An ambitious Mass Effect 3 mod that aims to revitalize and broaden the sci-fi RPG by fixing bugs, adding deleted scenes, and offering graphical improvements throughout the game’s environments has just dropped.
We covered the successful start to the series in our Mass Effect oral history, but the third game ruffled feathers at launch due to its endings. A boycott was started to convince EA to “finish” the ending. EA declined. But now fans have taken it into their own hands to flesh out Mass Effect 3.
“[Unofficial Mass Effect 3 Patch] introduces a large number of bug fixes and visual corrections for the entire game,” the creators write on the mod’s download page (opens in new tab)..”It also backports changes from the Mass Effect Legendary Edition in order to update the game, introduces soft DLC integration, and restores cut content in a careful and selective manner.”
The mod’s creators, Orikon and Hadrorex, are keen to stress that “there is zero fan fiction and every restoration feels completely authentic, so you will never be able to tell the difference between original and cut content.” They’ve certainly given themselves a fine line to walk, but, if the examples of the restored content indicate their success then it looks like the modders have hit the mark splendidly.
As you may have guessed, the backporting of features from the Legendary Edition means that this mod is for the original, 2012 version of Mass Effect 3 rather than the recent remaster. So don’t install this mod with the expectation that it’ll work on your shiny new version of the Mass Effect trilogy. This being said, the sheer number of additions and fixes makes the mod well worth a look, even if it is only compatible with vanilla Mass Effect 3.
An end, once and for all
The Unofficial Mass Effect 3 Patch mod is a gift for anyone looking to revisit the thrilling final act of Bioware’s sci-fi saga. But this time it adds a more comprehensive experience.
I was very impressed by the seamless reintegration of cut content as shown off in clips found on Orikon’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab). For instance: should you save bold Salarian military captain Kirrahe in the original Mass Effect, you now have an earned reunion with him in Mass Effect 3. Orikon’s mod also adds a deleted scene where the martially inclined reptile tosses you his pistol (opens in new tab) in a badass flourish worthy of only the cheesiest action movies.
However, these additions cover Mass Effect 3’s quieter moments, too. In another clip, featuring a cut conversation with superpowered scientist Liara, we are given insight into the depth of her relationship with Shepard and how the two of them have been through a heck of an ordeal together over the course of the trilogy. Liara speaks wistfully of a younger Shepard (opens in new tab) with enough warmth and emotional resonance that I felt my heart begin to crack once more under the heavy weight of Mass Effect’s emotional payoffs.
Mass Effect 3 leaves an enduring legacy. Despite controversies surrounding the game’s original endings, the ride itself is an audacious victory lap for the series where Bioware cashed in the dramatic and emotional chips they’d been saving over the course of the previous two games.
Mass Effect will always have a special place in my heart. It was my first brush with the idea that video game stories could eclipse individual titles and create enduring, personalized sagas. Despite its flaws, the characters and themes of the sci-fi epic continue to resonate with me to this day. I cannot wait to download this mod and experience Mass Effect 3 again in a richer, more fleshed-out context.