I just beat Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut! Here are my thoughts on it. This post contains ME3 spoilers, but it does not contain Extended Cut spoilers.
Don’t start before the Cerberus Base. I listened to the Extended Cut podcast last night and the developers wasted 30 minutes of my time by telling me to load a pre-Cerberus Base save! There are no changes to the Cerberus Base part of the game. Extended Cut begins from the moment you run towards the Beam, and it ends when the credits begin. Fortunately, BioWare has saved us all a lot of time by adding the ability to Restart Mission directly after the beam run. This means that you won’t have to do the entire ending sequence over and over again to see all the endings.
The gist of the ending remains the same, with one exception: the Mass Relays don’t explode for no reason anymore. Yep, a retcon. Those who have some strange vendetta against the Catalyst shouldn’t bother with Extended Cut. In an attempt to help stupid people understand ME3’s relatively simple story, Shepard’s encounter with the Catalyst now features a more complex conversation wheel. You can ask the Catalyst to explain everything in excruciating detail to you, and he will do so. These conversations don’t reveal anything that couldn’t have been gleaned from the original ending, though.
Your choicez are reflected throughout the ending via top-grade cutscenes and corner-cutting drawings accompanied by narration. They are interspersed between scenes that were in the original ending and, for the most part, they flow very well.
Some fans may be disappointed. As far as I know—note that I’ve only experienced the Green Ending—you don’t get a special series of cutscenes that shows you what happened to each main character, a supposed RPG tradition that was last practiced in Super Mario RPG. To those people, may I suggest fanfiction?
Nothing needs to be said about Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut; this editorial won’t change anyone’s mind. It’s too little, too late for those who disliked ME3’s ending. Those who did like ME3’s ending, however, will definitely be inspired to see all of the endings now. Now that they’re actually different, they’re worth it.
Check this out. They changed the post-credits message box. No mention of DLC at all. The sneaky bastards. Here’s to hoping they’ve learned a little tact for next time.