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My Thoughts: Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut

Posted on July 3, 2012 AT 10:16am

This was expected to be a positive year for gaming as we were finally going to finish the fight against  the Reapers. So much anticipation surrounded this game as we were treated to clip after interview after cinematic TV spot. The Twittersphere, the forums, and various websites were speculating beyond measure as to what fate laid in store for the crew of the Normandy. No one could have predicted the reaction that the game received; it divided gamers and left a developer confused as to what they could do.

While my acquiring of the game was met with difficulty due to the GAME fiasco, I was able to play the game using a rental service. It was installed, the logos flashed on the screen and I was going to take back Earth. Throughout the week while playing the game, Twitter was periodically checked to gauge the reaction of the masses. Although I avoided spoilers, I couldn’t help but notice the rising storm that was the disappointment of gamers. Whispers of the ending were beginning to surface; dissatisfaction was being shared via aggressive comments in blogs and websites across the plains of cyberspace.

Some people and I say that because not everyone was unhappy with the ending. Some people were saying how they felt cheated, that they were sold a lie. They also felt there were too many plot holes. They enjoyed the first 20+ hours of gameplay but this some how was ruined by the final 2 hours. In case you aren’t aware, I do not share this opinion, as I was thoroughly satisfied with the ending. The ending allowed for interpretation as well as discussion among fans of the sci-fi trilogy. The concerning thing was that gamers felt a strange sense of entitlement as though they should have the final say with what happens as it was ‘their’ story.

As far as artistic vision is concerned, this is Bioware’s vision and it belongs to no one else. It got to the point where gamers were asking for a writer at Bioware to be sacked. This is unacceptable, and for the first time I was actually ashamed to be gamer or linked in any way to these people. This was a difficult thing to realize when I am so passionate about the industry.

Bioware being Bioware, they allowed people to offer feedback on what should be added to improve the game, if you will. The curiosity of fans was beginning to peak as they wondered how things were going be wrapped up. While I was curious what the scenes were going to be, I just wanted them to be released so people would stop complaining. The release was to be in the summer but no date was set. However, the time came when the extended cut DLC was to be released and June 26th was to be that day.

I was curious as to what I was about to play and so play I did. There are four endings, the assets no longer matter and the new scenes were nice but they were cookie cutter. You are told what happens to every character, leaving no room for speculation or fun discussion. There are some nice hints to what the future holds for Mass Effect. Whether this gets told with more DLC or an entirely new game is yet to be revealed. While these extended scenes are a nice addition, I dislike why they were realized in the first place. A developer should not be backed into a corner, being made to feel guilty because they decided not to choose a safe option for the end of their story.

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