The lights are on
As you probably remember, some people weren’t satisfied with the ending of Mass Effect 3, and BioWare promised to respond. With the release of the Extended Cut DLC today, we finally see the results of the developer’s effort to address the controversy. I played all four (yes, four) endings today and compiled this list of high points, low points, and other weird things that fans should expect from the new content.
Good: Filling Plotholes
Did the Mass Relays nuke the galaxy? What was the Normandy doing flying around in the middle of nowhere during the final moments of the war? What happened to your squad after Harbinger showed up? Is everyone just stranded forever? These previously unanswered logistical questions distracted some gamers from the climactic events at the end of Mass Effect 3, and each one is (adequately, in my opinion) clarified in the new scenes and dialogue. There’s still some ambiguity in certain areas, but the most glaring problems have been addressed.
BioWare recommends that you load a game just before the assault on the Cerberus base (Cronos Station). However, don’t expect to see any of the new scenes until much closer to the end. Almost all of the new stuff happens after your final real battle near the missile launchers. After that point, assorted scenes and dialogue are spliced in occasionally until the actual endings, which have been considerably revamped.
Ugly: So Long, Indoctrination Theory
The new endings essentially torpedo the plausibility of the Indoctrination Theory. Of course, I’m sure some diehards are finding ways to keep the theory in play, but its core assumption – specifically, that everything happening after the advance on the teleporter is a fabrication of Shepard’s indoctrinated mind – is disproven.
Good: Effective Military Strength Change
Mass Effect 3 may have added a multiplayer component, but many fans were interested in keeping their experience restricted to the single-player. That’s why some were upset to learn that certain scenes (like Shepard apparently surviving in the “destroy” ending) can only be seen by raising Galactic Readiness – something that can’t be done through single-player missions. That’s been changed with the Extended Cut. According to BioWare, your Effective Military Strength only needs to be about 3,100 to see all of the scenes. As long as you’re thorough in your solo efforts, you won’t miss anything important at the end anymore.
Bad: Color Swaps
One of the major complaints about the original endings is how all three of them were basically the same, with just different colors for the beam shooting out of the Citadel. There’s still some of that going on here, even with the new endings. Many scenes are reused or only altered slightly from one ending to the next.
Ugly: Dumb Slideshow
The worst looking part of the new content is the series of 2D art that appears in the red, green, and blue endings. They are supposed to depict friends and allies living their lives in the post-war world, but the static images feel odd and out-of-place considering the cinematic flair of every other major moment in the series. They aren’t even in-game stills; they’re more like concept art. I’m sure BioWare has a reason for making the choice, but that doesn’t change the fact that a slideshow feels cheap and cheesy.
While I didn’t care for the slideshow, the other elements of the expanded endings do a lot to differentiate the options and clear up confusion about what happened to the characters. In each of the four endings, you get a narration from a different major character that elaborates on the state of the world after Shepard’s decision. Even though some of the scenes are the same, the tone for each ending is distinct, and gives players a satisfying sense of what the future may hold for the galaxy.
Bad: Nothing Drastic
For everything that has changed, the ending is still about the Catalyst, the Crucible, and choosing from a handful of predefined options. I personally don’t see this as a drawback, but people expecting the whole framework to change are still going to be disappointed.
Ugly: The Grim Choice
Some fans wanted a happier ending to Mass Effect 3, but few were clamoring for an even more catastrophic one. The newly added fourth ending allows Shepard to reject what the Catalyst is saying and refuse to select any of the three available solutions. In this ending, pretty much everyone dies and all advanced civilizations are eradicated. However, you’ll want to stay tuned through the credits for an interesting twist on a familiar scene that adds a little optimism to the ugly situation.
Good: It’s Better
I enjoyed the original ending of Mass Effect 3, but for many fans, the damage was done when they played through the game months ago. These are people who, not unjustifiably, will never be happy with any attempts to tweak or tune the closing events. If you aren’t in that category, playing through at least one of the new endings is worth your time. If the extended cut had been the original content at the end of Mass Effect 3, the whole ending controversy would never have happened. Sure, some complaints would have been inevitable, but I believe the new additions are a substantial improvement.
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Loved it, fixed everything
I am quite satisfied with the new endings. The glaring plotholes and lack of detail were pretty much the only things wrong with the endings in the first place so this DLC patches it up nicely. Although many will still say that an A, B, C, (now D), ending is unacceptable it is now easier to swallow once you do see just how different the implications are.
I, personally, don't get why everyone is scrambling for the Indoctrination Theory and why it would be a 'legendary' ending at all. It's essentially the 'it's all a dream' ending, which is one of the most reviled cliches in all of media. I feel that had we gotten that ending in the first place there would be rage on an even grander scale than what we had.
I just finished playing Mass Effect 3 for twelve hours straight. Most of it being spent getting my Galactic Readiness to 100%... and it turns out that it was completely unnecessary.
I am not amused.
Completed my 1st ending (spoiler)
i perceived this as a good ending... finally got the resolve of my team mates injuries after Harbinger blast..(actually loved the entire new scenes)..when the normandy swoops in to pick up my downed mates at first i was like WTH?? then the relief and emotional connection/concern sheppard had for his/her team mates A+++++
bad part: still couldnt wrap my hands around Harbingers neck.. i want to fight and kill him!
the expanded scenes during the space battle really gave me a over all feel as to how the battle was being won... A++++++++ bioware.
Then it comes to the decisions.. here we go again took deep breath here.
God child = Harbinger.. makes a ton of sense.. yet why no final boss fight.. the new interaction with the god child went far over than i ever expected.. he exactly explained his thought process and the cycle 10x better.. left no further questions.. plus you get a to peak at each decision...
of course i went for destroy option.. sat back and watched the conclusion to the best game that's recently came into my life.
i loved it... plus the fact that sheppard is breathing at the end made me feel as if yes..this story isnt over.. its left out to keep that hope alive... perhaps the sheppard will be back.. i can only wait.
This expanded cut did wonders for me helping with the resolve..I loved it!...Countdown shall slowly begin as i wait for an annoucement of Mass Effect 4. Bioware Thanks again.. this is now a valued treasure in my massive collection.
i laughed at the reduced online need.. yep it wasnt needed at all..lol to all of who were originally demanded to play online.
"If the extended cut had been the original content at the end of Mass Effect 3, the whole ending controversy would never have happened"
^ This. It's amazing that it took so long for Bioware to realize that..
I just want to know, how the hell is Mass Effect 3's ending worse than I am Alive's? I am alive felt like it cut the game in half just to have a "shocking ending".
I have to throw my name in the hat with the "Thank you BioWare, now I'm satisfied." crowd. It wasn't unicorns and rainbows--I don't think anyone ever expected that--but it was closure. This chapter was done justice and in a way that can easily allow continuity in the future. I'll be doing at least two more play-through and I look forward to seeing where the Universe goes. Especially since my Shep destroyed the Reapers. :D
All these people complainig about the endings, need to get a life a girlfriend or another hobby.
While I haven't actually got to play them yet, I have watched all of the extended cut endings on youtube. The control ending is my favorite. I love the idea that shepherd is controlling the reapers to help rebulid the galaxy. Think you bioware.
Sounds pretty good, better than what we got at least I think I will like it, thanks for the heads up.