It's said that it takes a big man to admit when he's wrong. Unfortunately, the creators of Mass Effect 3 seem to be sticking to their guns. Or are they?
Is BioWare a metaphorical "chained varren... guarding their pathetic stick in the ground," or are they simply attempting to save face and buy time for their programmers and writers to craft a DLC that will atone for their mistakes?
In what was a press release by any other name, BioWare announced on their blog today around noon EST that they were in the process of crafting DLC to amend the game's much-derided ending, which is to be released sometime this summer. Much to fans' chagrin, however, BioWare seems to determined to stay the course, and they stated that the DLC would not alter the arbitrary, inconsequential nature of the endings themselves, but would instead expand upon them to provide "closure."
The structure of the DLC itself, which, it should be noted, is slated to be released at no cost, is to be comprised of both additional "cinematics" and "scenes," with the distinction between the two implying that the latter might actually be interactive.
The content is to provide "additional context and deeper insight," but, if you've been paying attention during the past few weeks, you'll know that the endings' ambiguity was only one facet of fans' issues with the series finale, with players also citing characters' incongruous and inexplicable behaviors, a blatant disregard for the series' established physics laws, the inconsequentiality of all of the player's thousands of past choices, and the false trichotomy presented by the Catalyst as the only possibilities available, despite the potential for coexistence between synthetics and organics as evidenced by EDI and the geth.
While it's not impossible for these issues to be adressed, none of them were even acknowledged in the press release, with the release's author seemingly defending these lapses in logic as the creators' "artistic vision."
However, and this is important, also notably omitted from any mention within the press release is the popular "indoctrination theory," which, if proven by the DLC to be true, would, as stated, not require any real modification to the endings as already presented, simply the inclusion of additional context and explanation, as well as an ending to the series more consequential than Shepard simply gasping for air from atop a heap of rubble to signify that he is still alive.
It bears reiteration that, despite their apparent obstinace, BioWare absolutely could salvage the ending in such a way.
The facsimile of a press release itself is as follows:
An official press release went out today announcing how we are re-prioritizing the Mass Effect 3 post release content schedule to provide a more fleshed out experience for our fans. For many of you the “Extended Cut” will help answer some questions and give closure to this chapter of the Mass Effect story. Oh and it’s at no cost to you – the fan.
Here is a mini FAQ to help you understand what the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut is and isn’t:
What can fans expect from the Extended Cut DLC?
■For fans who want more closure in Mass Effect 3, the DLC will offer extended scenes that provide additional context and deeper insight to the conclusion of Commander Shepard’s journey.
Are there going to be more/different endings or ending DLCs in the future?
■No. BioWare strongly believes in the team’s artistic vision for the end of this arc of the Mass Effect franchise. The extended cut DLC will expand on the existing endings, but no further ending DLC is planned.
What is BioWare adding to the ending with the Extended Cut DLC?
■BioWare will expanding on the ending to Mass Effect 3 by creating additional cinematics and epilogue scenes to the existing ending sequences. The goal of these new scenes is to provide additional clarity and closure to Mass Effect 3.
When will the Extended Cut DLC be available?
■Currently the Extended Cut DLC is planned for this summer, no specific date has been announced at this point.
Why are you releasing the Extended Cut DLC?
■Though we remain committed and are proud of the artistic choices we made in the main game, we are aware that there are some fans who would like more closure to Mass Effect 3. The goal of the DLC is not to provide a new ending to the game, rather to offer fans additional context and answers to the end of Commander Shepard’s story.
So there you have it. Are we proud of the game we made and the team that made it? Hell yes. Are we going to change the ending of the game? No. Do we appreciate the passion and listen to the feedback delivered to us by our fans? Very much so and we are responding.
Summer is coming…
The link to the blog post itself on BioWare's site: http://blog.bioware.com/2012/04/05/mass-effect-3-extended-cut/