I have recently read this rather excellent article by Doyce about the Mass Effect 3 endings debate. It is in my opinion a very well written, and imaginative, piece on the limits that ‘it is our story/ it is art’ should apply as defence against any or all criticism against a game/film/book/TV series ending.
For the record I only played about 10% of Mass Effect 1 and gave up as it was a) first person shooter combat, b) not a MMO. That is no serious criticism of the first game, it just wasn’t right for me at the time (nor is it still). However even in that brief glimpse of the gameplay I could see the kernel of Bioware storytelling at its best, the alien NPCs were interesting and there was lore beneath the surface about the universe and the races inhabiting it.
My interest in the above linked article is that, although I am not invested in ME3, I am invested in SWTOR. That game is by many branded as KOTOR3 multiplayer, i.e. a typical Bioware story game only bigger and with some friends along for the ride. So I do wonder what the later chapters of my current playthrough will be like (Jedi Consular, no spoilers in comments please!). Also how will my enjoyment of the story differ on the next play through as a Trooper or a Sith?
In a sense SWTOR is a standard Bioware game where the replay value is split over different stories. This differs from the traditional Bioware model of encouraging you to play the same story again but with a different alignment or different set of choices made. So SWTOR has better replay value in one sense. However SWTOR doesn’t really allow for the earth-shattering choices that Mass Effect or other Bioware games tend to dish up. This matters to SWTOR because the game is sold on story, and if the endings are not satisfying or impressive then players are less likely to care about staying with the game in the longer term.
Whatever you feel about ME3’s ending, at least the fanbase is really invested in the series and passionate about the ending they want; can the same be said about SWTOR?