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Extended Cut Review
Spoilers for the endings only.

First off, while the endings are simply expanded on and, despite the writers' initial intentions of not retconning things (which they certainly did), I've come to the conclusion that if Bioware had simply released this game with the extended cut in the first place, it wouldn't have received such a huge backlash.

Why? Because it's somewhat satisfying. The major problems with the initial endings was that the writers wanted to make it as open-ended as possible, but contrary to popular belief, sometimes this intention can be improperly executed, leaving fans confused and ultimately angry. This is what happened in the first endings. Logically they backpedaled, shoeing in the extended cut that is reasonably satisfying.

First off, the war assets play a more shallow, but still worthwhile role in the endings. A high EMS rating can secure the safety of your teammates on the run to the beacon, keep the Crucible from backfiring when choosing the Destroy option, and allow the Normandy to make repairs to blast off after crashing planet-side. The Renegade/Paragon dynamic is used for two different endings in Control, where Shepard could become a benevolent 'god' in the protection of the galaxy or a looming force to be reckoned with. Synthesis, on the other hand, seems to fall wayside from any major gameplay dynamic in this cut, possibly because there's not much to be improved upon it. Though the morally ambiguous nature of it still wages in fan circles and forum boards.

This leads the endings from becoming just three (four if you include the bad Destroy ending) standard pick-a-color-any-color lackluster finales to a great franchise. Wholly undeserved, but if you crunch the numbers correctly with the Extended Cut, that number jumps to seven possible endings without including the slideshow tidbits (ie. the Geth/Quarian conflict, curing/sustaining the Genophage, etc). This includes the new polarizing Refusal ending, Bioware's granted wish to players suspicious of the Catalyst's intentions but with a great cost. While not the 'sixteen' different endings initially promised, it's there. And it's reasonably good regardless, with less plot holes and a satisfying conclusion.

Simply put, these new endings should have been there in the first place. Love it or hate it, at least we are sure that Bioware is listening.
I feel like Extended Cut ruins the control option a bit, to the point where I decided to uninstall it. In my head I had an idea of what control would be like and what I hoped would happen and then Shepard talks and it ruins all that and things don't happen how I would have wanted control to happen.

My favourite bit of the extended cut was simply the way they explained why a Reaper was at the beam, it needed to be there it didn't interrupt the pacing (unlike with the Normandy crew bit, which was a scene that did something useful but ruined the moment and pacing doing it). The other good bits were the more in depth look at how the Normandy ended up flying away, and the waiting was a nice touch.

It also spoilt the planet thing, optimistic music, brand new world, paradise, fresh start, dramatic look at the rising sun etc... and we get back in our ship and fly away. The fly away should have been after credits (or after the most important credits, like how the Avengers had two after credits moments) or they should have done away with the planet altogether.

And the pictures spoilt the head picture without really telling anything interesting.

Still, I'm not really complaining, the option to uninstall is there and people can choose the type of ending they want for the game and its pleased you and thousands of other people, so it can only be a good thing. I agree with the things you said, it's just I'd always wanted to be able to hope for myself how things turned out and be free of Bioware constraint, whereas other people wanted the game to judge and reflect on what they'd worked on, which is an absolutely fine thing to want
comment #15528 Tomwithnonumbers 25th Jul 12
The Extended Cut admirably paved over the most serious cosmetic flaws from the original endings, and for that it gave me a reasonable level of satisfaction. I too would classify it as somewhat satisfying.

The ending, conceptually, continues to defy established lore and represents a dramatic theme shift, and for that I can never give it my stamp of 100% approval. Did it improve the game? Absolutely. Did it perfect the game? Not even close.

I'll probably never know the truth behind the whole debacle, whether it was budget or time constraints, or simple hubris that created this, but at least it's over. That on its own is something to be thankful for.
comment #15531 JobanGrayskull 26th Jul 12
There have been plenty of games with bad endings :D The Legion stuff and some of the reveals in ME 1 make me think they were planning most of this ending from the beginning to some extent (in a way I wonder if the AI stuff was an ending they decided at the beginning and then didn't realise that it no longer fitted after what they'd finished the rest) and the writing that everyone loves is pretty much as inconsistent throughout. It just came out particularly badly here (and I think a main reason they put you through all this depressing 'the world is ending' stuff, including a whole level of 'wow isn't everything sucking' and didn't realise that people coming off of that, aren't in a position for bad news, which they'd screwed up previously with Thessia and Ashley/Kaidan in ME 2).

At least the fixed it to a level that left most people content
comment #15532 Tomwithnonumbers 26th Jul 12
  • If I still had the ability to edit, I'd withdraw the above comment. Everything surrounding this issue has been discussed to death and I'm not being helpful in pretending there are things that haven't been said. Lydia's review did a nice job of moving a step on and looking at where we are now
comment #15533 Tomwithnonumbers 26th Jul 12
You both make some good points. While not the perfect endings to Bioware's beloved franchise which it really deserves, it's at least a tad more believable than what we initially got. They fixed some of the major plot holes and retconned a few according to the fan backlash. I think of it as like a bandaid over a bad wound. The wound is still there, but at least it's a bit patched up.

Of course, the extended cut is not for everyone. Personally, I liked that it fixed a few things that made me scratch my head and I'm always up for extra content whatever it tends to be.
comment #15628 Lydia777 1st Aug 12
It's still a bad ending, but it's now a more normal level of bad rather than being among the worst endings in Science Fiction.
comment #15704 BigMadDraco 7th Aug 12
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