Mass Effect 3 was the catalyst for the Great Nerd War of 2011-2012, a conflict that left thousands of forums trolled and almost twice as many feelings hurt.
Spoilers, by the way.
Run a search for Mass Effect 3 and click all the way down to about the first entry. Is it an article about the ending?
"Yes, I see it clearly...it's an article about how the ending was not what all the fans wanted."
BARRING the ending fiasco, though, Mass Effect 3's story takes up nicely from where the second game left off, which means that Shepard, the only human in the galaxy who knows how to fight Reapers, has been thrown in jail just before their invasion. Apparently, killing an entire system's worth of bataarians on purpose made him look bad.
"Because fuck bataarians." -God
Shepard has been warning the galaxy about the impending Reaper invasion for four years, but pretty much everybody is caught with their pants down, and now you get to say "I told you so" to anyone in any position of power.
Renegade Interrupt: Shoot him. Seventy times. In the genitals.
So Shepard has to fly around the galaxy, solving everybody's problems for everyone, which for some reason involves flying into Reaper-controlled space and picking up forgotten lunch pails.
One million times.
After curing the krogan genophage, uniting the geth and the quarians (What, you didn't unite them? Didn't have enough reputation points for the paragon option? Guess you should have fetched more lunch pails), and taking down Cerberus, Shepard leads an assault to take back Earth, which starts out pretty awesomely...
Each one of those ships represents a fanboy's orgasm.
And ends with some overly-intellectualized, overly-stylized, much-too-short-for-the-thousand-hours-we-put-into-our-perfect-saves ending.
If you can scrounge up six million war assets you can tell him to go fuck himself. In my head, anyways.
Nobody knows why Casey Hudson locked out his writers and churned out his own ending, but the prevailing theory was that he was indoctrinated. His public execution did nothing to pacify fans, though, and the Retake Mass Effect 3 movement was born.
I did not much care for the ending either. I expressed my frustration briefly, verbally, and went about my daily life. I did not consider federal action against the company that put out the game with the bad ending. Because I'm not fucking insane. But that's just me I guess.
A variety of coping mechanisms were implemented to deal with Mass Effect 3's ending, from the memeriffic Marauder Shields:
To the face-palmingly desperate attempt at explanation in the Indoctrination Theory:
The circled areas are undeniable proof that hope is simultaneously the source of humanity's greatest strength and its greatest weakness.
To several million Bioware Social Network posts to the effect of: "I did not much care for this ending, and I will tell you that I did not much care for this ending."
Sometimes with the aid of humorous demotivational posters.
Here's a fun fact: Bioware is Canadian! Isn't that cute?
"Ya Reaper hosers!"
The point of sharing that information was to explain why, instead of solving the problem by telling their butthurt fans to deal with it and appreciate the good parts of the game, Bioware agreed to take their colossal fuck-up of an ending and try to Spackle in some of the plot holes.
In a show of good faith, Casey Hudson was publicly executed again. And some of the ns were taken out of his memes, apparently.
After three months of feverishly not fixing the multiplayer, Bioware released a free "Extended Cut" DLC, which was met with varied opinions. On the one hand, many questions were answered, and a series of stills showed us that many of our friends were alive and well, lounging in lounge chairs loungily. On the other hand, shooting the Catalyst now resulted in automatic Reaper victory.
Mass Effect 3 is the first game in the franchise to feature a multiplayer mode, where up to four players fight waves of enemies in increasing difficulties. Success in multiplayer translates to improved EMS in single player mode, meaning that - OH FUCK THAT HUNTER HE WAS FUCKING STAGGERED AND HE SHOT ME THIS IS BULLSHIT.
"Okay, so he causes stagger, he can shoot while staggered, he can kill you in 2 - 3 shots, he has shields, and he can sidestep. Why don't we make him invisible as well?" -Casey Hudson, I'm guessing
On the plus side, the memes for multiplayer seem to be more creative than the "I did not care for the ending" memes from single player.
This isn't relevant, but I really hate the XX guy. What a douche.