There are a ton of arguments flying around the Internet about the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut. Some think it perfectly answered their questions and satisfied their wishes, others think that it still falls short of expectations, while a few others feel it was completely unnecessary. However, in all of the arguments I’ve heard or read, there’s one aspect no one is complaining about: the new music.
I admit, I’m a gaming music junkie, so I was looking forward to hearing what new aural experiences would fill my ears. However, I did not expect the pure excellence that would accompany these new scenes.
Simply put: the music of the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut is the best part about it. Hands down.
Some of the tracks are new compositions. Others we’ve heard before, but they have been changed for the new endings. Either way, every song is brilliant. Here are some examples:
“An End Once And For All (Extended Cut Version)”
The original ending song, now with two more minutes of fantastic piano melody. (For reference, here’s the original.)
This was my favorite song from the soundtrack beforehand (sorry, “Leaving Earth“), but now…now it’s becoming my favorite song from the entire series (watch your back, “Vigil“). The pure emotion that pours out of this song is immense; it is a song worthy of ending an epic trilogy such as this. This is the type of song one listens to when they contemplate their life, searching for the right direction to continue living. It’s fantastic, and it’s the first damn song I list.
“A Moment Of Silence”
This song accompanies my favorite scene from all three endings (I won’t say which scene for fear of spoiling it for someone). This one track houses many a recognizable melody: “We Face Our Enemy Together” (title screen music), “I Was Lost Without You” (ME3 love scene), and even “Spectre Induction” from the first game. This song may be short, but from first note to last it is a powerful track. The last three chords send chills down my spine every time I hear it.
“Convergence (Synthesis Ending)”
For the Synthesis ending to truly be effective, it had to be accompanied by a theme that was heavy on the sci-fi synth sounds that Mass Effect has been known for. Why not sample “Uncharted Worlds“, one of the most synth-heavy tracks in the series? While the song is great on its own, its true power comes while EDI speaks over it during the Synthesis ending, as her words match the tone this song sets perfectly. I love this ending, and I love this song.
“The Alliance’s Hero (Destroy Ending)”
“The war is over. The Reapers have been defeated. Against all odds and in the face of the greatest threat this galaxy has ever known, we survived.”
This was MY ending, my choice. Those Reaper jerks needed to be silenced forever, their reign of terror ended. When I heard Hackett’s voice, and this song behind it, I knew I had made the right choice. This militaristic track perfectly embodies who Shepard is, what he stood for, and what he remained even after facing the single greatest decision in the universe: a hero who saved the galaxy from extinction. No other track could paint the picture better than this one.
“Eternal, Infinite, Immortal (Control Ending)”
This may be the most interesting track of them all. This song accompanies the Control ending, or the “blue” choice. Blue, for the entire series, has represented Paragon, or “good guy.” Why then does this song sound so foreboding? Why does it sound like this should be the selfish Renegade ending music instead of the heroic Paragon music in the Destroy ending? Perhaps this is a clue to what the future holds for Mass Effect…but it’s too soon to tell. For now, this song definitely makes me wonder…
Five new songs in the Extended Cut just from the ending sequences; all five of them excellent additions to the Mass Effect soundtracks. Despite what ending is chosen players will be treated to musical supremacy from a trilogy well-deserving of the distinction. Debates will rage on about which ending is the true ending and whether or not these endings are worthy of the series, but there’s one thing that no one can argue: this soundtrack is simply incredible.