|Since the release of Mass Effect 3 back in March, video game websites and message boards have exploded with complaints regarding the ending. This has lead to gamers organizing an internet campaign called Retake Mass Effect.
So what is so controversial about Mass Effect 3 ending? Spoiler Alert: Regardless of which ending the gamer achieves, Commander Shepard will die.
However this is not the typical outrage seen when other franchise kill-off a popular character. Unlike other video game heroes, gamers had to build the character of Commander Shepard when they played all three Mass Effect games; actions and outcomes from one game had an impact on the progress of the next game.
Yet the death of Commander Shepard only transformed the character into a tragic hero. As defined by Aristotle, the tragic hero is a virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who will embark on an odyssey but is destined to perish. The odyssey of Commander Shepard is about his battle against the reapers at the cost of his own life.
Take Earth Back
The Mass Effect-trilogy is a well written odyssey that was destined to end tragic for Commander Shepard. His death only makes the story more memorable as the character dies a martyr for the audience. Mass Effect is only one of many great works that have embraced the concept of the tragic hero.
Besides, BioWare should not be surprised by the reaction as fans will always be outraged over the death of a beloved character. For example, House fans were outraged when Dr. Lawrence Kutner (played by Kal Penn) was killed-off the show. 24 fans have a long list of beloved characters they fell were unnecessarily killed-off. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle faced a wave of public outcry after killing-off Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem.
While it's understandable for gamers to be frustrated over the death of Commander Shepard, they need accept it as blessing that made him a martyr. In the end his death only solidified the story of Mass Effect as one of legends to be.