If you read my entry of Replaying the Classics on Mass Effect 3, or if you’re familiar with the game through some other means, you know about the controversy over the way the game ends. After I finished my most recent playthrough I started getting ideas on what could be done to improve Mass Effect 3, just as I had gotten ideas after previous playthroughs. This time, however, I actually wrote them down would like to share some with you. Today I’ll go over an idea I had for a low budget option to improve the game. This option is intended to change the game but with a minimum number of adjustments and as little money spent as possible.

To improve Mass Effect 3 on a low budget I will keep the game exactly that way it is and only change the last few minutes of it. The changes will start when you’re inside the Citadel and have the final confrontation with the Illusive Man. I’ll change this from merely a dialogue into an actual boss fight, though there would still be parts of the fight where the action pauses for Shepard and the Illusive Man to engage in a war of words. Anderson would be wounded on the sidelines, and shouting either encouragement at Shepard or insults at the Illusive Man, or maybe he’s quiet. Normally the Illusive Man would be an opponent that Shepard could kill without breaking a sweat, but at the end of Mass Effect 3 you’re playing as a wounded Shepard and the Illusive Man has Reaper enhancements in his body, so this final fight would be far from a cakewalk. After the fight, Shepard will stagger forward towards the control panel and open the Citadel arms so that the Catalyst can dock with it. When the Catalyst docks with the Citadel, the Reaper known as Harbinger will realize that the tables are about to be turned on the Reapers, and will come rushing at the Citadel. Screaming his normal lines about the Reaper superiority, Shepard gets one final chance to do a Paragon or Renegade Interrupt and then slams the button to activate the Catalyst, thus destroying the Reaper armada (but not blowing up the Mass Relays). Shepard and Anderson have their final scene together and Anderson dies seeing that the Reapers were defeated. Does Shepard live? I’m ok with Shepard dying at the end of Mass Effect 3, but part of me would also like to see him/her live, so maybe it should be left ambiguous.

That was my idea for improving Mass Effect 3 on a minimal budget. There are likely much better ones out there for a low budget solution but I wanted to write this out while it was still on my mind. Tomorrow I’ll go over other thoughts I had for improving Mass Effect 3, which I call the High Budget Solution.

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