When we posted our review of Mass Effect 3 a few days after the game had released to some of the most anticipation we’ve seen for any game of this console generation, there were about 60 or more reviews already up and barely any of them called out on what eventually became a serious issue for the game: it’s ending.
In our review, we cited that the ending of Mass Effect 3 failed to adequately pay off the decisions players made throughout the series while also not offering a serviceable farewell to Commander Shepard and his friends, being that this was meant to be the end of his story. The following week, the uproar began and a lot of hardcore fans expressed their dissatisfaction with how ME3 wrapped up, even sending some cupcakes to BioWare’s offices.
As any fan following the news knows, BioWare answered the calls and to quell the negative buzz, they announced just prior to their panel at PAX East that they’d be addressing the issues by releasing free DLC this summer, titled Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, which would ideally flesh out the game’s ending. Since then and seeing no signs of Mass Effect 3 at E3, there’s been no talk of the Extended Cut and instead BioWare’s efforts have seemingly focused on the multiplayer side of the game, with bi-weekly events and free DLC packs.
Click for the full Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut banner:
Now we finally have some answers and more importantly, a release date. Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is finally coming to PC and consoles next week. The DLC is free, requires 1.9 GB of harddrive space and doesn’t change the endings but expands them. In order to see the new extended endings, players must load a save file from before their final assault and play through that sequence.
The Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is a downloadable content pack that will expand upon the events at the end of Mass Effect 3. Through additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes, the Extended Cut will include deeper insight to Commander Shepard’s journey based on player choices during the war against the Reapers. The Extended Cut will be available to download at no additional charge on June 26th on Xbox 360 and PC and PlayStation 3.
For more on Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, listen to the 10-minute discussion with Mass Effect 3 Executive Producer Casey Hudson, Lead Writer Mac Walters, and Community Manager Jessica Merizan.
There’s a lot of careful wording and tip-toeing around some of the specific complaints voiced by the community but we can certainly appreciate that they realize something was wrong, so much so, that they spent time and resources continuing to work on the single-player game post-launch to… complete it?
It’s a great listen because they address why gaming is an interactive medium and that because of that, they just can’t leave people dissatisfied when they can do something about it. They also discuss the passion of the people of BioWare, the extra work that went into this project and how they appreciate feedback from the community, even if it’s critical, because they want to make the best product possible as much as we want to play it.
In the end, according to the game’s lead writer Mac Walters, the game’s conclusion “wasn’t the intended message of how the Mass Effect universe would end.” With the DLC, not only will questions be answered, but there will be significant increase in replayability since it will hopefully offer specific results and consequences to the other, perhaps smaller decisions made through ME3 and its predecessors that will pay off here.
The ultimate lesson learned here is that early adopters do not always get the best or full experience. By jumping in early at launch, players received what could arguably be described as a partially incomplete ending, a huge error for players of the previous two games involving not being able to keep their custom Shepard face design (which wasn’t fixed until a full month after launch) and multiplayer that was rather limited until DLC packs added more maps and characters. Next week however, is a great time to get into the game if you haven’t or even if you had since all the Mass Effect titles are good enough to play through multiple times.
We can assume that this content as well as the multiplayer DLC will come built-in to the Wii U edition of the game when it releases.
To prepare for the DLC, be sure to get online starting tonight for the N7 Bounty Weekend. This one’s called Operation Savage and requires that the community take out 7,000,000 enemy grunt forces. For more on the Extended Cut, read part 2: Why Did BioWare Make ‘Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut’?
Will the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut solve the issues you had with the game’s single-player campaign?
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