You're forgetting the space elevator. The Catalyst could very easily have left you to die with Anderson. Instead, he sends down his 'elevator' and brings you up to him for a chat. At that point, had the Catalyst not bothered then the Crucible was fucked, and Shepard would have died alongside Anderson. Beyond that the rest of the allied forces would have been completely dependent on a conventional victory, which just wouldn't happen, as evidenced by the refuse ending.
No matter which ending you pick, you're completely dependent on the Catalyst even entering a dialogue with you, ergo, you win because he lets you win.
The space elevator was the point of entry chosen by Andersen. It was how they were sending bodies up to the Citadel to render the new human Reaper. Remember your point of entry in the processing area with the bodies all around you?
That was the Reapers being true to their programming. Their initial attempts to create a human Reaper were thwarted in ME2 with the destruction of the Collector base, and they were still attempting that at this late stage. Indeed, its why they were on Earth in the first place.
And if all that's true, there's a very distinct reason that the Reapers would still feel the need for processing the Earth, even at this point when they were actually loosing Reapers to armed resistance.
They refused to see it as a war, and only as a harvest -and that Shepard was actually destroying life by fighting them.
As far as the Catalyst - there seemed to be some point that unifying the races allowed Shepard access, which had never happened before.
That was the part I was criticizing - not sure WHY that changes things.
Of course, this is all writer fiat - I'd much rather have crashed the Normandy through the beam and sent out my squad to fight our way in. Makes just as much sense - and is far more in character for Shepard.
Plus, if you're playing renegade, then you've effectively just been handed the keys to conquering the galaxy yourself.
In the end, I weighed the fate of one species, against the fate of all. Sorry Legion, you lost!
Well, personal ethics then - I couldn't see the synthesis, as invasive and violating as it was, the same as genocide. Either choice clearly sucks though.
I do agree, to have to kill off the Geth, especially after you'd just freed them and given the peace with the Quarians, was hard to take - but as per above, I saw it as the lesser of two evils (just).
I seriously have no idea how they're going to go about continuing a series beyond ME3. They would have to canonize one of the four possible endings. It's highly unlikely to be refuse, but the other three - well each has problems.
Agreed. There's lots of ways you could try, but the big problem is the multiple endings mean you come from the galaxy in a vastly different state.
One way would be to 'meta' it - the Mass Relays being broken/frakked up could have all sorts of consequences. One interesting one would be an alternate reality - all three endings happen, but different places in the Mass Relay circuit have different endings in place. It would make for a series of cool what ifs. But I think there's be a lot of blow back on that one for being too Star Trek, as much fun as exploring all the different outcomes would be in one setting.
That's why I thought about the Reaper Rebirth idea - all of the three endings work there, and it can dramatically alter the universe. You get past the Reaper threat, and have a whole new series of questions. Hell, remember how warlike the Protheans were? Imagine them and hundreds of other species popping up. LOL.
It's going to be hard to come up with a way that legitimizes the choice and still makes for a game setting that all three endings could provide. The control by itself is a bitch - what possible threats could arise that the Reapers themselves couldn't deal with under a benevolent God-Shepard?
I think you need to get rid of the Reapers to continue the story no matter which choice you make.