Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Impressions
Bioware delivers on their promises and that’s about it.
In many ways, Mass Effect 3’s ending was a mess. Whether you were content with it or not, it’s hard to dispute the many shortcomings of the endings. There were numerous plot holes, inconsistencies and an overall lack of closure that left fans of the series angry and confused. Following the uproar of complaints about Mass Effect 3’s original ending, Bioware decided to take an opportunity to expand and elaborate on the endings that we already got. While this isn’t exactly what all fans wanted, I feel this is the best thing Bioware could have done to keep the integrity of their ending.
The rest of this article contains spoilers of the ending to Mass Effect 3 and its Extended Cut
This free DLC is overall an additional 30 to 45 minutes of cutscenes that clarify some plot holes and give players a clearer picture on the choices they have made and how they affected the galaxy. While players are advised to begin their saves before the attack on the Cerberus Base, to see all of what Extended Cut offers, players would be better off loading a save in London if they have one. Redoing it from the Cerberus Base only helps to refresh your memory on the events leading up to the final battle, but the first new cutscene from the DLC doesn’t appear until the final run toward the Citadel Beam at the very end of the London sequence.
Before getting into the new endings there were some additional cutscenes present to make sense of a few missing elements in the original ending. For example, in the original ending, players were very confused about the state of the party members that accompanied you while you ran down the hill to the Citadel Beam. At first players were under the impression that they died, but soon after in the scene where the Normandy crash lands on the new planet, those party members can be present. Many players were confused about how they could have possibly ended up on the Normandy; in the Extended Cut, a brand new scene is added showing how it happens. If you have your love interest present, an additional scene is there showing a touching, final send off between the two. To me, it was pretty surprising how Bioware just left something like that out. It’s a scene that’s definitely welcome, but should have been there from the start.
As far as the endings are concerned, each one is now elaborated on in much more detail and sense of closure. Players get to see the outcomes of their choices leading up to the ending, as well as the big picture laid out based on which ending is chosen. Interestingly enough, there is even a brand new ending for those of a defiant nature.
I don’t want to spoil the specifics of the endings, but one thing is definitely clear: the new ones are much better. The new endings provide a satisfaction that was completely absent from the original ending. However, Bioware didn't fill in all of the plot holes; for example, Anderson appearing on the Citadel before Shepard still doesn’t make much sense. Another lies within the “Destroy” ending where Shepard “lives” even though there is no reason he should be alive at all. While things like this could still be addressed in future DLC, it’s still too ambiguous for me.
Despite the shortcomings, the brand new additions to the endings are completely welcome. I recommend that anyone looking to experience Mass Effect 3 to its fullest should download the DLC. It won’t please everyone, and it might even upset some who were diehard believers of things like the Indoctrination Theory, but in the end, it’s completely worth the download.