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Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut (Beware Spoilers)

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Well, what can I say? We downloaded the EC last Tuesday but I didn’t get around to play it until now. It IS an improvement over the original work. It does have its highlights but it still not what I was expecting for the franchise to end with. It was decent overall, not great.

To start with, while the whole evac of your team seems a little strange, the LI scene  is by far the best thing I saw.

Then of course, we have the expanded explanations of each choice. This time around, it lets me realize that Starbrat harvested the first Reaper using his flawed logic against the wishes of his creators. “The created will always rebel against its creators”, someone has some daddy issues right there. Anyway, I felt the insight of the choices was better this time, and thank goodness, they changed the Relay explosion sequences. Now I can agree that the Mass Relays ‘overloaded’, because before it was quite clear it had exploded, implying all life in that system would have been wiped out.

The choices are the same from last time (technically speaking). We at least get so see an epilogue from each choice that manages to have a distinct feeling from the rest. Control is scary, because in his own way, Reaper-Shep might end up getting corrupted just as Starbrat was. He wants to protect the galactic civilization at all costs. That was in short the mission given to Space Casper. His final choice was to preserve the civilizations on Reaper form. Let’s see how long it takes for Reaper-Shep to arrive to that conclusion when he can’t manage to bring peace to “chaos”. Besides… I bet the galactic community was scared shitless while the Reaper started to rebuild everything. Seriously, who wouldn’t? Can you imagine? An orphan child asking why the grown ups aren’t killing the big monsters that destroyed his family?

Then we have Synthesis… my my. Alright, the epilogue narrated by EDI was very nice, but in general, the concept of Synthesis strikes me as aberrant. The SC said it could not be forced… so would that mean that people who clearly didn’t wish to become partially synthetic would be left the same? Do they actually want me to believe that all sentient beings were ready for such change? I bet Javik was not. The Geth wanted to evolve at their own pace, for crying out loud. And suddenly, Husks, Humans and other stuff finally get together in a big picnic and forget about the millions that were killed during this conflict? And what about AI that didn’t have a body? Is the computer case alive? Did they created a body out of nowhere? Space magic?

Destroy is still the preferred ending for most players, and I count myself among them. I simply can’t imagine my Shepard doing something else. We had come this far and sure as hell he’s going to kill every single Reaper. He owes that to every colony that got destroyed. To Thessia. To Palaven. To Mordin. To Thane. And yes, even Legion. The reason I mention Legion and the Geth is because I don’t believe that they would have approved of Shepard controlling other races (even the Reapers)  or simply changing them into something else. They wanted to  have their OWN future, by their own means and were willing to die otherwise. I firmly believe that the Geths would have approved my decisions to open the path for a new generation of Geth, which I’m sure the Quarians will start working on in the future. At least I hope they will treat them right this time… learning from their past mistakes.

And, of course, we have refusal. It IS a slap to face for all the players who wished to say (f*ck) no to the SC. If the “So be it” line actually links Harbinger directly to the SC, then we can’t really trust in anything he says. In fact, there never was a reason to believe the murdering little bastard. There should have been two outcomes from this choice. If you EMS is above 6000, you actually defeat the Reapers. Anything below that amount will mean you get destroyed. That way you could have seen the war assests making a difference during the story. I would have loved that. The final scene is alright. The next cycle did “things right”, which I’m not sure what would that imply… maybe they accepted Synthesis? or did they actually defeated the Reapers on combat? *shrugs*

One thing is sure. Now I have the desire to try the rest of my Sheps. Even if it is to have a different LI scene at the end. In short, THIS is what should have been released in the first place, and while there would have been some cries of disappointment, people would have quickly forgotten and got to play again.  I hope Bioware learned its lesson, and after all this bitter experience maybe, just maybe, Dragon Age 3 will serve as their redemption.

A girl can dream.

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