Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mass Effect 3: What's Wrong with What's Wrong, Part 1

Alright, as you know the internet has been vocal in their dissatisfaction about the ending of Mass Effect 3:

Now, I like Red Letter Media too, but I don't really have the time to make a 20 minute homage to dissecting sub-par science fiction while addressing all of the things wrong with this particular litany of complaints. Despite having my own choice things to say about Mass Effect(here and here). However, to describe it as a travesty or simply whine because you don't get the--

--look, just put on your nerd hip-waders and read this thing.

1.Normandy's Escape & 2. Teleporters
Actually, the slo-mo action scene that constitutes the final gameplay level features an unskippable scene where Shepard recovers from The Reaper beam. If you failed that part a dozen times like I did, you notice this crazy detail where you can hear a full retreat being ordered on the radio. Between that time and the Normandy shot at the end, there's ten minutes of gameplay and an undefined amount of in-game time.

It's shoddy that the player has to put this together themselves. I know some people don't have any imagination and I also know there are people who will make up anything they have to in order to enable whatever delusions of perfection they hold for their favored franchise. Still, I don't think I'm pulling it out of my ass when I assume a few things happened after Shepard was hit with a Reaper beam:
1) It was announced that Hammer failed.
2) Shepard's friends were pressed by Reaper forces and fell back to Normandy. It was damned heroic and someone was all "I have to go back for Shepard," and someone else was all "No, you'll only get yourself killed." Maybe someone punched someone else out and fireman carried them to a shuttle. I'm sure it was heroic.
3) #2 but with Joker not wanting to leave without Shepard for a general retreat.
4) An asshole Husk takes all of Shepard's cool weapons and leaves a standard issue pistol on her hip. As a joke. 

3. Destruction of The Mass Effect Relays & 4. Victory Fleet is Stranded on Earth
Not everyone is stranded. Interstellar travel is still available in Mass Effect without the relays. It's much slower than the relays, but it's still there. Besides, it's not like The Quarians have anywhere they have to be.

Even if they were stranded, the differences between Tuarian and Quarian physiology doesn't preclude the production of compatible foodstuffs on Earth. It just means that those foodstuffs aren't the same ones the humans are using, which would be an advantage in that scenario. Bizarrely, the Quarians might even be able to produce their own food because they've been space-tailgating for centuries.

Most of this isn't an issue for me though; I let the Quarians get wiped out. I didn't really cure the genophage. I'm sure that between controlling The Reapers and having The Geth on my side, Earth can do just fine. I'd put money on making a new Mass Effect relay in a decade or so. 

Of course, it won't do much until there's a second one.

5. War Assets Don't Play Out
I was disappointed by this. I did expect the the final battle to have visual elements that reflected the things I'd done. In fact, the video talks about a lot of things I wanted to see.

However, hating Mass Effect 3 because it doesn't live up to imagined expectations isn't fair. Shit, I'd love an Uncharted where Nathan Drake cavorts around the world half-naked and flirting with a complimentarily handsome dude, but I'm not getting pissed that there's only a repetitive, assembly-line romance with a generic blonde chick. I'd be an ass if I were pissed about that.

I've got more to add, but I'll wait for next week.

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