Shepard take warning: fans start petition for new Mass Effect 3 endings

"Thanks Bioware, you ruined the ending to one of the best series of games ever."

You were always going to be disappointed by Mass Effect 3's ending. After all, it's an ending. Over the past half-decade, BioWare has built up one of the most fascinating, multi-faceted pulp fantasy fictions in the business. In Shepard, it has created the definitive user-evolved hero. We certainly had a hard time saying goodbye...

...but not, it seems, as hard as some of you. Mass Effect 3 fans have started a BioWare Social petition, Twitter campaign and Facebook page calling for BioWare to revise the game's ending sequences via a patch or downloadable content. At the time of writing, a whopping 98 per cent - 25512 respondents - are in agreement.

Where's my closure, damn you.

We're going to do our best to discuss the backlash without opening a can of spoiler madness, but you should break off here if you've yet to complete Mass Effect 3. I've already (sob) had the ending blown wide-open for me, but then I've never been overly fussed about bare plot specifics. Execution is all, innit. Your mileage will vary.

Many of those responding to the poll found Mass Effect 3's choice of endings too depressing (for those who want the most cheerful, Bioware has advised on how to get the best Mass Effect 3 ending). Given that this is the final chapter in Shepard's trilogy, and that the game begins with Earth getting the magma knocked out of it by narky space plankton, it's hard to see how BioWare could have arranged otherwise.

Still, as one forum user put it: "People say it's realistic but if you think about it, ITS A GAME. It would be just nice to have the option of a cheesy 'everyone in your squad + you live' ending. I dunno. Hell, it has to be better than the depressing things we have been given."

In the words of a fellow sufferer: "I wasn't expecting the endings to be all sunshine and flowers but it would have been nice to have a bunch of different endings not several shades of the same ending... hell, the current endings all lead to the same depressing outcome anyway."

More significantly, some respondents felt BioWare hadn't accounted for the choices they'd made in Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. In the eyes of these players, Mass Effect 3 renders swathes of foregoing plot pointless by introducing a deus ex machina (a contrived and arbitrary twist) in its final moments.

You got the Citadel back. What more do you want, blood?

"What we have at the end is the relays destroyed, Shepard likely dead, and the Normandy stranded somewhere remote," one such aggrieved soul commented. "The part that sucks is that the Reapers did none of this. The blasted McGuffin did it all. The great galactic threat is upstaged by some bloody device that wasn't even thought up until this game."

Another wrote: "After an investment of several hundred hours of my lift into the Mass Effect series the reward is that I get to choose which button I get to press? So every decision I made for 3 games was a waste? Every time I had to think about whether to do or not do something was irrelevant? Thanks Bioware, you ruined the ending to one of the best series of games ever."

Completed the game? How would you vote? We thirst for your opinions. If you're still plugging away, here's a spoiler-free tip on how to get the best Mass Effect 3 ending. If you've yet to purchase the game, consider our Mass Effect 3 review.