On ME3's Extended Cut add-on

Video taken from Youtube.

For me Mass Effect 3 was probably the biggest disappointment of the first quarter 2012, and I wasn't the only one who felt so.  In response to fan outrage Bioware released a free download for the game called "Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut" which was meant to answer some of the issues we, the fans, raised.

The Extended Cut is a series of cut scenes tacked on to the end of the game and doesn't actually represent anything new as far as the plot or game play go.  This is the first warning you should have if, like me, you were massively disappointed with the end of ME3.  The Extended Cut does add some story-line elements and gives the player a kind of "so that's what happened to the others" moment that was definitely missing from the initial ME3 release.  On that point, Bioware got it right, however they failed to address the more pressing issues.  It's not that I'm not grateful to know the fate of my surviving squad mates, but the additional information didn't actually fix what was wrong with ME3.

As Joystiq's Rowan Kaiser wrote about in his pointed article, the real issue with ME3 is that the writers let the plot take second seat to their vision of how the galaxy works.  So what, you ask?  As Rowan stated, the effect was to create an ending with a forced, "deus ex machina" (Rowan Kaiser's words) style resolution that hardly made any sense in terms of everything the rest of the story was building up to.  For a game that was so versatile in terms of choice and consequence, the hallmark of the ME series and something Bioware has chosen to focus on in general, to be limited to a set of options that neither the player nor the main character would like at the end was frustrating, to put it mildly.

The one good thing that did come of the grueling finale to the ME trilogy was a reaffirmed knowledge of what a good ending is really about.  Be it happy or tragic, an ending that leaves the audience feeling like the journey was well worth it is what every writer should strive for.  I wish ME3's writers had taken that to heart.


Popular Posts