REVIEW: Mass Effect 3 – Extended Ending
Last week the Extended Ending was released for Mass Effect 3. BioWare claimed that the extended Ending would answer a lot of questions that were left behind when Mass Effect 3 originally ended. As I have mentioned many times before, my Xbox 360 recently RROD’d and I had to end up getting a new one. As a result I had lost all of my previous game saves. Normally this would annoy me no end. On this occasion it gave me the chance to play Mass Effect right from the beginning all the way through to the end with one character. Playing each subsequent game (including the ME2 DLC packs Overlord, Lair of the Shadow Broker and Arrival) and letting the story play out.
Gradually I eventually managed to reach the end of Mass Effect 3 and allowed the games new extended ending to play out before me. Obviously the first thing that is noticed about the ending is that it answers a lot of questions. When Mass Effect 3 originally ended I was left with 3 fundamental questions
1: How did my squad members end up back on the Normandy?
2: How did the Normandy end up on some alien planet?
3: With the destruction of the Mass Relays, how would civilization continue?
Things like the catalyst, crucible and the choices didn’t really bother me. As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts. I found these parts of the game welcomed the viewer to come up with their own answers. They were moments where the answers wouldn’t be found for you. You had to look for them yourself. This was how the excellent Indoctrination theory came around. People had looked for answers and they used their knowledge of the Mass Effect universe to come up with answers. Rather than behave like a bunch of toddlers having a temper tantrum when they didn’t get their answers. These people used their imagination to bring about the answers they wanted.
The Extended Ending happily enough gave me the answers to my 3 original questions. They gave me the closure that I was looking for but more importantly they didn’t take away from the mystery surrounding the crucible, catalyst and the key decisions. That is a crucial part of the game and if they took the moment to stop, explain and walk you through it. It would have merely annoyed people further.
There are people who complain that the whole concept of the Catalyst and the Crucible is an example of a Deus Ex Machina. Quite frankly if these people are complaining about that, then they are just proving their lack of mental prowess. The Reapers are all-powerful creatures. There was no way that the Reapers could have been stopped without some huge device that would provide that ending. If all of a sudden the Asari or the Humans turned up with a new weapon. It would have only given more questions than the original ending.
Of course, there’s still the big question regarding Shepard. does Shepard survive. This question was raised when you see an image of a body in the ruins of london suddenly taking a single breath. Again, the indoctrination theory came up with some answers to this question. The Extended Ending certainly hints at Shepard’s fate. Something which BioWare have recently confirmed. Don’t go expect actual answers to this question. This is a question only the future will answer.
The final question is simply will it please the “fans”, the ones who complained about the games original ending. The boshtets who went out and demanded refunds. Quite frankly I had always held the opinion that even if the Extended Ending covered all the questions and gave answers. There would people who would still complain. I still believe that these “fans” of Mass Effect should just go back to their Call of Dutys. Mass Effect is a game that is not for those who expect answers. It’s a game for those who want to look for answers.
Finally, I found it interesting to note how recently much of the criticism has rested on the owners of BioWare. EA. Except recently Rockstar went and charged money for Max Payne 3 gamers to get new MultiPlayer maps, weapons and gear. Activision have been doing this recently with their Call of Dead Horse franchise. Despite all of the complaints directed at them. The 2 previous MP DLC packs released by BioWare have added maps, weapons and gear all for free. When people complained about Mass Effect 3. BioWare responded to them. They welcomed people’s questions and admitted faults. This is far more anyone would get out of Activision or any other games company. Perhaps people should not be too quick to judge and instead look at BioWare’s track records before people start claiming that they have had their money wasted.