One of my favorite video-game series is Mass Effect. It showed Bioware didn’t need the Star Wars universe to craft an epic role-playing game. And in the last couple of generations, I’ve tended to lean more toward Western RPGs like Fallout 3 and Skyrim – Dark Souls notwithstanding.
As many know, Mass Effect 3 had an ending that disappointing many people. After finishing it, I couldn’t help but side with them. It seemed like a hasty way to wrap up a series that was all about choice and branching narrative. Comparatively, look how Metal Gear Solid 4 expertly tied all loose ends for what was widely considered the most convoluted franchise in entertainment.
It was announced Bioware was going to make things right with a free DLC expansion of Mass Effect 3’s ending. It released about a month and a half after I beat the game the first time. As I was knee-deep in the above-mentioned Dark Souls, I was in no hurry to revisit the Citadel or the Banshee-filled last hour of ME3.
It’s worth mentioning that I have the Mass Effect Datapad app for iPad. With it, you can boost your galactic readiness by assigning ships to missions that would gain you a percentage after a certain time limit. I’m really not sure even having 100% readiness does more than net you an Achievement, but I wanted to ensure I didn’t miss a single cutscene. So, before diving back in, I needed to Datapad it up. Problem is, the server is very finicky. For every 4 times I tried to access it, I got no-connection errors 3 of them. Since inaction led to your percentages dropping, I often lost all my progress and had to start over. Frustrating, to say the least.
But last night the stars were aligned: I had some free time and I had 100% galactic readiness. After dying a few times on those damn indoctrinated Asari banshees, I made it to the ending.
For better or worse, my choices were almost identical to the previous time – sorry, Illusive Man! But that also meant I could somewhat gauge what had changed. Despite the many months between beatings, I have a pretty good memory. Not an insignificant amount of content was added. Had this been the original ending, I would have left satisfied. It doesn’t do an update on all the surviving characters like, say, Final Fantasy VI; but it did the job.
I haven’t really checked the word on the street on the new ending(s); the chalk words have probably faded from the cement as it’s been a little while. Maybe people have unrealistic expectations since this was an unheard-of action by Bioware. To me, it made a great game that much better. Let’s just hope Bioware’s next game is not a damn MMO.
First off, let me say I will try to be as spoiler-free as possible.