on Sep 27, 2012
For the record, I don’t actually think the video holograph phone needed to be in color. In a world aiming for photo-realism, having a 3D video projector that is also photo-realistic can be kind of weird. It’s easy for the player to get confused about what they’re seeing. Wait, which people in this conversation are real, and which ones are projections? Now we’re talking to Wrex in a different room, but I thought he went somewhere else. Is he a projection? No, they just shook hands, okay. It wouldn’t kill the game or anything, but it would befuddle some people. If someone is new to the series, or if they put the game down for a few weeks, then they might not recall who is on the ship and who isn’t. The classic sci-fi grainy hologram trope (I’m betting it’s a trope, but I’m not going to go hunting for it) solves all of this so the player can focus on what’s being said.
The genophage is a pretty classic “ends justify the means” question. Ozymandias posed the same question at the end of Watchmen. Would you kill N people for certain to avert what you believe is the likely death of N*1,000 people in the future? By fiddling with the values of the multiplier and the level of certainty you can usually tip the scales one way or the other, but if you make those two values uncertain enough and the timeframe long enough, you can create an intractable problem for the audience to ponder.
I don’t object to the fact that Mordin changed his mind and decided the genophage was wrong. I don’t object to the way different players conclude one way or the other. That was the point of the exercise. I do mind that the game itself seems to be taking a position on the question. This is the hazard of the stupid and contradictory renegade / paragon arrows. Sometimes those are methodology. Sometimes they’re about right and wrong. Sometimes they’re about being nice or rude. Then you throw the flashing red and blue prompts into the emotional climax of the game and suddenly this shades of grey question turns into a black and white binary decision.
Even beyond the renegade / paragon prompts, I felt like the choices were boiling down to genophage=evil, cure=good. Again, I can understand why someone would come to that conclusion, but I really felt like the game itself should have remained aloof about it.
And if you’re curious why Rutskarn was suggesting it was Business Time, now you know.