Mass Effect 3 DLC Review
Ultimately This DLC Does Two Things. One Is That It Gives The Spoiled, Unappreciative Fans What They Ask For, A New Ending.
When Mass Effect 3 came out the game was universally applauded for its step forward in science fiction brilliance, enhancements in combat, graphical beauty and fantastically written story; but for some inexplicable reason, the ending was almost equally universally panned. It left an unsatisfying taste in the mouths of fans. There was petitioning to have it changed, or at the very best clarified. Personally I was of the mind that nothing about the game needed to be changed in any way. I thought it was near perfection in a game. Yes, the ending was slightly underwhelming, but this is coming from a series that engrossed players for five years, getting them completely invested and making it so they didn’t want it to end. Add to this the astonishingly epic and intense battle through the streets of London, it can be understandable that anything that followed would be underwhelming.
Of course then Bioware crumbled under the pressure of fans, and announced this “Extended Cut” DLC, especially for these fans and at the reasonable price of absolutely nothing. Whether or not you were appreciative of the ending, it's worth looking at. On the other hand though, I can understand why it’s free. It’s because this “Extended Cut” adds almost nothing to the game.
The biggest problem with this DLC is that, obviously, everything stays exactly the same until the final moments of the game, with Bioware recommending that if you want to see it you should reload the game just before the assault on the Cerberus base (the Chronos Station). This is all well and good, however you won’t notice any real changes until you hit London, and then it will be just slight changes in dialogue. The real changes begin when you hit the Citadel, when you have to unleash the Crucible.
What this DLC attempts to do is to clear up any plotholes that fans may have seen in the original version of the ending. The way Bioware try to do this is by providing a different character’s narrative accompanying an ending for each choice made, explaining how Shepard’s choices affected the galaxy in different ways and the state of the galaxy after the climactic events of the game. They’re all fairly similar, but all feature individual tones that help distinguish them.
While the ending has changed, ultimately the fundamentals haven’t changed in any real way. It all comes down to three things: The Catalyste, the Crucible, and choosing what you think would be best for the galaxy from a handful of predefined options. Although, on top of the options you’re previously given before this DLC, there is one more new option to choose from, and that’s to completely reject all of the choices; which in the grand scheme of things pretty much screws over the galaxy. Don’t do that.
Ultimately this DLC does two things. One is that it gives the spoiled, unappreciative fans what they ask for, a new ending. And at the same time it’s a superfluous, superficial upgrade, completely unnecessary and almost (as far as I feel) given to them to try and shut them up in the easiest way possible, because the ending shouldn’t be changed.
On the other hand it seems that it may open a more unnecessary path. Much like the numerous “upgrades” to the likes of Blade Runner and Star Wars (with George Lucas “improving” the classics every few years), what if this kind of fan influence persists, and every time they don’t like an ending developers have to go back a year later and change it just to appease them? This isn’t the way it should be, if a game is made and the developers idea is created, who are we to try and change it?
Yeah, it doesn’t exactly ruin the game or anything, but there’s just no big enough changes to really feel like a necessary inclusion to the game. Of course, the only way that Bioware could change the ending in a hugely different way would be if they were to put the Indoctrination Theory into play, and there was no chance of that happening if we’re honest.
Writer, gamer, and general all-around awesomeness compressed into human form. Co-founder of Reset Gaming.
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