Friday, June 08, 2012

What the ****, Mass Effect 3? What the ****?

I've been playing Mass Effect three ever since I found it for $30 on I kinda skipped over several of the earlier missions because I wanted to get to the part with Mordin so that I could cry, and in so doing, express my own emotions while pretending to grieve over an imaginary man from a made up space-race in a video game. None the less, my experience with Mass Effect 3 has been a good one, except...[Spoilers]

...that the last fucking mission has me trying to limp along at a pace that has glaciers honking their horns at me as they pass, while I'm trying to shoot the nipples off of neutrinos back lit by neutron stars. I'm firing at a rate of one round per galactic cycle and have to kill two waves of enemies while my targeting reticle roams around with the random energy of a toddler. Apparently, Reaper cutscene beams convert awesome, Reaper V pistols with extended clip and rapid fire mods into the POS, default slug-throwers, so I'm doing all of this with a standard issue pistol.

I'm not feeling as though the things I've learned, the special abilities I've gained, the weapon upgrades I've found, the murdered Batarians I've murdered, or anything else I've accomplished is helping me out while I'm trying to burn a smiley face onto a shit sandwich with nukes. During an earthquake.

Everything else about this game is amazing, or at the very least only not amazing because I rushed through the first part (worth it). Whenever a Brute pops around a corner, I get this cool energy that says "I can do this if I watch my shit." When I see a pair Banshees, I start planning a running withdrawal and choosing which of my squadmates to sacrifice first.

I've just met Kai Leng and I'm trying to figure out a way to make my bullets orgasm so I can properly violate him with bullets (or heat sinks. Or whatever the needlessly complicated "It's the future, so there's no bullets, but you still run out of bullets" thing that I'm shooting into him is.).  He's clearly in the top characters ever category. I'm not exaggerating. I mean, he's not Top 10. Maybe Top 100. But he's up there. I've never had a character fill me with so much reflexive hate who wasn't:
A) Played by Nathan Lane
B) Andy Dick
C) A comic book crossover

The best thing about Kai Leng is that is when you read the YouTube comments section (It's okay, just this once), every third comment is a personal story of how this was the 1% impurity in their 99% Paragon run through. People hate Jar-Jar Binks, but Kai Leng starts real people down the path to The Dark Side.

Some of the speeches don't work and I'll be damned if I don't roll my eyes every time the best friend from Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang phones in one of Liara's lines. God knows, I'm tired of answering to Admiral Hackett when, after two fucking games, Shepard should be the one calling all of the shots. Fucking seriously; when Earth is overrun by Reapers, who's in charge? Admiral Generic Unremarkable Hackett, or Ashley "I killed Sovereign and The Collectors and motherfucking told you idiots this exact thing was going to fucking happen, YOU ASSHOLES!" Shepard?

None the less, the planetary exploration is slimmed down to be less crazy, the story is a lot stronger, all of the races get their own moments and characterizations. I get send offs for everyone, which I personally resent as it's all so pat, but I know 95% of the rest of the game's audience will get off on it and the other %5 is largely indifferent to saying their goodbyes because they can't get off on it. I resent the "multiplayer helps your galactic readiness" bit, but then I wasn't going to start the final mission until I'd scanned every Reaper-wrecked inch of the galaxy, so maybe I can't complain, as 50% of everything is still 300% of "enough." In some ways, it actually underlies that the game is made so you can play it any way you want to.

The ending is good. I mean, my friends teleport from London to Normandy, apparently in full retreat after everyone dies trying to reach the MacGuffin light? There's stuff missing. No one denies that and hopefully, the free DLC released later this summer will fill some of those gaps. It's good in and of itself.

Except for that part with the neutron nipples.


Anonymous said...

Shepard is also a space-zombie that worked for terrorists, who just got out of jail for nearly wiping out the batarians, so admiral Goliath and admiral old guy can call all the shots they like while they do actual military things instead of playing diplomat without any qualifications.

VanVelding said...

Fair point.

However, I got the impression from Mass Effect 2 that Batarians have a strong cultural imperative to get killed by The Shepard. Given that most Batarians I meet throughout the series all but beg me to kill them, I'm positive Shepard's some sort of prophesied Messiah of Oblivion who takes the lives of blessed Batarians, like a one-woman Batarian Rapture.