Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut spoiler-free “review”
You wanted more explanation? Well, you got it – you just may not like it.
So here’s the thing: some of you are going to love Mass Effect 3′s Extended Cut DLC, and most of you are going to hate it.
The entire reason the DLC even exists is because of hate – because Mass Effect 3′s ending was a shambles.
Whether you agree whole-heartedly with that statement, or took up the position of Captain Contrarian and thought that BioWare’s original ending to the space epic was “good enough” or “great” – there’s no denying that what gamers were given to wrap up years of investment was a few Pyjaks shy of a petting zoo.
And, as a result, thousands of Mass Effect fans would simply not stand for it. They demanded a change, threatening to burn down entire cities, kidnap presidents and bake cupcakes if they did not get their way.
Enter Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut: BioWare’s way of saying: “Whoa, there, guys. Please put down the pitchforks and non-stick baking paper, and let us try and explain. And maaaaaaaaybe change a few things. Maybe.”
The Mass Effect 3 ending debacle was, and remains an inherently personal affair, with each gamer taking a different stance. It makes sense, considering every gamer was personally invested in the narrative in different ways.
To “review” the extended cut would therefore be an unfair task, as my expectations for the conclusion would likely be vastly different to yours.
What I can do, however, is tell you what new content the Extended Cut brings into the mix – and let you decide for yourself if that’s enough.
Absolving original sin
The changes the Extended Cut DLC brings in start long before the actual ending sequence begins.
In the lead up to the final push of the game, new scenes have been added which offer explanation and solve some of the inconsistencies present in the ending from before.
These additions come in the form of a couple of interjected scenes, as well as expanded dialogue options which try to address a lot of confusion and questions that we all had in our minds during the final moments of the game.
Once the ending scenes start happening, the sequence of events from the original endings stay pretty much on course, with new scenes added in.
The biggest change, and the biggest play on “extended” comes in the form of an additional narrated sequence of mildly animated panels which show various consequences of the paths you chose across the story, as well as giving some insight as to where things go from there.
The new sequences, starting from the time you’ve made your final choice, now extend to about 15 minutes, compared to the 5 minutes or so before.
And that’s about the extent of it.
Love and hate
For a lot of gamers, though, it’s already over – the damage has been done and these extended scenes will do little to change that.
It’s a lot like ice-cream. DEPLOYING DESSERT METAPHOR.
Initially, what BioWare delivered was a spoon of ice-cream that had different colouring, but essentially tasted the same. It was slapped down on the table, and didn’t fill the hole many people left for dessert.
The Extended Cut moves to rectify that by giving us a whole bowl of ice-cream. While the flavour is still pretty much the same, BioWare have added sprinkles and sauces which enhance the taste – and they at least sent it to us with an attractive waiter this time.
The problem is that many people didn’t like the flavour of the ice-cream to begin with – or wanted cake, or cheese and biscuits to finish off their meal.
Essentially what it boils down to is that Extended Cut delivers more of what was given – and if you weren’t happy with that to begin with, you won’t be any more satisfied now.
If, like me, you simply wanted more with sprinkles – then this DLC will be just the thing to top off what has been one of the most epic game series of this generation.
Love it or hate it – this is the Mass Effect 3 ending that should have shipped first time around. The controversy has come, and will unlikely dissipate any time soon – but at least now there’s more to chew on.
If you haven’t already, check out MyGaming’s different approach on the Mass Effect 3 review.
Are you satisfied with the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and on the MyGaming forum.