Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut Original Soundtrack

 

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Review by · August 3, 2012

One of the bigger complaints about Mass Effect 3’s endings was the lack of diversity between your three given choices (implied consequences aside). BioWare not only addressed this issue with the Extended Cut DLC, but also in its accompanying soundtrack which, like the EC, has been provided for free. Composer Sam Hulick, who contributed to the score throughout the Mass Effect series, took care of most of the Extended Cut.

The one exception to this is An End, Once And For All, a joint effort with Clint Mansell which you’ll recognize from the original soundtrack. Only now, this track has its own extended cut, a much longer version that now builds up to a more gradual finale. My biggest qualm with the otherwise beautiful original was that it had a jarring, more sudden end, so this makes the Extended Cut version easily my favorite song in all of Mass Effect 3. Wake Up, a theme which plays while Commander Shepard listens to their final options, received similar treatment, though remains a haunting and at the same time contemplative tune.

What I love the most about this soundtrack is the brand new tracks, one for each final decision. Each of these fits their appropriate ending, especially Synthesis (I Am Alive And I Am Not Alone), one that starts out similar to New Worlds, the series’ galaxy map theme. My favorite of these, I Will Watch Over Those Who Live On, accompanies the Control ending – and rightly so, given its steady, deliberate and determined pace.

Other themes and the remaining pieces that round out this very brief soundtrack help to provide Mass Effect 3 with the closure and more drawn-out ending that the original lacked. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the Extended Cut included not only new versions of existing music, but also completely new material that, rather than being simply forgettable, adds more depth to the new endings.

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Editor’s Note: This album is available free from Bioware’s website.

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Liz Maas

Liz Maas

Liz is one of a small group of people that were with RPGFan early on and have tried to leave, only to be roped back in. Her love for RPGs and action games is only eclipsed by her undying devotion to coffee (and despite her Canadian roots, Tim Horton's is a last resort). Today she spends her time in Eorzea and longs for Mass Effect to be good again.