Well like a lot of Mass Effect 3 fans I downloaded the Extended Cut a couple of days ago and then replayed the end-game again which took about three hours. My overall verdict is that this is exactly what Bioware needed to help explain the ending - and that is the approach they have taken which involves filling in some of the plot holes that emerged during the last hour or so of the game. For those of you hoping for a vastly different ending, you will be disappointed. For those wanting some explanation and closure, this Extended Cut should do the trick. It's just a pity they didn't include this in the original version of the game since it would've saved Bioware a lot of headaches.
I've commented on some of the highlights of the Extended Cut below (SPOILER ALERTS ahead):
- The Extended Cut explains what happens to your squadmates when you do the final push towards the beam that teleports you onto the Citadel. Commander Shepard calls in the Normandy to pick them up due to them being injured.
- The Extended Cut explains how the Normandy ends up outrunning the blast and landing on a strange planet - well sort of.
- The Extended Cut gives you more insight into the choices you can make at the end when talking to the Catalyst. You can also learn more about the history of the Catalyst.
- The Extended Cut actually shows which crew members are remaining depending on the choices you've made.
- The Extended Cut actually has a proper epilogue narrated by Lance Henriksen depending on the choices you've made throughout the game.