Spoiler Warning S4E28: CSI: Illium

By Shamus
on Jan 21, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

165 comments


Link (YouTube)

Rutskarn made a good point about the car animation giving the place a sense of scale. The old fast travel kiosks on the Citadel in Mass Effect 1 were supposed to be taxi stands. They even had a car parked beside them. (Sometimes.) But I never felt like “I am going to take a taxi to my destination” when I used them. I always felt like “I am going to push the teleport button”. I suppose it would have helped if we had been able to see cars flying around even when we weren’t going anywhere. Having a cut showing you flying away in a car makes the city seem more like a living place and less like a series of corridors with connecting teleporters.

I don’t know why the USB thumbdrives of the future are the size of hand grenades and covered in flashing red danger lights. Can you imagine how annoying it would be if you had several of them? Maybe you got one for games, another one for school, and another couple for your Asari porn. Then you open the drawer to get one and it looks like a pile of flashing Christmas lights.

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From the Archives:

  1. Mazinja says:

    I have to say that Shadow Broker is my favorite DLC. It has some of the best damn banter in the entire game between Shepard and Liara.

    • Deadpool says:

      Yes, Liara is actually pretty amusing in this game. Kinda makes it sting when you realize she’ll never be in your party again…

      ME3 should have her be your new boss (Council for first game, Illusive Man for the second, Liara for the third) so we can get some in-mission chatting…

    • eri says:

      I think BioWare just deserve props for the environment design. The Shadow Broker’s base is extremely impressive, creative and beautiful, while the taxi chase is a neat new mechanic that could have helped break up the monotony of cover-based shooting if it had been in the main game.

  2. Falcon says:

    Like so many other things the USB stuff makes sense unless you think about it. From a gameplay perspective you want something big enough, and flashy enough, that the player will notice it. This way the player is aware of what happened ‘oh Shepard loaded the info onto the drive there’. Where a modern size USB drive could really just disappear into Shepard’s hand, let alone one scaled to projected future sizes (which from a usability standpoint is realistically not going to be much smaller, we already lose the things pretty easily). So this is just another case of gameplay overwriting logic, and not a particularly egregious one. Just say the drive is battle hardened to withstand combat.

    • rofltehcat says:

      Wouldn’t a smaller drive have a smaller chance to be hit in combat? :P

      From a game design point of view it makes sense I guess. Also maybe they are so big so they can be used by most known species? I guess Krogans might have their problems with too small devices. And Elcor probably can’t use most of the tech designed for human-sized beings.
      Maybe it is also so flashy because of that? Maybe it would be hard to see for some species if it wouldn’t flash like a christmas tree?

      • Hitch says:

        They could have avoided the problem of the Data Disc looking ridiculously large by making it look like something else. A model of the Normandy, for example. Because we don’t know what the flashy disc is until Shepard identifies it. Giving it a different look makes it seem like one of the novelty USB flash drives that looks like a teddy bear or something. Lets us assume the actual devise could be much smaller but is intentionally built into an oversize case. That also makes a better hiding place for super secret data. Who would suspect a novelty toy drive of containing sensitive data?

      • Rariow says:

        The way I understand it is it’s the equivalent of an external hard-drive and not just a USB stick. I understand they’re functionally more or less the same, but I’d imagine this would be a lot bigger than the smaller, more portable version. Comparing with what we have today, they have shrunk quite a bit. I still don’t know why it blinks like a christmas tree.

    • Groboclown says:

      … maybe it’s combat hardened / rad hardened / flashy-so-you-can-find-your-secret-document-in-the-dark hardened?

    • Tobias says:

      This is precisely the reason why there is such a thing as movie UI design: In most cases, the complaint that it’s “not realistic” and “no UI would ever look like that” rings hollow because they’re not intended to be realistic. They’re about communicating something to the viewer, “see, this and that is happening”, and in a very short timespan.

    • Fists says:

      It could be wireless, obviously has a battery already for the flashy light maybe it has a transmitter too. Maybe the light is to tell you that its on or on standby.

      That being said players probably shouldn’t have to come up with such contrivances to make an RPG world make sense.

  3. rofltehcat says:

    Well, those giant flash drives better be worth hauling around! They better have an incredible amount of storage space.

    Whenever I watch science fiction with giant data storage technology, I wonder why they need so much storage space. After all they have to be so advanced that today’s thumb drives would seem primitive to them. On the other hand, their way of compressing data would have to be incredibly uneffective. Maybe they save the data of every single pixel in 3D coordinates for their holographic all-orange displays?
    Still makes one wonder why anyone would ever use that over human tech. Sure, holographic technology could be very useful for engineering, game design and space navigation. But does a standard wageslave need a holo monitor to write emails and edit spreadsheets?

    Well, I hope that the full immersion (includes smellovision & feelovision) 3D Asari porn better be worth it if it needs so much space!

    • Aldowyn says:

      ah, what is that… Moore’s Law? Yes.

      Anyway, computer’s capabilities – like hard drive space and I think cpu power – follow a predictably exponential curve, and programs and data are made to utilize this extra space/power, thus taking up more space themselves. This is why we have 10+ GB games and HD video.

      • Valaqil says:

        I get what you’re saying, and agree, but Moore’s law is technically about the number of transistors, even if other hardware is following similar curves.

      • rofltehcat says:

        Sure, but that technology can always have downsides. Just because you can make files this giant doesn’t mean you have to.

        As much as I like HD video, it also has its downsides. It is probably just an urban myth but I heard that the porn industry were among the first to advance HD video but now aren’t so happy about it because you can see every single impurity on the skin of their actresses which seems to be a real nightmare for makeup artists in that business.

        Of course once of the reasons for Asari porn being so huge could be that other species can see much better/different and need insane resolutions or much higher frame rates to see anything. I could imagine that frame rates of ~60 are too slow for Salarians for example so a human screen might look to them like an animated .gif.

  4. Hitch says:

    How does it feel when Liara throws out the best dig at the game and trumps all four of you?

    Oh yeah — in an early episode when you visited the Citadel, Captain (excuse me, Councilor) Anderson said that since you’d come back to life and you’d never been officially stripped of Spectre status, you could continue to be a Spectre, but the Council wouldn’t offer anything in the way of help or resources. So your Spectre status meant absolutely nothing until a rogue Spectre decided to use it to lure you into a trap. Gee, thanks again, Council. What would we do without you?

    • Kanodin says:

      You just made me realize that, counting stupid evil Shepard here, we have yet to see a not-rogue actual good guy spectre.

      • Michael says:

        Well, don’t you know? People with proper moral sensibilities aren’t interesting! Why would you have a character act sensibly when you could have an interesting cutscene?

        (And by ‘interesting,’ I mean ‘cliche-ridden and predictable’)

      • Hitch says:

        I think you’re right. The phrase “rogue Spectre” may be needlessly redundant.

        • Shamus says:

          I was thinking the same thing.

          Would have been so much better to have her not evil, but simply working towards other conflicting purposes. Like, she’s trying to accomplish some reasonable goal for protecting the galaxy, and thinks your Reaper quest is just a play for glory. She thinks YOU are the rogue, and figures she can [save the princess, whatever] and also eliminate you.

          Would have been so much more interesting.

          Also? When we run her down? Screw the Shadow Broker. I’d beat her until she told me where she buys her shields and armor. If I had that much I’d be able to conquer the galaxy by myself. On foot. WITH MY BARE HANDS.

          • Dragomok says:

            […] her shields and armor. If I had that much I’d be able to conquer the galaxy by myself. On foot. WITH MY BARE HANDS.

            No, you wouldn’t.

            The moment you’d touch such armor, Saxton Hale would cross the franchises borders and BEAT you to DEATH for IMPOSTORING.
            Yes, he’s that good.

          • Sydney says:

            If she’d been unambiguously a “good guy”, how mad would we all be that we have to fight her? It would put yet another hole in the plot and make Shepard’s inability to gather evidence even more glaringly obvious.

            Also, isn’t the point that Shepard is supposed to be the example of the good Spectre? That’s actually what Paragon means, “shining example”. Renegade comes from “renege” – “to go back on one’s commitments”. Renegade Spectres went back on their commitments to the Council; Paragon Spectres exemplify them. You can be either.

          • krellen says:

            I assume, at this point, you’ve already finished the Shadow Broker DLC playthrough? At least enough to finish the fight with this Asari, anyway. So you should know that they did, at least, try to present her as exactly that.

            • Shamus says:

              Than I missed it.

              Uh, this was a long session, and it gets very silly at points.

              • poiumty says:

                Essentially, she works for the Shadow Broker because he helped her a lot and did a lot of *good* things for her, the council and so on. So she’s okay with closing her eyes now and then and doing some unethical stuff, because the greater good matters. She tells you that after you beat her.

        • rofltehcat says:

          The thing about the rogue spectres is this:
          They have a lot of rights that noone else has and thus can do pretty much what they like but at the same time – at least judging from Shep’s perspective – the council doesn’t seem to really support them and just hold them back. Because they don’t support them in any real way, it is also easy for them to just say “omg that spectre went rogue, whatever he does or did is not our responsibility!” and the spectres have to solve so many problems they may face with too little backing from the council. I guess it is very easy for them to show the council the finger and do what they want.

          Do what you want ’cause a spectre is free! You are a spectre, arr!

          • Sydney says:

            Interesting way to put it. Spectres as a “fire and forget” weapon. Pick Spectres who will do more good than harm; when they inevitably start to do harm, newer, less-corrupted Spectres bring them down.

        • RTBones says:

          I dunno about that. James Bond is not rogue, but he is the rough equivalent of what I could see a Spectre being. Yes, he’s got talents that not many people have. Yes, he’s got authority to do things not many people have. Yes, he does occasionally cross the line (OK, maybe more than occasionally – depends on your point of view). His life expectancy is not exactly the greatest because he gets sent to do jobs that most of the rest of humanity would get killed doing. But what he does he does for a reason, and there is an overall driving authority behind him – much the same as Sheppard.

          • rofltehcat says:

            But James Bond gets lots of gadgets, intel and other support like fake documents etc. from MI-6.
            Shep just gets told:
            “Sorry we don’t want to help you. We know you were right about that one big threat that nearly destroyed all of our chances back when we wouldn’t want to support you and you saved our asses just in time when you could have stopped it much faster if we had been supporting you. But still we won’t help you. Now get lost.”

            • RTBones says:

              Point taken. But we’re from the government. We’re here to help. :D Put another way, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save the galaxy. If you get caught while saving the galaxy, we will disavow all knowledge of you and what you are doing. You are on your own. This message will self destruct in 5 seconds….”

      • BlusterBlaster says:

        Well there’s Nihlus, right?

        • Deadpool says:

          Well, he died VERY early on… He was probably about to turn Rogue and kill you so there was never a human Specter when he got shot in the back…

        • Kanodin says:

          Totally forgot him. In my defense Jenkins only barely beat him in the race.

        • Josh R says:

          Doesn’t he turn up somewhere in the lore of ME2 doing something questionable?

          edit: samara sees him kill an unarmed civilian and they end up fighting.
          I assumed samara’s stupid stupid code doesn’t mean she refuses to listen to justification, and nihlus was just evil, like the rest of the turians.

          • Jarenth says:

            Samara’s Code will force her to fight a police officer after the arbitrary deadline of 24 hours has passed, a fight both parties strongly feel will end in the death of one of them. Don’t be so quick to dismiss the stupidity of the Code.

            • Sleeping Dragon says:

              This^. Far as I understand the Justicar Code would go something like “your mission is no excuse for injustice, and all injustice must be punished”.

              Now that I think about it the Code is sound as a dogmatic loop. If following the Code is ALWAYS “just” (and Samara says something to the effect of “a proper action in every imaginable situation is covered by the Code” in one of her conversation aboard the Normandy) then obviously preventing the word of the Code from being fulfilled is “unjust”, thus a person who tries to stop a Justicar for ANY reason automatically becomes a criminal in light of the Code. Yes, this does make the Justicars a bunch of crazy fanatics willing to murder because their dogma tells them to… but doesn’t this exactly fit how they act?

            • TSED says:

              I never noticed that before, but:

              24 hours?! That’s awfully CONVENIENTLY UNDERSTANDABLE TO EARTHLINGS. You’d think the Asari homeworld would have a day/night cycle that is a number greater than or less than 24 hours.

      • O.G.N says:

        How about Nihlus from Mass Effect 1? He was a bit lacking in paranoia but otherwise seemed OK.

  5. Dante says:

    Well I was right, Rule 34 for Asari porn does exists

  6. Someone says:

    Fox News must have been really busy with that whole “xenophilia” thing, to not notice the explosion in a trade center.

    Well, either that or they don’t know about DLC. Hey, I think I just invented a new way of “getting crap past the radar”.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Nah,they were too busy with russians shooting hostages(or whatever happens in that game).You cant expect them to have enough “games are evil” material to cover two games simultaneously.

  7. Ener says:

    Councillor Anderson says he will reinstate your spectre status way back in episode 11, about 3 minutes and 20 seconds in

    (Yeah I went back to check)

  8. Peter H. Coffin says:

    Oh, come on… Tell me that if someone made flash drives that looked like that, they wouldn’t sell a boatload of them on the basis of the blinkenlights alone…

    • Shamus says:

      Good point. They’d be on ThinkGeek for sure.

      • Integer Man says:

        Thinkgeek is the source of all things geeky, nerdy, and awesome. I feel shame that today’s nerdy T-Shirt is not from there.

        Just be careful with the Buckyball magnet toys. It’s inconvenient when you forget you have a cluster of rare earth magnets on your table and you set your Kindle down next to it. Yeah…

  9. Groboclown says:

    And another return to “Ruts Sings!” Yay!

  10. Deadpool says:

    Btw, the high tech level in a few hundred years isn’t TOO ridiculous. Remember that the idea is that we found a Mass Relay in the very near future. The tech expansion would have come from contact with aliens and all that good stuff.

    Yeah, leaving the year unknown would have been MUCH better…

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Nah,if everyone started leaving the year vague,itd soon become a boring cliche.Plus,this goes well with the “humans rapidly expanding and grabbing council seats” the game has going.Also goes to explain why the reapers deem humans to be the chosen race in this cycle.

    • Specktre says:

      Pretty much what I was going to say–the idea of this technology a century from now in the ME universe isn’t that absurd because of Prothean labs they found under the surface of Mars. It was that, and the subsequent discovery of the Mass Relay covered in ice beyond Pluto that allowed humanity to jump ahead light-years technology wise.

      Then finding said relay led to the First Contact War and… well the rest is history. Thar u haz it.

      • rofltehcat says:

        Yes, the technology boost must have been quite nice.
        However, I think the advancing speed after discovering the lab on mars is too fast. They discover the lab in 2148 and in 2149 they find the mass relay. In the same year they break off all the ice and send their first expedition through.

        That is pretty rapid. I’d expect the researchers to take much longer and the excavation of the relays would take some time, too. Not to forget about building a mass effect-capable space ship, which is surely harder than just bringing a protean device on board and hooking it up to the power supply.

        And two years later they are already having a massively armed space station. I’d expect such a thing to take several years to build.

        At least assuming they didn’t have some sort of super-awesome breakthrough in construction tech until then that lets them plan and construct a shitload of stuff within a few months.
        I’d expect those things to take 10 or 20 years at least.

        • Dovius says:

          Actually, I don’t think they dug the relay on Pluto out, if I remember it right they just activated it and it blew all the ice off.
          And even if they didn’t say that, still a plausible explanation on how they got it out so fast.

          • Aldowyn says:

            It’s the “Charon Relay.” Apparently, it was big enough to attract the ice and stuff and actually become Pluto’s moon…

            But yeah, I think you’re right with the blowing up and knocking off the ice.

        • Will says:

          Take a look at the rate of technological advancement from 1900 to 2000. Wow that’s pretty impressive!

          Now take a look at the rate of technological advancement from the start of World War II, to the end of World War II.

          When we want to, we can make stuff blindingly fast. Prototype aircraft designs in WWII were going from concept stage to production model in six months.

          A better argument is wondering if concrete proof of alien races and the discovery of vastly advanced technology spur that kind of rapid technological advancement, not whether it’s possible. Typically such rapid rate of advancement comes from war rather than exploration.

          • KremlinLaptop says:

            Seriously. Start of WWII to the end of WWII humanity went from planes with canvas covered wings to having friggin’ JET FIGHTERS.

            And night vision. Mounted on rifles. Also guided rockets and bombs.

            Also that whole atomic bomb thing, those were all pretty neat if you ignore the general… death, destruction, etc.

            Anyway, didn’t Earth go to war with the… whachamacallem? Dinosaur guys. Err. Those people that Garrus is one of and I can’t for some reason remember their name.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yeah,you have biotics,but you lack awesome asari biotics.See how even mordin doesnt dare to match with them?

  12. LadyTL says:

    I love the car chase part because it reminds me of the chase from The Fifth Element.

  13. Nyaz says:

    Are those blinking storage devices even flash drives? They refer to them as “disks” which makes me think they’re either optical or magnetic. Haven’t they invented flash drives 180-something years into the future? What the hell?

    • Sydney says:

      OSD = Optical Storage Device.

      http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/OSD

      And if you think about all the stuff in the air that could mess up more delicate, sophisticated gear? Mass effect fields, tech EMPs all over the place, whatever the hell happens when a mass relay space-catapults your ship along…

      If you walked up to the Conduit on foot in ME1, it’d just kill you in a flash of space-lightning. Reckon that might screw up your ship’s computers pretty good if they weren’t fairly robust.

  14. Sydney says:

    Are you guys going to do Overlord? That was a really powerful one for me.

  15. Jakale says:

    Did anyone else catch the very male screams of agony coming from the Asari at 7:51? What if we had one of them in the plot? You could probably startle a ton of people just by how unusual it would be alone.

    • Josh R says:

      I don’t think there are such things as male asari… they reproduce based on genetic code and with only one gender iirc

    • Kavonde says:

      That’s a weird bug that pops up all the time when you’re using Fire Ammo. I brought Grunt along a lot on my last playthrough and got the weird “human male screaming” thing all the time.

  16. swimon says:

    This pattern indicates two dimensional thinking ^^.

    Seriously you can’t go up or down in your flying car it’s weird, you’d think that would be the point with a flying car after all.

    • Robyrt says:

      Justification off the top of my head:
      Moving your flying car in all 3 dimensions requires a pilot’s license, which most people don’t have. Off-the-shelf passenger vehicles like this one have vertical thrusters disabled when the flying car is in gear.

      • RTBones says:

        I wouldn’t say disabled, just limited. You’ve got to stay “aloft” on the “road” somehow. There is little (if any) aerodynamic lift associated with these vehicles. You have enough oompf to get yourself up and into traffic, but you aren’t going to rocket into space. Its a bit like a wing in ground effect vehicle, in that the WIGE wont fly outside of ground effect as it doesn’t generate sufficient lift. I could imagine that the vertical thrusters are, by design, limited. Each car has a “service ceiling” of some sort.

    • Integer Man says:

      I thought immediately of Galaxy Quest and “Do you have to hit all of them!?!” with the mines.

    • Josh R says:

      seconded.
      I was surprised shamus didn’t want him.

      • Shamus says:

        Metagaming. I was willing to bet that the companions didn’t have anything interesting to say. So I was going for consensus so we could move on quickly. I ALWAYS want to hear what Mordin has to say, but if he’s not talking, then I’m not terribly concerned.

        • Josh R says:

          ah, in any case I was for mordin because I don’t find tali particularly special.

          She was interesting in the last game, but now, two years on, and she seems to be pretty much the same character.
          there’s nothing wrong with her character, and I guess if she was your favourite character in the last game it would carry over, but there just wasn’t anything new or memorable about her.
          She’s a kid so she can’t tell you her amazing life stories and placid, so she’s kinda quiet.

          Compare how they handled wrex, liara and garrus. they’ve all moved on and significantly developed their characters. they’ve new goals, new motives, new lives. Even Tali’s loyalty mission doesn’t really concern her, but her father.

          Maybe I’m missing something important, but I’m just not that interested in tali

          • Integer Man says:

            Seconded. I feel like there’s a nerd community draw for Tali, but I don’t quite get it. Her background and skills are interesting, but she’s just not that interesting as a character to me.

            Of course, she looks insectile and you can’t see her expressions so those are some severe handicaps to get over. I did like Legion though and he’s vaguely similar.

            Don’t get me wrong, definitely don’t dislike Tali, just don’t quite get it.

  17. Sydney says:

    Also: It would be damn hard making that a picture of Shepard, given how variable the faces are.

    • Integer Man says:

      Well, if it’s a female Shepherd, it could be done similarly to a Miranda camera shot.

    • Atarlost says:

      About as hard as putting the right Shephard face and right companions in each cutscene. Wait…

      Yeah, you just render the current Shephard against a civilian backdrop in relatively casual clothes and Bob’s your uncle.

  18. Rayen says:

    you know what those USB drives really look like? The little Red flashy vibrating things that they have at restaurants now to notify you when a table is open. I figure Liara used to work at asari Olive Garden.

  19. Skan says:

    Liked the line at the end, “She has backup!” “What kind of weapons do we have?” “None, this is a taxi, we have a fare meter…” “Great”

    • Kavonde says:

      The whole car chase scene has a ton of funny dialogue. I had trouble with it the first time ’cause I was laughing so hard.

      “Truck!”
      “I see it!”
      “TRUCK!”
      “I SEE IT!”

      The most amazing thing is that MaleShep’s VA ACTUALLY EMOTES during this DLC! It was so weird. And damn entertaining.

      • Irridium says:

        That surprised me as well.

        Why can’t he emote anywhere else?

      • Nyaz says:

        Yeah, I laughed a lot at some of the car scene quotes.

        And wow, really? Mark Meer shows any kind of emotion? That’s absurd. (I’ve only played this as the female Shepard)

      • eri says:

        Oh come on, Mark Meer is a good voice actor. He actually does a lot of voices in Dragon Age as well, and he’s just fine. The biggest problem, I imagine, is his direction… if BioWare tells him “you are a cold, stoic badass” then that’s what he’s going to do. Jennifer Hale is a better voice actress, sure, but she’s also probably one of the best in the industry, and has something like 15+ years of experience, so the comparison might be a little unfair.

        • Kavonde says:

          Trust me, I’ve been on the MaleShep Defense Squad myself. I generally enjoy his deliveries (although after my last playthrough as FemShep, yeah, I totally have to admit that Jeniffer Hale is amazing), but there’s a marked difference between his usual Shepard and his Lair of the Shadow Broker Shepard. And it’s a definite change for the better.

    • Aldowyn says:

      +1

      My favorite line in the scene, awesome ending for the episode, IMO…

  20. Jarenth says:

    Josh: you have absolutely zero right to complain about enemies ‘cheating’ by strafing around you as long as your own combat style can be summed in with the words ‘Haha, in your face, shotgun!‘.

    That is all.

  21. Viktor says:

    Ruts sings. Mumbles hates it, but it grows on her. She really enjoys it by the end. That’s it, I’m shipping the 2 of them from now on.

  22. Kavonde says:

    You guys mentioned the “bringing Tali along if you’re romancing her in ME2 and romanced Liara in ME1” thing. Sadly, I did just that with my ParaShep, and not a damn thing happened. I kept hoping throughout the whole thing that there’d be some special dialogue, but nada. The most you get is a “you’re with someone else now” line from Liara when you try to talk her into bed for old times’ sake.

    Disappointing, but hey. At least the cutscenes were cool and the car chase was fun. (“Truck!” “Another one?!”)

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      I just played through Lair while romancing Jack, and umm… I’ll give spoiler tags here but I assume you’re talking about the scene after you complete the Lair itself, visit Liara in the Lair and offer her a tour of the Normandy? I admit the thing was covered in a few sentences but Liara definitely discussed my Shepard’s new relationship with him, definitely more than just a single “you’ve got someone else”. On that note I was trying to sort of wiggle out of my ME1 relationship with Liara, which, luckily, proved not to be that much of a problem, so maybe this is what happens when you try to talk her into something while romancing another character?

      • Irridium says:

        So Bioware’s whole “your romance options in ME1 will bite you in the ass if you romance someone in ME2” shtick isn’t going to happen?

        Figured as much. Maybe they’ll do something different with Ashley/Kaiden. Although they’ll probably just be copy/pasted with the same animations/dialog/ect.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          Yeah, despite their claims, especially regarding the ME series, Bioware generally has a problem with consequence. I admit I was hesitant since I pretty much romanced Liara in ME1 just for the heck of it and was expecting all hell to brake loose in ME3, I was in fact hoping that I’d at least be able to keep Jack but was worried they might both just punch me and leave… well, apparently someone, probably in marketing, came up with something like “but we can’t have that. Someone could possibly not like that their Shepard got owned for this”.

          I’m not even saying that Liara should have made more of an issue out of it, the last two years were a dramatic change in her life, and Assari often only enter into relatively short term relationships (in fact any relationship with a human is, by definition, short term for Assari, but that’s another point). If anyone than she would take the high way and be understanding about it. Still, I was expecting at least some tension. Well, at least it wasn’t paragon/renegade dependent.

        • Integer Man says:

          I’m still ticked that Shepherd fell in love with that chick I should have killed off instead of Kaiden because I chose a paragon option once. Honestly, the romance flag should only be set if you pursue things.

          It is amusing to have this feeling that your character is having this secret romance that he’s not telling the player about and quietly sticking it to you by putting Ashley’s picture on his desk in ME2.

          • Rodyle says:

            Egh… This so much. On my para-shepherd playthrough, I talked to each crewmember (everyone that isn’t Kaidan, that is), and generally chose the paragon options because the other options were mostly like: “Hello. I’m a dick, you know. Did I mention I am kind of an asshat?” And both Liara and Ashley came to me and forced me to choose between them. I wasn’t bloody planning to woo either of them. Hell, let’s port this to the real world, eh? I’m not a total jerk (not all the time at least) to everyone I meet. Therefore I should’ve had scores of girls following me around.

            THIS IS NOT HOW RELATIONSHIPS WORK, BIOWARE (at least, I don’t think they work like this…)!

            • Jarenth says:

              The above description of Renegade options is exactly why I stopped my Renegade playthrough two conversations in.

              • Rodyle says:

                This, basically. And when you combine this with the necessity to focus on either renegade or paragon, because you’ll miss a lot of the ‘required’ options needed to make sure you have all crewmembers loyal, makes the entire system obsolete, since you will chose the paragon options, unless playing a renegade for shits and giggles (with a few exceptions, this is).

                My neutral shepherd experience can be summed up as this: “Okay. Argument, let’s break them up. Wait, why do you require me to pick sides? Why the shit can’t I tell them both to suck it up, or concede that both of them have a point? I DO NOT HAVE TO BE THE NICEST PERSON IN THE FREAKING GALAXY TO POINT OUT OBVIOUS SHIT LIKE THAT! I HATE THIS WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”

            • lurkey says:

              I had Liara and Kaidan coming over for that little scene, tried to loosen’em up with what I thought was a joke – “Why can’t I have you both?” and voila, Kaidan’s throwing a hissy fit and leaving, and Liara is all “Thank you for choosing me ♥♥ ^___^!!!” …uh, wut? And then my renegade dude screwed up with Ashley because I decided tough military chick wouldn’t mind some renegadly response.

              It’s the same with Dragon Age, too — you are being nice and polite to people, next, Leliana demands PC to ditch Zevran. But…but…I don’t want either of you! :(

          • Velkrin says:

            That’s a bug. Trick is not to talk to either of them after a certain point, otherwise it assumes you went straight paragon, talked to them every chance you got, and wrote their name on your notebook with hearts around it.

  23. Mezzannine says:

    The USB problem could have been solved using basic augmented reality.
    Shepherd’s ID acts like a filter and gives her a hidden data file and hud-based replay option, with the additional warning that the Asari is a double agent.
    This can all be done via a hidden marker in the photo that could be as simple as a certain symbol or structure, not even needing the data itself to be on the item.
    This form of AR overlay is available NOW.
    That said Mass effect as a whole lacks basic communications encryption, it seems.

    • Zaxares says:

      Well, the thing is, Liara didn’t KNOW Vasir was coming for her. All Liara knew was that somebody took a shot at her through her window, possibly several shots, and she needed to get out because said person would just keep on firing shots until the kinetic barrier failed. She stuck around just long enough to leave a quick hidden message for Shepard. I doubt she had time to do anything more fancy.

      Liara also didn’t know that it was an asari shooting at her at first; she doubles back to her apartment after she left and managed to spot Vasir entering her apartment. That’s how she knew Vasir was the sniper.

    • Galad says:

      “This form of AR overlay is available NOW.”

      Care to expand on that particular statement, please?

  24. Corsair says:

    I like to think that in The Future we’ll have gotten over the fad of making everything as small as it possibly can get and started giving consideration to things like durability and being able to find it.

    • ehlijen says:

      I like to think it’s Krogan made, and thus has to serve as a bludgeoning tool in an emergency. The rest of the galaxy just jumped on board because it makes them harder to lose.

  25. Zaxares says:

    What I find to be the BIGGEST logic hole in this whole sequence is why the heck didn’t Vasir simply CRUSH the data disc using her biotics once she had it, or just throw it out of her car while they were racing through the city? That thing’s tiny! It could take MONTHS for Shepard to find it, IF she ever finds it, during which time the Shadow Broker could just relocate to a different base and hide again.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      It might have some very important information in it for the Shadow Broker.

      Also, it might be that they are so large as to prevent biotics from breaking them. Lots of cushioning. Asari Military grade USB optical storage.

      As for if that last part was the case, tossing it down if Shepard noticed it [While tiny, it is flashing – if it’s too tiny, it might get hit by Shepard’s car] and they could dive to catch it – or just cast Lift on it – Liara still has that?

      Short of that, Shepard could Biotic Charge it. In fact, why doesn’t Liara drive while Shepard tries to Biotic Charge Vasir?

      Biotic Charge – The answer to all life’s problems. If it isn’t working, you’re not using it enough.

  26. Starglider says:

    That Mako riff made me think; you should do just the first mission of Firewalker, so the viewers can see the Mako replacement (not the later missions which are kind of tedious). Personally I thought it was far too easy (guided missiles that way outrange enemy guns…) and not as much fun as the Mako, but I’d like to hear what the Spoiler Warning people think.

  27. Irridium says:

    About the chase scene…

    Nobody else thought of Star Wars Episode 2? Where they’re chasing that one “assassin” through the city, and looked just like what you were doing?

    Or are we just ignoring that poor excuse for a movie?

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