed for about a year and a half. This sounds like a cynical, desperate attempt to either increase flagging traffic or to appease Bioware. If the feedback so far is anything to go by, it’ll be at the expense of a lot of the fans who came to this site on the back of its consumer-friendly stance and will quite possibly damage your reputation. At least lol and the other fanboys will be happy, I guess.

I strongly advise you to reconsider, not because I have a problem with alternative theories and looking at things in more depth, but because I don’t believe you’re doing this for the right reasons and I don’t believe Phil is the right man for the job. It looks like devil’s advocacy for the sake of it.

JP Bragg

On January 20, 2014 at 4:07 am

Also, Aedrelic’s comment is just about the perfect summation of everything many readers have been thinking for some time about Gamefront’s output, and how most feel about this one. Too much time spent by the same biased voices analysing and exaggerating things that have minimal effect on the industry because it appeals to their social beliefs and it sounds like a topical hot potato. And yet, when it comes to one of the biggest stories in the history of the games industry, one that Gamefront has spent the best part of two years on the side which the rest of the media kept calling immature and needy, it now appears you’re willing to undo all of that for the sake of a few hits long after the developers have been relevant.

Your priorities are all over the place.

Ross Lincoln

On January 20, 2014 at 7:26 am


Seriously. Just… seriously.

Longer version of the above: This is what we’re trying to do.’

Slightly longer version: analysis is not the same as endorsement or approval. Phil Owen is not attempting to reassess ME3 on a qualitative level. Our critical assessment (in the review sense) of ME3 remains the same, and if you want to know what it is, you can read, well, the huge amount of it we’ve written. At the same time, this series is undeniably a milestone in gaming, is one of the few gaming series that has gained attention for its world building and story among people who normally think games are garbage, and therefore, we think, is worth a deeper examination of its themes. This is what is known as “trying to understand something”. Understanding doesn’t mean you come around to liking something. It just means being able to talk about it competently. Understanding can even make it easier to explain why you hate something.

Shorter version: Open minds. You can haz them without losing your POV or integrity.


On January 20, 2014 at 8:00 am

Don’t you have a sexisim in gaming article to go write Ross? Cute that you jump in to defend your friend but all you are going to do is provoke more responses from upset fans.

Though, that is probably the intention, drumming up more interest, more clicks.


On January 20, 2014 at 8:30 am

can anyone explain to me why they are so pissed off at even the prospect of an article being published? Without having it read nota bene? I mean I get pissed off at lot of things I read, but because of the content … I don’t see the big deal really, seeing noone will be forced to read it? (serious question)


On January 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

Phil played 30+ playthroughs between all three games. He deserves the benefit of the doubt. Surely, he has some interesting insights or views because of greater experience and deeper thinking about these games. Give him a chance! It may not be the peak time, but it’s his turn.


On January 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm

truth be told it is simply amazing that any body survives in that game universe . i mean with a very low birth count due to the fact every man and his dog is a homosexual unless everybody is a GELF

Tommy B Rude

On January 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

@monotoy – Dunno about anyone else but I’m just cynical since GF has already been polishing their kneepads over Dragon Age and the next Mass Effect.
I get it that hype is the lifeblood of gaming sites, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. It would be nice if someone would help break the cycle of developer complacency, but the immediate price is too high for anyone in a position to make a difference to pay.

Ron Whitaker

On January 21, 2014 at 9:27 am

@Tommy – Where do you get that we’re polishing our kneepads over Dragon Age? So far, I’m not impressed with the footage that has leaked. As to Mass Effect, I think our coverage of that has been pretty consistent, down the line. Not sure why everyone is up in arms over an article looking at the lore and story, but it would behoove you to wait and see what is said before you take up your pitchforks.