Let’s have a vote: How many of you guys absolutely HATED the ending of Mass Effect 3? Me too. Well with Mass Effect 3’s extended cut coming out, Bioware is going to give the game’s ending a second shot!
“The extended cut is content that players can download at no extra charge which expands the endings of Mass Effect 3 through some additional scenes and an epilogue sequence. So it provides a lot of the closure that players are looking for and it answers some of the questions that people have been asking. And it gives a sense of what the future holds as a result of your decisions throughout the series. Your final choice is just one part of how the story ends up, but then there’s the whole game and whole series worth of choices that results in story decisions and a lot of those now are going to be reflected.”
Most of us have played and fallen in love with the Mass Effect series, whether we gobbled the first disk off of game store shelves in 2007, or if we just recently picked up Mass Effect 3 when it came out this year. Commander Shepard‘s story is enthralling, as he and his team are forced to face a galactic invasion force, and kick the galaxy into gear to prevent it from being destroyed. The series was filled with epic decisions and an intense action and consequence system that made every decision matter.
Yet this was all undercut brutally, as many fans (and myself) believe, with the cookie-cutter ending that Mass Effect 3 gave to its fans. Even those of us who have played the game since it’s first episode were given mediocre endings. Naturally, this prompted outrage among fans, as their in-game decisions went unappraised. The uproar that followed threatened to cast Mass Effect down from a ‘Hall of Fame’ game to a failure. But Bioware was quick to pick up the pieces, after seeing how many fans utterly hated the ending.
Now, four months after the game release, an extended cut is about to be finished and given to us, for FREE. In an interview with Mass Effect 3’s executive producers, Biowares community manager questioned the executives on the precise nature of the extended cut.
Now, while some people hated the endings to the point where they wanted Bioware to completely rewrite them, I was not as harsh. I felt that the endings had their merit as a close to the over all arc of the galaxy. However, before you guys rip me a new one, I want you to know that I am not saying that the endings were good.
In Mass Effect, we had numerous story arcs playing out simultaneously. We had the story of Commander Shepard, the first Human Spectre, and a legendary soldier who had to carry impossible burdens on his shoulder, we each of his team members’ unique stories, we had the story of Humanity, a new race attempting to make a name for itself, and we had the story of the Universe as a whole, as numerous species fought with one another over resources and ideals.
The three endings that players are given satisfies the Universal Arc; the Reapers leave earth, whether through destruction or retreat, and the galaxy is spared of mass extinction. While this is all fine and dandy, most players were wondering what happened to Shepard’s team, and all of the people he interacted with. This was why people made certain decisions through their play-throughs, and when the ending failed to highlight the results of these decisions, players felt betrayed. I can’t blame them, how many people replayed all of Mass Effect 1 once they found out that you didn’t have to kill Wrex? How many times did you redo the assault on the collectors base to ensure that everyone survived? I understand the betrayal that you feel, and I feel it as well.
I remember when I first beat the game; I expected the worst, as I had friends who warned me about the ending. I sat through the last set of dialogue, made my final decision (which reminded me a lot of Deus Ex Human Revolution), and then watched, waiting for horror. It didn’t hit me at first, I shrugged it off and called it mediocre. But then the hate began to stir within me. The more I thought about it, the more pissed off I got. I wanted to know what happened to earth after the reaper invasion, I wanted to know what happened to the Krogans, the Turians, the Quarians and the Geth. I wanted to know if Shepard was honored with a statue, or simply by word of mouth. I had this image of a memorial ceremony, and a gathering of all the old characters. I wanted speeches about my acts of valor in the previous games. Did I get any of that? NO. All I got was some silly cut scene with a colored light, an explosion, and a forest planet. I almost destroyed the game out of annoyance…
However, after listening to this interview with the executive producers, I feel a glimmer of hope; an epilogue and an extended ending that shows the consequences of our decisions is exactly what I had hoped for. The game doesn’t need to be altered in any other way, so long as they cover what happened differently because of the decisions you made through out the game(s).
On Tuesday, June 26th, Bioware will make an attempt to redeem itself in the player’s eyes. I urge all players to get the downloadable content – it is free so what is the worst that can happen. As for players like me who are without Xbox live, lurk on Youtube and hope that someone posts the new endings!
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