Short thoughts on Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC (spoilerfree)
Just a short one this time, people, and free of spoilers.
Edit: Avoid the comments if you want to remain as spoilerfree as possible. If not, feel free to join in.
Edit 2: If you want more related reading, you can find X2Eliah’s thoughts on scifi endings here, Sophie Prell’s take on the Mass Effect 3 extended ending here and Susan Arendt’s own take on the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut here.
I should state first off that I am one of the people who got unreasonably angry at the original ending for Mass Effect 3, and while I wasn’t completely into the indoctrination theory (mostly because I didn’t think Bioware’s writing team was quite that good), I did see the allure of it.
I actually had a lot of issues getting the DLC itself, what with Origin behaving like a piece of shit and EA being unable to fix it in a timely manner. I am not ruling out the possibility that this might have coloured my expectations and feelings.
I reloaded a save before the Cerberus base and powered through in order to see how far back the changes went, and while that might be necessary anyway because of Galactic Readiness stuff, the changes only affected the final mission.
Now, the Extended Cut is definitely not bad. It does as they advertised, adding more closure, exposition and context, trying to explain away the plot holes in the original ending, with mixed results. Some of the explanations do make certain situations more sensible, while others simply showcase just how deep the holes go, and a few even add entirely new plot holes.
That being said, they have actually put some effort into the writing now, so the exposition did make me quite emotional at times (even if they suddenly seem to be favouring one of the endings way more than the others), but it does not however fix the fact that it is a dumb ending altogether. While I do like the theme of sacrifice the ending presents, so much of what happens makes little or no sense because of the sloppy writing from the original released product that still has to be in there.
All in all, I have loved my time with the Mass Effect franchise, hundreds of hours invested to get the perfect playthrough, and I do not regret a moment spent on it. It’s just a shame they left writing the epic conclusion to a couple of guys who felt they did not have need of quality control, proofreading or time to write more than one draft, and while they have made an admirable attempt at salvaging the situation, I do feel like this is the end for me. I’m sorry Bioware, but I will most likely not be buying any more of your games. It’s been a fun ride, but I’m moving on.
~Wulf is no longer angry, only disappointed.