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Mass Effect 3's New Ending is Mostly Not Bad
Well, there's another notch in the belt that is the long and crazy story of Mass Effect 3's development. Today, gamers around the world revisited Commander Shepard's story to see what Bioware had been cooking up in the 'Extended Ending' DLC. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, and that's pretty much what I got. It certainly improves on quite a bit, and I can say that's it's at least a little better than the original, but overall, it was fairly inconsequential.
Original and Extended Ending Spoilers to Follow
Mass Effect 3's ending had problems, a lot of them. One of the most common (although in my opinion, the least important), was the lack of overall closure for the side characters. Bioware managed to patch this up fairly well, with a significant amount of footage added after EDI and the gang step out into that space jungle. Even though it was a common joke, there actually is sort of an Animal House style montage at the end; no title cards letting us know that Kasumi and Jacob totally hooked up, but some pretty pictures that showed, overall, that life goes on.
It was all a bit too emotionally on the nose for me, the heavy level of sweet, sappy happy ending-ness didn't quite feel earned, or match with the tone of the game at large. Still, it was significantly better than the original ending's lack of pretty much any closure whatsoever.
More problematic to me, however, were the gaping, story-breaking plot holes and inconsistencies in the original ending. For the most part, the Extended Cut either tried to explain these, or cut pieces of the original ending that didn't make sense (no more mass relay explosions, yay). This is fine, and definitely improved the experience on the whole, but a lot of the explanations were done in such a sloppy and hurried fashion that they made even less sense when thought about. I mean, come on Garrus, Ash is the one who's hurt, get your ass off that ship and help me.
Otherwise, most of the other changes are fairly minor. Some of the dialogue has been ironed out, and there's an extremely annoying musical shift that's been removed (you know the one, when Joker's flying away, it's just the worst). Still, little things add up, and every bit helps.
By and large, the Extended Cut is fine. It definitely seems like it's a much stronger ending to the trilogy; but after playing through it, I didn't quite feel like it remedied enough of the problems to sway my overall opinion. I think gamers late to the party who haven't finished ME3 yet will have a nicer experience, but for me at least, it just wasn't as big a deal as I hoped it would be.
I still like the indoctrination theory better, anyways.
Also, those green eyes are seriously creepy.
The Extended Cut is currently available for free on the 360, PS3, and on the PC through Origin.