(Mass Effect 3 Spoilers Ahead)
“…when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows…” Plato, The Republic, Book VII
Like sunlight for the man who arises from Plato’s cave, the ending of Mass Effect 3 distressed me. As I embarked on the game’s conclusion I felt confused and disoriented by the sudden shift in the game’s direction and style. Continuing through to the end, I began to realize this was not my fault. After keeping me in the shadows for tens of hours, it makes sense that Mass Effect 3’s sudden and inexplicable series of expositional revelations feel cheap and false rather than utterly true.
Coming-to after a white flash just outside the beam connecting Earth and the Citadel, my Shepard arose and began staggering meekly toward the light. He was badly burned and no one else from the assault force was still standing. Instead, a few undeterred husks stood between Shepard and the ...