The Mass Effect franchise has been shrouded in controversy ever since the release of its final instalment in March, thanks to the missing plotholes and broken endings that marred gamers' experience. Angry fans staged protests demanding a much-needed closure from BioWare. The game-maker did put in several months of hard labour in the making of Extended Cut DLC in its attempt to fix the broken endings and plug the plotholes to minimise ambiguity. Nevertheless, there still seem to be several questions unanswered with the extended ending, while Shepard's actions and decisions have no influence on the outcome of the finale whatsoever.
The original ending through the course of Mass Effect 3 delivered an enthralling and flawless 40-hour gameplay with a distasteful 20- minute climax that actually drew flak from fans world over. BioWare seems to be caught off-guard with an epic blockbuster filled with too many plot variations that would confuse even the best game designers. Trying to systematically build the character elements and a solid storyline, BioWare might have missed a trick or two with the final plot, as the variable endings add detail but fail to answer the crux of the game theme (Paragorn or Renegade consequences) through the trilogy. In essence, extending the endings has opened up the glaring plotholes even further, as you should note that BioWare has stuck to its decision to not alter the ending, but just add more clarity to the finale. If you didn't like the original ending, it is unlikely that you will find respite with the new extended endings either.
Those of you who have not yet finished playing the third instalment of the game should tread with caution, as spoilers are lurking ahead. Extended Cut brings more depth to the ending narratives and cinematic scenes. One of the most intriguing additions to the game is the chance to have a longer chat with the Star Child, who sheds some light on how Reapers came into existence.
There are bridging video sequences to smooth out the transition from London battle and magical space station - which clears out ambiguity that two of your crew members are not dead or missing in the frantic dash to the portal. The Mass Effect relays are now damaged and not destroyed as depicted in the original ending sequence. The biggest addition is undoubtedly a flurry of cinematic sequences summing up the ending with a hint on the future of the galaxy and a new voiceover detailing the current status of the galaxy.
According to VideoGamer, the problem with the extended ending is it is too definitive and being forced. We would rather have admired a seamless and natural approach guided by player's instincts. On the brighter side, BioWare has done wonders with the mechanic aspects of its narrative delivery, covering all aspects of hungry gamers' needs including love, adventure, risk and sacrifice.
In addition to expanding the earlier endings, the game-maker introduces you to the fourth option - Destroy. This new option is actually intended to keep the protagonist alive, as you will see Commander Shepard waking up in the rubble scene that is part of the Destroy ending sequence. In three other endings, Shepard is destined to die, irrespective of your choices or military accomplishments. Right through the trilogy, Shepard puts the future of humanity ahead of personal goals, wherein sacrifice is forced upon the protagonist irrespective of player's decisions. It's only befitting that Shepard's invaluable sacrifices bear fruits in the end, but that's not to be.
The next big complaint from fans is how Anderson possibly got into the Citadel. This point is completely overlooked in the Extended Cut as was the case with the original ending. Even Hackett's revelation in the climax contradicts it, as he indicates that only one soldier, Shepard, made it aboard the Citadel.
According to Big Shiny Robot, the meeting between Anderson and Shepard inside the Citadel further aggravates the glitch; as Shepard claims entry through a secret tunnel leading to the control panel, while both landed in different areas when they passed through the Mass Relay portal. It is still unclear if Anderson is already dead by this time and Shepard talks to his ghost or if he has an unknown entry through another secret portal.
Some other unanswered questions revolve around Wrex's status as the leader of Krogans and the genophage cure for the disease. A closure on the war status between Quarians and Geth still remains in the dark, while there is no update on the status of Asari colony attacked by Reapers. This leaves us with a bitter yet baffling question: Should we expect the missing plots covered in the forthcoming DLC's such as the leaked Leviathan DLC or is it the end of the trilogy?