Mass Effect Legendary Edition features the Extended Cut ending by default which was part of a post-release expansion pack instead of the original ending which caused quite a controversy among fans for being too simple a conclusion.
Speaking with CNET in a recent interview, project director Mac Walters stated that players are still free to “make up their own minds” about the ending since the main storyline has not been changed.
However, with the Extended Cut ending now part of the “baked-in experience,” playing Mass Effect Legendary Edition from start to finish (all three games) will potentially have players seeing “the trilogy in a very different way now.”
Jumping in, character and environment director Kevin Meek shared a similar sentiment. “Playing it as a whole trilogy and treating it as one giant arc, rather than three arcs, goes a long way to potentially changing people’s experiences.”
The original Mass Effect 3 ending was supposed to be a perfect culmination of a journey spanning six long years and across three major installments. The ending however presented players with just three choices for the finale instead of providing more closure to the characters and plot threads involved, which fans were fairly expecting.
Following backlash, developer BioWare released the Extended Cut update for Mass Effect 3 a few months after launch. The new content added more cutscenes and epilogues for the characters involved in addition to more dialogue options for better context.
Unfortunately, the experience of having to go through two different endings left players pretty disappointed. Mass Effect Legendary Edition features the Extended Cut ending by default. Hence, players, particularly new ones, will be able to find more closure at the end after sitting through the entire trilogy, or at least that is what BioWare believes will be the case.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition was released over the weekend for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The compilation furthermore comes with next-generation enhancements (both visual and performance) on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.