Yesterday, it was announced that Bioware would be releasing their answer to the fan outcry due to Mass Effect 3’s much maligned ending. This answer is the form of an extended cut DLC package that will offer additional cinematic and epilogue scenes. Some fans will still be disappointed because, unless some miracle happens, the additional scenes will expand off of the controversial ending that came blindsided players out of nowhere and will surely ignore the “indoctrination theory” that most fans (including myself) were hoping for most.
Still, I have to say I’m pretty satisfied with Bioware’s handling of this situation. Some critics say that Bioware should have ignored the pleas of their fans and stuck with their artistic vision, while others insisted that they needed more closure and resolution to a series that they invested hundreds of hours into. Here, Bioware has struck a nice balance. Maybe you disagree with the direction of their ending, but it is their story to tell. Fans really only had a legitimate case with the lack of resolution, and now those pleas are being answered. Not to mention that, at some point, companies need to listen to their fans only to a certain extent. Bioware is doing their fans a favor by adding more resolution; anything more and they would be completely buckling, a precedent that they should not and need not set. Much like the finale of Lost, the ending does have flaws, but as long as fans get the closure they were seeking, what more can they ask for?
Furthermore, the content is free, a decision of which the success of this entire campaign hinged on. As long as you have an internet connection, you can experience this extended ending free of charge (like it should be). It seems like this is the obvious decision, but I have to applaud Bioware and, yes, even EA, for giving the content away. Lord knows they could have made a killing by completely suiciding their public image, and it’s nice to see they made a decision that is based at least somewhat off integrity.
Now all that’s left is conjecture. Like I mentioned before, the Indoctrination Theory is all but out. And as much as I would have loved to see it, maybe it’s for the best. In the worst case scenario, I hope that most of the inconsistencies are addressed (even retroactively explaining why the entire crew was on the Normandy speeding away, for example, would do wonders). Best case scenario…I don’t really know. I’ll leave it up to the (mostly) wizard writers at Bioware to redeem themselves and once again think of something that will blow my socks off as much as the rest of the series did.