The Average Gamer

Should You Play the ME3 Extended Cut?

[Spoiler warning: If you haven’t yet finished Mass Effect 3, just skip this post, download the Extended Cut and enjoy. This post includes info revealed in the original Mass Effect 3 ending. It also includes spoilers over what questions are answered in the Extended Cut, but doesn’t include the answers themselves.]

It’s been nearly four months since Mass Effect 3 came out. Nearly 3 months since Game Front did an excellent job of outlining epic fan-created Indoctrination Theory and analysis of why so many fans hate the original ending. Today BioWare finally released the Extended Cut DLC.

Did this free add-on “provide additional clarity and closure to Mass Effect 3” as promised by BioWare?

Yes, I think it did. I mean, the part where you’re told that the purpose of the reapers is to prevent the destruction of organic life by synthetics by way of destroying all organic life by synthetics? That’s still in there. BioWare need to maintain their artistic integrity after all.

In my own piece on the original Mass Effect 3 ending, I said that the main problem was in the pacing. Compared to the suicide mission of Mass Effect 2, the final assault here just falls flat. This extended cut does nothing to address that, even though you need to play from the assault on the Illusive Man’s base to see all the new scenes. Unless you really enjoyed the endless fight for the missiles in London, I’d suggest switching over to Narrative mode for easy battles. In fact, the only new scene in London comes right at the end of the mission.

What the extended cut does do is answer my most important and vexing question – how the hell did EDI and Garrus make it back from London to the Normandy so they could crash-land on the planet?

It also adds a new set of dialogue options that explain the impact of your final choice before you make it, as well as a voiced-over scene at the end. Depending on which ending you choose, a different character talks through the impact. This is useful and necessary as a reminder that your choices along the way had major consequences for your companions, something many gamers seem to have forgotten.

There’s even a whole new option at the end.

Is the Extended Cut worth playing through the final 3 missions again? Not really. Sure, the game now explains things a little more thoroughly and it does give a better sense of closure. You’ll lose some of the emotional impact watching the scenes on YouTube and the final scenes won’t be tailored to your decisions. But there’s very little new gameplay included in this 2GB add-on.

If you’ve any doubt at all over downloading this and playing it, simply don’t bother.