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Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC Announced for Summer 2012

How many ME3 fans does it take to understand the symbolism of this picture? Trick question. It just takes thousands of them complaining until someone eventually explains the symbolism to them.

This morning, BioWare released an official statement regarding their plans for a free DLC package which will add additional cutscenes and narrative exposition to the controversial ending of Mass Effect 3. Here are a couple highlights from the press release:

What can fans expect from the Extended Cut DLC?

  • For fans who want more closure in Mass Effect 3, the DLC will offer extended scenes that provide additional context and deeper insight to the conclusion of Commander Shepard’s journey.

Are there going to be more/different endings or ending DLCs in the future?

  • No. BioWare strongly believes in the team’s artistic vision for the end of this arc of the Mass Effect franchise. The extended cut DLC will expand on the existing endings, but no further ending DLC is planned.

Why are you releasing the Extended Cut DLC?

  • Though we remain committed and are proud of the artistic choices we made in the main game, we are aware that there are some fans who would like more closure to Mass Effect 3. The goal of the DLC is not to provide a new ending to the game, rather to offer fans additional context and answers to the end of Commander Shepard’s story.

So there you have it. Are we proud of the game we made and the team that made it? Hell yes. Are we going to change the ending of the game? No. Do we appreciate the passion and listen to the feedback delivered to us by our fans? Very much so and we are responding.

read the entire article on BioWare’s official website

I’m more than conflicted about this. This morning started the same as it does every morning. I woke up and groggily began to read my news feed while getting ready, only to stumble upon this gem. It’s not fun doing a full-fledged facepalm first thing in the morning. In my quest to stay as positive as possible about these things, I do genuinely hope that this DLC bridges that gap between BioWare and the fans who were so vehemently upset with the current ending to the game. It’s a goodwill offering to the community, saying, “We hear you, and we want to do something to make it right by you.”

That being said, I still think it’s a bad idea. This sets a dangerous precedent for video games as an artistic medium. BioWare went out on a limb with Mass Effect 3’s ending. It would have been easy to do the “safe” ending and basically re-create Return of the Jedi shot-for-shot, right down to Volus playing Marauder skulls like drums while singing “yub yub” and having Legion, Mordin, and even Saren’s blue ghosts watching the celebration in approval, just so Shepard can turn back and give a knowing wink and nod. Instead, they decided to go with an ending that leaves a lot up to the player. There isn’t clarification. There isn’t a definitive “here is your closure” statement. The player needed to piece all that out on their own.

There are a lot of players who didn’t like that. People, it seems, like to have things explained to them. And this is what BioWare is going to do. I understand that just like subtlety is lost on these fans, syntax probably is as well. What the press release is saying is that the ending will not change. You’re still going to get your red, blue, or green explosion. Now, you’re just going to get a couple extra cutscenes to tell you how you’re supposed to feel about it.

My own feelings aside, as I said before, I hope this DLC will definitively end this conversation. It’s an argument that’s a month old right now, but it feels like it’s been going on for a year. When the DLC hits this summer, hopefully it will provide enough closure for the disgruntled fans to finally move on. Because the rest of us? The ones who are already satisfied with how things played out? We have to wait even longer for any kind of new playable content while BioWare kowtows to the whims of the entitled.