Thursday, 28 June 2012

Opinion: Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut


I was one of those players who felt the ending to Mass effect 3 really didn't do the series justice all things considered.  My biggest gripe personally with the original ending was the fact that we had no idea what happened to all the other races in the mass effect galaxy, with the relays being destroyed it all seemed like every race was just going to simply starve.  Many other players though raged against the plotholes and inconsistencies, like how the Normandy ended up in the middle of a mass relay jump, how the squad members who were with you on earth suddenly ended up on the ship and how Anderson arrived on the citadel with you.

Click this for the full size wallpaper
Even more anger was levelled at the star child who represented the Reaper collective consciousness and his circular logic.  Finally many players felt cheated because their decisions ultimately meant little when the ending to the game was essentially one of three different coloured explosions.  If you were one of those players on the fence about the mass effect trilogy, talk about the ending to 3 alone would probably put you off ever buying them, but really ME3 is a great game, it just has a rushed conclusion to something that was so massive it couldn't possibly have pleased everyone.

I disliked the ending, but I never got so mad that I joined the facebook groups to "take back mass effect" or added signatures to my forum posts to demand the characters have a better ending.  Fortunately Bioware saw through the more vocal bullshit from the entitled fans and decided to try and salvage some of the ending.  Of course Bioware are never going to admit they made a mistake with the final scenes of the game so they simply hid behind the defence of "artistic integrity", a phrase that has now become a new weapon against Bioware.

New joker scene on screen there
A few months back they announced the extended cut, intending to right some of the wrongs and fill in some of those plotholes that had fans wondering what the hell was happening.  This would also be free although this didn't seem to please anyone for some reason.  Bioware brought back their voice cast for the game, added new scenes and even a new ending.  The new scenes basically show you how the normandy ended up in the middle of that mass relay jump, how your party members got back onboard the ship and a few other minor points.

The new ending was something that fans had wanted as an option.  That was to basically tell the starchild to shove it and fight the reapers to the last.  This didn't please anyone either.  I guess some people expected to be able to tell the reapers to shove it and then engage in an epic battle against the reapers and win the day. 

More explanation was added with each original choice so you can have a better idea of what you were doing.  Basically it paints a picture of what Shepard will do to the galaxy with each choice.  Each original ending now has new dialogue, still images depicting some of the races your choices affected and how the galaxy rebuilds.  Yes the relays are repaired and this is all I cared about, even if the galaxy was fucked, so long as they could jump to different system I was happy.

The updated citadel explosion no longer destroys it
Personally I picked the destroy ending.  What else have you been working upto if nothing else but to destroy the reapers.  They have murdered trillions over the millenia and the option of controlling them spits in the face of races like the Protheans, think about it, you would be controlling the fused corpses of entire worlds for the benefit of mankind.  No they deserved to die.  Also the star child is completely wrong still with his circular logic, but his claim that the geth and EDI will die is also bullshit.  Again since the geth were made by the Quarians they can be remade.  In fact with all the collected knowledge and lessons learned the Quarians could make the geth again, but better.  The information about EDI would either still be on the Normandy as a backup or on the cerberus base since they made her there.  Alliance forces would have taken all the data that remained so she could be brought back easily.

The final reason to pick destroy is because Shepard lives.  I still think this quick scene hints at a future for the series and possibly for a new ending that may in fact be something like the Indoctrination theory.  Bioware know now that many people will willingly pay for a new ending to "fix" the series so this wouldn't be a surprise if it happened.  Yes the ending still has the odd logic lapse and unexplained character appearance.  Anderson being on the citadel, the starchild not acknowledging that peace between syntheics and organics is possible since the Geth are allied against the reapers and Harbingers sudden escape from the plot.

One of the post game images with Geth and Quarians
The synthesis ending is way too overboard now making the meet pyro video look more plausible as an ending to mass effect.  Control is fine as an ending but still doesn't feel like the ending to Mass effect.

Overall I think the extended cut did a good job with the scrap they had to work with.  Bioware were never going to alter the ending completely and give it away for free and if they did, they would be setting a dangerous precedent for developers.  I think Bioware should be thanked for going out of their way to produce something new and completely FREE for all owners of Mass effect 3.

So thank you Bioware, I look forward to the story DLC and future games in the mass effect franchise.

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