Mass Effect 3

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by PsychoPere, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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. :p
     
  2. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  3. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.

    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 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.

    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.
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^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.
     
  6. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Yeah, that just compounded things.
     
  8. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  9. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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! ;)
     
  10. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. AlphaMan

    AlphaMan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Indeed. The kid doesn't represent those that the Reapers killed, he represents those that the Reapers are killing right now, particularly the civilians that are dying. Shepard wants to be on the front lines fighting off the Reapers directly, but he or she is forced to play the long diplomatic game and leave the task of saving civilians to others. Kaidan or Ashley don't represent that angle.

    That's not to say that I think the sequences with the child were good, they felt to me like a desperate attempt to appear profound. Which is also one of the problems the ending has.

    That's the ideal, not necessarily the reality. Intellectually, Shepard should care about all races equally, but emotionally he or she is going to care more about the birthplace and home of humanity. Garrus spends the whole game talking about events on Palaven, Wrex is opportunistic and uses the crisis to help his own people on Tuchanka, and Liara completely freaks out after seeing the devastation on Thessia. So what's so wrong with Shepard caring about the fate of Earth?
     
  17. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The 67% chance that Shepard's not from Earth?
     
  18. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    See, that's where ME3 diverges from the previous games. It's giving us a Shepard who is now completely out of our control when it comes to deciding her greater motivation. One of the big choices you can make in the first Mass Effect game was actually putting humanity first above all the other races and thus giving humanity more influence in shaping the galaxy. In Mass Effect 2, you can actually support Cerberus by working towards all their objectives and even giving them the means to not only fight the Reapers, but solidify TIM's goal of "Human Dominance" of the galaxy. While I still hate Shepard's line "Human dominance, or Cerberus?" as if to imply that human dominance is an ok thing to stride for, Shepard nonetheless can tell everyone in her group that they're not fighting for humanity, they're fighting for the whole galaxy.

    With Mass Effect 3 Shepard's motivation is all about retaking Earth and the story pulls a lot of dumb things in order to justify this motivation. For one thing we have the child I spoke of earlier, the other is leaving Anderson on Earth to give you a motivation to come back, and finally, lowering Shepard's IQ to 27. I'm serious. Note this exchange in the beginning.

    Admiral: Than how do we spot them?
    Shepard: Stop them? This isn't about strategy or tactics. This is about survival. The Reapers are more advanced than we are. More powerful, more intelligent. They don't fear us and they'll never take pity on us.​

    So far so good. One Reaper was enough to hold off an entire fleet at the Citadel, where as this is multiple Reapers ready to descend upon us. The number one thing we should be doing is not putting all our forces where they're going to attack, but withdraw and regroup to plan something out later. That's what I get from Shepard's response. Than we get this.

    Admiral: What do we do?
    Shepard: The only thing we can do. We fight or we die.​

    Ok. Shepard not only contradicted her previous statement about survival, she also contradicted herself in that very statement (Fight or die are two things, not one). When it comes to "fighting", you actually need strategy and tactics in order to fight at all. So the Reapers have arrived and are now destroying everything, so Shepard, who possibly has the love of her life somewhere out there, whether it be human or alien, has this exchange with Anderson.

    Anderson: We've got to get to the citadel.
    Shepard: The Citadel? The fight is here!
    Anderson: It will be everywhere soon enough. You told me that.​

    Goddangit. This is NOT MY SHEPARD! If it was my Shepard, these lines would be in complete reverse. If this was the pro-human/Cerberus Shepard from the last two games, the exchange would make a lot more sense. But the Shepard I played isn't that kind of Shepard. She knows that the Reapers are going to be after everyone, she knows that they're going to attack many systems at once and she sure as fudge wouldn't leave her friends or love interest in the dark just so she can fight on Earth, a planet that so far in this series has had zero relevance to anything. The Moon got more exposure than Earth did.

    Yep. Two out of three origins for Shepard don't even have Earth as their home, and the one origin that features Shepard coming from Earth has them join the Alliance to, and I'm not kidding, get away from Earth because it was a bad place.

    Another fun fact, having a Shepard who's from Earth is the least "Paragon" Shepard in all the profiles. So if you want to make your Shepard a total renegade, you have to be from Earth!

    This is what I'm talking about when the game literally goes out of it's way to retcon the previous games in order to get the player to care about something that was never a factor in any of the previous games. The only thing Earth should have been was a place that the Reapers attacked. So what if they took it? It's not like Earth is the only Earth like planet with breathable air and vegetation that we can all move to. There are a crap ton of human colonies out there in space, even a totally human run planet that stores a lot of historical Earth artifacts.
     
  19. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not from Dublin, but if giant robots were eating people in the centre of Irish civilisation, it would bother me a little.

    My primary Shepard was a colonist, but it still makes sense to me that he'd care about Earth. 30 years after joining the galactic community, I'm guessing the majority of the human species still lives on Earth, and that it remains the centre of human culture.
     
  20. AlphaMan

    AlphaMan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, it was a little clunky for sure.... but I was able to download a copy from PSN and I loved it!! It provided a lot of good background info on Ashley/Kaidan, Cerberus and the Council. I felt it over used the MAKO land rover, but I definitely appreciated ME2 more after playing it... and it unlocked a lot of peripheral characters and maybe even a mission or two in ME2 & ME3.