Alright, so tonight the story just got pretty interesting. Some slight revelations have thickened the plot, while also justifying why the prothean crucible project is such an inscrutable black box with no insight or details about it, so I don't have to complain as much. Thessia with Javik was good for story (and spectacle: reaper walking into the sunset), boring for gameplay no matter who I'd take with me. (The gameplay is feeling stale right about now, very few enemy types and maybe it's because I'm an infiltrator). I'm not yet convinced the prothean buddy was necessary to the third game (IMO his existence destorys the first game's excellent themes of exctinction and enslavement, because he is not dead and he is not corrupted like a collector), but he adds a nice twist to character interactions. I'm pretty sure he was an early decision and not actual DLC, he interacts with too much of the rest of the game for that.
There's a lot of cool little stories going on in this game: the PTSD asari, joker trying to cope with it all, character development for liara, seeing her weaknesses and anxieties, her memories, etc. But I'm aware that the ending has killed it for a lot of folks out there. I'm aware that there's an "indoctrination theory" which sounds interesting and I can guess what that might be, though I doubt indoctrination would be given proper justice in this game by bioware. indoctrination needs subtletly, like a survival horror title, where things are slightly off and it would be up to an observant player to pull on the thread and confirm that yes, things are very very wrong. Mass effect 3 has too big a budget and a team for subtlety, my guess. Yahtzee from the escapist wrote a nice article on this here. I wanted to experience indoctrination before I even finished mass effect 1, but again, I still need to finish 3 and see it all for myself.
(I'm guessing shepard's dreams about the little kid will play into whatever happens somehow. After two of these dreams, I'm not really impressed with the emotional aspect, I can't choose how shepard reacts to this kid's death. So there's more ridiculous railroading and directions shoved down our throats. so if this is more a pyschological thing, some kind of forshadowing, than... cool, I guess. We'll see. Is shepard losing her mind? been too close to too many reapers? hmm.)
So I ask: should I continue playing to the end following whatever narrow choices I can choose, without the extended cut DLC? I want to give whatever the original content is a chance. But this would be the first original viewing of the ending by me, and if bioware really did **** up the story, than... yeah, that will have been the original experience. Not a huge deal, I'm going in blind either way. Post-production re-edits based on fan-feedback can be just as bad or worse than the original ****-up. So without the spoily details, what did you think about the endings? Did you like the original product or did you think the new content made it better?