It’s been a while since I published my last post, talking about my pre-Extended Cut views on the Indoctrination Theory for Mass Effect 3, but the past few months have given me some time to reflect on exactly how I feel about that particular interpretation of the trilogy’s end. Unsurprisingly, I no longer feel that the Indoctrination Theory as a whole is really the answer to all the questions Mass Effect 3’s ending left. It was a wonderful example of literary (or video-gamerary #it’sgonnabeathing) interpretation and how a loyal fanbase can extrapolate fantastic narratives out of ambiguous endings. And while it seems that Bioware has brought the hammer down on the Indoctrination Theory with the Extended Cut, I still believe the basic idea—an outside force playing with Shepard’s perceptions—is valid.
Last week wasn’t terribly productive for me, for a variety of reasons. I am happy to report, however, that the Great Backlog War of 2012 rages on, and by all accounts, I’m winning. Just yesterday, I was able to knock both New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Trine off my list. This is a special victory for me since Trine has been sitting in my virtual pile of Steam games for at least two years. I now only have 29 games to get through before the end of the year, many of which I already have some measure of progress in. I should be finishing Arkham City any day now, and Alan Wake shouldn’t be that far behind. (Unfortunately, Final Fantasy 2 may take some time. I’m currently stuck in a tower with a bunch of enemies who can turn my party members against each other. 😦 )
We’ve come a long way since 2007 when the original Mass Effect was released, and Commander Shepard et al. have had quite the ride along the way. From saving the galaxy from Sovereign in the first game to defeating the Collectors in the second, Mass Effect 3 finds our stalwart commander … in prison? What kind of opening scene is that? Oh, right. I guess he did work with a known terrorist group and—spoiler warning if you haven’t played ME2 DLC “Arrival“—destroy a mass relay in batarian space and wipe out that entire solar system. I guess it’s not that big of a surprise that the Alliance brass stripped him of his command and tossed him in the brig. But when the Reapers do finally arrive and start harvesting Earth, who do you think the Powers That Be expect to save them? Funny how life turns out, huh?