There be spoilers ahead. (Payal go ahead and play these games. Just stop reading and play.)
After nerd raging over the ending of Mass Effect 3, I feel it’s only fair to give props where it’s due. That is not to say the expanded endings are awe inspiring or ground breaking, but compared to what preceded them they are quite satisfying. Now, I do feel these endings should have been part of the “original cut” but you can’t change the past.
For me, most of my quibbles have been answered. The Starbrat is still a brat but at least I can better understand his reasons. Yes, his logic still goes in circles and he still feels like a deus ex machina but at least I can kind of see where he is coming from. Perhaps even more importantly Shepard can now press him further on all the crap he’s spewing.
The squad-mates are no longer magically teleported back onto the Normandy which was probably the biggest thing from the original endings that made me do a double take. The crew is also shown not to be stranded and the mass relays are damaged, but not destroyed. The epilogue sideshow featuring 2D art is cheesy and doesn’t really fit from an aesthetic perspective but it does give more closure and I’d rather have it than not.
The new refusal ending seems to have bit of controversy although not nearly at the scale of the original three endings. If you refuse the Starbrat or shoot him, everyone dies basically. Some see it as Bioware trolling the Retakers while others as a homage to what a lot of fans asked for: a way to simply refuse all three choices.
Personally I’m more ticked at the obvious push to pick the Synthesis ending than I am by the rather violent and depressing refusal one. I can’t see myself ever picking the green door. However, the EC has added replay value for me and I am now curious about trying out the Control ending. That wasn’t true even a week ago. So, for me, the EC was a success.
I wager Bioware has learned a bit from this and from the poor fan reaction of Dragon Age 2. Hopefully this will cause better games in general to come from them. I also hope studios all over learn to not over promise so much. Already The Last of Us producers have come out and said there is only one ending even if you can get there in different ways. I imagine most gamers are fine with that; it’s saying that your game will have all these varied endings when in reality they don’t that gets under people’s skin.
It’s a bit disappointing that even after releasing the EC some fans are still demanding more changes. Bioware didn’t have to release anything and there comes a point where you have to let it go.