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Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut expands ending, available for free on June 26th

Note: There are some spoilers about Mass Effect 3’s ending below. Considering that many people thought the ending was bad enough to sue EA and BioWare over, you may not mind that the ending is spoiled. Fair warning.

As promised by BioWare back in April, Mass Effect 3 is getting a whole new ending on Jun. 26. The studio announced on Friday that Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will be out next Tuesday for anyone not entirely satisfied by seeing their universe-spanning adventure end with a little kid asking his grandpa to tell some more stories about Commander Shepherd in a public park.

The free downloadable expansion will be available simultaneously for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. The download will be almost 2GB.

Back in April, Dr. Ray Muzyka promised that the Extended Cut would offer “additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes” that “offer deeper insights into how [fans] personal journey concludes.” The announcement made via BioWare’s official blog on Friday clarified a bit more, saying that the new content “gives a sense of what the future holds as a result of the decisions made throughout the series” and “shows a greater detail in the successes or failures based on how players achieved their endings.” The new content does not actually change the endings as they exist, it simply expands on them.

For anyone hoping that they can just load up their game and check out the new content, it’s not that simple. You still have to play through the whole conclusion of the game, starting with the assault on Cerberus’ home base. That’s a mighty big chunk of content to get through.

Considering that the endings as they exist are unchanged, it seems likely that, as rumored, Commander Shepard won’t be involved directly in the scenes. Shepard voice actress Jennifer Hale told Edge in April that BioWare hadn’t contacted her to record any new dialogue for Extended Cut.

It’s unclear at this point what new dialogue for any character has been created for Extended Cut actually. It is very possible that the material that BioWare is releasing on Tuesday has been planned content since the very beginning. The studio has been very precise about what important story content was left out of the basic retail release of Mass Effect 3. The downloadable story and character included with “From Ashes,” DLC available for the game on the day of release, fundamentally altered the story of the game and the history of the Mass Effect universe, but that didn’t stop BioWare and EA from charging extra for it. It also didn’t stop people from paying for it, because 40 percent of players bought the content.

It’s very possible that the only thing complaining about Mass Effect 3’s ending achieved was that the Extended Cut is free rather than paid DLC.

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