This is a bit of a deviation from my standard posts, but I think this is important enough to make a mini-post of it's own, especially since I talk about Mass Effect 3 so much. Besides, I can always delete it if it does not mesh well with my articles. This is not something I plan to do often and will probably be a one time thing unless anything else of enough importance comes along that needs to be discussed as it happens.
I've finally seen all of it, and I can say that I'm pleasantly surprised by it overall. I knew it wouldn't fix all my grievances, but it fixed enough of them and vastly improved the ending. *Obviously spoilers*
- They finally fixed several plot holes. Joker's strange contribution to the ending, how your party magically ends up on the Normandy, and Hackett knowing that Sheppard and Anderson made it to the Crucible are all explained. Furthermore, they removed the part where the Mass Relays blow up.
- Sheppard is now allowed to question the Catalyst on each of the ending choices. Furthermore, he can express cynicism towards each choice, culminating in the forth, "Reject" ending choice which damns the current cycle but guarantees success to the next one.
- EMS required to get all the endings is lowered to 3100, meaning that MP is no longer required.
- The extra epilogues, the monologues for each one, and new investigative options differentiate the endings enough so that each one feels unique. Furthermore, the epilogue's slideshow changes to reflect the consequences of your actions. No two players should get exactly the same ending.
- The ending still comes out of nowhere with no adequate build up to the choices you have to make. It is still very abrupt when it happens.
- While they try to explain the Catalyst's motive for the Reaper harvest, it ultimately proves futile. He still comes across as grossly misinformed.
- It still has the feel of being "space magic", even with the Crucible and the Citadel being explained a lot better.
- The scene with the Illusive Man still doesn't really feel all that relevant in the grand scheme of things. The confrontation with him still feels like an ass pull, even if the concept is one I agree with.
- EMS still feels pointless. If Bioware wants to put a "Reject" option, it's effectiveness should be determined by the military strength of Sheppard's forces. It should be possible to defeat the Reaper's in a firefight, even if it means suffering heavy losses at a cost.
Overall, I'm satisfied. It's not perfect, but it's free and really does help the ending in the best way it could have. Props to Bioware for actually listening to fan feedback and reaching an adequate compromise that would make most people happy. If this was the original ending, I doubt the fan outcry would be nearly as bad as it was. If you want me to elaborate more on one of my points, please respond in the comments below.