I mentioned Monday how high the expectations for Mass Effect 3 are. The quality of its predecessors poses a challenge for the series' third installment, not just to carry the torch forward or raise the stakes, but to cap all the details and plot threads of a game that's known for its nearly-inexhaustible supply of detail and dozens of responsive, interwoven plot threads.
I'm often careful about not creating too many expectations about things. If The Avengers is great, that's fine. I'm not anticipating "that scene between The Black Widow and The Hulk" or "the reveal of the alien menace." I'll experience these things in time. I don't need to go hoping for my perfect Hulk/Black Widow scene that Joss Whedon would never want, think, or choose to make. I will rip on how much better it could have been and/or write fan fiction about it later, but I'll give the vetted creative professional first swing at it.
So I had no expectations of Mass Effect 3 until I heard male Shepard could have a relationship with a guy in ME3. And it was a dudes-only guy. This was a teaser that engaged me and I wanted to know who the other man would be. If it was a new character, I couldn't really speculate and my engagement ended. If it was an old character, though, I could go wild. It couldn't be a character that was available to femshep in a previous installment (sadly, no Garrus). I never explored romantic options in ME, though I maintained healthy bromances with Garrus and Mordin whenever possible. I floated the possibility of Mordin past my boyfriend, and he countered with a jaw-dropping surprise: Joker.
My first thought was that Joker was too fragile to have sex, but then I remembered a handy graph I have.
What I'm saying is that I'm pretty sure Stephen Hawking has fucked and that makes Joker as a sexual partner slightly less challenging than a human woman managing whatever kind of scaled wing-wang Garrus is throwing around (Joker's viability as a romantic partner being a given).
Theirs could actually be a long-lasting relationship of mutual trustworthy understanding. The opening scene of ME2 goes far deeper if Shep and Joker are romantically involved. In fact, a lot of scenes do.
Assuming "The Normandy" is a codeword for "Shep's penis."
I'm assuming the Normandy's safety isn't as big of a deal at the end of ME3 because the scale expands beyond just one ship. Especially because Normandy feels a bit replaceable after its DSV-like destruction and immediate replacement with an identical version in ME2, having Joker being the character's paramour gets a lot more emotional mileage out of whatever danger the ship is in.
I was excited about a gay Joker/DudeShep relationships. Then, I got Cortez:
In the immortal words of Plinkett..."oh." Cortez is great. His husband died, he flies in the face of gay stereotypes, he's kinda hot. If I hadn't expected romance with the more two-dimensional, ukeru-by-default Joker, Cortez would've been a boon. Now, all I can think of is how unsatisfyingly...prudish the sex with him is and ponder the serious questions that prudishness leaves.
That said, once the price comes down, or there's a reasonable bundle with DLC in 2013 or so, I'm going to buy it and Horum Shepard's going to get over Mordin Solus, break his vow of chastity, and fuck those black biker shorts off of Cortez.
Oh, and kill all The Reapers.
===Joker: "Hey...Doc...I, ah, think I maybe fractured my tailbone."
Mordin Solus: *Scans Joker's tailbone with his omnitool.* "Hm, yes.But how?Pilot seat appropriately cushioned.No gravity fluctuations.Trauma?Saw Commander Shepard outside when you entered.Noticed Shepard more relaxed lately.Less aggressive.Signs of human male sexual release.Assumed female."
Mordin Solus:(continuing) "Suggest three day break from erotic activity.Proscribing increased caution and human sex doughnut for further adventures."