Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut Ending DLC Review
NOTE: Duh, spoilers herein.
Closure, more than anything, was what the fans I spoke with about the ending of Mass Effect 3 seemed to be missing. The original ending, rushed and truncated as it was, lacked any sort of explanation of what state the galaxy would be left in after the events of the game. And with the release of the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut free DLC, BioWare has brought real closure to Shepard’s story — finally.
That the ending remains, in many ways, ham-fisted and messy, was to be expected given BioWare’s stance on reworking its series’ finale. It seems that the Extended Cut is a hearty dose of ketchup to an undercooked meal — at least this time, it’s edible.
Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC: PC, Xbox 360 (reviewed), Playstation 3
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: June 26, 2012
First off, straight up — the Extended Cut is a much better ending than the game originally shipped with, and if BioWare had gone with this treatment, I’m confident it would have avoided the ending controversy without any trouble. There would have been discussion, sure; disappointment, definitely; but widespread outrage? No. Because the Extended Cut takes what was a failure of an ending in the first go of Mass Effect 3 and salvages it to actually conclude things. Most of the original issues remain, but the ending goes from its previous state of “broken,” to simply being “kind of bad.”
BioWare said in the lead up to the release of the Extended Cut that players would need to start the new content as far back as the trip to Cerberus’ Chronos Base. Most, if not all, of the added content doesn’t start to show up until the final 20-25 minutes of the game, when Shepard and his team arrive at the conduit to reach the Citadel. Here is where “clarification” begins to take effect.
Some of the better scenes and additions depict Shepard stopping on his way to the conduit to help his squadmates, who are injured in the run. They’re evacuated to the Normandy, and we’re given much more information about how Joker and the others escape (and more importantly, why) while Shepard goes on (to his inevitable death). Plot hole closed (more or less).