Just over two weeks ago, Bioware released Mass Effect 3 extended cuts in late June, a free DLC for Mass Effect 3 in reaction to all the hate and flak that they got for the game’s terrible ending.
It wasn’t even on my radar to replay the last missions and see the new extended cuts, given that a ton of new games came out (Civilization5: Gods and Kings, and Endless Space) that I haven’t even had time to play that much or review them.
But a fellow gaming buddy highly suggested I go back and try Mass Effect 3′s Extended Cut out. “It’ll change the way you see the game,” he said.
I’m glad I did.
Thank you Bioware. Thank you for listening to your fans and coming up with the Extended Cuts that adds resolution and closure to the ending of this sublime series.
Note: The rest of this post has massive spoilers. If you haven’t completed the new endings, and want to see them unspoiled, stop reading and go replay the last part of Mass Effect 3.
Endings with closure
Sure, the Starchild portion of the ending still smacks of Deus Ex Machina, and the eventual endings do not change from the previous one.
However, with more dialogue and backstory, you get to understand and explore the motivations behind what the individual endings — destroy, control or synthesize — mean. There is even a fourth ending if you prefer to reject the choices given to you and go on your own terms.
This is what makes all the difference, where you have four separate actual endings rather than spray-painted palette-shifted clones in the original ending, where the end result was more or less similar.
Here, the concept of choice takes on immense importance as the consequences of each choice is fully explained with cinematics and cutscenes. I love it.
We also get closure with respect to all the characters we have grown to love over the series. Where are they when the Reaper threat is ended, and what are they doing? Do you get to see Jack talking to her students or paying respects at a graveyard? See Wrex have a a baby with his wife?
One of the final closing scenes, where the crew paid their respects to Shepard on Normandy’s memorial wall, was brilliant: It was heartbreaking, beautiful and bittersweet. It is storytelling at it’s finest, and I teared up.
We finally also get closure to some of the important loopholes in the original ending: How come Liara, whom was with you in the final assault ended up on the Normandy? Why did Joker leave the Sol system with the Normandy? All of this is answered.
Sure there are still tons of loopholes, but the game finally has closure and resolution, which is far more than I can say of the original endings.
Thank you fans for making your voice loud and clear on blogs, forums, and message boards, and getting Bioware to recognize that its original rushed endings suck.
And thank you Bioware for listening to your fans, and for releasing this DLC. You have won me back that you care about the games as much as your bottom line.
For more, do take a look at Angry Joe’s Extended Cut analysis: