Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Video Game Assessment: Mass Effect 3's Extended Cut DLC

So, I've ranted and raved about Mass Effect 3 and its crummy ending a ton over the course of the last few months. Hell, ever since I first played it I had some negative responses to it. But now here is the ending DLC, that which is supposed to save the franchise and reinvigorate my love for both BioWare and Mass Effect...

...And you know what? Fine. It worked. The game still has flaws. I still won't say it's better than the second game, but the HUGE problem has been fixed. The endings now make sense. They now work. I could never see myself choosing anything but the "Destroy" ending, but I'm glad they've fixed what was wrong. I just watched the cinematics, the additions to the ending, the additions to make baffling things make sense, and... yeah, I'm pretty cool with everything. It's not perfect. There are still some baffling decisions, but mostly that involves the Normandy somehow landing in front of Harbinger (while also not fighting) and Harbinger not attacking. That was odd. But I'll take it. It's fine. I wish the Normandy had never landed, and had your party members just chill back at the base or something... and honestly, in some ways I kind of see that as my own headcanon.

As for everything else... I think there's a good chance Anderson is a figment of Shepard's mind. My personal opinion. I think the Indoctrination Theory still has ground to walk on even though I don't subscribe to it personally. I think that I like the addition of a Rejection ending and the ability to off the Star Child. I also like the additional scenes showing our party members and shipmates as well as the species fighting alongside of us. I think there could have been more overall, like showing Elcor and Hanar and Volus too... but I'm not going to be picky right now. If I had seen this ending instead of the vanilla one, I would have never ranted. I would have been fine with everything and it all would have been cool. Obviously BioWare was rushed and this is what they intended. It makes sense. I feel justified with every last statement I've made.

I don't understand why the DLC was SO HUGE though. I downloaded both this and the Skyrim Dawnguard DLC, and this one is about four times as big for a few words and a few slideshow pictures... I have to assume a lot of it is variable calculations and such... but still it's absolutely huge for a DLC that doesn't do THAT much more. It kind of just fills in the blanks and shapes stuff up so that there's no terrible mess.

Anyway, I liked it. It has given me some hope for BioWare's success and for the quality of the game itself. I can now see myself playing through the series again, something I was thoroughly opposed to if things were not fixed. I know a ton of FANS will hate this ending still, looking to watch a snuggle party with their Shepard and that Shepard's love interest... or hell, they'll hate it because they don't like having to kill somebody or having to suffer through something... And yeah, I'm still not overly fond of PICK YOUR CHOICE... but it works well enough. Well enough, in fact, that I'm done complaining about it. FANS will be FANS and they should calm down a little and enjoy the ride. It's now a decently enjoyable ride, and I'm happy in general. Yeah, I still have some issues with the game besides the ending, but I had issues with the first and second games too, and I still recommend them to people.

So, yeah, BioWare, good job! I'm glad I played it and can look at Mass Effect as a stunning series again.

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