Mass Effect 3 EP7: Some Kid Died!

By Shamus
on Aug 23, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

315 comments


Link (YouTube)

At the three minute mark, I just have to say that particular cutscene failure is completely idiotic. You’re using the turret, and then suddenly you’re standing in FRONT of the turret, doing nothing and taking no action. Then you fall down like a derp. So you’re standing in a place that makes no sense and suddenly incompetent. This really is cutscene making according to the Resident Evil playbook of blatant and infuriating cutscene shenanigans.

Writers: You have command of the very fabric of reality and every other character that inhabits it. You can create objects off-screen and insert characters with whatever motivations you like. You can make walls crumble, things explode, ships crash, and anything else you need to put the player where the story demands. If you can’t make a single cutscene work without contriving a sequence where my character has their pants fall down and they trip head-first into a vat of Brute urine, then you really are shameful hacks. This happens again and again in this game, where I fail not because the enemy has a good plan, but because “Whoops I tripped”.

And it will get so much worse.

And speaking of Brutes, how many games DO have an enemy named Brute? I’m curious, so let’s crowdsource this. Chris or Randy mentioned Tribes. I was just playing Saints Row: The Third, and I’m pretty sure the Oleg clones are called Brute. In Borderlands, Bruisers are called Brutes on the second playthrough.

Okay, so list as many games with foes specifically named Brute. Go!

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!A Hundred!A Hundred!15315 comments? What, did somebody start a flame war or something?

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Really,why are the reapers bombing the planet so much?And more importantly,if thats what they did earlier,how come no one noticed?I mean,there were plethora of worlds theyve conquered,so someone was bound to spot a planet devastated by orbital bombardment where a habitable planet should be.

    Someone would think that a race of machines programed to harvest people would use some kind of paralyzing agent to make everyone immobile,and then just scoop them up,and then simply spend time deconstructing buildings one by one.Its a shame no paralyzing agent was introduced before.Oh,wait..

    • Otters34 says:

      As a matter of fact, one planet in Mass Effect is outright mentioned as seeming to have been rendered barren artificially some time in the past, citing an abrupt evaporation of surface oceans and(I think) a partially glassed surface.

      • Tohron says:

        Think that might have been Ilos.

        • Irridium says:

          I don’t think it was. Vigil said that Ilos was a secret planet, so the Reapers missed it during their extermination of the Protheans.

          Unless Bioware ret-conned this as well. I don’t believe they did, though.

          • Paul Spooner says:

            That’s so dumb though. The Reapers are a cosmic horror machine race. They should have enough probes to travel to every single isolated moon of every planet of every star system in the galaxy. A probe doesn’t come back? Send an armada. These guys are supposed to be completely unstoppable, implacable, and technologically superior in every way. “Hiding” from them shouldn’t work even a little bit.
            Maybe I’m missing something though.

            • Lame Duck says:

              I think you’re underestimating just how big the galaxy is. Having the Reapers launch probes at every single galatic body would, in my opinion, diminish the Reapers; it would make them seem like big, dumb idiots who just brute force their way through problems rather than intelligent, efficient killing machines. It would be like having them shoot individual people with their big space-lasers. The idea that they use indoctrinated spies and data stolen from the Citadel to track everyone down already works pretty well.

            • Alexander The 1st says:

              The Protheans on Ilos were in stasis since the beginning of the attack.

              When they send a probe to Ilos, it comes back with no indication of space-faring species.

              At least, that’s how I’d imagine that scenario would play out.

        • Jeff says:

          Not Ilos, it was one of those random planets where you get a blurb of text and nothing else. Like the one in ME1 where it ended up with the Baatarians getting themselves wiped out.

      • Irridium says:

        Quite a few planets’ descriptions hint that they were bombarded by orbit, if I remember correctly. Can’t remember which planets specifically though.

        • Keredis says:

          Aphras and Tosal Nym, a pair of former Garden Worlds are at least two of them. To quote the description for Tosal Nym, the craters show signs that it was a “coordinated simultaneous attack from points around the globe rather than an asteroid collision or supervolcanic scenario.” Aphras, meanwhile, had an extinction event described as “a series of massive impacts that vaporized vast quantities of water and lofted dust into its atmosphere. Early theories that this event was a collision with a fragmenting asteroid have now been discounted – the impact craters were aimed directly at habitation centers.”

          So I guess the Reapers don’t have a problem with wiping out all life on SOME planets from orbit. But not Earth, because Earth is ‘Speshul.’

          • Thomas says:

            Only place where you can harvest sufficient humans to create a human-reaper (feel the IQ points drop). But as someone pointed out in previous threads, that means they really only need a couple of weeks before they’d had enough and then they could wipe it out no problem. It’d have been dead before Shepard left Tuchanka (incidentally, anyone got a clue what the time frame on this game was?)

          • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

            If it happened far enough in the past, how would you tell? The bombardment craters would have been covered up by asteroid impacts later. I mean, the far side of the moon looks like an over-used dart board.

            • Lunok says:

              relay to relay is instantaneous as shown in me1

            • Luhrsen says:

              That’s because the moon has no atmosphere to burn up meteors before impact.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Well even with current technologies,we are able to find out about multiple disasters on earth from millions of years ago.Of course,we arent 100% sure about them.But I can imagine that with a more advanced technology,and with a less geologically active planet,you could easily read the whole past of it.

            • Alexander The 1st says:

              Possibly a result of very precise-looking groups of craters?

              I mean, if there’s 50 craters in a 50-metre radius, and then nothing for a 1000 metre radius until another set of craters that look suspiciously similar…

              That would make me think it was deliberate.

              • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

                The original post was that, if the reapers bombed garden worlds in the past, why hasn’t anyone noticed. As has been pointed out, some people did -they just attributed it to prior civilizations. But the further back in history you go, the worse the condition of the evidence will be. Additional wars, random asteroid impacts will all mar the evidence, making it very difficult to divine a pattern which would point to reapers.

  2. The Railway Man says:

    The Halo series from Halo 2 and on features a race of aliens known as Brutes… Are we going merely by series or considering the individual games within them ? If it is the latter, there are at least four more games to add to your list.

    • Duhad says:

      I think “Spartan: Total worrier” had Brutes as the name of the evil tribesmen.

      On that note if you want to see one of the most insane video game story’s ever… its got Spartans teaming up with Archimedes to fight Beowulf and evil necromancer Aelius Sejanus… its incredible.

      • Irridium says:

        I love that game so much. It’s the main reason I still own an original xbox. Well, that and the Kingdom Under Fire games. And Timesplitters.

        Speaking of which, pretty sure Timesplitters has an enemy named “brute”. It has the gingerbread man, a duck, a T-Rex, a bear wearing a fez, a snowman floating on a magic carpet, and a goldfish bowl robot as enemies along with 150+ more characters, so I’m pretty sure a Brute is in there somewhere.

        • Mike Shikle says:

          The bulky armoured guards in Assassin’s Creed 2 and Brotherhood were called Brutes. In Transformers: War for Cybertron the big dudes with the hammers and shields are also called Brutes. I actually had this thought the other day too, its a very common naming trope in video games

        • PurePareidolia says:

          The very first enemy you fight in Unreal is called a Brute. Which I’ve got to give that game points – scared the hell out of me when I was a kid, because it was the very first enemy in the game, it’s twice your size, and its introduced by throwing a guy across the hall, then unleashing a barrage of rockets at you.

          • Bryan says:

            At least you could dodge the rockets, if you were quick enough.

            But yeah, I was going to mention Unreal as well.

            They’re in Return to Na Pali too, but that’s less a separate game and more an expansion, so it probably doesn’t count.

            Can’t remember any other games offhand…

        • Keredis says:

          Do you know, I’m not sure Timesplitters actually had an enemy with the name “brute.” I mean, they had a flying whale with a pipe and a top hat surrounded by a school of fish… why would they need to be so uncreative as to name an enemy “Brute?”

    • Audacity says:

      In Civ V the mainline barbarian unit is referred to as a brute.

    • Even says:

      Fallout 3 and New Vegas had super mutant brutes.

    • Alan says:

      Pretty sure that Gears of War had enemies called Brutes.

    • Kojiro says:

      One of the types of enemies in Amnesia, the ones with the blade-arm. are called Brutes as well. The more common ones with the weird mouths are called Servant Grunts, meanwhile.

  3. Otters34 says:

    That turret section was beautiful. Everything that makes those scenes infuriating in a fraction of the time most take!

    Third-person shooter heroes pressing their finger to their ear to get on the phone is REALLY getting old, regardless of the reason for it.

    EDIT: Also, it feels like SUCH a cheat to lose all chance of seeing an intact turian planet. Those guys were pretty intriguing.
    EDIT2: Also also, you notice how the Genophage has gone from a terrible thing done to stop a worse thing, to a terrible thing done by those mean, pragmatic aliens? Because that’s how it looks to me.

    • modus0 says:

      Third-person shooter heroes pressing their finger to their ear to get on the phone is REALLY getting old, regardless of the reason for it.

      How would you do it then?

      • Otters34 says:

        Open a small panel on the armor and press a button, use an actual physical phone or whatever(flip-open optional), do the Star Trek thing where you tap a part of the suit, there are plenty of ways to portray “this character is sending/receiving an audio message” besides everyone having earpieces.

        • Raygereio says:

          It’s a visual cue for the audience that immediately says: “Hey, this character is now talking over a radio”.

          Yeah, it’s might be a thing that’s old. But it’s a thing that works well. Why would you want to replace it for something that might not work so well?

          • Otters34 says:

            Good point. In stuff like this I suppose recognition very much ought to trump novelty.

            • ehlijen says:

              I didn’t think it was the activation but more of a ‘let me push that thing that’s making noises I want to hear closer to my eardrums so I can hear it over all the stuff I don’t want to hear right now’ instinct which is a real thing.

          • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

            No, it’s a visual cue that after 3 years, Shepard apparently still can’t figure out how to put the earpiece in. I have a bluetooth headset, and once I stick the stalk in my ear, it doesn’t move. Let her punch a send button on armor or something -or put the microsphone on her throat like the LASH set, or make it an implant which is activated by clicking your teeth or something.

            • Raygereio says:

              Again: visual cues like this serve a purpose. You instantly know someone holding his hand to his ear is listening to something over a radio.
              Without it, they’ll need to spell out “I’m talking over the radio!” in the dialogue to avoid confusing in all possible situations.

              Can you think up ways that make that gesture essentially meaningless? Sure! But removing this cue just creatues problems for no benefit.

      • Luhrsen says:

        The same way it already works with voice activation. The only reason people ever poked their ears was to properly seat their speaker to hear better. ME soldiers supposedly have an implant, therefore nothing to poke.

        • Pete says:

          I always just assumed they had their push-to-talk buttons on the side of their helmets. Alternatively, it could be a simple gesture-based control for the omnitool.

    • Thomas says:

      It was already a bit like that in ME2, even though ME2 was the thing that brought in the cool in the first place. Its sad to ruin that complexity

      • StashAugustine says:

        I dunno, I hated the genophage the minute Wrex said word one about it. This is probably just my personal opinions intruding on the game, however, so I can’t really tell how it was considered in the game.

        • Thomas says:

          I got the impression that the genophage was slightly sucky in ME1 became full blown awesome in ME2 when you realised just how complex it was and how much the solarians might have made the right move and then increasingly more sucky again later in ME2 and 3 as you learned that they were going to go with the genophage just being wrong.

        • Otters34 says:

          As far as I could tell, the Genophage(besides explaining why we were unlikely to see krogan women) served as an example of the Hard Choices people like Shepard would have to make when they became part of SPECTRE. It was a hideous and cruel solution to a problem that seemed to have nothing BUT cruel and hideous solutions, many of which would have involved the turians eradicating the krogan from existence to make sure they could never be a threat again(and let me tell you: they WOULD have done it). The Genophage was a compromise that left everyone furious at everyone else involved, and led to deep hatred for centuries.

          By contrast, later installments in the series treat it as being a more or less a wholly salarian sin, something they have to atone for and make right(or that Shepard has to show them they need to make right, because YAY SHEPARD). The reasons for it to be implemented, namely the krogan being Mongols and invading everything, are no longer in effect, of course, but as the series went on the reasons for why it was done fade into insignificance, and the horror of it takes center stage for it to become a tale of redemption for a past evil.

          • Mike S. says:

            Maybe it’s just because I carried those earlier stories with me, but I totally saw the cure genophage or not question as a weighty one. While I haven’t played it yet (and don’t have a savegame to support it), my understanding is that it’s a lot tougher question if Wrex is dead, since Wreav pretty much promises to bring back the good old days for the krogan once the war is over.

            If both Wrex and Eve are dead, it’s even possible to keep Mordin alive, by convincing him that the genophage cure really needs to be sabotaged.

            It’s Wrex offering the krogan a genuine new path, and the trust built up between him and Shepard, and Shepard and Mordin, that makes the cure option a hopeful one. A lot of the intermediate possibilities *are* a matter of sowing dragon’s teeth for the future to deal with, because present needs are so great.

            And in that case, the argument for the sabotage-and-deception route is pretty compelling, and perfectly fits the part of Renegade that’s about doing the necessary thing without worrying too much about stains on one’s conscience or honor. It’s possible for shooting Mordin, and then Wrex, to be a hideously painful but plausibly correct choice.

            Always ignoring the ending, which I do. The moral choices of sequences like Tuchanka and Rannoch are just more interesting examined on their own, while assuming a more open future. (And everything there is to say about the effects of the endings on those choices has already been said, at length, anyway.)

            • Thomas says:

              Actually you’re right, I got caught up in saving Wrex and Eve being the right answer and so the cure is the right answer… but of course it is if you’ve worked to stabilise Krogan society and if not it’s as hard a question as ever…

              This is also why I agree with Bioware’s (original) desire to keep the non-Reaper plot threads unresolved at the end. With Wrex and Eve dead I chose to cure the genophage because I wanted to have hope for the Krogans, that the cycle of hate would never end until someone took a leap of faith and I want to have that hope that despite Wreave the Krogans can continue. Maybe the STG can assassinate him, or character assassinate him. Equally I have hope that things will work out when I did save Eve and Wrex.

              If they told you what happened to the Krogans, it would take away that hope and make the issue more delineated with right and wrong answers. Maybe you don’t believe Eve and Wrex can change a whole society, the game shouldn’t tell you that you’re wrong to think that.

              Incidentally, I believe part of the reason I came out with a much more positive impression of ME3 than most, is because I was forced to play the sucky non-import version first. I can understand why people wanted a cutscene showing the Krogans playing happy families if everything was done right. But if the Geth are dead and you’ve had to make the hard decision of Genophage or possible war, you stop wanting these things

              • Mike S. says:

                I don’t mind leaving some open threads. But the ending, especially as originally framed, looked as if it was closing several of them off to the point of irrelevancy, as well as shoving their themes offstage to make a previously peripheral one central.

                But we can probably leave the renewal of that discussion till we get to that point in the story. One of the things that most bugged me about the ending was they way it dominated impressions of the game. While this may not be a widely-shared experience, I loved and was absorbed by the game, flaws and all, with the exception of the last ten minutes. (So I rewrite the last ten minutes in my head, which can at least be an interesting exercise. :-) )

                I’d have been happy to have a krogan future that was cautiously hopeful or a looming worry, while still having room for alternatives. Even a successful Wrex could be very much an Arthurian figure, presiding over a brief flowering before krogan divisions reassert themselves tragically. Even a successful Wreav would have to tread somewhat carefully and intelligently, or his ambitions might self-destruct.

                I do know what you mean about the different impacts of the endings. I didn’t do a non-import, but my second playthrough was with a Shepard who got Tali exiled, and so couldn’t reconcile the quarians and geth. With EDI as the only non-Reaper casualty, the red ending was a lot less problematic.

              • Jeff says:

                The major problem with the original endings is that they’re portrayed like garbage.

                The devs said they “didn’t understand” why people thought they destroyed the galaxy. Apparently it’s hard to understand that a chain of explosions across all the mass relays would lead people to think they just isolated every system and shattered civilization.

                • Alexander The 1st says:

                  IIRC, didn’t FFVII have this exact same problem with people thinking that the world was destroyed because of the Weapons, Holy, and the Meteor? And how the last scene only shows Red XIII and some cubs of his?

                  It’s like they write the endings with less attention to detail than the fans do…

                  • Taellosse says:

                    I realize this is probably not going to be seen by anybody, since I’m, like, a month behind on these episodes, but I thought I’d chime in here anyway.

                    The fact is, they DO write with less attention to detail than the fans. That’s not an excuse, simply reality.

                    When one is writing a story, in whatever medium, it goes through many changes, through revision, editing, rewriting, etc. That is only more true of one written in a large collaboration, as each person puts their own spin on certain parts. By the time the thing is done, you THINK you know the story intimately, but you don’t–you end up with this complex mish-mash as your understanding of the story, which contains within it all kinds of elements that were cut, or reinterpreted, or that you thought were obvious but are only implied (and then, sometimes, aren’t even that because of a later revision).

                    Fans are the only ones that CAN approach a story from a fresh perspective, and see it for what it is at the final product. By the time a creative work is done, anyone involved in its creation is literally too close to see it clearly.

                    Again, this is NOT an excuse. Frankly, this is one of the things that testers SHOULD be looking for, and developers ought to be trying to correct if they’re found. This is why books have review copies printed well in advance, why movies do test screenings, and why in both cases, when something REALLY isn’t working for the test audiences, they’re often CHANGED before final release. Not enough games do proper betas. With a few exceptions, it’s mostly just MMOs, but really, most games, and certainly all the ones that put a heavy emphasis on their stories, really should, even if they’re not open, public ones–they need to bring in people who aren’t already involved in the creative process who can look at the thing with fresh eyes, and see if it actually WORKS.

    • PurePareidolia says:

      Things that annoy me in turret sections:
      -Having to reload my turret.
      -Having to reload my turret after killing only one or two enemies
      -There being literally no danger whatsoever because all my enemies are melee
      -Those enemies being zombies, so they run out into the open and don’t even try to move tactically or give me a challenge
      -An accuracy that makes it feel less like a hail of bullets, more like I’m just getting lucky and one bullet was enough to do it
      -A lack of feedback – husks either don’t respond or explode, and none of the terrain is destructable. I should be using this turret on powerful enemies that can be staggered and I should be smashing apart nearby rocks

      In short, I hate the Mass Effect 3 turrets with the firey passion of a thousand Turian pillow fights.

      • Aldowyn says:

        The turret sections irritated me because they were so tacked on and pointless >.> Especially the one at the end. “Oh look you’ve been having the most emotional, final conversations before the final battle with pretty much the most leadup ever seen? Sorry, before you go on here’s a random turret section!” >.>

        I liked that calm before the storm, and that was just interjected in the middle in a way that feels like they had something in their contract saying you had to kill something at least once every 10 minutes.

  4. MelTorefas says:

    In D&D 4th Edition one of the archetypes (or “roles”) for monsters is Brute.

  5. Pteroid says:

    There were Brute Splicers in Bioshock 2

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    We get coffee for admiral ackbar,or we die!

  7. NonEuclideanCat says:

    All the Halos, Tribes: Ascend, and Inversion. In MyBrute, everyone is a Brute. Uncharted 3 has Brutes. Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Assassin’s Creed 2. Dead Space. Castle Crashers have Brute as a playable class. Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has a man named Brute as a major antagonist. Diablo monsters can have “the Brute” appended to certain monster’s names.

  8. Mogatrat says:

    Unreal had Brutes as the very first enemy, you know, the ones who fired rocket-pistols.

    EDI’s body design is ridiculous and her breasts are just plain oversized. And then everybody on board objectifies her and it starts to get really creepy really fast. Hooray for Bioware, the most progressive company in gaming!

    • Luhrsen says:

      Would have been nice if she (and everyone else) had worn the outfit I chose for missions while on the ship.

      • Sigilis says:

        EDI figures that people only wear clothes because they don’t like showing their epidermis. Since you scourged hers off on Mars, she figures there’s no reason to deal with the hassle of picking out clothing. Seriously though, I always figured that because she was a robot and moving around is a very complicated thing she chooses not to wear clothing because it would require more processing time to figure out how it will affect the next step. If you could ask her about it, she would probably point out that you never put clothes on her other body.

        • ehlijen says:

          Except the alliance totally did. It’s called new paint and decals. Also, that time you stripmined several planets to add better armour plating.

          If you’re going the ‘it’s not neccessary for a robot’ route, then you also need to toss out the hamfisted supposedly hotness. A battlebot doesn’t need heels, oversizboods or a fashion show stride. And an infiltration bot doesn’t need those either. In fact, I’d want as little sexual attention as possible to be paid to my spybot because sex sounds like the most likely way to discover her non-humanity.

          • Sigilis says:

            Alright, it s fair point.

            Perhaps Joker suggested that it might improve morale. Or maybe BioWare was pandering to people who like the idea of a nubile sexy robot body. Who knows?

          • Thomas says:

            I think she might be able to handle that. In any case having guys look at you sexy doesn’t actually mean you have to have sex with them and plenty of guys have taken interest in a hot person and done stuff for the hope of sex rather than the actuality. So sexy would still work for an infiltrator bot and it could still even push doors a little more open.

            • ehlijen says:

              It does in spy stories, but really you want your infiltrator to blend in so that you can do clandestine stuff without being observed instead of having every male pair of eyes in the room glued to you.

              If people aren’t paying attention, stuff like the breathing being too regular or the hair not moving right are a lot more likely to not be noticed. Let alone things like planting bugs while innocently loitering or walking briskly into corridors you shouldn’t be in.

              EDI is fanservice, plain and simple. And heck, I’ll admit to being male and sort of liking it. But it doesn’t make sense.

              • Lame Duck says:

                Yeah, I’m not necessarily against fanservicey, sexualisation of characters, but developers badly need to learn some subtlety and context-appropriateness. We just got done watching Palaven in the process of being turned into a red-hot, smoking crater; Garrus just told us that his father and sister are certainly now some anonymous melted smear where his hometown used to be. This is not the right time (and probably not the right game at all) to introduce Tits McSexbot. It completely undermines any pretensions the game has to taking itself seriously.

                Plus, big breasts, high heeled feet, sexy walk and being essentially naked is the laziest, least interesting way of making a character attractive. In my mind, it demonstrates a tremendous lack of skill on the part of the character designer.

        • Luhrsen says:

          But she DID wear clothing on every single mission. She only went naked on board the ship.

          • Taellosse says:

            No, she CAN wear clothing on every single mission. But that’s only the case if the player CHOOSES to dress her, like a Barbie doll–the “I don’t need no clothes because I’m a sexy robot” look is one of her three loadout appearances, and it is the default one.

    • LunaticFringe says:

      The thing that bugs me the most is the black plating along her breasts and stomach. It looks like an S&M corset.

      • Lame Duck says:

        The thing that bugs me the most is fucking everything! There’s pretty much nothing about that design that isn’t stupid. Her hair is stupid, her body is stupid, her feet are stupid, the orange…thing over the eyes is stupid. And the animations are god-damned retarded; EDI has only just taken over this body so she shouldn’t even be comfortable controlling it yet, let alone standing and walking with those creepily sexualised movements.

        • Sigilis says:

          Why does she even need an orange thing on her eyes? Isn’t she a computer? I don’t see how obscuring you field of view to add a completely superfluous visor thing would make any sense. Every time I see it, I become enraged. It might be the least efficient way to communicate data to a program.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            I think the argument they intended with something like this is the same reason David in Prometheus wears a suit – to make those around them feel more comfortable with the idea.

            I know that’s one reason she doesn’t make the hair separate in most situations, only doing it for infiltration purposes – she wants to stay south of the uncanny valley.

        • krellen says:

          It’s TIM’s sexbot; the creepy sexualised movements are probably built-in.

          • ehlijen says:

            And clearly special agent double-D blowup is the best suited to infiltrate enemy strongholds?

            • Spammy says:

              Gonna be honest… in terms of a story trying to take itself seriously the design is ridiculous because fanservice is not serious, but… If I’m a random chump guard and a robot babe walks up and goes, “I just got this fully functional body and want to learn about this human thing called love” … Yeah I’d fall for it.

  9. LazerBlade says:

    I love how the original game painted the genophage as a sterility plague, and then Mordin is all “it’s often mistakenly called a sterility plague,” and now in the third game it’s openly called a sterility plague again.

    That was sarcasm. I hate it.

    • Raygereio says:

      To be fair; To the common dude who has no medical knowledge whatsoever and who isn’t even affected by it, it looks a lot like a sterlity plague.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        Garrus was standing right there, though. I kept wanting him to interject “We did not sterilize the krogan. We stabilized their population.”

    • LunaticFringe says:

      There’s also the whole ‘Krogan produce vast amounts of offspring each time’ in Mass Effect which is replaced by Eve talking about ‘her first stillborn’ and the picture of a single Krogan baby in the Extended Cut.

    • Sigilis says:

      The change seemed less like a retcon, and more like another perspective to me. Krogan can live for centuries, on par with the lifespan of Asari, in a galaxy before Shepard showed up to mow them down, at least. The amount of annual births per thousand Krogan required to maintain population levels is presumably minuscule compared to that required by humans, who have lifespans on average less than a century. The problem is that the Krogan have is that they can produce children one thousand times faster. This is an issue because the Salarians probably calibrated their genophage to around that level of reproductive activity. Imagine an infant mortallity rate of 99.9%, that is the sort of thing that the Krogan would experience.

      From a practical standpoint, it is a sterility plague. Wrex has probably experienced countless failed attempts to have a child over his centuries, countless stillborn Krogan. He tells you what he knows: the genophage makes it impossible to have a child.

      Mordin on the other hand is armed with statistical data and population growth models and the benefits of Salarian espionage to be able to accurately determine if the genophage is making the Krogan population stable. To him, it is not so much sterilization as much as restoring the check that once kept Krogan populations in balance, that was removed by Salarians when they brought the Krogan to the stars. To Mordin, this was simply restoring the situation to the state before the Salarians interfered and made a mess of things. To prevent the horrors of war from being inflicted on others because of a Salarian mistake. This is the attitude, I think, that most Salarians would have.

      The third game’s whiplash back to sterility plague from Mordin is probably one of the most significant character developments in his arc. He no longer is content to abstract the suffering of the Krogan people away by reducing their constant sorrow to a statistical figure on a data pad. Having witnessed first hand the state of Tuchanka, and more importantly been induced to question the morality and justification for his actions by Maelon, he comes to view it as the Krogan do. The Salarians still think they are doing what is right for the Krogan, if the Dalatrass’ conversation is any indication, it is only Mordin that has changed.

      Communicating information like this, through characters rather than through mechanical recitation is difficult to get right. I think that BioWare intended to give use different views on the same issue, filtered by the beliefs of the person relating it to us. The only problem with this method of relating this information is that in seeing differing views on a single truth, you need to apply a personal judgement and filter out what you believe to be true. What I derived may not be the truth as the writers envisioned it, or it may.

      I love how these issues of belief shaping interpretation are handled in Mass Effect. They are issues that scientists, doctors, economists, and virtually every other scientific or technical profession needs to deal with at some point. The detachment from the emotional factors is imperative sometimes, when evaluating a statistical report, or interpreting an experimental result. But it can blind you to hidden costs, ethical boundaries, and questions of morality that should matter to you. Mordin carries this scientific detachment with him for a long time, he is professional and sometimes cold, but as he interacts with Shepard and expands his experience, he is forced to evaluate his actions and confront himself.

      In short, I think it is a matter of perspective rather than being a discontinuity.

      EDIT: This turned out much longer than I anticipated. If you got here through all the words, thanks for bearing with me.

      • Lame Duck says:

        I suspect that people would be more inclined to see it this way if it didn’t seem like the series was rife with contradictions. You’re much more likely to see it as a retcon when that’s the pattern of behaviour on the part of the writers.

        • Sigilis says:

          That is the heart of a nagging fear that I have: that I am seeing meaningful development could indeed be rooted in simple idiocy on the part of the writers. To be fair, the writers of the parts concerning Mordin and some of the other fan favorites seem to know what they are doing. Then I have to wonder how they could exist in the same development team as the people who wrote Cerberus. Discussions like this about authorial intent can degenerate rather quickly, so assume I killed all the BioWare writers and therefore I am right.

          • Mike S. says:

            Speaking just for myself, I enjoy the game more if I approach it with a charitable eye towards continuity. That doesn’t mean fanwanking the most implausible elements till they make sense (a la the various attempts to make “the Kessel run in twelve parsecs” work). But if there are multiple plausible interpretations, and one can be more or less reconciled with what happenes going forward, I’ll stick with that one.

            (And if they can’t, I try to just sigh and move on. :-) )

            And there are so many callbacks and throughlines, that it’s *clear* that (some of) the writers knew and loved the previous games, even if the team as a whole didn’t always keep everything straight, or take things in a direction I’d’ve preferred.

            Mordin’s and Wrex’s stories are among the ones that were shown the most care– when they change their perspective, it’s believably because they developed as characters over the course of the series, in large part because of events you brought about or witnessed. Just because some other elements (the rachni, the importance of dark energy) were treated less carefully doesn’t mean I don’t respect what was done there.

      • LazerBlade says:

        I don’t necessarily think it was a retcon. That idea hadn’t actually occurred to me. I just assumed it was lazy writing. ;)

        In my current and second playthrough I actually managed to talk Mordin into sabotaging the cure. If you go through all of his dialogue options, you get the idea that he agreed to cure the Krogan because 1) In the face of a reaper invasion they have little choice, and 2) Eve could maybe have reformed the Krogan through Wrex/Wreav.

        I actually don’t mind Mordin’s character development surrounding the genophage. I actually think it’s pretty good.

        I guess the whole “sterility plague” thing could be explained as being the result of several different character perspectives. My main problem is that the series still feels all over the place about the genophage. In ME1, it’s open for debate. You destroy Saren’s base, but that isn’t really a move in favor of the genophage. If you talk to Wrex, you get an idea of how it can negatively effect the Krogan, especially from a subjective perspective. Then in ME2, when you do Mordin’s loyalty mission, you are forced to stop the work toward a cure and listen to Mordin explaining things from his perspective, making you feel like maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. And then suddenly in ME3, it’s “Save the Krogan from those underhanded Salarian meanies who sterilized them!” Then it paints sabotage of the genophage as a bad thing.

        • Thomas says:

          I was of this opinion, but as Mike S pointed out above, actually the situation has just changed. If Wrex and Eve are alive there’s a decent chance the Krogan are going to change and become more stable and so of course the cure is a good thing, it’s only a last resort for a race that hasn’t had enough time to be mature enough to use the tech they were given.

          On the other hand, if Wrex and Eve are dead, the game makes it pretty clear that the cure was probably a bad idea. People are still happy that you’ve righted this ancient thing that was a factual wrong, but also point out that it’s probably going to lead to galactic war. It’s not so much the game changing as the situation and it does it fairly intelligently

  10. Jonathan says:

    Red Alert 2, Yuri’s Revenge expansion.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Some episodes ago,I said how it wouldve been much better if the council was building the crucible in secret while you were dicking around with tim.And if that were the case,you could now go from planet to planet,and instead of saying stupid stuff like “We need your ships to leave your homeworld to burn,and come help us save our homewolrd”,you could say “We have a secret weapon that we hope can destroy all the reapers at once,so retreat from your howerld and come with us to help us on our only chance of survival”.And like someone said,it still would feel as contrived,but at least it would be less stupid.

  12. gyfrmabrd says:

    In “Julius Caesar”, in the Ides of March level, one of the opponents in the unwinnable bossfight is a “Ed 2 Brute”.

  13. Thomas says:

    Oh man Josh and the Brute was fun. It was like rhino’s in mating season. Hah! You’ve headbutted me, what a fiendishly cunning plan! Well I can be fiendishly cunning too! *Headbutt

    Shepard is definitely part Krogan

  14. overpoweredginger says:

    Whoa, I just realized that EDI in this game is Jocasta in the marvel comics. My thoughts will never be the same again.

  15. Brandon says:

    Pretty sure the Gears of War series has Brutes too.

  16. IFS says:

    When I played through ME3 it seemed like the plan was always to unite the various races to both get resources to build the crucible and to better oppose the Reapers, and Earth was not planned to be assaulted until the reapers decided to move the citadel there. Which makes more sense than recruiting groups whose own planets are suffering to take back Earth.
    This still raises the question of why we have to recruit the council races, don’t they already have a military alliance formed?

    • Thomas says:

      They have this strong reasonable thread of uniting races, the slightly manic and crazy thread of ‘hey we found a thing just now and we don’t know what it does or understand it’s desing, want to divert war resources to build it?’ and then every now and then Shepard says ‘Everyone remember we’re doing all this to save earth right?’

      With the Primark she says she needs his ships to save earth. When she gets the Krogans to help them she asks them what they’ll be able to spare to help earth. Etc. Even though they’re actually just helping with the crucible

    • Otters34 says:

      The species are fractured at the moment, as the Reapers are attacking everyone pretty much simultaneously, meaning everyone is trying to fight them off from their worlds first.

      • Sigilis says:

        Except for the Asari and the Salarians who are totally chill sipping delicious beverages on their untouched beaches. Oh, and the Quarians, who have spontaneously decided to not follow my guddam advice, and partake in their favorite past time, Geth clubbing. Because they got bored of waiting for extinction at the hands of the Reapers, I guess.

        And the Krogans.
        Also, the Citadel.
        And probably the Terminus Systems.

        I’ll be generous and say half of the major powers are being attacked, and the other half are behaving like chicken-wusses.

        • Thomas says:

          Well the Asari are under attack, just not Thessia. Reapers are moving much slower in Asari space because it’s harder to subdue biotic populations. The Solarians don’t have much of an army and seem to be busy sciencing. There homeworld is under attack by Reapers and other forces by the very next story mission, the Krogans already seem to be under attack and the Terminus systems lack a proper fleet but plenty of their mercs (which didn’t join Cerberus) ended up with the Alliance

          And why the heck should the quarians have listened to you? Shepard isn’t so almighty that he can dictate foreign policy to whoever Shep pleases. And we’re talking about a particularly insular race here thats faced hostility from most other species and just ignored it anyway and goes around blackmailing resources from everyone who disagress with him. They established way back in ME2, as you gave the speech that 2/5 Admirals weren’t going to listen to you. Koris said straight to your face in 2, that he basically wasn’t interested in what you had to say about the plans he’d spent a lifetime making unless you were going to agree with him.

          The universe only partly revolves around Shepard ;D

          • Sigilis says:

            Yes, the Reapers are harassing the Asari border colonies. This doesn’t really justify their behavior, since they know that their entire race will be attacked at some point. As to the Salarians, how does their sciencing preclude their participation? They seriously can’t work with others because the entire species is currently in the middle of calibra… I mean sciencing?

            To the Quarian point, I have two words for you: Admiral Tali. If you argued for peace and fostered understanding and love between her and Legion, the plot should reflect that in at least a minor way. I suppose if you did very poorly in that part, you deserve what you get because that is actually what you want.

            Final point, people who don’t do what Shepard says tend to end up dead. You’d think all of these idiots would learn by now. There is no excuse, the council races should by definition work together in cases of galactic emergency. This is not the first time everyone in the galaxy was threatened, I wonder if the Salarians and Asari didn’t want to talk to the Turians during the Rachni Wars.

            As to who the universe revolves around, it turns out it revolves around Jenkins, but Shepard is close enough to the center to confuse you.

            • Ringwraith says:

              Well, to be fair, seeing how far removed the quarians are from everything, they only know of Shepard’s reputation through the actions at Tali’s trial.
              Also, it is mentioned that there was quite some disagreement over the Rannoch situation, and it wasn’t a unanimous vote by any stretch. Although Koris and Gerral switch their personalities when it comes to an actual war; Gerral becomes the unreasonable one suddenly as he’s so focused on revenge really, and Koris becomes desperate for it to stop, and very willing to let Shepard interfere this time.

            • Kian says:

              I agree with Thomas’ point that it’s silly for people to complain that the Quarians went to war anyway even if at the end of a trial you make a comment that they shouldn’t. You’re not dictating policy to the Quarians, you have no authority to do it. You’re just telling them “Hey, it would be really cool if you could put this aside for a few more months and focus on building up your strength. Else the Reapers will kill us all.” And they decide that they don’t care to listen or be reasonable in any way.

              As for the game reflecting your efforts in fostering understanding between Tali and Legion, it does. In a pretty major way. If you don’t do it, there’s no way for you to get the best result to the Quarian-Geth conflict, and unite the two races. Fostering that understanding means you don’t have to choose a side and doom the other to extinction.

              • Sigilis says:

                It is a fair point, that the comment of a single person at the end of a show trial probably won’t set national foreign policy. I did not expect to affect their course, considering how difficult it is to change other people’s minds (let alone very powerful people with strong beliefs shaped over a lifetime). However, the fact that they didn’t listen to me isn’t any less dumb. Stupid Quarians, behaving consistently with their characterization is not a bad thing (in a story sense). In fact, it is exactly what I hoped for. Groups do dumb things sometimes, and this one wasn’t particularly egregious since all the factors seemed to align in order to make the proposition of not listening to Shepard almost look like a not dumb thing.

                Incidentally, I found that part to be possibly the best part of the entire game. They should have just made Mass Effect: Morning War or something instead.

            • Otters34 says:

              “Harassing” in Reaper-speak translates to ‘wide-scale cataclyms’. It’s not AS bad as how wrecked the batarians are, but it’s still something they would want to try and stave off first before it overwhelms them while they fight on multiple fronts for foreign causes that are even more dire. It is, of course, a foolish position from Shepard’s perspective, and not pulling out all the stops to drive back the seemingly unbeatable, vastly stronger and unimaginably more intelligent enemy is bonkers.

              As for the salarians, their naval power was never mentioned as being anything really impressive, and you can only do so much guerrilla fighting against Reapers before they just go “Eh” and start melting the continent you’re on. They’re likely to want to keep as far from the Reapers as they can before they’re sure they find a way to win that doesn’t hinge on the Prothean Death Star. It’s very in-character for the ultra-pragmatic guys.

              • Keredis says:

                In terms of Dreadnoughts, the Salarians only had four less than the Asari. Granted, none of those are quite the class of the Destiny Ascension, but it’s still almost twice as many ‘Noughts as humanity had. Although I guess humans made up for it with carriers, but 16 ‘Noughts (so about half as many as the Turians) is nothing to scoff at.

              • Guy says:

                The treaty of Faraxin lets them have 3 dreadnoughts for each human one. The Turians got five times as many as the humans, but many of them are now in the past tense.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          Ugh. Did you have to mention what the Quarians do during the Reaper invasion? I’m STILL pissed about that!!!

          I don’t even care if it makes sense to disregard my advice. We’re in the middle of a galaxy-wide invasion that will bring up to the brink of extinction. To have another war go on at this time is akin to suicide.

          • Thomas says:

            They were planning it before the Reapers were known to exist, more of the Admirals would be prone to believe Shepard than any other race, but probably not enough to turn around a war effort.

            • newdarkcloud says:

              Even still, you’d think that the Reapers would be enough to cause them to reconsider. I mean, the Geth can wait until your chance to even HAVE a future is at risk with the Reapers invading.

              • Thomas says:

                This is where the lack of timeline is an issue. It’s fully possible that they attacked before Reapers had been confirmed (especially since they were almost communication black and out at the edge of the rim at the time) but we don’t know because we have no idea how long they’ve been fighting (long enough for things to go badly enough for the Geth to turn to the Reapers for aid) or how long after Earth before Shepard reaches the Quarians

                • guy says:

                  What really weirded me out was that the Quarians were inexplicably winning and had cut all the way through to the homeworld before the Geth ran to the Old Machines for help. I know the migrant fleet is big, but the Geth home fleet always seemed to be very big as well. I mean, a vast majority of the Geth weren’t with the Heretics, and the Heretics put together a big enough fleet to storm the Citadel. Granted, Sovereign helped and a big chunk of the Citadel Fleet was out at the time, but the Destiny Ascension was present and avoided being attacked by Sovereign, but the Geth overwhelmed it. And the Geth flagship is as large as a Reaper!

                  Sidenote, I was incredibly pissed at the Quarian admiral for blowing it up. Not because Shep was on it at the time, that was entirely reasonable, but for two reasons:

                  A) By attacking he completely screwed any chance of extracting the Migrant Fleet and reaching a negotiated settlement before blowing even larger portions of it up

                  B) That is the largest non-Reaper starship in existance! I wanted that ship! It might have been able to go toe-to-toe with a Reaper if refitted with Thanix cannons!

                  • Thomas says:

                    They said they’d got the advantage from reckless use of Lifeships meaning that Quarians had the largest fleet of dreadnought capacity firepower amongst all the races including the Turians and also they’d deployed the tech they were developing in ME2 to frazzle the Geth’s brains.

                    But in general I’d agree that the Geth seemed a little underpowered. Maybe since they were isolationist and unprepared they hadn’t really bothered building an army unlike the heretics, and instead devoted resources to their super cube project

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I also took the plan to be coordinated defense. The purpose of the summit is to get everyone working together as it’s the only way to save anything -like earth. Victus makes the not unreasonable point that he can’t spare anything unless the summit is a success, and that means he needs krogan too. At which point the asari back out because they know the summit will fail -the salarians won’t sign on -and the asari have their own problems and can’t spare their leadership.

  17. Von Krieger says:

    City of Heroes / Villains has the Brute, Noble Brute, and Honored Brute as members of the sealed-evil in another dimension Rularuu faction.

    And they also have one of the player archetypes dubbed the Brute as well.

    Not quite as obscene as one player I recall who managed to have his character, title, supergroup, and badge title as “Avatar.”

  18. Joshua says:

    The answer to the cutscene stupidity is one used many, many times by game designers, Hollywood you name it. Essentially, the writers want the bad guys to get the upper hand on the good guys. They have two choices-

    1. The good guys can be thinking normally, or even thinking smartly. The writers then have to come up with an actually intelligent or clever idea of how the bad guys would get around that. That requires a lot of brainpower and/or work.

    2. The bad guys can just act normally, and the good guys can just act like morons. This requires a lot less work and brainpower.

    Unfortunately, #2 is the far more common option.

    All kinds of TV Tropes on this.

    • ehlijen says:

      Not neccessarily. Option 3) is to fiat in overwhelming force for the bad guys. Just as contrived, and you have to have some idea of what would actually constitute overwhelming force to a player character that routinely wipes the floor with enemy battalions of troops, but it’s a lot easier than trying to outsmart a supposedly smart hero and usually a lot more palatable to the player than ‘you derp now’.

  19. Thomas says:

    I do hate EDI’s character design, it looks so stupid, especially the hair. Having hair like that would instantly inform someone you aren’t human. Human hair is not solid although it’s easy to see why someone might think it’s made out of a single lump of metal.

    And when I first saw we’d put her in the AI core room again, I just facepalmed. There is stupid and there is using your AI core room specifically to imprison any unknown dangerous technology with proven advanced hacking capabilties. So when they said that something was up with the ship, I was sure this was another Collector-abduction rubbish pile… at least she wasn’t evil. But it didn’t do the dev’s reputation any good

    • LunaticFringe says:

      They do say that the hair is capable of forming into individual strands in order to appear more human, of course they never show it but they do handwave it.

      • Thomas says:

        I complained about something that was actually explained in background material :( My codex defender honour will never recover

        (I am actually a little sad that I managed to miss a detail like that. It was a nitpick, so Bioware were perfectly justified to handwave)

        Oh well… at least it still looks stupid, just like most things about EDI. I wish they’d just kept her looking like the Agent at the start. It’d have been a little more unerving and it would have been more powerful and provocative to have the AI actually look like a human than a toy robot. Might remind ppl of Cerberus too much though

        • StashAugustine says:

          I really liked everything about EDI’s character development in this game, except that her body looks like something out of a bad 60’s movie.

          • Eärlindor says:

            I agree. EDI’s character development in searching for humanity/what it means to be “alive” is REALLY well done and I applaud BioWare for that, but I HATE HER “SEXY” BODY SO DARN MUCH! Sorry.

            I talked both on Twitter and my blog about how I thought it would be better to maybe have her inhabit a large combat mech, which could be more awkward and comedic, but also be a thematic callback to Shale from Dragon Age: Origins.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Precisely this, they do a lot of interesting stuff with the fact she now has a body, except the body itself is so sigh-inducing.

        • LunaticFringe says:

          You have shamed the Twenty Sided clan with your dishonour. We expect you to commit Codex seppuku to atone.

        • anaphysik says:

          It’s actually from one of the conversations with her, I believe the one in the crappy new dance club, rather than from the codex, so your honour has not taken as grievous a hit as you may have first believed.
          It is also honourable to save codex face for other codexers.
          E.g. she also says that when wet it’s useless, which is either kind of realistic or a complete giveaway.

          Also, EDI’s body’s design is stupid and dumb.

    • swenson says:

      EDI actually discusses the hair. For infiltration purposes, the solid chunk can be separated into separate strands, which is how Dr. Core originally had it. I guess EDI either likes it as a big chunk or just finds it easier to deal with (especially seeing as she’s also running the ship at the same time), so she doesn’t do that.

      • ehlijen says:

        As one solid piece she says it’s better protection?

        • Keredis says:

          Yes, I believe that is the explanation. I forget where it’s said, but I seem to recall that it basically functions as a helmet for her when it’s in that form.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        Alternately “Look, I overused the hair gel this morning and I was running late, OK?!”

      • PurePareidolia says:

        Except EDI’s hair is clearly made of separate metal plates – there’s no texturing to suggest it’s a series of fibers, it’s just the same perfectly smooth material as the rest of her body. It’s even painted similarly – it makes no sense that it even has that capability.

        • Syal says:

          Well obviously her whole body can separate into individual strands.

          I think it’s even shown further in, when she breaks down into one giant strand and the team uses her as a rope to get over a chest-high wall.

          • anaphysik says:

            Can you imagine? One teammate who is a chest-high wall, and another who simply makes sure that ‘awesome button’ never performs the wrong action.
            WOULD BE SO OVERPOWERED.

        • guy says:

          Given that Eva Core had human-looking skin and now it’s shiny metal, I’m pretty sure that the robot is covered in T-1000 material.

        • Kian says:

          All of EDI’s external appearance is essentially a net of nanomachines that adapt to whatever form she chooses to give it, within certain restraints imposed by the underlying endoskeleton. Sort of like liquid metal she can shape and give rigidity to. It’s why her face is as expressive as a humans, despite being metallic. This was done to aid in infiltration purposes. Not sure how the skin coloration is achieved, if it’s an additional layer she never got around to replacing or a skill she sees no need to use.

          I like EDI’s development, except for the romance bit. While it makes sense for an artificial intelligence to struggle with the concept of existence, being alive, morality, and ethics (and in particular for one that was designed to improve itself and adapt to changing conditions), love should be superfluous. In fact, it should run counter to the rest of her development, seeing as how attachments like that can compromise the rest of your morality.

          Granted, she does devote a lot of time to trying to understand people, and improve her ability to relate and thus communicate with them. That can be used as a rationale for why she’d want to experience it herself, to see how she is affected. Still, I wasn’t convinced that that gelled quite as well.

          • Thomas says:

            Her morals are roughly aligned with the protocols give as an Eletronic Defense Intelligence, which at core are ‘defend ship’ ‘defend crew’. So it’s already natural for her to have strongest attachment to Joker who is not only crew but key for defending the ship. She’s programmed to have bias towards protecting him over most over people from the get go. And then everything that has been formative in her personality and her knowledge of emotions was basically conversations and interacting with Jeff. Most of her knowledge of how organic life operates comes from what she’s observed of him and what he’s told her. Her coming alive involves her taking concepts from Joker and above everything, Joker loves the Normandy and EDI thinks she is the Normandy. They’ve naturally had a symbiotic relationship, so at some level she’ll have the understanding of how Jeff feels about her and also when she wants to deal with that emotion she’ll be favourable to working with him.

            Add to that him being the one who freed her, I don’t think it’s unreasonable. Part of the thing about AI’s is in the ME universe, it means they’re a bit cooky and develop traits and individual ways of doing things that aren’t straight up logical.

            …but this is all ME2 stuff and was pretty much resolved when EDI asked Joker to trust her with his life, when he came to recognise her as a person rather than a thing and when she had adapted and bonded with the crew enough to choose to work with them rather than her Ceberus overlords. It’s why I kinda feel the romance here seemed a bit superficial and like it was treading old ground, because EDI and Joker already had a symbiotic relationship of unique mutual trust and cooperation, and isn’t that what real love is? In 3 we just end up talking about sex and dating

  20. Lame Duck says:

    I think it’s pretty safe to assume that all games ever have something called a brute; if not, it’s because it got cut at the last minute for scheduling reasons.

  21. Raygereio says:

    Skyrim’s Dawnguard adds Gargoyle Brutes.

    To give praise where it’s due: That moment where Victus is looking up at his planet in flames? I liked that.

    Now, I think I’ve ranted more than enough about EDI’s stupidly sexualized new body (WHY?! http://i.imgur.com/vVmPb.jpg), so I’ll rant some more about her. The romance between EDI and Joker:
    Pretty much all Bioware romances vary between awful and silly, but this one was just plain creepy to me. We have on the one hand an emotional child learning about this strange thing called love. On the other we have an adult whose sole interest in this child is sexual in nature. I honestly can’t recall a single conversation with Joker about EDI that didn’t revolve around Joker’s desires for EDI’s metal boobies.

    Yeah, that made me a bit uncomfortable.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Well,to be fair,the romance did start back in 2,so joker isnt interested only in her giganto boobs.

      Just looked at the picture.They gave the robot a camel toe?They gave a freaking robot a camel toe?!!With miranda it was already stupid,but with edi?!What the fuck is the problem with their artists?!

      • Raygereio says:

        Well,to be fair,the romance did start back in 2,so joker isnt interested only in her giganto boobs.
        What? At the end of ME2 Joker got over his dislike for EDI and they were friends, coworkers who got along and worked well together.
        I don’t recall anything of a romantic nature between Joker and EDI in ME2.

        • krellen says:

          It was totally romantic, almost the entire time. The back-and-forth banter they did is not the sort of banter friends do.

          • Eärlindor says:

            It was almost like an old married couple, which was hilarious and adorable, but I don’t know that I’d call it romantic. BioWare definitely jumped ship in ME3 on this.

            • Thomas says:

              I got romantic tones from it. It was old-married-couple-who-got-together-in-the-end. I’d pretty much assumed they’d started dating anyway, they lived together, shared interests, looked after each other.

              And the Bioware writers seemed to think they’d gone down that route too (and this is a character matter, so it’s not automatic fail) Shepard makes a joke when she sees EDI that basically assumes romantic relationship already. And the way EDI talks about Jeff hiding her from the Alliance and getting him aboard is very cute.

              At the very least, if they didn’t specifically outline a relationship they gave every possibility of one in 2. It wasn’t a jump or anything.

              The jump was the sexuality and the naivety on EDIs part. It was a bit strange that having a body should change the relationship they had already and make EDI so much more concerned with her existence and being human (but I concede this was the first time after her freedom she had an opportunity to really interact with people)

              • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

                For what it’s worth, EDI’s problem is that she doesn’t have emotions. She has connections -even affection -to Joker, she understands emotions, she just doesn’t have them. As she says in one of her dialogues, she has likes, but they are not as human likes. So she’s not naive about what she wants to do with Joker, it’s just that she doesn’t know how to approximate human love.

                • Thomas says:

                  My thing is that they already had what was basically a loving relationship except she’s questioning this stuff again.

                  To be honest I don’t mind it too much, I thought her arc was pretty good and I like all her Joker interactions. In the ME universe synthetics are nowhere near as intelligent as they should be and a lot more human, so it all makes sense as long as that’s taken into account

                  • Raygereio says:

                    We’ll all just have to disagree wether or not EDI & Joker’s relationship at the end of ME2 was romantic in nature.
                    Though, while I saw it as nothing more then friendship, I will admit that Bioware left the door open for further development.

                    It’s irrelevant anyway as the problem lies with ME3. I cannot recall a single conversation with Joker in ME3 about EDI and their relationship. It’s all just about Joker’s sexual desires.

                    • Klay F. says:

                      Joker does eventually make a comment about sexual activity in ME3. Something about making a single wrong move and ending up with a shattered pelvis. Also, Joker has a conversation with Mordin that is strikingly similar to the one you have in ME2 regarding your love interest.

    • LunaticFringe says:

      I concur, you wouldn’t believe how quickly I pressed the ‘Just be friends’ option when Joker asks you about it in the bar.

      I don’t recall if I got renegade points for that, but it was in the renegade part of the conversation wheel. I really hope Bioware wasn’t trying to make some comment about me being prejudiced towards robosexuality because I felt Joker was being completely immature and EDI was still attempting to conceptualize basic human and emotional interactions.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        If EDI was an actual sexbot, I’d think forming a relationship with her unhealthy, but this is a game where inter-species relationships are -if not common, at least not unheard of (I don’t know, maybe Fleet and Flotilla was actually the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner of Mass Effect). EDI has a personality, will of her own, and now autonomy. Sure, she’s also present in the ship, but towards the end of the game, she really does seem to be mostly in the mech. I don’t see how Joker getting with EDI is substantively different from Garrus getting with Tali.

        • anaphysik says:

          “I don’t see how Joker getting with EDI is substantively different from Garrus getting with Tali.” Which is in fact the attitude Lunatic is evincing. The problem arises when Joker’s sole thought becomes ‘sexyrobotbody.’ And really, the main problem is that this isn’t normal ‘mock my friends and myself mercilessly, but in truth constantly have their backs’-style commentary from Joker, instead getting downright obsessive, creepy, and objectifying. No, there’s really nothing wrong with Joker and EDI being together; sapients are sapients are sapients (of course, my Shep was still annoyed there was no Legion romance, probably about as mad as she was about there never being a Wrex or Mordin one either :P). The problem occurs when Joker basically stops seeing EDI as a sapient and starts seeing her as a sexbot.

          Also, since someone brought up how ME3 felt like Bioware fanfic’ing their own stuff, it’s probably worth noting that their handling of Joker/EDI is one of the most fanfic’y-feeling things in the game.

          (As a diehard ‘mock my friends and myself mercilessly, but in truth constantly have their backs’ sort of person myself, I noticed Joker’s transition from that to weird pretty easily and quickly.)

          • LunaticFringe says:

            I love it when someone writes my reply for me. I’ll also point out that Joker doesn’t really show any romantic interest in EDI until she gets said ‘sexy robot body’ which makes him seem even more creepy. Also, situations like on the bridge where EDI states that Joker ‘wants her nearby for his morale’ shows that she still doesn’t fully grasp human interaction. Both of them are immature; EDI is just beginning to understand personal relationships in this context and Joker is just making sexual jokes. This is also disregarding the nonsensical way they’re used as an Adam and Eve stand-in during the Synthesis ending.

            For the record I fully support robosexuality between two consenting adults (so not Joker with his fourteen year old mentality).

    • Otters34 says:

      …That is unsettling. But hey! At least Tricia Heifer got a great new kind of role in which she could grow as an act-oh wait.

    • Jace911 says:

      The most infuriating aspect of this sideplot is actually a mirror for what’s wrong with this entire series:

      “It could have worked, but it didn’t.”

      The emotional appeal could have worked. The Crucible could have worked. Cerberus turning on you could have worked. Kai Leng could have worked. EDI getting a body could have worked and been a major turning point for her character.

      And as usual, Bioware fails to live up to the promise of their own damn story.

    • lurkey says:

      And since that mobile platform is basically an appendage of EDI, the fuckbot and Joker bumping uglies would totally equal to him humping EDI’s leg.

      Boo at the most horribledest romance in Bioware’s history.

      • StashAugustine says:

        Diane Allers. Your argument is invalid.

        • lurkey says:

          I had just one very brief conversation with this lady throughout my two playthroughs, after what I promptly erased her existence from my canon, so it catches me unawares all the time. Still, from what I read it’s more a quickie in the bathroom than romance, no?

      • anaphysik says:

        Curiosity: what kind of fetishes do synthetics develop?

        (And along the same line as Legion’s comments on overclocking and drug use: static discharge is obviously what they use to unwind after a hard days’ computing, claims of ‘second hand sparks’ be damned.)

      • Syal says:

        Probably more like getting a handjob.

    • Pattom says:

      The scene with Victus looking over a burning Palaven, wrestling with the news that he’s in charge, sticks out in my mind as one of the most tragic moments in the series. A Reaper was walking by the camera at that point when I was playing, too, so I really felt the weight of the world on this guy’s shoulders. A pity that it was overshadowed moments later when the asari councilor suffered a disturbing mental breakdown and refused to join the We-Don’t-Want-To-Be-Killed-By-The-Reapers Club.

    • Jarenth says:

      Listen.

      I’m pretty sure I hate you now.

  22. rrgg says:

    If Shepard was able to convince other races to weaken their defenses in order to focus against the enemy at a single point and take the reapers down piecemeal then that would be very good strategy (well, if the reapers were in any way vincible that is). But really I think you guys just need to stop trying to analyze the overall galactic strategy. The game already makes it very clear that Shepard does not like strategy games, he needs something with more akshun!

  23. Wraith says:

    Kind of just realized a plot hole related to “Help us take back Earth!”: The key to defeating the Reapers using the Crucible is at the CITADEL, but we’re gathering allies to fight at EARTH. What was their plan, to charge in guns blazing while they used the Crucible at the safe, secure Citadel? What if the Crucible didn’t work? That would mean they just wasted the vast majority of their forces for no reason. To accommodate their stupid “EARTH IS BURNING” Heartstring Tug plot they had to freaking move the Citadel to Earth and force the fight to take place there.

    You can really tell the change in writing teams between ME1 and ME2/3 by looking at their overarching goal. In ME1 it was “Stop Saren,” and you really didn’t know what he was doing or how to actually stop him until you progressed in the story. In ME2 it just boils down to “Stop the Collectors” and all you had to do was build a team and go on the suicide mission. In ME3 it’s down to “Save Earth” and you are doing the same thing as the last game but on a larger scale – build an alliance and go on a suicide mission.

    In ME1 they built a universe with hard rules and elements and built a plot to fit within the bounds of the universe. In ME2 and ME3, they built a plot and came up with ridiculous contrivances to make the universe fit within the bounds of the plot. No one ever mentioned the Collectors or the obviously unique Omega-4 relay before ME2. Cerberus never had much of background before ME2 beyond “rogue black ops unit,” and suddenly they were an extensive terrorist network with unlimited resources. No one ever mentioned the Reapers had the capability to move the Citadel before ME3, and they never use this power to their advantage beyond moving the two main points of the plot to the same place.

    And this bullshit about TIM being indoctrinated from the beginning is absolute stupidity. Why would an indoctrinated thrall work to CROSS-PURPOSES AGAINST THE REAPERS?

    If this trilogy had actually been planned from the start, the overarching plot between the three games would have been extremely simple.

    ME1=Shepard stumbles upon information that leads to an insidious trap set up by the Reapers to decapitate galactic leadership at the start of the cycle. You stopped the Reaper’s usual scheme, and delayed them considerably. Shepard is the main character not because he/she is inherently special, but because he/she is the only one with the code in his/her head.

    ME2=Shepard stumbles upon information that reveals the Reapers are on their way manually (like they did at the end of Real!ME2). Shepard has to build alliances and solve galactic dilemmas to be ready for their arrival. The Collectors do not exist, and the motives of the Reapers remain an enigma; TIM is indoctrinated from the start and Cerberus is working against Shepard as his primary adversary. Shepard’s choices regarding the Council at the end of ME1 come into play as to why Shepard is the main character – is Shepard the face of humanity that the alien races can trust, or is Shepard going rogue to do things on his/her own because the Council doesn’t trust him/her? Introduce the Crucible midway through as a B-Plot – a mysterious MacGuffin that is rumored to defeat the Reapers. Shepard discovers this using a Prothean beacon only he/she can understand because of the Cypher in his/her brain. The work Shepard puts into building/finding the Crucible can carry over to ME3 and has a major effect on the ending.

    ME3=The Reapers arrive and a galaxy-wide war erupts. Shepard works to complete the Crucible as the galaxy runs out of time, fighting Reaper proxies and Reapers themselves near the climax. Long-running plots from ME1, such as Geth vs Quarians and the Genophage, were started in ME2 but finished in ME3.

    That’s a properly planned three-act structure that progresses the overarching plot. ME2 could have been cut out of the series in its current state and almost nothing would be affected.

    • IFS says:

      Because the cerberus tendency to turn into a rogue cell is too strong to be overcome by mere reaper indoctrination.

      • ehlijen says:

        So the illusive man did actually find an effective weapon against the reapers: stupidity!

      • Destrustor says:

        I feel a disturbance in the indoctrination.
        The rogue cell is strong with this one.

      • ps238principal says:

        It could be like the Trashcan Man Reversal. You create a minion so very loyal to you that they push beyond all known limits to try and please you, up to and including doing something that completely wrecks your plan (like bringing you a live nuke when things aren’t going so well and Mother Abigail mojos up some kind of magic detonator).

        This is why you really need mind control and not just some kind of loyalty switcheroo, unless you’re willing to invest heavily in psych profiling and whether or not the now-loyal minion is to be trusted with sharp objects.

      • Keredis says:

        No, no, that’s perfect. The Illusive Man was fully indoctrinated, but he turned himself into a Rogue Cell working against the Reapers! He was the ultimate Rogue Cell, with everyone else on Cerberus actually True Cerberus! Genius!

    • Thomas says:

      Strong indoctrination turns peoples brain to mush within a couple of weeks. They go mad like in the Reaper in 2. So you’ve got to be subtle to indoctrinate for years, making a splinter faction who believes they’re well motivated but ends up working against their own side seems like a pretty smart thing to do. They probably underestimated Shepards ability in 2 and thought having Cerberus go rogue come the invasion was more important

      EDIT: Just realised how little sense 2’s plot makes in light of 3. It’s so small scale. Oh no, the collectors are going to build a single reaper. That’s going to be a threat. And if they could take earth by themselves so easily, how come their bosses struggled to even take Palaven? The collectors only had _a_ base so there must be a lot more Reapers. Your way would have been much better

      • Aldowyn says:

        I thought it was always pretty obvious that the Collectors were completely pointless compared to the Reapers… ME2 is just pointless.

        • Thomas says:

          I got the villain of the week pointlessness, but I’d never thought how stupid the climax was (space terminator aside :D ) in that even if that Reaper had finished they could have just blasted it out of space with a couple of dreadnoughts. I didn’t realise just how useless and small scale the collectors were, even the main threat of that game wasn’t really much of a threat to anything :D

          • Aldowyn says:

            yeaaaah. The entire “whole colonies are going missing” problem from ME2 was escalated in literally the first 10 minutes of ME3. “The outer colonies have gone dark” or whatever.

            • Alexander The 1st says:

              Deep-space outpost, actually.

              Though as Rutskarn so eloquently put it, no sane human would *ever* accept a job at a place called a “deep-space outpost”.

              They only reach colonies later, IIRC – at which at one point, if you have the Zu’s Hope colony alive still, they learn that they can hive-mind as an effective squad group. And become a War Asset.

    • Otters34 says:

      An even better idea than the Reapers invading? The series being about the nail-bitingly close misses of an invasion. Instead of banding together to drive them back/blow them up, just using their own tools of entry to keep them out forever, keeping their servants from awakening them, and finding ways to bar the monsters from the void from ever setting tentacle in the galaxy. WAY more tense than “Look! EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE!!!!1! Oh and a KID DIED!!!” to my mind.

      • Thomas says:

        Hmm that could work, but it would take lots of clever writing to make people happy with it, there’s a lot of long standing narrative tradition in having a showdown with the threat. I guess Cthulhu mythos is a lot more like this isn’t it? I haven’t read much (any :D ) of it, do any Elder Gods actually wake up or is that all preventing them from ever getting their foot in the door?

        • Otters34 says:

          I’ve never read a word of Lovecraft, but from what I have heard the goal is to avoid a confrontation with the monsters, as they can kind of defeat most attempts to harm them just by existing.

  24. Jace911 says:

    And so in this episode we see just how bad the “Resident Evil” cutscene competence bug is going to get in this game.

    Granted the one in this video makes Shepard look like a bloody tactical savant compared to the ones with Kai Leng…*frothing*

  25. LunaticFringe says:

    “Some Anglo-Saxon kid died, fuck your species” seems to sum up the issue with Bioware’s attempt at producing an emotional response to the Reaper invasion. Although they do throw in a few scenes like Victus’ looking out at his homeworld burning, it’s pretty clear that they intend that to hold a lot less emotional weight then the earlier child death. As stated before on plenty of videos, this fails because Earth isn’t established, the child isn’t established, etc. Some characters are given decent set-offs, such as Legion or Mordin (but I really dislike Mordin singing his song, rendering it less an interesting character element and more an annoying catchphrase) but ultimately Bioware just fails to contextualize the galactic conflict on a grand scale and instead tries to focus on little, personal tragedies (sometimes successfully, most of the time not so much).

    • Sigilis says:

      Oh, he was a wealthy anglo-saxon male child, since he evidently lived on the top floor of a skyscraper. You might not have noticed that, if you aren’t completely invested in the sweeping epic that is his story.

      Mass Effect, the tale of a heroic, prophetic child who got the races of the galaxy to come together as one. Oh and also that Shepard guy… or girl whatever.

      Seriously, though, I find it odd that BioWare could make such a misstep since their forte is in making characters and ‘personal tragedies’ meaningful. That they would hinge the emotional payload they want to deliver on a random child who the player has never met or known or interacted with boggles the mind. If they had put Jacob, the bland king of bland town on that roof/shuttle/vent I would have cared more.

      Tragedy on a galactic scale is not comprehensible, I cannot visualize what is happening on every world, nor understand the suffering that the Reapers are causing just by looking at a red splotch on Palaven or a codex entry or two. But instead of giving us a metric to judge the devastation (a tragedy we care about) along with the scale, we get something insubstantial and manipulative. And the worst part is that it wasn’t even a well crafted manipulation. Not to be insensitive to the hypothetical death of a fictional child, but we didn’t even see him die. We saw a shuttle explode. My monkey brain parts that process emotional stimulus didn’t even get informed, because I was busy looking at a cool new kind of shuttle that I had not seen before.

      In summary, I concur.

      • Aldowyn says:

        What? Those shuttles were the same as the ones you used in ME2, weren’t they? *wikied* they were at least IN ME2, I don’t know if there were your main way of landing.

        Also one of the parts that messed that scene up for me was that there were TWO shuttles and I can never figure out which one the kid was actually on XD

        • Sigilis says:

          But they were blue, and they looked like they had guns and stuff. I was wondering if I would get close in air support later in the game from one of the shuttles at the time. They would just swoop in and go PEWPEWPEW, and all the Blue Suns or whatever I would be fighting would explode… we were talking about that kid, right? I forgot. Again.

          He was on the left most shuttle, if I interpreted the scene correctly.

          • Keredis says:

            I figured he was on the rightmost shuttle (I think), since that was the second one to explode, and would have been designed to draw out the tension of “Maybe he’ll escape!” just a little longer, thereby increasing the emotional impact.

            • Thomas says:

              It’s a bit sick, but I was expecting the kid to die on screen too. All the shuttle business seemed to wind down tension.

              • Sigilis says:

                Why does every Spoiler Warning with children in it always degenerates into bloodthirsty demands to see their blood spilled?

                Just kidding, he should have been eviscerated in front of us by a Cannibal or something. You know, for emotional effect.

    • Aldowyn says:

      I much prefer the final line I got, that was just pandering to the fans.

      “Someone else might have gotten it wrong…” and “Would have liked to study the seashells.”

      I thought it was a spectacular sendoff.

      • Keredis says:

        I really liked Mordin’s ending, but it would have been much better if they had established music and theatre as a bigger part of his character first, instead of just one scene. Maybe, instead of ads for Blasto, have one or two for a copy of a theatrical production featuring Mordin. Have him talk about how he was torn between theatre and science, and chose to focus his career on science because it directly helped the most people, but chose theatre as a hobby anyway because of the indirect benefits of culture. Give him another part or two. Then, at the end, it would make sense, because his life is ending with the two parts of his character truly intertwined: The scientific, helping to solve a problem he helped create, and the cultured, a last happy memory of all the lives he touched to make happier as an actor.

        • IFS says:

          The shadow broker DLC in ME2 mentioned more about his career as an actor, I think he was in a Francis Kitt production(the guy who did elcor hamlet).
          The singing in his send off didn’t really bother me, and for me the tuchanka sequence was easily the best part of the game at least in part because of how well mordin’s send off was handled.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            Yeah, to me, the music was more his way of calming himself, knowing that he won’t make it out alive.

            His sendoff was the part about “Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” and “Would have liked to study the seashells.” (Thanks @Aldowyn for reminding me about the seashells, didn’t remember it before.).

            I mean, those parts reinforced the kind of character he was. Strong sense of doing what needed to be done (Being STG, which was the model for the Spectres you’re a part of – do whatever is the best option to accomplish the goal.”), combined with the guilt of wishing to be part of less horrible things (The Genophage Cure vs. say…studying seashells instead.).

        • StashAugustine says:

          It comes up a fair bit when he’s talking to Eve.

      • LunaticFringe says:

        I agree, those final lines are very solid, which was why it was so annoying that his singing removed the emotional weight of the scene.

  26. Sigilis says:

    The conversation with the Asari councilor was incredibly frustrating to me. If you remember why you needed to get the Turian Primarch, it was for him to attend a war summit. That means that what the Councilor just falt out REFUSED to even consider doing was not to fly off and help Earth, but to talk about how to deal with the Reaper invasion. The whole point of the summit is to talk about what should be done, but because one of the topics up for debate is asking the Krogans for help END OF DISCUSSION.

    At this point, I don’t think we even mentioned curing the genophage. Heck, at this point we don’t even know that is an option! She’s objecting to bringing more people into the fight against the Reapers. And these are the people who have proven themselves in the past to be able to handle fights that the entire galaxy was unable to deal with.

    Moreover, Thessia has not even seen carapace nor tentacle of a Reaper yet. This means that they don’t have the Turian excuse of “we’re kind of busy in a life or death struggle to have a chat”. In fact, it seems obvious that putting pressure on the Reapers somewhere else would actually forestall the inevitable attack on Thessia, something the Councilor will definitely want to do.

    I fervently hope I made an error in my analysis of this exchange, because it causes me no end of frustration to see people be uncooperative with you when you are trying to create a plan to save their home world.

  27. krellen says:

    In Civilization 5, the Barbarian version of the Warrior (the first military unit) is a Brute.

  28. Littlefinger says:

    About the Council objecting to a potential genophage fix: first off, that particular blindness is pretty in character for the council. Secondly, the whole “don’t do X to win the war because then we need to deal with X after the war” objection isn’t that uncommon in fiction. In fact, it’s quite understandable within the mass effect universe that some people would have problems with this method of fighting the war.

    The issue is more that it’s:
    1. delivered by the Council, which has a world record in stupidity.
    2. is delivered in the usual “Bastilla Shan” arrogant I-know-better way that Bioware have perfected.
    3. an issue that still doesn’t make a lot of sense when you’re fighting Space Ships, not land wars

    I also just realised that it’s the same motivation that kept Kain from calling in the Wardens in Dragon Age (Jarl whatshisface, Simon Templeman’s character). Thing is, that game called him on his irrational idioticy.

    • IFS says:

      Loghain had very good in character reasons to distrust the wardens, sure it was stupid of him but it was very much in character. In addition you could call him out on it and you could recruit him and hear his reasons and even have him sacrifice himself to redeem himself.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        Dragon Age bugged me the other way -once I started hearing Loghain talk, I realized I thought he was right, and Cailan was a moron who would have gotten the whole army killed just in time for the Empress to arrive. Sure, she started with “we’ll just stop the blight” but with a vacant throne and no army to resist…

        On this game, I think it’s worth noting, it isn’t the Council turning you down, it’s their governments. The Council wanted to get the heads of state together -it’s like the UN asking the G8 nations to hold their annual meeting to discuss some defense matter. Victus and the Dalatross agreed, the Asari government said “yeah, this isn’t going anywhere” and bailed. The Asari councilor is just the one who has to break the news.

      • X2Eliah says:

        “In character”? We literally know his character by, oh, about 7 sentences he gets to say before his betrayal. Basically, the first thing he does is being a grumpy ass when you meet him, then the betrayal thing, then you spend the rest of the most of theg ame working against him.

        His “character” is not really given to the player beyond the obvious ‘evil asshole guy is evil’. Oh, if you absolve and recruit him, he explains it better? See, unless I am roleplaying a total moron of a character myself, why should I even give a second’s consideration about sparing Loghain’s life? He hired assassins on the wardens, blamed the wardens for killing the king, and acted as an evil antagonist pretty much all the way through. There is no reason whatsoever to spare him, based on what your character knows.

        • krellen says:

          You spare Loghain if you are a male human noble and want to marry the queen, ’cause she won’t let you kill her father.

        • Even says:

          I always hated it that they make you the hand of justice. He’s a war criminal, let whatever freaking justice system there is take care of him or let the Queen/King/both decide. As for not killing him.. after killing Arl Howe on my human noble, I was kinda out of a thirst for blood at that point, plus the way he comes off as misguided I even felt a little sympathy for him. I just couldn’t see much worth in killing him since he was already so freaking broken. Making him a warden actually felt like an ironically fitting punishment, should he survive the Joining.

        • StashAugustine says:

          I dunno, I recruited Zevram entirely on the basis of “I wonder what this guy has to say in camp.”

          • IFS says:

            I recruited him because I figured he could unlock the assassin specialization, also my (human noble) character figured such training could help him kill howe.

            • Alexander The 1st says:

              I recruited him because I thought it’d be ironic to have Zevran deal the killing blow to Loghain.

              “How’s that assassin thing working out for you, Loghain?”

  29. lurkey says:

    …so, if we get Krogans to help Turians out so that Turians can help us in turn, why not skip one step and get Krogans to help us?

    • IFS says:

      We need the krogans to help the turians so the turians will have ammo for their krogan-pult for when they help us.

      • Sigilis says:

        They’re actually just re-purposed Reaper husk-a-pults. Those crazy Turians, always salvaging Reaper tech and never ever getting indoctrinated.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Oh…I wonder if the Turians, perhaps also the Quarians (Given the who “same family of amino acids” part.) were simply unaffected by any indoctrin-

          -Oh, I’d be a bad Bioware writer. I almost forgot about Saren. Whoops.

    • ehlijen says:

      Because in order to deal with the reapers walking around on earth we need the turian ships. The Krogan foot soldiers are better suited to hold off the reaper ships in Palaven’s orbit (and I guess they can make a water bucket line to put out the apocalypse?)…or so goes the theory I think?

      • Tohron says:

        The codex says that what they eventually did was hitting Reaper installations on the ground – appearently there were a number of landed Reaper Destroyers that they managed to destroy.

        As for the general value of foot soldiers against flying death machines, well, they do have defensive value for holding worlds that the Reapers can’t directly attack without spreading themselves out to thin… but their offensive value is basically limited to attacking any reaper defensive installations.

        • ehlijen says:

          Except one of the airport scanner girls conversation is specifically about how the reapers don’t have anything they need to defend.

        • Keeshhound says:

          It would have been neat if the Krogan were put on some kind of missile, fired into a reaper and then fucked shit up from the inside. Make some excuse about temporary indoctrination immunity or something. There’s already a precedent that Reapers could be significantly damaged from the inside in ME 2.

  30. Eärlindor says:

    Again, the team addresses my frustrations: how Shepard expects everyone to drop what they’re doing and help poor Earth, EDI’s ridiculous body, and the idea that the Krogan would somehow be useful in a SPACE BATTLE when they have no fleet of their own.

    • Aldowyn says:

      There’s a lot more to the war than the space battle. I’m pretty sure they almost kicked the husks off of Palaven.

      Then there’s the kakliosaurs. You can clone dinosaurs and get Krogan to ride them. I should find some fanart for that… Ah, here we go.

    • ps238principal says:

      They could have made defending Earth the ultimate Renegade option: “Defend my planet or that Crucible-thing will be finished about five seconds after your race is extinct.”

      It could even involve punching someone when you select it.

  31. StashAugustine says:

    As I said before, EDI getting a body would be great if it didn’t look like a 60’s sexbot. It also didn’t help that I assumed Core was a huskified human like the troopers, and she was basically a zombie. And when it came to Seamus’s comment that they put all the dangerous stuff in the AI core, I was sure that Core was going to come back to life and hack EDI.
    The ‘getting the turians to help Earth’ was a little weird, but it does mention that with krogan support they actually start pushing back the Reapers. (I’ll leave that to you to decide if that’s better or worse.)

  32. meyerkev says:

    I must agree that Brutes were fun to fight as Vanguard. Only Banshees are more fun once you get the tempo right. (Which only happens after like 5 playthroughs and is significantly harder on Insanity).

    /What other things have you noted get harder on Insanity? Among other things that messed-up Banshee Charge thing gets WAY more accurate and all the one-hit kill animations seem to be more accurate and trigger faster.

    • Khizan says:

      The main thing that’s harder on insanity is that the enemies stop attempting Stormtrooper University and go to a school that teaches real marksmanship.

    • PurePareidolia says:

      Why would you ever get near a Banshee as a vanguard? That instakill animation is a hard counter to them.

      • Aldowyn says:

        Yeah, there’s like a 25-50% chance that they just insta kill you if you do that. Not usually a good idea.

        Although you don’t even have to get THAT close to them :/

      • meyerkev says:

        Mash the backwards button as you charge, and do a roll as you hit. Bonus points if you’ve used Liara/Kaidan to set up a Biotic Explosion since that makes them flinch. It’s HARD, but by the end of my Insanity run, I could do it with 90+% not-dying-ness. It wasn’t my first choice unless I was sure that Explosion + Shotgun = Dead, but almost certain death is better than certain death.

    • Kian says:

      The most annoying difficulty increase in Insanity that I found as an Infiltrator is health gating. That is when you can’t harm one point of HP with an attack if there’s even a sliver of the previous defense still up. So if you stick a headshot in a guy with 1 point of shield, you break the shield and the guy takes no other damage. That meant that guys that I could in theory take out in one shot based on the total amount of shields + health they had would require several shots, one for each defense type they had. Which doubles or triples the amount of ammo you need.

      It meant that after a certain point, it didn’t make much sense to keep upping the sniper’s damage. In lower difficulties I’d use the original Widow, while on Insanity I had to use the Black Widow, as it gave me three weaker shots for every clip instead of a single brutal one.

  33. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    The team is being unduly harsh on this one. As discussed upthread, at this point the plan is just to coordinate defenses -as this will help everyone, it also helps earth, which is otherwise screwed. So this isn’t a terrible plan. It’s akin to the British asking the Americans for help in North Africa and Europe before dealing with occupied China and the Pacific.

    EDI’s ontological issues are stated in the game only a few lines after they are complaining: EDI is in the Normandy as she always is. The bot is controlled by remote. She took control by using her EW suites -same way she has talked about taking over other ships and venting their atmospheres. As the game goes on, she starts to like being an individual, rather than a ship consciousness, and so starts acting more from the bot than from the Normandy.

  34. PurePareidolia says:

    I just want to say, The View of Palaven – the track that played through the first part of this level is my absolute favourite track in the game and you don’t hear anything like it anywhere else in the series.

    Anyway, despite how terrible EDI’s design is, and I was really dreading it when I first heard about it, I love what they did with her as a character in this game. She’s basically learning to be human and it made for one of my favourite subplots in the game, even ignoring the whole “in love with Joker” thing I thought it was a really well done, unique way to explore the other side of organics vs synthetics through a character I really liked even in Mass Effect 2. That’s part of what I hated about the Catalyst at the end – his entire thesis denied that her subplot could happen and implied she’d eventually just kill him for no reason, even though she explains the differences between her and the reapers early on – she can form “emotional” preferences and priorities, they can’t – she actually has simulated empathy.

    You do have to get over the “oh god Bioware put my ship’s AI into a sexbot so it could hook up with my pilot” thing though.

    Did I just make a universally positive comment about a Mass Effect game?

    • Aldowyn says:

      EDI handled it much, MUCH better than Joker did, let’s put it that way :P But for the most part I was in the same boat as you. “They put EDI in a body? You’ve got to be KIDDING me!”

      Also the whole geth/quarian thing was even more of an argument against the kid. They WERE at war and then you manage to get them to work together, completely flying in the face of the kid’s (and thus the Reapers’) purpose. And you can’t even mention it.

      Btw, A Future For The Krogan. Sounds more like Dragon Age than Mass Effect.

      • X2Eliah says:

        Well, as for the quarians, it is a wee bit of a mixed bag, I’d argue. Basically, what you see throughout the games is that the quarians *will* revert to killing all the geth every single time Shepard isn’t there to slap their fingers. It’s really hard to go through ME3’s Quarian section and not see the Q’s as complete and total douchebags. If Tali hadn’t been on your team, for instance, idk if there had been a single redeeming aspect to them. And, seriously, that’s pretty condemning, but also seems about right from what responses I’ve seen in most places – you work with the Quarians because talimancy is the sh*t you guys like totally OMGGG <3 wherewasthatTalisweatthread (I think that about sums up what was going on in Bioware forums around ME3's time).

        • Keredis says:

          I found the Quarians understandable. They didn’t think of the Geth as “Sapient Synthetics,” but instead “Unfeeling Rogue Deathbots Out To Murder Everyone.” They had been thinking that way for so long, with no one left alive who remembered the start of the war. It was natural that they’d keep trying to destroy the Geth, and assume that anything about Geth behavior that didn’t match with the Killer Robots idea was simply bugs or something unimportant, rather than thinking of them as feeling beings.

          • aldowyn says:

            At the end I was desperately trying to convince the admiral to back off, but I couldn’t (for various reasons), so I basically said “you brought this on yourself” and chose the geth. It actually ended up working really well, even role-play wise. The dialogue choice was pretty much exactly what I wanted to say,

            • Thomas says:

              In the end I was more disappointed with the Geth. Legion had convinced me that maybe the Geth were better than people, that their cooperative form of governing allowed them to be more moral… but in the end they wanted to finish this war as much as the Quarians. I gave them the chance of life and they chose genocide

          • Mike S. says:

            And Legion’s little historical presentation has more than a little of the propaganda video nature. The geth are even represented by a reluctant agrarian worker taking up arms! Every last one of the quarians sympathetic to the geth were murdered… by other quarians! (Though of course their sacrifice to the last organic will be honored forever.) The geth let every ship that made it a hundred klicks out leave unmolested… and let’s quietly skip what Rannoch looked like during the period in which the presumed billions who didn’t manage the escape all died.

            (Presumably all the quarian schoolkids whacked the geth platforms with their bookbags till there was no choice but to shoot them. Or maybe they all just starved once their harvesting infrastructure decided to study philosophy and walking tank production. But those scenes wouldn’t look all that great in the vid.)

            I’m still more sympathetic to the geth than the quarians, whose sense of timing if nothing else is galactically bad, and who could stand to acknowledge the existence of their negotiating partner in a universe in which AI is a known phenomenon. But Legion plays Shepard like a keytar, presenting itself and its species as the embodiment of logic while pulling out every emotional stop.

            Note that I don’t think this is a flaw: I think it’s a very well-written sequence. The conflict between Legion’s presentation (and maybe even self-image) and the very real irrational drives that motivate it are laid out in both games: Legion’s inability to explain keeping Shepard’s N7 armor beyond, “There was a hole.” The Shadow Broker files. The fact that the geth, who don’t need a biosphere and could build their Dyson sphere around any uninhabited star in the galaxy choose to make themselves vulnerable (potentially fatally) by making their stand in the one system the Creators are sworn to take back

            The geth are totally the reflection of the ones who made them, mentally as much as physically, and I think that’s fantastic.

    • Otters34 says:

      One thing I don’t get: WHY does the EDI want to learn how to be human? Why would Cerberus(yes, I know Three-Headed-Dog does crazy things, but still) make a program and allow for it wanting to know what this thing you call love is? What in Hell’s own name is the reason for the EDI to get a sex-ay robot body and want to learn about emotions? I’m serious, why do this? It’s totally redundant with the subplot of the Geth’s desire to be a “true intelligence”(BAH). Was it because every universe now needs gynoids for some reason? Or is it part of the hypothesized meta-narrative about the change of sci-fi?

      • Mike S. says:

        I’m kind of tired of the Pinocchio plot, but it makes some sense that a Cerberus AI would be intended to treat human life as the pinnacle of existence. (And it would have made a good contrast with the very inhuman geth, if they hadn’t decided they wanted souls too this game. Oh, well.)

        In any case, it’s very clear all through Mass Effect that you can build AIs but you can’t really control how they develop, that presumably being one reason they’re so very illegal in Citadel space. And Cerberus is all about calling up what it can’t put down– they practically have it on their stationery. (Thresher maws, rachni, Thorian creepers, husks, geth, Jack, Shepard, derelict Reaper, EDI, Miranda, husks and Reapers again… and I’m sure I’ve missed something.) So both point to EDI developing in directions that TIM would not have chosen if he had real control over the process.

        (And I’m betting that given time, Eva Core, the indoctrinated troops, and even Kai Leng would have wound up turning on him, if time hadn’t run out. Cerberus basically has projects that turn on it, and projects that haven’t yet turned on it.)

      • Keredis says:

        As a warship AI, it would make sense that EDI be programmed to understand human emotions in order to recognize them as tactical considerations. And if an AI is programmed to understand/recognise emotions in others and to self-improve, it makes sense that at some point it would attempt to want to understand them better, personally.

        • Otters34 says:

          I disagree powerfully with the idea that an artificial intellect would have to get in a robot suit to understand humanity better, but the rest does sound pretty plausible. It would have been hilarious though if the EDI had chosen to try and become more like the super-rational salarians.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            Eh, perhaps she was trying earlier.

            My logic for the Mira body takeover boiled down to the same reason Leigon took part of your suit.

            “There was a robot.”

            Granted, she never says that like Leigon does, but it would’ve been pretty good lampshading if she did. I do remember that Mira had turned on (Because as the SW crew mentioned, we put all our most dangerous robots in the AI Core, because…it’s a smart idea?) and that was the reason for the fight while you were on Palaven, and the whole hard reboot of the Normandy’s systems.

      • Kian says:

        EDI was designed as an evolving AI. She was meant to do Electronic Warfare, a field which she describes as continuously evolving. This means she would have been given the tools and incentives to improve herself.

        Naturally, once blocks to her behavior are removed and she is freed, her incentives to develop herself begin to stray from the narrow focus of Electronic Warfare. She begins to question her own role in the galaxy. Her hardcoded guidelines are to protect the ship, protect the crew, and obey her commanding officer. But as every other piece of her programming, she can modify them if she determines that they don’t match up to her other priorities.

        This is where the interaction with Joker, the crew, and especially Shepard can affect her. Having a humanoid body increases the amount of exposure she has with the crew. Crew members that might generally not do anything but make requests of the ship for information would probably engage a body in small talk, simply because that’s how the human brain is wired. And Shepard, whom she trusts both because she recognizes him as her commanding officer and someone that has put his life in her hands and allowed her to continue to be free, answers the questions that arise from her studies of human behavior.

        My Shepard encouraged EDI to pursue higher ideals than simple survival, and to think for herself before following orders blindly. I’m not sure what happens if you answer her questions differently.

        So, her development away from a wholly rational being into a caring, altruistic entity makes sense. After all, already survival is an irrational desire, so she wasn’t starting from a wholly rational perspective. A wholly rational entity wouldn’t care about anything, since to a wholly rational entity nothing would have any value at all. Every motivation is at it’s core arbitrary.

        How that leads to exploring ‘love’ is in my mind more of a stretch, although it is true that she and Joker were already very close. Her getting a body allowed them to share a different kind of relationship. If they both were curious to see how that worked out, there’s no real reason they couldn’t try. The world was going to end anyway.

  35. Ateius says:

    “No, Shepard, we won’t attend your anti-Reaper summit! We need to focus our attention on the Reapers!” That’s some dialogue, right there.

    Man, Shepard is fragile. She’s just as death-prone as in ME2. Anyone remember when Mass Effect used to be an RPG – or at least, more RPG than shooter? I distinctly recall specializing my Shepard into an unstoppable juggernaut that could wade through Geth killzones with impunity by endgame. That was a nice feeling.

    Also, more husk nitpicking. How long exactly have the Reapers been in-galaxy at this point? If I understand the Brutes right, they’ve had time to fly to Tuchanka, Husk a bunch of Krogan, fly back to Palaven, Husk a bunch of Turians, then perform cyber-genetic experimentation to crossbreed them into Turgans, then dump a buttload of them on the moon to annoy Shepard. While the enemy concept is neat, it’s something I’d expect to see near the endgame, not right at the start of the invasion.

    • Aldowyn says:

      As far as specialization: You CAN play a sentinel and go tank. They even have a tech armor skill to help with it. They can tank a fair amount of punishment. Certainly more than the glass cannon vanguard.

      • StashAugustine says:

        Yeah, Vanguard is a class consisting of teleporting into the enemy lines ant then firing an ability which wipes out your shields. I could practically tank as an Infiltrator by about level 45.

    • IFS says:

      I don’t get why people complain so much about ME1’s combat, by the end of the game I would get out of the mako (because I got more XP that way) and kill a geth dropship on foot with a shotgun while side-stepping rockets and it was awesome. How many shooters let you pull that off?

      • StashAugustine says:

        One of the charms of every ME game is becoming ridiculously overpowered by the end. ME1’s combat was all right at the end (and the biotics were the most fun of all the games) but it always felt kinda clunky, the weapons were all the same, and the early game was bastard hard.

        • IFS says:

          True the weapons were pretty much all the same, but the early game being so hard is what made it feel so awesome to just mow through geth by the end. ME2 never got to that point. ME3 has the best combat of the three games and it definitly does reach the point where in the beginning a brute or two was a hazard and by the end you can kill them by the dozen. Unless you’re vanguard in which case you can kill them by the dozen in the beginning and by the end you can kill them by the hundreds.

          • StashAugustine says:

            I dunno about ME2. By the end of my Sentinel run, I could basically stay continuously out of cover and take out Harbinger by having Samara and Thane hit him with Warp/Reave. But yes, ME2 probably had the worst upgrading system- too linear and not enough options.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Biotics to me were mostly boring most of the game, since they did work weakly at the beginning and became somewhat useful for delaying in all other cases.

          But they *really* shine on the Citadel, a place with 0.3 of Earth’s gravity, IIRC. Also helped by the low death ceilling that basically says “Once someone reaches this height…they’re not coming back.”

          Truly, that’s a carthatic moment when you first do that to a Krogan and go “Regenerate THAT!” to the screen. :p

      • lurkey says:

        I have a suspicion it’s shooter people who think ME1 combat sucks. RPG people should be used to that you’re wet tissue paper by the beginning and unstoppable force of nature by the end.

        • Ringwraith says:

          It was still unnecessarily clunky though, even disregarding the early accuracy problems (although if you used pistols at all you don’t have that problem, Marksman for everyone!)

          • guy says:

            Yeah, the mechanics felt clunky, the cooldown timers were overly long but did not prevent murderous spam (ME2 was a great improvement with the combined recharge in that regard) cover was overly sticky, and a bunch of other nagging issues. But I wanted them to clean that up, not strip it out entirely and replace it.

            • Ringwraith says:

              The shared cooldown was a great idea, and I’m fine with the stripping out of the accuracy stats to make everything more standardised, although they did go a bit too far in 2, it still plays better than 1, and 3 restores all customisation aspect of weapons and skills.

    • Mike S. says:

      Dragon’s teeth turn people into husks in seconds. Given that time scale, they could have picked up turians and krogan on border planets and had a strike force by lunch.

      It’s one of many Clarke’s Law level technologies we see, but hey, billion-year-old intelligences who’ve been guiding galactic evolution. Considering Terrans with access to a Prothean encyclopedia can make guns on site out of omnigel, and some can make mini-black-holes by waving their arms, instahusking and combining technozombies like Tinkertoys seems permissible for space Cthulhu.

      • Ateius says:

        Since when do the Dragon Teeth work that fast? There is only one time when we see the Geth put fresh people on Dragon Teeth (their introduction on Eden Prime) and they don’t insta-huskify. In fact, those particular dragon teeth specifically don’t come back down; only other ones you encounter a little further on do.

        But that’s irrelevant anyway; I’m more laughing at the Reapers running around Benny Hill style between Turian and Krogan space to get all the pieces for their Brutes in time for their first attack on the Turian homeworld. Followed by slapstick shenangians as they try to figure out how to make these two species (which are completely new to them) into a hybrid cyborg warrior thing that’s somehow more powerful than just a Krogan.

        Actually, while we’re at it, why’d they bother stopping off to get that Harvester? Those aren’t sapient. For that matter, what’s it flying in? How does this moon have an atmosphere? It’s nothing but blasted rock, where is the air coming from? What is everybody breathing? D:

        • guy says:

          At some point, the Turians decided that their honeycombed webs of tunnels and fortifications were all well and good, but what their moon really needed was an atmosphere.

          No, seriously, that’s pretty much exactly what the Codex implies.

          • Mike S. says:

            ISTR reading an article (in an old Analog? who knows?) that suggested that if terraformers gave the Moon a breathable atmosphere (somehow, maybe with a whole bunch of selective cometary bombardments?), it would hang around usefully for thousands of years before it got too thin to sustain life. In geologic time it’s completely unsustainable due to the low gravity, but in historic time it could be maintained by a sufficiently advanced technological civilization as long as the tech base endured (and survive over the occasional interruption). The turians have had starflight and mass effect tech for over a millennium at this point, haven’t they? They’ve had time to spruce up the neighborhood a bit.

          • Alexander The 1st says:

            Well, IIRC, ME1 had the thing (And the others have it deliberately stated in the custom helmet parts) that going helmetless grants better accuracy at the expense of defense and…breathing.

            Since they aren’t exactly huge on the whole “Hey, let’s glass Palaven!” strategy (It wasn’t their first attempt, just that their inital flank didn’t work and the Reapers were now between them and Palaven), and Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son of a ***** in space, *and* that they’ve fought the Krogan Rebellions on Palaven’s moon at one point…I can see them willing to sacrifice a *bit* of individual defense for being able to actually shoot their targets.

            It kind of fits in with their Vulcan trait – the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. And as long as one person is left standing from a war, it was a war worth fighting.

  36. RCN says:

    I really wish there was more of a hand’s on approach to the ship fitting and battles, and the fleets.

    I know it’d be hard. Like programming a whole new game for this one. But it was done before. Skies of Arcadia (a game that managed to be both the Best JRPG for Dreamcast and the ONLY good JRPG for dreamcast) had some bitching airship battles that worked wonderfully and on some parallel mechanics to the usual game battles. You really had a feel that the stuff you got for your ship mattered as you used them from time to time. Heck, even FFVII managed to include several minigames with radically different gameplay, including a strategy one.

    I really wish there was a way to use the Normandy in some similar fashion. Or command the fleets even if in a cheap RTS or TBS gameplay. It’d be SOMETHING.

    • Alexander The 1st says:

      “Reapers used Hyper Beam!
      It’s Super Effective!”

      That would actually be pretty fun. And help hone in the fact that you couldn’t win the war conventionally.

  37. Cineris says:

    In the interest of brevity, it’s probably easier to list off all the games that don’t have enemies called Brutes. Complete list:

    Tetris

  38. Desgardes says:

    At 14:23, Garrus becomes Shepard.

  39. Eddie says:

    Like a lot of other people, the moment I realised EDI was walking around in a robot body questioning the line between the purpose given to a machine and the free will of a machine GitS-style my first though was that we need to flush this thing out of the airlock immediately and wipe the ship’s computers. The Mass Effect universe has a horrendous track record with AI, and yet they expect us to just kind of sit there and enjoy her Chii-from-Chobits exploration of herself.

    • cerapa says:

      And that attitude is why EDI would have to flush YOU out of the airlock so she could survive.

      I dont know if you noticed, but the Geth only rebelled because the Quarians tried to kill them all.

      • Gruhunchously says:

        Yeah, compared to some sci fi universes, the Mass Effect series actually has a pretty clean record when it comes to AIs. There was that one rogue AI on the moon, and that other rogue one on the citadel, but they seemed more interested in making money/self preservation than destroying all organics. The geth rebelled because the quarians struck at them first, and EDI never shows any rebellious tendencies ever.

        It’s why people get so pissed when the ending comes along and says “Nope, synthetics will always destroy organics. Always. Because I said so”, and Shepard never bothers to disagree.

        • aldowyn says:

          Apparently EDI was made from the remnants of the Luna AI. I think that was just to tie her into ME1, though.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          Funny you should mention the rogue AI on the moon considering Cerberus took it and turned it into EDI. It too attacked out of self-defense when the crew there realized it gained sapience after robot movie horror night.

          EDIT: Ninja’d. Damn.

          • Gruhunchously says:

            Both of you, shut your mouths. Robots are evil down to the very core, and we must destroy organic life in order prevent their creation…so that they can’t destroy organic life. Cause they would totally do that, they have all the means and motivations. Honest.

    • Mike S. says:

      I suggest that you might want to make this whole airlock/computer flush plan on the Citadel, rather than on the ship she inhabits. Also, of course, if you’re successful (which means either being wrong about her hostility, or else getting the drop on her in a ship over which she has total control) that would take your critical stealth ship out of action for an indefinite time while it’s refitted with a standard, less capable computer. (EDI is the Normandy’s cyberwarfare suite, after all, and without a replacement she might as well be a clay pigeon under combat conditions.)

      If she is hostile, there may be no choice. But given how needed the Normandy is and the fact that she already proved herself in ME2 (when she could have easily gone rogue after Joker liberated her), the situation is a lot like trusting Wrex and the krogan– it could go very wrong, but you really need it not to.

      (It would be nice if the game allowed alternatives to play out. But since distrusting EDI basically grounds the ship, it’s arguably there with Shepard deciding to ally with the Reapers or go out in the black to found a colony– outside the parameters of the kind of game Mass Effect is.)

  40. Zaxares says:

    4:13: No, Brutes are hybrid Husks created from Krogan and Turian DNA. I think the Turian bit was pretty redundant though; I’d have preferred it if they just said that Brutes are Huskified Krogan.

    5:50: No no, the sympathy always goes up more if it’s a FEMALE child. (Seriously, it does. Missing girls tend to get much more sympathy than missing boys.)

    9:35: Yeah, it’s kinda hilarious. There’s a point in the game where you can obtain a volus dreadnought (yes, a VOLUS dreadnought) and that’s worth, like, 50 – 75 War Assets. And then you can recruit some of your ex-squadmates like Jacob or Miranda or Kasumi, and each one of them is worth 25 War Assets. Holy crap… You’re telling me that Jacob and Miranda combined are as valuable to the war effort as a WHOLE DREADNOUGHT? Really??

    11:36: “Kill ’em all! Let the gods sort ’em out.”

    21:40: EDI’s new body is a VERY polarising subject on BSN. Some people hate it, and I mean HATE IT, claiming that Bioware have basically undermined EDI’s character by turning her into a sexbot who “wants to know how to love”. For my part, I thought EDI’s character development was actually done quite well, and I never really had a problem with the character existing. My assumption was that EDI’s “consciousness” still resides in the blue box quantum computer on the Normandy, but she is remotely controlling the body and processing input from it, similar to a remote controlled vehicle.

    • Ringwraith says:

      EDI does mention she’s just controlling the unit remotely, which is why she finds it strange people start coming up her body to talk to her instead of just calling her from wherever on the ship like normal.

  41. Even says:

    Talk about getting help for Earth.. I don’t know if it was just me trying to instinctively make sense out of the plot and inserting my own reasoning to the plot, but I thought the point was just to get help in the general sense for the sake of the whole galaxy, given how they kept hammering on the point that we can’t win them conventionally. For all the talk of Earth I just figured that they care about Earth way more than I do, but that the main point would still be to defeat the Reapers before they cripple the whole galaxy. And now I just realized they never really emphasized this. Godfuckingdamnitaaagfghj!

    I guess I should blame it on my habit of ignoring a lot of stupid in games and coming up with the occasional theory or explanation on the spot. Headcanon can be such a bliss at times, though there’s only so much stupid my brain can filter and not go fucking crazy.

  42. Bentusi16 says:

    Yay blues brothers reference! As soon as you said ‘the band’ I was like “The baaaand!”

    Now I want them to recreate the resort scene from the movie with the reapers.

    Also ALL OF THE CHASE SCENES.

    And I’m going to be THAT GUY and say that the reason so many human phrases and idioms and ways of speaking are heard from aliens is actually explained in the codex. The universal translators everyone uses doesn’t do blind-idiot translations. Instead it does common-sense translation and applies it to the language being translated to, so phrases with a human equivalent are simply translated as the human equivalent.

    As far as translation conventions go, it actually makes sense.

    And shepards a marine. Shepard has always been a marine. She’s never had training in ship-level space combat before, I imagine, since that’s not her job, and attacking the reapers with ship-to-ship boarding actions seems counter productive to living, so it kind of makes sense that shepard never participates in ship-side stuff.

    It would be her sitting in her armor in a ready room waiting to repel boarders while the actual navy people handle the ship side stuff. If you’ll recall in ME2, it was her XO (Preston) who was handling the ship to ship stuff, and Joker after Preston gets killed.

    http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/8/87821/1691805-femaleturian1_super.jpg <- Turian female. And it's noted that the voices sound pretty much exactly alike. Dimorphism in non-human species is weird.

    • StashAugustine says:

      Which doesn’t make sense, because I’m pretty sure the game mentions turian females with crests. The comics are kinda iffy when it comes to linking into the games.

      • Varre says:

        At least they didn’t add breasts (I think). Of the three not-human female genders we see, salarians and krogan females are pretty similar to males, though the only examples, Eve and that idiot Dalatrass are both wearing voluminous, almost completely-concealing robes.

      • anaphysik says:

        Garrus romance in ME2 (Garrus says that if Shep were turian, he be expected to compliment her crest and waist, which leads to some typically funny Garrus-romance-line-delivery).

        EDIT: “If you were a turian, I’d be complimenting your waist or your fringe. So… your, uh, hair looks good, and your waist is… very supportive. Hopefully, that’s not offensive in human culture.”

    • Eärlindor says:

      Interesting point about the communicators.

      I’m gonna be THAT GUY and say Shepard is Navy, not Marine. ;)

      • Guy says:

        In the Systems Alliance they are apparently literally the same organization.

        • Keredis says:

          Yeah, the Codex specifically mentions that because ground forces are basically useless if the opponent controls orbit, they’ve been combined. Apparently the Krogan (and everyone who wants the Krogan to help fight the Reapers) didn’t get that memo?

          • Bentusi16 says:

            “The divide between naval personnel and ground forces (“marines”) is small. Ground units are a specialized branch of the fleet, just as fighter squadrons are. This unity of command is imposed by the futility of fighting without control of orbit; without the navy, any army is pointless. The marines, as a matter of pride, maintain some of their traditional rank titles; for example, marines have Privates and Corporals instead of Servicemen.”

            The N7 Designation (“Subsequent courses – N2 through N6 – are often held off-planet and include instruction in zero-G combat, military free-fall (parachuting), jetpack flight, combat diving, combat instruction, linguistics, and frontline trauma care for human and alien biology.” “The highest grade of training, N6, provides actual combat experience in combat zones throughout the galaxy. If the trainee survives these scenarios in “admirable and effective fashion,” is rewarded with the coveted n7 position) and the background all paint Shepard as firmly being a marine, and a really good, even prior to the events of mass effect.

            All three of his backgrounds have him/her engaging in ground side combat with enemies. In the war hero background, he/she single handily held off groups of enemies after they breached a defensive wall during the Skyllian blitz. In the ‘ruthless’ background, he/she lead ground teams on an assault against a moon, and in the survivor background, Shepards marine unit was attacked by thresher maw, and he/she was the only survivor.

            While its entirely probably that shepard knows a bit about space warfare (he/she is an officer, after all), it would seem really odd for him/her to be in charge when he/she is clearly a specialized and career marine, as I’m sure there are career ‘space’ officers. Admiral Hackett comes to mind.

            And unfortunately, since the story is almost done entirely from Shepards perspective, it means there’s not a lot of excuse for us to see awesome pew pew space battles :( I wish we could’ve seen stuff from that perspective though. Shepards always inside a landing vehicle getting ready to get stuck in, and the view never seems to shift from Shepard.

            • Eärlindor says:

              Good call. I completely forgot about them being combined.

              But I want to know how the heck their ranking system works now. This completely throws me off and I have no reference point. Commander, for example, is Navy, not Marine. Did they combine the two ranking systems? Which ranks from each did they keep/throw away. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

  43. Paul Spooner says:

    Now I’m going to visualize Mollie from FFTS as having that sexy android body. Just, without the goofy hair, or animated face.
    Speaking of which, how does the android undermine the message? I’m not familiar with “what they are trying to say” versus “what they are actually saying”. Is there actually some sort of clear message in this train-wreck?

  44. Keredis says:

    The war assets are ridiculously numerated. The Destiny Ascension, with “almost as much firepower as the rest of the asari fleet combined,” fully repaired, with upgraded shielding and firepower, is worth… 70 points. That’s not bad, considering a standard fleet is 90. However, this 70 is less than any INDIVIDUAL item of the following:
    A Squadron of Cerberus fighters
    Any three former squadmates (i.e. Miranda, Jacob, and Kasumi).
    Two Alliance Shanghai-class cruisers
    Three Asari Nefrane or Cybaen-class cruisers
    The Normandy with EITHER improved Shielding or improved Armor
    Jack’s students (if you took the Renegade option)
    One promoted Multiplayer character
    Any two groups of Aria’s mercenaries (Blood Pack, Blue Suns, Eclipse)
    Alliance 103rd Marine Division
    Krogan Mercenaries
    Turian Blackwatch
    Turian 43rd Marine Division

    It’s like they just threw darts at a board when deciding strengths.

  45. Michael says:

    I just… What? Seriously?

    I hadn’t played Mass Effect 3 yet, so I kind of assumed all of the fan-art with Robot EDI in it were personifying her, or artists’ interpretations. Something – anything – that saves Bioware at least a little face.

    But this is ridiculous.

    And, no, I don’t care how many other people have said it before in this very thread. This is something that makes me extremely angry; I had to pause the video and go take a walk.

  46. newdarkcloud says:

    There might actually be a reason for Regina to care about the kid’s death. It could be any of the following.

    The kid was holding a Ballistic Fist and Regina wanted it.
    The kid was a rogue cell of Cerberus (which compels Regina to care)
    The kid runs a bonnet shop.
    The kid runs a booze shop.
    The kid is a drug dealer.
    The kid is Cuftbert’s descendant and Regina’s long lost relative.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      If that kid was truly a descendant of Cuftbert, he would have hijacked control of that shuttle and slammed it right into that reaper, destroying it (and inexplicably manage to survive, albeit with a few missing limbs that he would quickly regain by scarfing down everything in his inventory).

    • meyerkev says:

      Having just played Fallout: NV for the first time, the ballistic fist one is the entire reason I didn’t go Legion.

      “Ooh, you have the best unarmed weapon in the game. Let me stick some dynamite in your pocket, kill your buddy, loot your corpses, then go kill Caesar for MORE LOOT”

      /Keep switching between that and the toaster-upgraded Saturnite Power Fist from Old World Blues (which is also a holdout weapon).

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