Seemingly out of nowhere, BioWare officially announced the upcoming release of the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC which will be available for download on June 26th (this coming Tuesday). This is the much-anticipated updated ending to ME3 announced in April after fans complained about the lack of closure and plot holes contained in the ending of Mass Effect 3 that shipped with on the game disc.
After the jump, we have all of the official details from BioWare and our analysis.
SPOILER ALERT: There is a spoiler contained in the BioWare FAQ about the Extended Cut. We have coloured the text so it can’t be read unless highlighted to minimize the risk of unintentional spoilers. That same spoiler is also included in the video below at 5:09. A link to the BioWare Blog also contains a spoiler. That link is tagged with a spoiler alert.
Here’s the official description to ME3 EC:
The Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is a downloadable content pack that will expand upon the events at the end of Mass Effect 3. Through additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes, the Extended Cut will include deeper insight to Commander Shepard’s journey based on player choices during the war against the Reapers. The Extended Cut will be available to download at no additional charge on June 26th on Xbox 360 and PC and PlayStation 3.
That blurb adds nothing to the discussion. We knew that BioWare was going to release the DLC for free during the summer (which is officially in its third day today). We also knew that BioWare wasn’t going to give us new endings but “clarify” the original ones. The description also hits on all the same notes as the one leaked by derptemp6698 some two weeks ago. It’s not the exact same as the leak but I’m willing to bet that BioWare changed the wording after the leak.
BioWare also included a FAQ list in their official announcement page for Extended Cut.
How much is the Extended Cut?
- The Extended Cut is available to download at no additional charge.
When does the Extended Cut release?
- The Extended Cut will release on June 26th on Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 in North America and July 4th for PlayStation 3 in Europe.
How large is the Extended Cut?
- The Extended Cut requires roughly 1.9 gigabytes of storage.
How do I get the Extended Cut?
- The Extended Cut can be downloaded from Xbox LIVE, Origin on PC, and PlayStation Network at no additional cost.
What is included in the Extended Cut?
- The Extended Cut expands on the endings of Mass Effect 3 through additional scenes and epilogue sequences. It provides more of the answers and closure that players have been asking for. It gives a sense of what the future holds as a result of the decisions made throughout the series. And it shows greater detail in the successes or failures based on how players achieved their endings.
Does the Extended Cut change the endings?
- The Extended Cut is an expansion of the original endings to Mass Effect 3. It does not fundamentally change the endings, but rather it expands on the meaning of the original endings, and reveals greater detail on the impact of player decisions.
What save game should I load to play the Extended Cut?
- [SPOILERS (Highlight to reveal)] To experience the Extended Cut, load a save game from before the attack on the Cerberus Base and play through to the end of the game. The Extended Cut endings will differ depending on choices made throughout the Mass Effect series, so multiple playthroughs with a variety of different decisions will be required to experience the variety of possibilities offered by the new content.
Where can I learn more about the Extended Cut?
- To learn more about the Extended Cut, please enjoy the Extended Cut interview podcast with Community Manager Jessica Merizan, Executive Producer Casey Hudson, and Lead Writer Mac Walters.
And we have that “podcast” noted in the final FAQ question. BioWare community manager Jessica Merizan did an interview with ME3 executive producer Casey Hudson and lead writer Mac Walters. Hudson and Walters both wrote and approved the ending of ME3 without following the usual writing and editing process for ME3 as they bypassed the rest of the writing staff in writing the ending. (Spoiler at 5:09.)
My main complaint about this interview is that Merizan is doing her job as a PR person by tossing out softball questions to Hudson and Walters. Those two have yet to make themselves accountable to the gaming media and the fans by doing any proper interviews or Q&A sessions about the ending of Mass Effect 3. If these two want to do a proper interview, they can email us.
So what have we learned today about ME3 Extended Cut? Nothing new, there are no indications as to what the additional scenes are going to clarify from the ending. As I noted in my earlier dissection of the ME3 ending, there is quite a bit that needs to be fixed if an ending is truly going to “clarify” the original ending. (That post also contains our tracking of all info on the Extended Cut including voice actors who have confirmed recording lines for Extended Cut.) BioWare did, however, reveal the fact that they did resolve one of the fan complaints about the ending in their blog post about EC (SPOILER ALERT) (in the second picture after the YouTube video).
And if you can’t get enough of ME3 or just need you EMS back up to the point where you can get what was originally one of the better endings, BioWare announced earlier this week that this weekend is another multiplayer challenge weekend. The community goal is to kill 7,000,000 trooper level enemies. More details are available on the official BioWare blog. Convenient how they put the multiplayer bonus weekend right before the EC DLC drops…
We’ll be back with more about ME3 and Extended Cut after its release. What we write will depend on what we see from ME3 EC.