The long-awaited "Mass Effect 3" DLC known as "Extended Cut" finally launched Tuesday for Xbox 360 players. The free add-on contains extra footage and cut scenes for each of the three ending sequences in "Mass Effect 3."
The extension was thought to be in response to fan backlash about the series' conclusion, which erupted immediately after the third chapter in the trilogy was released. Players have been avidly campaigning for a new ending ever since, but they won't find it in the "Extended Cut," says developer BioWare.
"There was some feedback that we can't address," lead writer Mac Walters told the Official Xbox Magazine a day before the content debuted. "There are people who just outright rejected the whole concept of the endings, and wanted us to start from scratch and redo everything. And we can't do that because that's not our story, we wouldn't know how to write that story."
For months, gamers have been sharing their own thoughts and speculations on whether or not there is more depth behind the "Mass Effect 3" ending. Some have proposed the Indoctrination Theory, which says that Commander Shephard was indoctrinated by the Reapers. This would mean that the ending sequence was only occurring within his own mind, but the "Extended Cut" DLC was meant to shed some light on the controversial conclusion, not change it, says BioWare. And the company acknowledges that not all players will be pleased.
"So there's no doubt that there will be a whole new wave of discussion and debate, maybe even controversy," Walters added. "But we didn't do the 'Extended Cut' because we were trying to make everybody happy, make it perfect. We just saw an opportunity to expand on things that we felt could add value to the experience, for those that appreciate it."
The additional content is free to download for Xbox 360 players, but has been delayed for PlayStation 3 owners in Europe. Those players will be able to download "Extended Cut" beginning July 4, but BioWare has not given a reason for the push back.
There has yet to be a strong reaction from fans, but some critics say the extra scenes may not be enough.
"In short, it's better, but ultimately it's very obvious that it should have been included in the game in the first place," writes a video game opinion correspondent for Forbes, Paul Tassi. "Having to release something like this to go back and 'fix' bad storytelling is sloppy and strange."
However, BioWare insists that this is the story the creators intended to tell all along.
"Ultimately our passion is entertaining people, so delighting them with our stories and giving them amazing worlds to escape to, that's what we love to do," Walters also said to OXM. "So in this medium it just wouldn't make sense for us to make some kind of artistic statement, and then turn our backs on it forever."
Just like the original ending, the new additions are sure to trigger criticism and examination from fans. For those who haven't gotten their hands on the "Extended Cut" DLC, the longer cut scenes for each ending are posted below.
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