Thoughts on Mass Effect 3′s Extended Cut
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 03:40 Written by JCWaitWat Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:00
If you cast your minds back to my review of Mass Effect 3, I was very complimentary about the game. While I didn’t enjoy the ending, just as many didn’t, I felt that it didn’t spoil a truly wonderful game. However, BioWare have, in effort to please the fans who were not impressed by the series’ ending, released an Extended Cut DLC. This DLC adds further explanation to the three main endings in the form of extended cutscenes. Below I will be discussing each of the four endings Destroy, Control, Synthesis and Rejection- spoilers ahead.
Destroy: The destroy ending occurs when Shepard shoot the glass casing on the right hand side, causing an explosion that seemingly kills him. What follows is of similar style to the original ending, with a large wave destroying the orbiting Reapers. However, unlike the original ending, we see more of what effect this decision has on the battle raging below. Yes we saw a couple of Reapers fall but the Extended Cut shows off more of this, a dramatic showdown with a number husks is quickly saved by Shepard’s sacrifice is just one among several. Similarly, we also see the effect that the decision has had on other battlefields rather than just Earth. There are brief clips of both Krogans and Asari celebrating as several Reapers crumble. To add more of a conclusion to this particular ending there is a dramatic voice over from Admiral Hackett accompanied by a montage of species celebrating the defeat of the Reapers. The sentimentality that wasn’t present in the original ending is shown by a weeping Liara placing Shepard’s name on the list of previous ship captains. While all this is a decent expansion of the original ending there was a very little to capture much interest- apart from one moment. Just before the fstargazers reflect on the majesty of the universe there is a slow pan across a seemingly dead smouldering body with an N7 dog tag. Which suddenly breathes heavily.
Control: The control ending is very similar to it’s original, and sadly to the other “new” endings. The Reapers, now under Shepard’s control, stop attacking and then cue montage of people celebrating and/or mourning. However this ending expands on what Shepard actually intends to do with the Reapers now under his control. ”There is power in control. There is wisdom in harnessing the strength of your enemy” he wisely speaks and promises to “protect the many”. While this ending was not as dramatic as the Destroy ending, it did come with a lot more closure and explanation on what could actually happen now that Shepard is in control.
Synthesis: The Synthesis ending I found to be the most bizarre and original,but also the most satisfying ending. Narrated by EDI, this extended version explains how the Reapers are now helping all the affected species to rebuild their homes and lives by sharing their vast knowledge, as EDI puts it “to recover the greatness that was lost, and surpass it”. This is probably the most emotional of the three extended ending as, through Synthesis, the line between synthetics and organics is disappearing with EDI saying “Because of [Shepard] I am alive, and I am not alone” complete with humanesque emotion. What was utterly creepy about this ending though was the green glow that everyone now gave off.
Rejection: Why anyone would chose rejection I do not know because it leads to the death of everyone. This hidden ending is triggered by shooting the Child who then utters a demonic “so be it”. While you don’t see your friends and allies destroyed, it is assumed that they are killed as there is a hologram message from Liara to the next civilisations, documenting all their war with the Reapers. The stargazers talk about “those who came before us” and how the information left by “the Shepard” helped them achieve peace. While this does add a definitive end to the game, any decisions you have made become completely irrelevant as, well, everyone is dead.
Of the three main endings I found Synthesis had the most closure and I found myself more emotionally invested in it compared to the others. While I enjoyed the drama of the Destroy ending, especially the possibility that Shepard is still alive, I felt that it lacked the same closure as the Synthesis ending. As for Control, I felt it explained the power that Shepard now wielded but that was all. While I didn’t agree with BioShock making these extensions moments like Liara and EDI embracing remind you of the powerful storytelling and characters that BioShock have developed, and to finally have closure on the rather ambiguous original endings is something I find very hard to complain about. Keep the discussion going in the comments below, we’d love to know what you think about the Extended Cut.
- Mass Effect 3′s Extended Cut – Too Little, Far Too Late(forbes.com)
- Mass Effect 3 Endings: Old vs New(thenerdnexus.wordpress.com)