Mass Effect 3 Extended Edition: Putting Lipstick On A Frog?

Before getting bogged down, please let me speed things up for those of you who have only one question that needs answering. Does the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut fix the things that are wrong with the infamously divisive conclusion to Mass Effect 3?

Nope.

The ending remains problematic; full of plot holes, contradictory of critical series concepts, and retaining the literal deus ex machina that caused so many headaches the first time around. Despite this, it manages to do something I certainly didn’t expect: make these things almost palatable. For most of us, it won’t be enough to salvage the clunky mess BioWare made of their signature epic, but it might have managed, barely, to save Mass Effect 3′s replay value. Think of the Mass Effect Extended Edition like a shot of morphine to ease the passage of a terminally ill patient. It would have been better to get a real cure, but at least the end doesn’t seem so bleak.

Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC: PC, Xbox 360 (reviewed), Playstation 3
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: June 26, 2012
MSRP: Free

So, what works? Surprisingly, more than I expected. I didn’t really talk about this in our previous discussion of the Mass Effect 3 ending, but it bears noting that in the original state, it looked ridiculously cheap. Each ending clearly used recycled assets; why else would the same explosion rock the Mass Relays no matter your choice? But what made it worse is that they appeared to be barely-completed assets, poorly rendered, grainy, and with botched perspective. These problems were clumsily disguised by putting a green, blue, or red wash on them, and adding some trippy visual effects. The obvious conclusion, as I saw it, is that Electronic Arts cut off the flow of cash, forcing BioWare to make due with whatever assets they had already completed. That, at least as much as the terrible writing, contributed to the original endings’ failures.

The Extended Edition, if it does nothing else, fixes this. Yes, certain cutscenes still make use of recycled assets; the spread of galactic space energy throughout the mass relay network is still distinguished only by red, blue, and green. But new animations produced for the Extended Edition appear to have actually been funded. The scenes unique to each ending (which, it must be noted, are very few) look produced. There is now an actual sense of ending, of completion absent from the original build. Even the stills are lavishly painted. It’s no substitute for a true fix to Mass Effect 3′s unfortunate, last-minute narrative flaws, but the ending no longer looks as brazenly half-assed as it did in the release version of the game.

Likewise, as Phil Hornshaw noted in his review, the Extended Edition finally offers actual closure to disappointed fans. While I have been quite frustrated by Casey Hudson’s obtuse unwillingness to even acknowledge that the fans had several rather well articulated problems with the ending aside from closure, it is indeed true that the abruptness was a serious problem. And it is now gone. Each ending, though retaining some of the similarities that marred the original launch, contains unique moments that actually give you a sense of what, precisely, your choices meant.

If you choose ‘destroy’, the future is uncertain but the human (sentient being?) spirit continues, even if you had to pretty much kill every cuddly robot in the galaxy to make it happen. If you select ‘synthesis’, well, it still doesn’t make any goddamned sense but at least you see how it plays out. If you select ‘Control’, you now see that Shepard resembles Elaine Belloc from Lucifer (look it up, you won’t be sorry). BioWare even went ahead and included the ending we all wanted, the ability to refuse the choices offered to us in the end of the game (though trust me, fans will not like how they went about it; I know I didn’t).

BioWare managed the most unlikely trick of making the ending bearable enough that I actually kind of want to replay. And honestly, I found some moments to be genuinely touching. It really works surprisingly well… but only as long as it’s considered solely in context of the instant you experience each ending.

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48 Comments on Mass Effect 3 Extended Edition: Putting Lipstick On A Frog?

Dave

On June 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for being a website that doesn’t immediately defend someone if they made a game – I am sure so many games journalists who would jump to Bioware’s defence are the same ones who rip on Michael Bay everytime he releases a film. All of which have better endings than ME3. I say this not having seen all of his films…but please, they can’t be worse.

Yogondu

On June 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I have to say that the endings were better and provided more closure but they still don’t belong on this game. They worked on Deus Ex because you really did not care about the character as much as commander Shepard. Every player’s Shepard(or Shepards) is special and almost a part of the player. We want to see the best for Shepard in much the same way a parent wants to see the best for their kids. Alas there is nothing that can help Shepard’s plight. However, Shepard’s fate seems intentionally ambiguous in the destroy reapers ending as Garrus never places Shepard’s name plate on the memorial wall on the Normandy and we have the “deep breath” scene just before the credits.

Ryan

On June 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I’m done with Mass effect and I’m done with Bioware. They fooled me into playing a completely different game(apparently) than I thought I was playing.

Aedelric

On June 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I will not touch another game/dlc if it has Mac Walters or Casey Hudson names attached even if they work for new companies. They screwed up the ending and do not even have the good grace to admit it, their pride and unwillingness to have the decent writers at Bioware step in and fix it is why I made my decision.

Plenty of other great RPG developers around that want my money, after the disastrous DA2, SWTOR, ME3 I am seriously considering saying farewell to Bioware, three games in a row was more than enough chances.

Mark

On June 26, 2012 at 10:05 pm

After seeing the new endings, I feel slightly better. But just slightly. Before, the endings were absolutely terrible. Now they are just bad. I had plans to replay the entire trilogy and get literally every detail exactly how I wanted it. And now every time I see Mass Effect on my shelf I am reminded of the colossal failure that the ending was, and I have no desire to invest even a minute more of my time. Bioware messed it up so bad. All they had to do was admit they had made a mistake, swallow their pride, and make a new ending. But no, they offered DLC which on the surface makes things better, but don’t stand up to even 5 minutes of rational analysis. Those endings were three different versions of the same generic, optimistic motivational speech set to a slide show. REALLY? After all of our complaints about the ending being the same, you release more content which REINFORCES our complaints? The only way I will ever play another Bioware game is if they release KOTOR 3.

Kyle

On June 26, 2012 at 11:25 pm

whether anyone wants to admit it or not the control ending with full war assets and everyone saved is actually damn good

Michael

On June 26, 2012 at 11:46 pm

While improved…these ending still left me severely underwhelmed. Apparently their response to rushed ending that looked identical was to instill a bunch of animated stills that are essentially identical in the exact same order with a different voice-over that essentially says the same exact thing. “People died, and we’re going to rebuild”. Yes, the endings were definitely better, but that’s really not aspiring to much. The first were so terrible, that anything that wasn’t just a giant “SUCK IT” was going to be better. But they clearly made this as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Which is fine, and that’s their decision. I’m sure it was more profitable in the short run. But “fast and cheap” when it comes to gameplay, art, and story, aren’t things I’m looking for.

Honestly…the one thing that the ending had going strong for it, in my opinion, was some wonderful music. The rest was a truly mediocre addition that really does temper my desire to enjoy the other 90 hours of game.

That’s a shame, and unfortunately to me…that’s the legacy that Mass Effect specifically, and EA-Bioware in general, have left for me.

I hope that at some point soon, maybe when their stocks crater even more, that the executives at EA will look at themselves and realize “we’re doing something wrong”. Until then, I’m thoroughly unexcited that they think that the solution isn’t to make great, full games…but to throw a bunch of crap at us across multiple platforms.

Anyways…that ended up as a much longer diatribe than I intended it to be.

wesker1984

On June 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

You might find yourself playing the series again, but you’ll probably not care about returning to the galaxy for future installments. I certainly don’t.

Do not act like you know what everyone have in mind my friend. Me i care about returning to the galaxy for future installments. If Bioware come out with a good story who can spend another half decade of a trilogy about our beloved franchise, i’m in.

I love the ME universe and i want more sexy quarians female to date and unmasked next time!

Pilot

On June 27, 2012 at 1:27 am

Sums it up pretty well. Story wise it still makes little sense, but at least it doesn’t look like a total rip off anymore. Mass effect was a good story with great characters until the end where it turned into a standard video game. Sad.

absehbar

On June 27, 2012 at 4:41 am

So… more bad.. ….ahem … very stupid choices piled onto the triple-colour pick from March ?

Instead of dealing with obvious plot-holes in the story arc they add some slide shows for the brain-dead and “explain away” it-all-worked-out solutions ….. Shepard does still become the “semi-reaper overlord” or she-who-caused-unanimous-synthesis with the reaper …..or blasts the universe into smithereens (now in two different ways !).

Because Mr. Hudson and EA did not care for a competent ending or “artistic integrity”, but for their pride and line of balance. Could some please explain to them the concept of “sales never made due to this” ?.

I so hope Mr Hudson comes by my customs booth one day, so I can reciprocate with a nice set of triple choices of being strip-searched. Red, Green or Blue… how would you like us to proceed ?

Eric

On June 27, 2012 at 6:17 am

Man, I don’t get why people are hating on Bioware because they killed Shepard. The story had such a huge emphasis on “sacrifices” (just look at how many characters died/could have died during the series). Shepard had to make the ultimate sacrifice for the galaxy. War can only be won if people are willing to make the hard choices and put others before themselves and I thought Bioware did well reflecting that reality…instead of making it all Hollywood where “everybody lives and everything just somehow works out fine in the end”.

Fletcher

On June 27, 2012 at 7:31 am

@Eric
People aren’t hating on Bioware because they killed Shepard. Okay maybe some are but that isn’t the real problem with the ending. Heck, I went into to this game knowing that Shepard would probably die at the end and I ironically chose an ending where Shepard presumably survived. The real problems with the ending stem from gaping plot holes and a general lack of effort on Bioware’s part. Just check out a few articles on this site and you will see what I mean.

Ross Lincoln

On June 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

“Man, I don’t get why people are hating on Bioware because they killed Shepard. ”

I’m not. Here’s what I actually said:

“It’s also true that each option results inevitably in the death of your character. Now don’t misunderstand me: I am not suggesting that the problem is a lack of a happy ending. Bad outcomes were always possible, and demanded by the story. But no matter what you do, at the end the player is simply removed from the game. After 100+ hours of making the player an active agent in their own story, it forces them into a passive, helpless role. Heroic sacrifice or not, ‘you die no matter what’ isn’t even remotely close to the wildly divergent endings promised by endless official copy. That in and of itself doesn’t make for bad storytelling, but it’s a jarring transition, and central to the fanbase’s discontent. Combine that lack of choice with the seriously silly, contradicting, or just plain dumb moments in the ending that aren’t fixed by the Extended Edition, and what you have is a bad outcome regardless of how much closure you now get.”

Malice661

On June 27, 2012 at 8:04 am

First off, let me just say how much I love this site, you guys are straight shooters and truly hear the voice of the gaming community. Now the endings…They are in fact better, but honestly that’s really not saying much. What I fear is that though this may calm the rage of the more casual ME player, and allow those who have yet to play the game to probably enjoy it very much. It wont take away the sour taste left in the mouths of the devout. But in all honesty the only way to fix that is either with a Delorian or a TARDIS and a new script.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!
And to comment on the “Your going to die no matter what” argument it is addressed in the new endings (though cheaply). In Control Shepard is both technically alive and dead, being elevated to a higher state of being by combining his/her consciousnesses with…I’m not sure what…Star child? the wraiths themselves?

Then in Destroy they use the cliche Hollywood gimmick of showing the hero’s body then that person taking a dramatic breath before cutting away, indicating that he/she is still alive.

So does that give you the ability to see Shepard live on in the universe?… yes. Is it a particularly good way?…no. But then again that brings us back to the title of this article it’s not the most pretty fix, but its better than what it was.

Eddie

On June 27, 2012 at 9:25 am

I’d say things are marginally better at best, but all of the 3 main endings are still basically the same, most of the clips and stills are the same or slightly different between each one, and I think some of the stuff they added actually added more plot holes as opposed to less

Batman1301

On June 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

I still don’t like the endings, but they are better than what we had. I am pretty much done with Bioware. I respect them a little more for giving it a shot. but not enough to renew my faith and trust in them. So I say goodbye to the once great company! I’ll be taking my money and spending it elsewhere.

My problem isn’t that Shepard died in all the endings, it is that all real choice was removed from the end after having it throughout the series. I felt I was no longer part of the game and was just watching it happen like any other game. Sure it would have been nice to have endings where Shepard lived. It would have been better to have the diversity for the endings that we had been promised. Every ending didn’t need to result in Shepard’s death, just like all of them didn’t need to result in him living. The possibility of making a choice and finding a way to survive is what I was hoping for. I had hoped for a good end to this series.

Chris

On June 27, 2012 at 9:46 am

People aren’t mad just because Shepard dies, they’re mad because his death just feels so arbitrary or even contrary to all previous plot and character development. Why is the only solution to the reaper threat doing what the reapers tell you to? That’s what those three choices boil down to. As for the new fourth ending, its probably the most intricate nibble finger I’ve ever received so thank you for that bioware. Honestly, at this point I’m finished with bioware they’ve sold they’re integrity as a developer for inflated egos and market share.

Mr Glassback

On June 27, 2012 at 10:16 am

I am surprised that there have been no more leaks as to what went wrong. The ‘writers being shut out’ leak sounded believable and if true I was hoping to hear the real writers defend themselves a bit instead of having to put their good names on that steaming turd of an ending (not to mention their name’s on the new ‘f**k you moaning fans ending)
Anyway, time to move on now. These classless people have had enough of my money and time. So long Bioware.

DJAwkwardSilence

On June 27, 2012 at 11:25 am

Ross, you have to be one of the most articulate, thoughtful, and fair minded video game writers out there. Thanks for this spot-on review.

DJAwkwardSilence

On June 27, 2012 at 11:26 am

Ross, you have to be one of the most articulate, thoughtful, and fair minded video game writers out there. Thanks for this spot-on review.

SXO

On June 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

@Glassback I’m pretty sure they squashed those leaks hard and fast with threats of jobs lost. The writer who initially leaked it turned around and claimed his account was hacked, such a convenient story. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want him to lose his job just to stand by the info he leaked, but it was fairly obvious it was really him.

lol

On June 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm

This gaming generation sucks, everyone feels so entitled with social media and all that other bull. I wonder if it’s because most players have to buy with their own money instead of asking mommy or daddy for it.

If any of you were born or remember the Halo 2 cliffhanger?

Knowing you HAD to buy an Xbox 360 AND wait for Halo 3?

I support Bioware and the few people who hated the ending are lucky Bioware even attempted to clarify their ending FOR FREE.

The same people that about the ending are the same people that cry on the forums about nerfing guns and skills in MP because they aren’t the number one spot on the scoreboard.

Mark

On June 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

@lol,

Your argument about Halo 2 is…. not applicable. Halo 2 was the middle game in a trilogy, everyone went into it expecting to have to buy Halo 3, so no one complained when that came true. I don’t think any of us would be nearly as upset if Mass Effect 3 had a cliff hanger ending that was good. But this one was crap. Also, saying that the people who hated the ending are “few”….LOL. Right.

Kevin

On June 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

@Mark,

I’ve logged over 150 hours in both ME1 and ME2 in their lifetimes. I’ve done just about every savegame you can do.

As for Mass Effect 3, I’ve only played that once. Haven’t even bothered loading other characters or scenarios. The last 5 minutes of the vanilla game destroyed an entire trilogy.

As far as KOTOR3, anyone honestly want the current Bioware (which is WORLDS different than the Bioware of 10 years ago which released that game) to touch KOTOR3? If anything, give me the Obsidian team, but don’t give them a deadline.

Once you actually look at the entire KOTOR2 storyline, and what they wanted to do, that game would’ve been one of the greatest RPG’s ever. The classes and combat improved upon the original, as did the influence mechanic (once it was properly working.) Alas, they were forced to make a subpar ending due to artificial time constraints from LucasArts. Both LA and Bioware have become far worse companies (Force Unleashed 2 at full price anyone?)

wallydog1

On June 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

“LOL” Yeah, isn’t it terrible for consumers to want to get a quality product now a days. I swear, you’ld think they had spent $60 or more dollars on a product that screams value. What are they thinking.
Now on to the article. I’m curious. If you take the time to explain crap and expand on it, does it change it, or is it just crap that we understand more? If you put seasonings on crap, does it turn into steak, or is it more flavorful crap? Now explaining it might make it easier to understand where crap comes from and that it actually might have been good at one time, but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow now. In essence, it may make some people feel better knowing alittle more but is still crap. Wow, what a coincidence. This is the same name I labled their artistic vision. Funny how that works.

Kevin

On June 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Couple other things.

First @ Eric:

I don’t care that they killed Shep. Most don’t either. What we care about is that his death was done in an utterly atrocious way. No matter what, his death meant ultimately…… NOTHING in the grand scheme of things. That’s slightly remedied now, but it was true of the vanilla.

And @ lol:

First, you like to mock those you disagree with, but you expect anyone to take you seriously with the name “lol.” What do you think this is? IGN?

As Mark pointed out, your supposed big argument is a big fat Non sequitir. Or in terms you might better understand…… lolwut?

If you notice, most of us don’t really give a damn anymore about Mass Effect 3. We’ve moved on. We aren’t the ones crying about multiplayer gun stats and scoreboards, because we aren’t playing the game period. We were willing to check out the “extended edition.” Now we’ll go back to not playing. btw, if you wanna see what an “extended edition” is supposed to be like, go check out Witcher 2, for an example of what happens when a company actually listens to its customers.

In spite of all the spin, EA acknowledged that Mass Effect 3 came in way BELOW expecations saleswise. In other words, they’ve lost money on it. Their stock price is in the cellar, and this isn’t changing any of it. So insult all you want. It doesn’t change the fact that the ending still sucks, EA is still losing money, and Bioware is but a shell of the company it once was. Indeed, if a future Bioware rises, the current Bioware would not recognize it.

dratkin

On June 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I broke down and downloaded the EC last night but I just can’t bring myself to play ME3 again.
I am just done with Bioware unless they can actually make Dragon Age 3 like Origins.
Other than that I am writing them off. We have got to stop letting these game compaines treat us so badly.
Whatever happened to “the customer is right” attitude? Oh well I guess they just don’t want my money.
Someone will step up and make great rpg’s. I have yet to be failed by Bethesda.
Morrowind is still their best game though.

dratkin

On June 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Gamefront and Youtube have been the only voices of reason other than the fans in this whole fiasco.
I got the EC but I just can’t bring myself to relive that horrible ending unless they ACTUALLY CHANG the ending altogether. Bioware has pretty much lost me as a fan completely.
I was dying for KOTOR 3. Bioware- NO
I was dying for a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. Bioware- No we are changing everything.
I wanted a real ending to an awesome game series. Bioware- You will take what we make.
You know I really don’t have to keep doing that. Good luck keeping EA from liquidating your company now that you have alienated your fans.

rcy

On June 28, 2012 at 2:07 am

@dratkin

I see what you did there……six seasons and a movie.

In all seriousness though just quite disappointed in Bioware now, was cautiously optimistic about the EC before it came out, but now really feeling it just was not enough. Faith lost in Bioware.

Brad

On June 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

@Kevin:

I agree with you on every count except one: I would never let Obsidian make another game, period. Alpha Protocol anyone? (Ok. I will admit that AP was at least replayable.)

@dratkin:

I agree with your comment about “the customer is always right.” I have felt for the past few years that we need a “Media Users Bill of Rights.” Such a document would more or less dictate who can use DRM and when, as well as limit how draconian it is. It would also require media production companies to make a quality product, or face a lawsuit. It would also prevent companies like EA from adding the “you agree never to sue us” clause into their EULAs. Additionally, it would crack down on the crap we’re forced to tolerate from companies like Facebook, etc.

Those that argue that we gamers feel entitled need to keep in mind that without us, those with the money, influence, and power would walk all over everyone. That’s right. We “Entitled” are protecting you and ourselves from the abuses of corporate greed.

Hunter

On June 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

All I have to say is after I beat the game (I even got the worst ending), I was VERY surprised to see all the nerd rage over the ending.. Sure it was no happy ending but it just added to the dark atmosphere to the game. I’d rather have a dark, gruesome, bad ending then an expected happy ever ending one. Just be happy that Bioware made THREE great games for you with GREAT story, ungrateful children.

pooleboy87

On June 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

“All I have to say is after I beat the game (I even got the worst ending), I was VERY surprised to see all the nerd rage over the ending.. Sure it was no happy ending but it just added to the dark atmosphere to the game. I’d rather have a dark, gruesome, bad ending then an expected happy ever ending one. Just be happy that Bioware made THREE great games for you with GREAT story, ungrateful children.”

I can’t even TELL you how utterly ridiculous and stupid that comment is.

1) Knock it off with the “ungrateful children” and the “entitled” bull. It’s old, and it’s moronic. I don’t have to be happy or grateful about anything, I’m a consumer, and payed Bioware a few hundred dollars for their three games, and countless DLCs. So no, saying that we should be grateful offers nothing, and is a stupid and passive behavior for any customer to take.

2) You CLEARLY haven’t been paying attention to the issues people have had with the ending. Sure there were people that just wanted an ending that was all rainbows. Far more people were upset that the ending was highly abrupt, had (clearly) low production value, was non-sensical, was poorly written, and was in direct contradiction to not only much of the games…but LITERALLY was in direct contradiction to many of the advertisements and statements made by people like Casey Hudson.

3) I hope you NEVER direct your rage at anything you spend money on that doesn’t work exactly how you want it to. I hope you’re always grateful for what large companies deep appropriate to give to you when taking your money, because if you ever complain about a product…you’re a hypocrite. A stupid hypocrite at that.

wallydog1

On June 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm

pooleboy87 Why do you even try. People like Hunter have retardation syndrome. They are too stupid to understand, therefore don’t even try, no matter how much it’s explained to them. And because they have this self emposed retardation, they insult others as a way to make themselves feel big and intellegent. Only problem is they don’t really understand just how pathetic and stupid they really sound. The only thing you can do is try to sooth them, like this. ” It’s ok Hunter, of course your right. The big bad people yelling makes you scared doesn’t it? It’s ok. Take your medicine now, it’s bed time. Say goodnight to all the people out there. That’s right. Suck on your thumb if it helps.”
That’s how you handle people like Hunter. You’ll just scare him by saying logical things.

Jonathan

On June 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Synthesis, and control still are the worst options if you ask me. The best is still Destroy, by a long shot now.

Won’t be buying anymore Bioware games/DLC. To much heart ache.

Dratkin

On June 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Who even cares any more. Goodbye Bio/EA. I am off to play Dawngard.
I am done with Bioware. As I said in a post yesterday. Bioware good luck not being dissolved by EA after alienating your fans.

Dratkin

On June 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm

@ Kevin
You are so on the mark with everything you said.
If Obsidian was rushed to do a KOTOR 3 I have no doubt it wouldn’t be that great.
If like Blizzard’s motto was uses ” It will be done when it is done”. I have no doubt that Obsidian could release a masterpiece.

Blake

On June 29, 2012 at 5:54 am

As a fan of the original Mass Effect (play style and the best story of the three imo) it seemed Bioware had already been making decisions that were questioning it’s artistic integrity. When you compare ME and ME2 the changes made were vast and somewhat unexpected. I know the original had a flawed cover system and somewhat spotty ai but what they did in ME2 was to nearly remove all the rpg aspects from the game. They got rid of the exploring the earning experience buy killing enemies and made a more linear level experience similar to Gears of War. In fact they took a lot from that third person shooter and then added a Bioware narrative over it. Next they decided that players don’t want unique weapons and armors for themselves and their crew so they cut it down to only a very, very small selection and removed companion armors all together. They went in the wrong direction when EA had acquired them instead of making a great rpg with well implemented third person shooter elements they made an good third person shooter with some rpg elements like EA was trying to ride on the back of the GoW money train. The missed potential reeks in ME2 and 3 and the terrible excuse of endings was the final slap in the face for many of the Bioware fans. There is nothing wrong with Shepard dieing, in fact someone who is suppose to stop the reapers I figured a great heroic sacrifice would probably be the only option. Then getting to the ending with all the assets I could possibly get plus spending multiple hours in multiplayer to have 100% galactic readiness only to be shown emo garbage like some JRPJ crap that makes no sense what so ever is ridiculous. Bioware lost it’s artistic integrity long before this fiasco. It was lost when they let EA purchase them.

CatmanStu

On June 29, 2012 at 6:21 am

After playing through the “Destroy” ending and watching the others online, I have to agree with most of the sentiments expressed here (both in the article and comments) with one exception; I think the “Refuse” ending borders on genius (completely unintentionally though).
The Reapers are portrayed throughout the entire series as being practically invinsible due to the fact that organic society has followed the technological evolution that THEY wanted. The Protheans figured this out but their plan to warn the next cycle was flawed because it relied on interacting with telepathic lifeforms that had already interacted with Reaper tech. Liarra’s plan in LOTSB was brilliant. Seeding as many planets as possible with time capsules explaning the entire history of the conflict and thereby warning the new races before they have discovered the relays and the Citidel.
Every civilization would develop with a common goal; to destroy the Reapers. That common enemy would stop the races starting out believing they are alone in the galaxy and make them work together to hunt and destroy the Reaper left to open the gateway to dark space and devise a plan to stop the inevitable invasion.

lee

On June 29, 2012 at 6:31 am

@blake Preach brother blake! Bioware is corrupted. CAN I GET A AMEN!!!!

wesker1984

On June 29, 2012 at 11:25 am

Stop crying because you say all you spend your money for nothing. The ones you all should be crying against is no other than yourself. If you are so depressed for spending a little 60 bucks on your game just return it.

Jordan

On June 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

I can’t believe the whining I’m hearing. It’s as if you’d just finished a tremendous three-course meal from a master chef, and then flipped the table over and stormed out of the restaurant forever because you didn’t like the dessert.

You already know what impact your choices made. You knew even with the original ending. You know exactly what happens to the Krogan, the Rachni, the Quarians and the Geth, not to mention the lives of your crew, as a result of your actions. The ending isn’t really the ending, it’s denouement. The whole third game is the ending.

As to plot holes, the original ending was problematic, but Bioware fixed it. We know now how the Normandy got off Earth, that the relays just disintegrated instead of exploding, and what happens to galactic culture afterwards. We even get much more detailed reasoning from the catalyst for why this is all happening in the first place. What more do you want? And if you don’t like the catalyst’s reasoning, then that’s a personal problem, not Bioware’s. I think it’s a fantastic irony that a synthetic construct is waging war on organics in order to prevent synthetics from destroying organics. It’s malfunctioning, nothing more and nothing less, and a broken robot doesn’t have to make sense.

You don’t have to like it, but Bioware is to be commended for doing this at all, and I think it was a great success.

Kevin

On June 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Wesker,

A lot of people DID return the game, and advised others not to get it. hence why EAware, by their own admission, lost quite a bit of money on mass effect 3. This endless multiplayer stuff still isn’t helping them break even.

So I’ll enjoy it. And I honestly don’t see them reclaiming a lot of the old fans. Bioware did lasting damage on this one, and it will be some time before they can reclaim it.

Sol

On June 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm

“what you have is a bad outcome regardless of how much closure you now get.”
Why did bioware not understand this?

It goes from “trilogy breaking horrible” to “pretty bad”. It is pretty annoying how most of the issues were not addressed, as you said, “Casey Hudson’s obtuse unwillingness to even acknowledge that the fans had several rather well articulated problems.” That is kind of why we hate him. They’re just ignoring fundamental problems. The Starchild’s very existence is the biggest problem in the entire series. He breaks most of the entire plot. How they do not understand that fact is beyond me.

Dreyne

On July 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

“The new option which allows you to act in the way Shepard has been portrayed throughout the entire series – rejecting the three choices outright – is the worst possible option, causing the loss of the entire galaxy to the reapers.”

I don’t have a problem with this – the entire point of the story was to use the crucible, so it makes sense that organics would lose the fight by not using it. The real problem I have is that it’s too brief, yet again.

“It’s also worded to feel specifically insulting to people who requested this option. That’s classless.”

I’ve seen this written a few times and haven’t really picked up on it myself, though then again I didn’t actually go through the dialogue choices and just shot the Catalyst in the head afterwards. I did watch the dialogue afterwards and it seemed ok. I’d certainly rather have the option than not have it, and it even shows at the end that organics did eventually beat the reapers thanks to Liara’s VI. It needed far more meat to it and it would have been good to see different outcomes depending on choices/EMS, but overall I don’t think it’s as bad as some are making out.

Ollie Brown

On July 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

‘wesker1984′, ‘lol’, and ‘Hunter’ are not worth responding to, folks. They’ve all entered into a belief system of creative infallibility because it allows them to ignore their lack of critical thinking skills, as well as blatant consumer shortcomings of BioWare. They use the ‘entitlement’ argument to silence the voice of the overwhelming majority (of those polled) and cling to straw man arguments because they either don’t understand the most contentious issues or because they literally won’t allow themselves to acknowledge them because they don’t want their insular views to be challenged. You can’t reason with them, they refuse to reason.

The extended cut did what it needed to and I’m grateful that BioWare released it, but the bottom line is that BioWare shouldn’t have needed a massive backlash to deliver a feature in a ‘completed’ game that it had already promised before release. Honestly, the customers aren’t ‘lucky’ in the slightest to get what they should have got over three months ago – it’s BioWare and EA that is fortunate to not be on the receiving end of the largest simultaneous trading standards lawsuit in the history of the entertainment industry for quite demonstrably lying about the nature of a major asset of a consumer product.

Jordan is a cunt

On July 5, 2012 at 11:58 am

Jordan
“I can’t believe the whining I’m hearing. It’s as if you’d just finished a tremendous three-course meal from a master chef, and then flipped the table over and stormed out of the restaurant forever because you didn’t like the dessert.”

Poor comparison – the ending is NOT the dessert of any story. It is widely accepted to be, in fact, the single most important facet of any narrative. It’s the one part of a story that decides how it’s remembered.

And if I’d PAID for that dessert, and found that it was not only unsatisfactory but caused me to vomit the rest of the meal, then yes, I would in fact be perfectly entitled to complain about it.

It’s not ‘whining’, I’m afraid. It’s expecting what you paid for, and what was specifically advertised. If you’re that obtuse and that far up the arses of Casey Hudson and his cronies that you still believe this was all about taste, then you lack vision. It’s always been about far more than that.

Sighlander

On July 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Jordan
“I can’t believe the whining I’m hearing. It’s as if you’d just finished a tremendous three-course meal from a master chef, and then flipped the table over and stormed out of the restaurant forever because you didn’t like the dessert.”

No. It’s more like if you spent £200+ on a three course meal under the express belief that the dessert was going to be brilliant, then discovered that it in fact caused you to vomit the entire lot. The ending, for those who have never attempted to write a story (which clearly includes you), is NOT simply a bonus to the rest of the narrative. It is widely accepted to be the single most important facet of the tale. It single-handedly decides how that story is remembered. This is why The Sopranos is basically ONLY remembered for its confusing ending, and not for the six years of awesomeness beforehand. And, of course, there’s the unavoidable fact that BioWare’s post-release description of the nature of the ending and how much influence the player would have on it – as well as what they would receive from it – was completely contradicted by what they delivered. That is NOT a victory, and it is mental gymnastics of an Olympic standard on your part to believe that this has been anything other than an unmitigated disaster for BioWare and EA.

If you liked the ending then good for you, but if you STILL believe that this was about taste then you’re shorter-sighted than Mr Magoo. This was about the consumers getting what they paid for, three months after paying for it.

‘Whining’, indeed.

Tython

On April 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Well said. I had to download the Mass Effect Happy Ending Mod (MEHEM) to get a satisfactory conclusion to the series for me. It’s sad that a fan based mod was needed to end a 3 game trilogy. Embarrassing!

I truly hope Mass Effect 4 crashes and burns and Bioware comes crawling back to the fans to give them what they want; Shepard and the crew of the Normandy back!