How extended is today’s Extended Cut DLC for Mass Effect 3? Nearly two gigabytes, that’s how extended! Electronic Arts says they’re not actually changing the ending. According to the download page, here’s what upset fans get:
Additional scenes and an extended epilogue reveal the impact of Shepard’s choices on the future of the galaxy.
In other words, speaking more slowly and explaining more stuff about things that were intentionally ambiguous. Everything I needed to know I learned while playing Mass Effect 3. But the thinking is that more middling writing is just what this otherwise good sci-fi RPG shooter needs, which says a lot about the fans, the writers, and now the publisher.
I’ve lost interest in the whole issue, but I wonder if angry erstwhile fans will find any satisfaction in these two gigabytes. They’ve done very real damage to a series they supposedly loved, out of all proportion with their complaints. It’s shameful how they’ve hijacked Mass Effect on so many levels: as a story, as a franchise, and even just as a darn good standalone game about an alien invasion. But I’m mostly disappointed that Electronic Arts legitimized their complaints with this DLC. The ending of Mass Effect 3 was no better or worse than the ending of most videogames. And while the Extended Cut may not actually change the ending, it certainly changes the narrative.