on Feb 4, 2011
Did you enjoy the last three episodes of positive feedback and admiration? Did you like how we heaped praise on the game and talked about the profound philosophical ideas and questions that had been disguised in common sci-fi garb? No? Good. Because we’re finally through that part of the game. Gather round, everyone. It’s time for bile, and the first round’s on me. In fact, let’s make it a double! No! A triple!
Part the oneth:
Part 2, Electric Boogaloo:
Part III, Revenge of the raving haters:
The triple episode is so that we can get this out of the way for our upcoming SPECIAL EPISODE ONE HUNDRED MAILBAG QUESTION ANSWERING OF EXTREME FEEDBACK.
In fact, let me tackle one of those questions now:
If you could give Bioware one suggestion. One and only one suggestion, that you think will make Mass Effect 3 better than 2, what would it be?
I would like the person who designed this part of the game to watch this episode. Then go sit in a corner and think long and heard about everything they did wrong. To make Mass Effect 3 better than 2, my advice is to point at this mission and say “don’t do this”.
The whole thing requires that every single person involved acts like an imbecile:
The collectors set aside their important collecting work to set an obvious trap for one dude. Why? Because he’s the mighty COMANDAR SHEPARD AKSHUN HEERO. They counted on the fact that Shepard wouldn’t just blast them without boarding them. Then Shepard DOES fall for it (thanks to TIM) and their plan fails anyway. They have the drop on him, they have the home field advantage, they have superior numbers, a more advanced ship, the guidance of a Reaper, AND THEY STILL CAN’T CLOSE THE DEAL. The story has now firmly established the collectors as bumbling fools. (In the episode, I asked why they didn’t lock the door. I was talking about a physical lock. I know there’s an electronic lock, which Edi hacks. Really, if they wanted to capture Shepard, all they needed was a deadbolt. If nothing else, they could just have flown off with him and left the Normandy behind.
TIM spends a great deal of his fortune bringing back humanity’s hope, but can’t trust Shepard to not give away that he knows he’s walking into a trap. His plan REQUIRES that Shepard blindly walk into a trap and escape anyway, which means his plan hinges on the gross incompetence of the enemy. Remember that in TIM’s mind, Shepard is the only hope for the galaxy. He’d rather risk the entire galaxy than suffer the chance that Shepard do something (what, exactly?) to tip them off, and then they would… do what, exactly? What was he afraid of that he was wiling to risk everything?
Commander Shepard is an idiot for going on board without having any sort of plan. What was his goal? The game never really gave you one except “Go on the ship. Okay, now fight your way back out.” Why didn’t he blow up the supposedly helpless ship? Why didn’t he look for the bridge / engineering and try to take control of it? Why didn’t he have explosives for wrecking the ship once he was inside? WHY DIDN’T HE STOP WORKING FOR CERBERUS AFTERWARD?
Joker is a moron and flies right in front of the collector ship, which is the worst possible thing he could have done. And he should know this, since the LAST SHIP HE FLEW was destroyed by this same gun.
EDI was not quite a moron on par with everyone else, although it seems like she could have noticed the bogus Turian signal a bit sooner.
All of this damage, where every character must act stupidly or illogically. For what? A bit of exposition?
I’m not against the idea of a betrayal, and getting inside the bad guy’s lair and learning their plans is a time-honored narrative device. It’s just that the writer completely failed to come up with a setup that made sense, and had to mangle just about every character in the story to make this fit. This writing is NOT up to BioWare standards, plain and simple. Yes, their games have logical failings now and again. All writers do. I know I do, and I strive to do better. But this is a new and abrupt low for this company.