The Verdict Is In: Fans Love/Hate The Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut [Spoilers]

The Verdict Is In: Fans Love/Hate The Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut [Spoilers]

Spoilers ahead. The Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut is the result of one of the largest fan outcries in the history of gaming, delivering a series of new endings to appease fans seeking more closure than the game initially provided.

Have the fans been satisfied? Yes. Also, no.

The comments below are taken directly from the dedicated Mass Effect fans that populate BioWare’s official forums, a place I don’t recommend wandering into today unless you want to spend the day reading the same arguments over and over again.

Browsing this selection of 10 positives, 10 negatives and one confusing should give you a similar experience. I left the spelling intact, because it’s more fun that way.

Oh, and here there will be spoilers. Continue at your own risk.


  • “I vastly enjoyed the new ending, to be honest. I felt extremely hollow after witnessing the original, but this left me feeling extremely content. Sure, I’m on of those who wanted little blue babies with Liara, but at least now I know she got closure. And I know that civilisation will last to honour my sacrifice to the galaxy :)” — Deavent
  • “Thank you, Bioware. I was personally very pleased with the changes to the Destroy ending. That is the ending I chose and it was made so much better. I feel like it was truly the ending to MY Shepard.” — LeeluMultipass
  • “I have only done the synthesis ending so far and omg bioware, wrench my heart out and make me happy/sad at the same time some more why don’t you. I love you EDI! How am I ever supposed to destroy/control now!” — Fleshdress
  • “I hated the original endings…..I can now say that I actually want to play through my favourite series again” — McFly616
  • “i was anti-ending…anti-retake.. THIS IS WHAT I WANTED!!! THIS….made me so freaking happy” -Corporal Doody
  • “I never disliked the original ending, but felt more fulfilling. Thanks for the hardwork! Let’s just hope that more people feel this way now.” — Michael177
  • “I have to admit from what I seen the ending is now alot better, I still have some problems with it but I’m satisfied now.” — Dinosteve
  • “Just finished and I actually liked the old ending now (And I hated it it before). The new one just gives more of what many fans were saying the disliked about the ending. At least with the old one there was room for Lots of Speculation. Oh well, Halo 4 here I come!” –MagicalFish
  • “For something that was not designed to change an original ending that is rightly infamous for reasons we all know and only add to it, it was quite good. I really enjoyed the extra scenes, they provided a lot more closure and patched up a lot of the plot holes from the original ending, whilst still maintaining legroom for speculation.” — chaos_Shadow15


  • “Bioware is NOT a 5 year old child making a crayon drawing. Bioware is a multi million dollar company capable of having made Mass Effect 3.5. Instead, they did the absolute bear minimum to get us to shut up. It worked.” — Confused-Shepard
  • “im extremely dissapointed the ec sucks balls” – kingalexdarkoo
  • “Now I can finally trade in my ME3 copy. Thank you for confirming my fears Bioware” — wicked_being
  • “Hated it then, hate it now. C’est la vie.” — steeltrainn
  • “First LOST, then ME3 and IT, shame on me I guess. The thing I do not like is, that they are still liars. They said that the ending will not be like LOST ending and yet, here we are.” — Pangaron
  • “I find it depressingly sad that BioWare screwed up Mass Effect so badly, twice. We asked for closure and endings that made sense, had a colourful array of endings (and NOT in the literal sense) and what we got instead was a pile of implied insults, more plot holes, useless scenes and a slideshow.” — Trifecta739
  • “In three months I expected better from bioware but no, didn’t improve anything.” — Thaa_solon
  • “I’m NOT satisfied, so I have all rights to further complain and I can’t see a real effort in this loveless piece of crap.” — Prince_Valiant
  • “Whilst there were improvements, they really didn’t do a good job. Far from it. This is as close as we’ll get to something decent. The outcomes still weren’t fleshed out; it all felt lifeless.” — ZombifiedJake
  • “I honestly don’t understand why they even bothered. This can’t possibly be enough for anyone who hated the original ending.” — Lyme Eilserv

And this guy

  • “Instead of beaking the ME universe the ending is now completely pointless and has near zero effect on the future and you know whot? I call this 100% positive result” — Sheepie Crusher

I love you, Sheepie Crusher.

These results are pretty much as expected. The only way BioWare could have possibly pleased everyone was by polling each individual player and crafting a version of the ending specifically for them.

Judging by the reactions I’ve read so far, the Extended Cut has divided the fan base right down the middle, with a few colourful characters riding the line. I’d say that’s the best BioWare could have hoped for.


  • I want to keep this relatively spoiler free in case anyone is reading this without having played extended cut, but I can’t promise anything. Just a heads up.

    As someone who was ok with the ending all Bioware did was flesh out things I already assumed to be true, and debunks incorrect claims, e.g.: THE MASS RELAYS ARE DESTROYED THAT MEANS EVERYTHING GOT BLOWN UP AND EVERYONE IS SCREWED. I am 100% ok with this.

    There was no evidence to show that except that in the ME2: Arrival DLC when a relay got cracked open by a huge rock there was a massive explosion. Most of the Batarians were probably screwed for real when the Reapers showed up five minutes later and no one could escape because their relay was gone. That’s why they blamed Shep for the Batarian genocide, not because the exploding relay killed everyone. It’s the difference between firing a gun and having it blow up in your hand.

    I picked Destroy just to see if they made anything of the “Shepard is possibly alive” thing (apart from Liara not actually putting his nameplate on the memorial with Anderson’s, there’s no nod to it at all – it could even just mean they’re sad and hesitatant rather than that they suspect Shepard is still out there somewhere) and once I have a chance to play it again without spoiling my wife I’ll do the Synthesis ending which is what I chose in my first playthrough and what I consider to be the real ending of “my” story.

    I think if nothing else the extra content will shut down some arguments that the endings are all exactly the same regardless, a claim I feel was made by people who needed everything spelled out instead of just making certain fairly logical assumptions.

    Is it a great ending? Eh. This trilogy was never going to have an ending that satisfied everyone, I think everyone was too invested in their story and there being a future for their personal Shepard. But it was alright. I think if they’d done this from the start there’d be hardly any internet rage at all. The way things are now, people are just going to keep bitching because they’ve got themselves all worked up over it.

    • Oh, I should point out Liara is my love interest in ME1/2/3, so maybe certain key scenes where Liara says/dones something in the new cutscenes might be replaced by someone else, depending who your lover is.

      The ending also explains why Shepard’s squadmates on earth are no longer with him after Harbinger attacks – that was a good addition though I think people will still pick holes in how it was executed. It also explains exactly when Joker took the Normandy out of the battle – a lot of the flaws in the original had to do with timing, because everything was a bit compressed. This straightened out a few of those issues, including your dialogue with Anderson after reaching the citadel via the conduit which gave rise to the Indoctrination Theory.

      The post-event cutscenes showing the aftermath were the most fleshed out and well done, though in my opinion the least necessary. I feel genuinely bad for people who were willnig to take the Indoctrination Theory as fact but couldn’t sit down and say “even though it looks pretty bad, maybe everything is actually going to be ok in the long term?”

      You get the opportunity to ask the Starchild more questions about the motivation of the reapers and so forth, which I think will not assuage people who were critical of the reasoning, but *might* help people who genuinely didn’t understand it.

      Aaaand… I think I’ve said all I can now. Time to get back to work.

    • The only reason the damage to the Mass Relays isn’t as bad as the effects should have been is because Bioware has changed the way they shut down. Instead of violently exploding (which would wipeout an entire system as shown in ME2’s Arrival DLC), as they did in the original ending, they now basically lose power and crack apart. This is why Admiral Hackett now says “we can rebuild it we have the technology” or whatever he actually says.

        • Why? I mean, in Arrival, the relay was forcefully destroyed, and it seems logical that all the energy is released at once and can destroy a system. In the ME3 ending, the relays are destroyed because the Crucible told them to shut down. Maybe it causes the relays to disperse the energy and then self destruct so no explosion is caused.

          I don’t see how it’s a plot hole at all. Obviously the Crucible was designed to destroy the mass relays (whoever its original creators were) and so it wouldn’t have been a very good solution to intentionally destroy all systems in doing so.

          • I assume that was directed at Sam and not myself, since we seem to be inagreement.

            I think Sam was saying that the original ending cutscenes made it look like the relays exploded forcefully and destructively, but this has been toned down in the new cut, to retcon the implied destruction of earth, etc.

            I disagree. I think it was always a safe assumption that, as you say, the energy was discharged and while the realys were heavily damaged/destroyed, would not result in a supernova-like explosion that would claim earth/Sol.

    • There’s actually a couple of nods to shepard being alive.

      The breathing from the chest.
      The hesitance to put up the he’s dead sign is nearly a cliche
      And the kid asking for another story about The Shepard. With the guy acquiescing to her request, means that there is another story after that. Though the question is to what extent and how does it involve The Shepard.

      • The breathing and Stargazer/Child reference to “another story” were in the original cut, those aren’t new. The second one in particular, when linked to the previous message from Bioware, was basically “lol, get ready for some DLC”.

        The memorial thing was the only new part, and like you said, it’s basically a cliche.

        The reference to Shep possibly maybe being alive is no more developed than it was 3 months ago.

    • This is coming from one of those that hated the original endings. The extended cut fixes the endings, give it a go. It made me a fanboy again 😉

  • haven’t played the extended cut endings yet, will do this weekend, but I thank BioWare and EA for making the internet interesting agian over the coming week.
    People are going to go apesh*t all over again 🙂

  • I don’t think I’ll bother going back and watching these unless I play through the whole series over again.

    I refused to go back and play any of the games a second time through to get better results (I lost some crew that I really liked in the second game) which was sad but it’s part of making the hard choices in the first place.
    I was fairly happy with the ending and I feel like the story is over and ended how it ended, I would have been happy if it was a little more fleshed out in the first place but it seems a little rubbish to go back and get a “better” ending having played through the games just once and having to bear the consequences of my actions.

    I did always say I would play through again once all three games were finished, I never got the DLC for any of the games so maybe I’ll get all the DLC and then go through again from the start.

    • If you do, and want to know what DLC is worth getting and what isn’t, I’d suggest skipping the DLC for ME1. The DLC for ME2 is all quite good though if I had to rate them in terms of importance to the story and cost/value assessment I’d suggest the order of: The Lair of the Shadow Broker, Arrival, Stolen Memories, Overlord, Firewalker. Firewalker is the only one I’d recommend skipping altogether, not that it’s not worth playing, but it’s really the least interesting and is more of a timesink than value-add. Overlord is really great and only rates below Stolen Memories because Stolen Memories adds a new character to your squad who also turns up in ME3 (Kasumi Goto – I have no idea if you see her in ME3 if she wasn’t in your ME2 squad). Arrival of course, is a chunk of story that fills in the gap between ME2 and ME3. Shadow Broker is simply awesome, and the only way you’ll get any real closure on the Shadow Broker story thread that ME1 started (man, they really hooked me in with that).

      • i liked the terra nova mission. it does factor into ME3 (ever so slightly) with a mission on the citadel giving you the baterian fleet if balak escapes. i would recommend it but it has been a while since i played it

    • Agreed- I feel like here’s where I all get a reminder: Whingers will be whingers.

      The people who weren’t having a childish hissy fit in the first place will be happy for the free update, the people who complained will keep complaining.

      I loved the series, the ending isn’t perfect (maybe not even good) but seriously it’s not the end of the world.
      Unfortunately I lack the ridiculous sense of entitlement required to spend six months crying about it online.

      • There wouldnt of been a free update unless people complained. Yes it was over the top for most people but thats the internet. But not saying anything when you dont like whats done in a game, or anything in the world is just saying “Yes feed me shit.” Vote with your wallet and talk about it when you can.
        Its not entitlement, its expecting better from a company you’ve given hundreds of dollers to, invested hours in their game and loved the series to bit to get a 5 minuet ending. Im glad for the new endings, a huge improvement over the original endings and of course not everyones going to be happy, you cant please everyone. But if no one said anything, then we would of never got this free update.

  • I didn’t like the original endings. There were a few too many plotholes and it was simply too vague for my liking as to what actually happened. The extended cut cleared up almost all of my problems, which is more than I was expecting, so I’m satisfied. Fleshed out dialogue with a certain character, the ability to refuse that character, a much more detailed explanation of the options. It’s all good. I laughed my ass off at the refusal option, which probably wasn’t meant to be funny, but oh well!

  • They should make a DLC ending Mk II for the haters where everyone in the universe dies and your save games get erased except for an auto save right before the last cutscene that says “Thats for all your support, love Bioware”

  • Having just watched them…they’re better, but better is of course a relative term, they’re better in the same way a roof with 4 leaks is better than a roof with 18 leaks, it’s a still a roof with holes. Way too past this to have any desire to get into discussion again, but it doesn’t solve the biggest problems, the biggest of which is the premise itself is frankly, bad and false, and false within the narrative of the game itself. It’s essentially equivalent to a story about how racism is unavoidable showing racism being avoided.

  • I think people forgot that the journey, not the destination, was the coolest part of ME trilogy. Yeah, we had like 3 stupid finale options that effectively had the same overall affect on everything… trouble is, unstoppable forces with there own agendas all tend to only have a few possible responses when you come down to it, Acquire (join/control), Confront (Kill it) or Evade (run away!!!).

    I still say a lot less people would have cared about any of it if at least one ending was a super happy ending… you know, complete with the 80s cartoon cliché of a Side-kick making a joke and the whole crew laughing into the credit-fade. “Oh Joker, you’re incorrigible. Ahahahaha” :p

  • i am not upset, not angry, not happy, not sad. its just over. i picked an ending (control) and saw my shepard one last time. yes it has been cleaned up, there are still issues i have with it, such as the normandy not being shot at, but i can live with it. i just feel don’t know what to feel about it. i think it will sit on my shelf now as i got back to skyrim.

    i understand they wanted a dramatic ending, the annihalation one felt like a kick in the teeth though, but i would have liked the choice, the choice given in previous games, where my deeds allowed one option for shepard to survive on. control imo almost gave this. its just sad to think the wrtiers felt this was the only way they could end the series. it pains me to see it end this way but i guess i have to lose that emotional attachment i have to this game and move on. not exactly what BW wants, they want to retain customers and i hope for their sake this helps them with that, but for me, its time to move on and forget this ever happened

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