Tomorrow is a big day for disgruntled basement dwellers everywhere. Bioware announced Friday they will be releasing the much-anticipated Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC for free on Tuesday, June 26. The extended cut is supposedly going to answer all of our questions about the ambiguous ending of ME3 that sent gamers all over the world into apoplexy.
In the United Kingdom, a false advertising suit was brought against Electronic Arts concerning the ending and player choice, but the mega-gaming corporation was cleared of any wrong doing. (Score one for the good guys!)
Normally I rage against the whiny masses, but in this case I’m sad to admit I’m one of them. I had already mentally prepared myself for a bad ending before the game was even released, because I very rarely see a story about fighting all-powerful beings end well. And, while I was annoyed at the ending, I didn’t really find myself upset about it until the whole Garden of Eden/Shepard-legend thing after I watched the credits. My worst expectations were exceeded. Nerd Smash!
But I think what really magnified the horrendousness of the ending for me was all the glaring flaws the game had, which I was content to ignore until the end. The incredible lack of character interaction, the quirky game controls, super-short missions, and rarity of ever actually fighting Reapers, just to name a few things that irritated me throughout the entire game.
When Bioware’s co-founder and CEO, Dr. Ray Muzyka, announced the DLC in March to “explain” the ending to us, I felt like I was being talked down to. I don’t have a doctorate. But I’m pretty far from having to ride the short bus. Combine that with comments by executive producer, Casey Hudson in a youtube interview that one of the reasons we are upset is because it’s “tough to let go of a storyline and character you enjoy,” and it tells me they don’t really get it.
(I wouldn’t bother with the interview. The only other people I know who can talk for 10 minutes and not say anything are politicians and my kids.)
I don’t care that the game didn’t end the way I wanted or that it ended suddenly. I’m pissed because after all the time and money I invested, I was left with a pile of crap that made no sense. Which is why I haven’t been very interested in the DLC. I doubt it’s going to answer my questions, which will enrage me again. Nerd Smash! What are my questions you might ask? Well, I will tell you. Then I’ll release an extended cut in three months to explain my answers.
Here are my questions I would like the DLC to address: How did the crew of the Normandy know Shepard was destroying the relays? (That was my choice.) And if they didn’t know, why were they running and where did they think they were running to? If they did know, why were they running? Why would a crew of mostly humans run from Earth? Why would the crew and squad-mates, all of whom are fanatically loyal to Shepard, abandon her? (I was a girl.) Even if you are just friends with Liara—she has the biggest hard on for our favorite human Spectre—she would never run. You see? There’s no context for the actions after the final decision. Did I just totally space out and miss something? Artistic integrity my ass. To me, it’s inexcusable. It’s as if Bioware brought in a whole new team of writers who didn’t even know the characters. (Harry Potter was a horcrux containing the essence of evil and needed to be killed to end the Dark Lord’s reign of terror. Sure it would have sucked if he died, but it would have made sense! It would have had context.) Then there are the Reapers themselves. That digital dead kid didn’t tell me anything different than Sovereign.
I’m also confused on whether I lived or died. I interpreted that breath as an over-dramatic indication of living, but most people I talk to think it’s a final breath. But if it was final, wouldn’t it be going out, not in? Pretty sure it was in. Guess I’m just optimistic that there was an actual choice that allows you to survive. You know, because choice was part of the sell. Silly me.
Despite my enormous disappointment with the game’s content overall, and the fines I had to pay for the beating my dog took, there were some very good things about the game. I liked what they tried to do with the controls, the epic scenery, the combat, and I loved the Kinect feature. You can see my detailed review – the good and bad – of ME3 at The Cynical Ginger.
But those are my questions. Are those valid questions? Am I being unreasonable? Were you bothered by the end? If not, why? If so, why? What questions do you want answered tomorrow?
No matter how the Extended Cut DLC turns out, Bioware is getting its advertising dollar worth. I expect a whole new round of discussions and rage fests to start again tomorrow.