Published on June 28th, 2012 | by Matt
Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut Review
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Warning: The following contains spoilers for both the original and extended Mass Effect 3 endings.
It’s finally here… again.
Yes, it is an odd thing to think that for more than three months since they’ve concluded their journeys as Commander Shepard, many gamers have been waiting for a ‘real’ ending to their beloved Mass Effect saga. And here it is; the ending that so many fought, pined and otherwise begged for is now downloadable- for free- with Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut.
Or at least that would be the case in a perfect world, because Extended Cut does just about everything it can to better flesh out just what the heck happened during Shepard’s final hours, giving the player more STUFF for their brain to chew on. Minutes of added scenes and exposition fill the once minimalist ending with plenty of tear-inducing sap and triumphant gravitas.
Want to see how things on Palaven, Tuchanka and Earth ended up? You’ll see that. Want to see your Shepard mourned by his or her beloved crew, including that love interest you’ve faithfully stood beside for three games? You’ll see that. Want a final, all-encompassing narration to show the exact length and breadth of all those choices you made? I think you get the picture.
If Mass Effect 3’s original ending could be criticized for ending abruptly with little in the way of, Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut just about overwhelms the player with everything they could want to know about the universe they helped to shape. The add-on even allows the player to interrogate the Catalyst regarding the fine minutia of each of the game’s three main choices for its ending (which considering there’s a war going on doesn’t make much sense that I’m asking for ten extra minutes of exposition, but I want facts, dammit).
There’s the rub, though. Mass Effect 3: Extended gives you MORE of the original ending- unequivocally improving and building on the foundation that Bioware already has in place- but for those who were looking for the creative team to out and out change the ending, this might be a rude awakening.
“Sorry” to all those indoctrination theorists and people who just thought the ending of Mass Effect 3 was conceptually dumb; Bioware remains relatively firm on its original vision for the saga’s end. Aside from adding a new choice- Refusal- for those uncompromising cynics out there who just want to see the world burn, you’re still getting the ending that was in the game to begin with. It has simply been extended; what a novel concept.
And sadly, that’s not going to be enough to stifle the entirety of internet rage that’s been stewing for the past three months.
But does that mean people shouldn’t download Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut? Of course not! Apart from being a much more complete and satisfying end to a franchise that is arguably the modern-day classic that we- much like the old man in the post-credits sequence- will be telling the next generation of games about, it is also available at the unbeatable price of free.
For some, that won’t make-up for their (mostly imagined) anguish, and still others might find this to be too little too late for a game in which they’ve already emotionally climaxed, but that doesn’t make this something that everyone who owns a copy of Mass Effect 3 should have in their collection.
Swallow your pride, and take back Earth one last time.