It’s a good thing this shit was free.

This is 100% accurate.

Xzibit A.

So you’ll have to excuse me for my passive-aggressive review of the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut that was released yesterday.  I spent all day looking forward to playing it, working on my multiplayer game in anticipation of playing through the ending again, eagerly awaiting some actual better quality storytelling, only to be bent over and fed a spoonful of shit; apparently you really can polish a turd.

Hope you’re not colorblind.

For everyone out there who’s interested – or even still gives a shit about this – the “new content” isn’t really all that new.  There are a couple of scenes shoehorned in to alleviate some of the more egregious plot holes, but the infamous RGB Endings are still in full effect.  Now, each one has about two minutes of epilogue, consisting of a character voice-over as a hastily cobbled-together slideshow of badly drawn images plays in the background.

Watch the Control ending if you don't believe me.

This is unfortunately pretty accurate.

Yes, that’s right, ladies and gentlemen: the best Bioware/EA could come up with is about 6 minutes’ worth of new voice-over work and a fucking slideshow.  It’s not even necessarily a unique slideshow for each ending, as some slides are re-used with different endings, just with some effects either taken out or put in to suit the color scheme.  I’m not even kidding about this; if you’re not sure what I’m talking about (and I’ll be as spoiler-free as possible) the “Synthesis” ending re-uses several of the slides from the other two, only adding touches of green glow everywhere – something I could probably figure out how to do, given enough time alone with a copy of Photoshop.

Someone's up past his bedtime.

They don’t like the endings? I’LL SHOW THEM AN ENDING TO NOT LIKE.

Not only that, but the fourth ending they put into the game, which has come to be called the “Refusal” ending, can be interpreted as Bioware/EA pretty much flipping off their entire fanbase, or at least those who went the extra mile to try to make sense of the horribly vague original endings by coming up with the Indoctrination Theory.  This ending can be triggered either through a dialogue choice with Star Child, King of the Reapers, or by actually shooting him in-game – something that I (and several other people) would spend time just mindlessly doing in impotent rage, disgusted with having three “choices” that really weren’t choices.

Who isn't?

I’m not a racist. I’m just scared of big black people.

Now, as soon as you trigger the Refusal ending, Little Boy Blue drops his voice by abut thirteen octaves and bellows out “SO BE IT” in the kind of voice you’d associate with hearing right before your poo-poo hole is violated by every single one of the Harlem Globetrotters at once.  Not only did it scare the shit out of me, the ending the choice presented to me was most definitely of the “bad end” variety, indicating that refusing the three nearly identical narrative choices the game presents to you is not what the developers intended, and that a player refusing to choose from an array of three equally shitty choices is punished for taking a stand against such rampant stupidity.  This struck me as the kind of passive-aggressive bullshit response stance that Bioware/EA has taken to constructive criticism of the ending of the game since the beginning, only grudgingly coming forward to a half-assed “Extended Cut” that mistakes providing clarity for an already bad ending as equal to changing a bad ending into a better one.

Space Rasta available for an additional $9.99.  Even though he's coded into your disc.

ME3: Now with Space Rasta!

Truth be told, the ME3 ending experience is improved from the addition of the new content.  However, this content should have been included in the game when it shipped, not included three months later and only after a groundbreaking fan outcry that polarized the gaming community into either Bioware/EA lapdogs or “entitled whiners.”  As far as I’m concerned, this new content is simply a case of too little too late.  The only good thing about it is that it was provided to players for free; even Bioware/EA isn’t so bloody arrogant to charge people for the privilege of playing the game they bought in its entirety, right?

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5 thoughts on “It’s a good thing this shit was free.

  1. Yeah, I mostly agree. I think if this ending had been included in the first place I would have been far less upset. But the ending still annoyed me. I mean *spoiler ahoy* I wasn’t expecting a joly happy ending. I knew that on some level, I would need to sacrifice something. In the destroy ending you sacrifice all inorganics (including new friends) but you end up being shown an ending where shepherd lives. This was tempting because the way tali responds to sheperds death is heart wrenching.

    But I just could not put tali or shepherd over an entire universe. So I chose synthesis. Which ended up being pretty much the most (beneficial) ending. The one where the most number of people receive the maximum benefit and justice.

    But it still stuck in my craw…

    • The endings do change subtly depending on who you romance and the other things you do over the course of your playthrough. If you romanced Liara, for instance, she’d be the one putting your plaque up there – though if you have a love interest that isn’t on the Normandy, she’s their stand-in. Other than that, it’s pretty mediocre.

    • I actually feel like re-installing Dragon Age: Origins for some reason. Return to the last great BioWare RPG before EA threw a metric fuck ton of blood money at the company, you know?

  2. Pingback: Why are game writers so fucking awful? « Amateur Professional

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