There are already several good articles about the Mass Effect 3 EC, anyways… Of course the main problem with the ending was, that this is so fucking stupid that it hurts (yes, this hurts you), so extending on that, would not save anything significant. But this was announced right away, they always said they would not change anything about that. For me THAT gamble (no pun intended, seriously – but… why not) worked, I thought from the start, that they could hardly make it worse and they didn’t. The EC is clearly a lot better than the original ending.
At times it’s a little silly (or more than a little?), how they tried to bring some sense into plot holes, for example the squad members, who suddenly appeared somewhere else, are now shown as being picked up by Normandy, during the run to the beam, completely in the middle of Harbinger shooting at everything in sight. :D Only Normandy isn’t targeted at all and Harbinger waits graciously (!) until Shepard’s team members are gone and _then_ he continues to shoot… Ouch! It’s not just ridiculous, it also feels tacked on, and not just because I’ve seen the original. It comes across as if an action hero would suddenly pause, sit down and drink a coffee during a hectic gunfight with lots of explosions and the bad guys would give him enough time to drink until he’s no longer thirsty. That’s nothing you’d normally see outside of a slapstick comedy. It hasn’t gotten any less weird and it’s still very hard to comprehend, how it’s possible that supposedly the same group of people, who made the rest of the game, are responsible for this ending-scenario/part/idea/solution… Artistic my ass. Clarification: I’m not criticizing that they fixed it, I’m disappointed that they set it up in a way, that it needed fixing (although the problems must have been obvious right away) and something must be really flawed, if it stays weird even if you do do your best to explain it…
So the “clarifications” feel mostly like retcons. Another example would be, that the relays are now no longer destroyed but overloaded (muahahaha)… As far as unsubstantiated rumors go, EA forced BioWare to do this EC, so that their top money-making franchise wouldn’t (dead) end in a state that would make further games highly unlikely – at least if you would apply any logic to that. So now everything is just peachy (in the sense of allowing sequels) when the ending starts rolling. Everything that was destroyed will be rebuilt, just way more awesomerer. Who knew.
The new ending slides are quite cool, they cover way more states than I would ever have anticipated. They have an answer for pretty much every major character depending on him/her being alive/dead in the respective player’s game. Sometimes, I think, it’s still a little buggy. In my (destroy) ending, Garrus wasn’t standing in front of the memorial wall with the rest of the crew, although he was alive, there is even an empty space where he would have stood in the control and synthesis endings. Same goes for some character-slides (Jack and Miranda didn’t appear in my ending, although the DLC has several pictures for them built-in), that were never shown, despite the missing individuals being alive and well too. Sometimes the conditions are unclear, amongst which a certain slide would appear. The slides are also usually uncommented and have to speak for themselves, there’s no text and the audio narration doesn’t necessarily address them specifically. Of course a relaxing Zaeed doesn’t require a huge explanation, but not all slides are like that.
After this DLC was released, there was also new information about the first bigger singleplayer DLC and after constantly making so much fuss about this being the end of Shepard’s story, it’s strange to have new content that requires you to “go back” and constantly poke at the whole… it don’t know what to call it anymore at this point. I’d like it more, if they’d just pick a new character out of the many that survived and made their stuff featuring them. Believing in rumors, that’s what they gonna do for the next bigger game anyway.
Since this is the end, let’s look one more time at the original and new “buy more DLC” messages from EA/BioWare… :)
PS: For the Extended Cut, they altered the EMS that players need to see all the scenes. It’s now 3100, so for the first time “everything goes” even without having to play MP.
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