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Old January 21 2014, 07:45 PM   #2281
Kestrel
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Eh, it's not entirely contrived considering all that's made of their sentience being based on "Reaper code."

I've not actually finished my Control playthrough yet, but at least for a Paragon I think that's the best ending. It's risky, but trust Shepard's incredible self-control - or alternately after rebuilding society Shep flies but one Reaper into the heart of a sun. Self-apotheosis is still better than genocide, for my money.
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Old January 21 2014, 09:40 PM   #2282
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I'm still bummed out that Earth, and therefore the human race gets to keep the Citadel to themselves. I'm going to miss the notion that for the first time in a long time the Earth didn't have much of a role in an action science fiction series as it was in in the first two games. But thanks the writers insistence that Shepard cares only about saving the Earth and the endings leaving the Citadel in Earth orbit (complete with the transport beam still in London) it's now the most important planet in the whole galaxy. How original.
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Old January 22 2014, 02:52 AM   #2283
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Skywalker wrote: View Post
I still think the Destroy ending killing EDI and the geth was only added in to give that decision 'consequences,' because otherwise it's pretty much a no-brainer. But I agree, it's really contrived and was clearly just tacked on without much thought.
It doesn't help that they never really addressed what the crucible actually does beyond juicing up the Citadel's relay functionality and how that can possibly translate into all of the three options with which we were presented.

I mean *someone* had to come up the the original design, no? And whomever they were, they had to have a pretty good idea how the Citadel works *and* know of the existence of the Catalyst.

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Eh, it's not entirely contrived considering all that's made of their sentience being based on "Reaper code."
EDI was already sentient on Luna before Cerberus enhanced her with reaper tech from Sovereign. As for the Geth, the Reaper code only allowed them to become individual AIs instead of a node based, quasi-gestalt intelligence. Again, as a collective they were already sentient, hence the Quarians freaking out.

Besides, how does en energy wave target a specific type of computer code? That's like saying you can make an incendiary that will only destroy the letter "P".

What would have made much more sense would have been to use the QEC link between the Catalyst to either order a simple shutdown, or induce a more spectacular burnout of all active reaper tech. Presumably this is the very mechanism by which the Shepard derived AI would have taken control, no?

I've not actually finished my Control playthrough yet, but at least for a Paragon I think that's the best ending. It's risky, but trust Shepard's incredible self-control - or alternately after rebuilding society Shep flies but one Reaper into the heart of a sun. Self-apotheosis is still better than genocide, for my money.
I don't know, I just can't get the image of 'God Emperor of Dune' out of my head and the thought that there's no way any version of Shepard could possibly have the inherent wisdom and singularity of vision necessary for that job. That even assuming that the AI is even still Shepard in any meaningful way.

Also, I know I've said this before, but it's worth repeating that both EDI and the Reapers specifically said they'd rather die than allow the Reapers to continue. A willing sacrifice isn't what I'd call genocide.

Jeyl wrote: View Post
I'm still bummed out that Earth, and therefore the human race gets to keep the Citadel to themselves. I'm going to miss the notion that for the first time in a long time the Earth didn't have much of a role in an action science fiction series as it was in in the first two games. But thanks the writers insistence that Shepard cares only about saving the Earth and the endings leaving the Citadel in Earth orbit (complete with the transport beam still in London) it's now the most important planet in the whole galaxy. How original.
Yeah, I had rather expected that by the end of ME3, no matter what you do Earth would be at best a total loss and lead to a massive diaspora of humanity into the galaxy. Maybe it's just my fondness for Dune, Firefly and Foundation speaking, but I find the idea of Earth as a dead world much more interesting from a mythic standpoint.
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Old January 22 2014, 04:44 PM   #2284
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Re: Mass Effect 3

The Stig wrote: View Post
From my POV, the Leviathan DLC and the extended cut really made a big difference in how things felt when it was all over.
I feel that Leviathan helps when doing a full play-though of the game as it puts the revelation about the Reapers' origins earlier in the game. The Extended Cut fixed a lot of what was wrong about the original ending, but it couldn't fix how they had made a stupid mistake in planting a twist in the final 5 minutes of the game. Leviathan did fix that aspect, and it sucks that you have to pay extra to experience it.
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Old January 22 2014, 06:24 PM   #2285
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Re: Mass Effect 3

^I agree on all counts. But as much as I appreciate how the EC fixed all of the mechanical problems of the ending and how Leviathan added some much needed context, the fact remains that they shipped an incomplete product. For a company that prides itself on games based around story and character, that's a cardinal sin in my books.

I'm honestly conflicted about the DLC for games like these. On the one hand it's great to get an expanded story but on the other hand it's starting too feel like they design these games to be skeletal on release, to be fleshed out later. 'Shadow Broker' and 'Omega' feel especially guilty of this, despite the fact that they're both massively extended versions of missions that were cut fairly early in development and despite what some seem to think, not designed as DLC from the outset.

What I really do have a problem with though is things like 'From Ashes' which while not technically vital to the main plot of the game, is still a *huge* deal in the larger mythos and the game is poorer for it's absence.

I know they did the same thing with Shale and Zaeed in DAO & ME2 respectively, but to my mind those were just cool additional characters and not really that important to the overall story when you get right down to it. Jaavik is a much more significant character.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:02 PM   #2286
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
I know they did the same thing with Shale and Zaeed in DAO & ME2 respectively, but to my mind those were just cool additional characters and not really that important to the overall story when you get right down to it. Jaavik is a much more significant character.
The difference between what they did with Shale and Zaeed and what they did with Javik was that Shale and Zaeed were included for free--all you had to do was buy a new copy of the game--whereas you had to shell out an extra $10 for Javik.
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Old January 22 2014, 11:28 PM   #2287
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Re: Mass Effect 3

^Yeah, that just compounded things.
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Old January 22 2014, 11:50 PM   #2288
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
^I agree on all counts. But as much as I appreciate how the EC fixed all of the mechanical problems of the ending and how Leviathan added some much needed context, the fact remains that they shipped an incomplete product. For a company that prides itself on games based around story and character, that's a cardinal sin in my books.
That actually enforced one of my other arguments I had with Mass Effect 3. A lot of things that were written to make this story work are only unique to this game, and that was massive waste. Take the hoodie wearing child in the beginning who's only there for pathos. Did Shepard really need a brand new character to dwell on when it comes to thinking on those who have died? Why doesn't the game go further in expanding the dark and tragic moments from the previous games, like the Virmire casualty or the other potential crew deaths from the suicide mission? Whenever there's a dream sequence, I'm not asking what this all means to Shepard, I'm asking why I'm playing an adult chasing a little boy who is alone in the woods who's trying to run away from me. Having it happen once was dumb enough, but having it happen all the time even after an intimate lesbian sex scene just screamed of desperation in trying to evoke an emotion from the player.
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Old January 23 2014, 01:54 AM   #2289
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I never had a problem with the kid. It was always clear to me that he was a cipher that represented humanity as a whole, and Shepard's subconscious feelings of anxiety and guilt that people are dying and there's nothing she can do to stop it. As well as the growing fear that she can't actually save them.

If they had used Kaiden/Ash in his place then it'd drastically change the subtext and how it reflects Shepard's state of mind. It'd become more about *personal* loss and survivor's guilt, which to my mind in not quite pertinent in this context.

I agree that the execution of the dream sequences could have been done in more interesting and elaborate ways. I'd have loved it if each one was a surrealistic reliving of some past event and I can think of all sorts of scenarios that could have been very cool. The Akuze/Elysium/Torfan incidents, some flash from Shepard's childhood on the streets/in space/on Mindoir, reliving the destruction of the SR1, waking up in a Cerberus lab while still only half reconstructed, trapped inside a collector liquefaction tube, etc. etc.

Still, no matter how strange and disconnected these images would be, it'd still need a connective element, something injected into the scene that shouldn't be there which in my mind would still be the kid.

P.S. Yes, I know I keep using the female pronoun when I really shouldn't. It's just that whenever I think of Shepard, *my* Shepard is the one that comes to mind. Sue me!
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Old January 23 2014, 02:08 AM   #2290
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I think the main reason why they used that child to represent all the death and tragedy that Shepard has seen was because that way they wouldn't be alienating any players who started with ME3. By using Kaidan, Ashley, or any other squadmate who might have died in one of the first two games that might have come across as confusing to newcomers. Granted, I have little sympathy for people who jump into a series with the third and what's advertised as final installment, and I think it's more important to cater to the loyal audience who's been with you from the beginning, but that's probably what BioWare's thought process was on that.
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Old January 23 2014, 05:46 AM   #2291
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Re: Mass Effect 3

At the time I played ME3, the original Mass Effect wasn't available on PS3. I had only a motion comic for any reference of Ashley/Kaidan.
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Old January 23 2014, 05:58 AM   #2292
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
I never had a problem with the kid. It was always clear to me that he was a cipher that represented humanity as a whole, and Shepard's subconscious feelings of anxiety and guilt that people are dying and there's nothing she can do to stop it.
Shepard shouldn't be caring about just humanity, though. As a Spectre, her responsibilities are bigger than just Earth or humanity - it's all sentient races, or at least those who kowtow to the Council.
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Old January 23 2014, 07:50 AM   #2293
Skywalker
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Re: Mass Effect 3

ATimson wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
I never had a problem with the kid. It was always clear to me that he was a cipher that represented humanity as a whole, and Shepard's subconscious feelings of anxiety and guilt that people are dying and there's nothing she can do to stop it.
Shepard shouldn't be caring about just humanity, though. As a Spectre, her responsibilities are bigger than just Earth or humanity - it's all sentient races, or at least those who kowtow to the Council.
Agreed, but the writers clearly felt differently. It was always about the greatness of Earth and humanity. When the first game came out I was hoping ME would be different, but instead it followed the same old trope used in just about every other sci-fi setting.
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Old January 23 2014, 09:45 AM   #2294
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Re: Mass Effect 3

AlphaMan wrote: View Post
At the time I played ME3, the original Mass Effect wasn't available on PS3. I had only a motion comic for any reference of Ashley/Kaidan.
Yeah, same with me, but that didn't make me love ME2 any less (ME2 and Uncharted 2 were my fave games of the last gen by a mile).

Then I borrowed a friend's ME1 for Xbox and couldn't play it. It just felt too clunky to me after playing ME2.
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Old January 23 2014, 03:51 PM   #2295
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Re: Mass Effect 3

ATimson wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
I never had a problem with the kid. It was always clear to me that he was a cipher that represented humanity as a whole, and Shepard's subconscious feelings of anxiety and guilt that people are dying and there's nothing she can do to stop it.
Shepard shouldn't be caring about just humanity, though. As a Spectre, her responsibilities are bigger than just Earth or humanity - it's all sentient races, or at least those who kowtow to the Council.
These are not mutually exclusive concepts. The kid could stand as a subconscious symbol for *everyone* Shepard feels she is letting down, who are dying or already dead.

From a 4th wall perspective, a human child is just an easy short-hand that the general audience (not just the super-fans) can easily relate to.

I've always equated it to that girl in the red coat in 'Schindler's List'. Just some random child glimpsed once amidst the chaos, and again atop a pile of bodies. Granted, the sequence of events are different and the image itself has a different meaning, but the basic idea is the same.
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