I'm honestly trying not to turn this into the All Things Mass Effect Blog, but I played it last night, so I figured I would finally put in my two cents on this one.
Let's get a few qualifiers out of the way before I start here. I loved the whole Mass Effect series. I thought Mass Effect 2 was the best in terms of story, but Mass Effect 3 is close, and has MUCH better gameplay. I hated the ending of Mass Effect 3. A lot. I wasn't one of those 'Take Back...' guys, but I thought the game deserved a better ending, and I thought after about 90 hours of play through the franchise that I desrved a better ending.
Enter the Extended Cut DLC. It was free, and while they said they would not change anything (boo), they would provide more closure and explanation. Since it was free, I thought I'd give them a second go at redemption. Did I mention that I only went along with this because it was free? Free is my favorite color.
I had heard from Gotthammer that taking Liara along for the final mission was sad if you had romanced her, and not knowing if I was up for it, played through with my character that had accidentally romanced Tali in ME2. I'm glad I did, because Tali's final dialogue was absolutely heart rending. In a video game. Even when I'm mad at Bioware, I have to admit they do a hell of a job getting me emotionally invested in their games!
True to their word, the three choices are pretty much presented the same way, though there are more differences in the aftermath than previous, as well as a montage of what's going on with people, places and things that Shepard had impacted throughout the series. While I still don't think it's a great ending, it did go a long way for making me feel less personally betrayed about everyone running off and leaving Shep to die. Made it seem heroic, rather than treacherous, I guess.
SPOILER! DO NOT READ BELOW IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE THE DESTRUCTION ENDING WITH 100% EMS!
One bit I really did like was Tali never giving up at the end. I had the 100% effectiveness, which gives the last glimpse of Shepard taking a breath while trapped in the rubble. As Tali went to the Normandy crew casualty wall with the 'CMDR. SHEPARD' plaque, I was talking to myself, and it went something like this: "Don't do it Tali he's not dead he's still alive he's not dead don't do it he's alive alive don't do it.....YES!"
Maybe it's not the Yavin award ceremony some people were hoping for, but it's something.