Mass Effect 3 EP36: Your Choices Matter

By Shamus Posted Thursday Nov 15, 2012

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 226 comments

Link (YouTube)

Now we finally get the payoff for the end of Mass Effect 2. Did you destroy the collector base? Did you keep it? Did you agonize over the decision? Now you can find out what happened!

It really is absurd. This is the big moral choice at the end of Mass Effect 2. We’d already predicted that it wouldn’t have any impact on the story. (Cerberus would get the technology it was supposed to get no matter what.) But I still held out hope that it would have a cosmetic payoff. But no, that choice is clearly and deliberately negated for no reason. The Reaper Baby isn’t used as an explanation for anything specific, so it’s not supporting other plot points. (It’s being used as a “power source”. Great. That explains where Cerberus is getting their electricity, which is already free in this universe and the one thing they have that we aren’t questioning.) You could simply have this room appear empty if you wanted. There. No dialog. No additional art assets required. It’s a situation that will happen to one player and not another.

But instead BioWare went out of their way to have the Reaper Baby appear here, even though that makes no sense. They even spent money on slightly different dialog. Then the dialog specifically calls out how it makes no sense for this thing to be here. A lot of people cited parts of the game as feeling like the writers were showing open contempt for the audience. I have to say, I’m kind of feeling it in this scene.

And what’s with the line James has here? “All those assholes who doubted you… I wish they were here right now.” Why James? So they could tell us how right they were? Remember? In Mass Effect 2 everyone said working for TIM was stupid and pointless, even the player, and now we have proof that they were right. All of them.

Also Kai Leng died.


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226 thoughts on “Mass Effect 3 EP36: Your Choices Matter

  1. IFS says:

    I like how this video is tagged screw Kai Leng.

    Is it just me or did Shepard’s eyes roll into the back of her head when she looked up at the baby reaper?

    That is a pathetic send off for Jack, and they do the same thing for Morinth if she survived me2, she shows up as a banshee on Earth. Jack should have at least been a proper boss fight, with say her at the end of a hallway behind a barrier throwing shockwaves at you while you try to get to her, maybe give you a chance to try and talk her down but be forced to mercy-kill her beause she’s become indoctrinated by the reaper tech implants or something.

    Also why would the Reapers move the citadel to Earth one they had it? It was better defended in space where they didn’t have a teleport beam (set up by them I might add) pointed at it, sure there was the conduit, but everyone seems to have forgotten about that, plus it wouldn’t be hard for them to take Ilos if they know about it and if they don’t then you can use it again and it already makes more sense as a way to get back on the citadel.

    1. scowdich says:

      My main problem with the ending (okay, one of my main problems) is the fact that the Citadel can be moved AT ALL. If the Protheans knew that the Reapers wanted to use the Citadel as a relay to come back from dark space (the plot of Mass Effect 1), why didn’t they just fling it into a sun?
      I guess because, per Film Crit Hulk, then there would be no game. But still, it really grates that the very idea that the Citadel could move was never mentioned, never even hinted at.
      Oh, by the way, even though everybody on the Citadel is probably dead now, you still have a “Citadel Defense Force” war asset. So, bonus, I guess.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well it could be that only the reapers know how to move the citadel.

        But it doesnt matter because we are the first ones to not be blitzed by the reapers.The protheans fell for the trap and had the reapers come through the citadel.So that was the first thing they conquered in that cycle.

        What I dont get is:
        If I remember me1 correctly,when they conquered the citadel,the reapers switched off the mass relay network.So,why didnt they go for the citadel now,in this cycle,and switch off the network?It would stopped us easily.And we see that they could take the citadel at any time,they just didnt want to.Why?

        1. IFS says:

          I was never sure that Vigil meant that they shut off the relays from the citadel or rather that the citadel is a crossroads for all of the mass relays so to move through them they had to go to the citadel at some point. The way he says it does imply the former more strongly than the latter but some clarifiaion would have been nice.

        2. guy says:

          Because they’re suddenly morons. No explanation is ever provided, and they would have needed to actually go out of their way to get to all the homeworlds without taking the Citadel.

        3. Luhrsen says:

          But how do they move it? It was stated in the codex in ME1 that there was a maximum object size that the relays were capable of sending which is the Dreadnoughts size constraint.
          EDIT: I could accept them being able to raise the limit enough for the size of the reapers, but the Citadel is so many times greater it’s ridiculous.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I could think of multiple ways,but they all boil down to:
            Mass relay network is reaper tech,and codex is only our understanding of said tech.There still are plenty of things we dont know about it.Some of it(like the small mass relay on ilos)is a good use of this thing.

            1. Fleaman says:

              When your enemies are robot gods from the before age, you could really get away with a lot just by lampshading to the effect of

              Shepherd: But that’s impossible! There’s a maximum object size the relays are capable of sending!

              Harbinger: YEAH, IF YOU’RE TERRIBLE

      2. newdarkcloud says:

        Well, it’s no problem. I mean, we still have that Conduit on Ilos. We could have a mission there in order to get to the Citadel. Maybe with a few Reaper forces providing a challenge to the player.

        But nope, EARTH IS DYING YOU PRICK!!! GO THERE AND PROVIDE SUPPORT!!! Don’t worry about the Citadel, we’ll just move it so that it conveniently coincides with our over-bloated pathos.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Jack should have at least been a proper boss fight, with say her at the end of a hallway behind a barrier throwing shockwaves at you while you try to get to her, maybe give you a chance to try and talk her down but be forced to mercy-kill her beause she's become indoctrinated by the reaper tech implants or something.”

      Having two boss fights next to each other?Inconceivable!

      Plus that would require making this whole new boss fight that would be seen only by some people,and we cant have that.They all have to see our efforts!

      1. Hitch says:

        They could just replace Kai Leng with an indoctrinated Jack for a cool boss fight that actually has a bit of emotional investment for the player, but then all of the Kai Leng fanboys would be disappointed. All three of them.

        1. Nidokoenig says:

          Screw screw Kai Leng’s fan boys!

        2. lurkey says:

          His writer, one who made concept art, who’s the third?

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            Casey Hudson, I presume.

          2. Hitch says:

            I’m being generous and assuming some player somewhere actually liked Kai Leng.

        3. IFS says:

          I assume that in this case indoctrinated Jack threw Kai Leng out a window before the fight, thus making it even more emotional for when the player has to kill her.

      2. anaphysik says:

        I really liked how Alpha Protocol has a bossfight that you can completely miss. Surkov’s bodyguard (Championchik), the ex-boxer man. I made friends with Surkov, so I never even saw the guy except in one cutscene/dialogue a few hours beforehand, when he was just chillin’ in Surkov’s office :)

        Plus it has a boss that you can prolong the fight with goad Marburg in Rome, and one that you can cripple get Heck to sell tainted drugs to Brayko, several that you can spare to gain as allies Sis (best example), Brayko, Omen Deng, one whose scenario is wildly variable depending on your choices and who your friends are the server room battle, where Parker can be on your side or against it, as can Marburg, plus throw in which handler you have, one which changes depending on your goals whether you fight Westridge or Leland and the one that you can out and out convince to just walk away Marburg’s classic ‘Hmph’ moment.

        Alpha Protocol actually had a lot of good boss reactivity. Main problem with them was just how unrelated *gameplay*-wise they were :/

        (Probably some of my favourite gameplay moments, though, are when your allies send in reinforcements. b(^_^)d Those moments were awesomesauce, in addition to being directly informed by your choices. On the end mission of Taipei I had G22 and triad members fighting side-by-side, with Heck supplying them with better equipment. And then Heck started a firework show XD.)

        Yeah, so I kind of like Alpha Protocol….

        1. Grudgeal says:

          It gets even better if you alienate Surkov and befriend and spare Brayko instead, and then choose to hunt down Surkov in the last Moscow mission. “Your bodyguard is busy winning gold medal in dying.” is probably one of the greatest lines in the game.

          1. anaphysik says:

            “Your bodyguard is busy winning gold medal in dying.”

            That is just… so… fucking… brilliant!

            I have to see this somehow… youtube linky?

            1. Grudgeal says:


              Spoilers for anyone interested in Alpha Protocol, obviously.

              1. Deadpool says:

                The best part to me is “I give him 6.4 on the dismount, but he didn’t stick the landing”

        2. newdarkcloud says:

          There is also an optional boss fight against SIE and her mercenaries from the VIC at the train-yard in Moscow. Even better, if you choose to fight her and win, she likes you MORE for it.

          1. SougoXIII says:

            ARGH!! Stop it, you’re making me want to play Alpha Protocol again!

            1. StashAugustine says:

              Already was!

            2. Alexander The 1st says:

              What, your executable hasn’t been renamed to Beta or Gamma Protocol yet?

        3. lurkey says:

          (Spoilers down, if you haven’t played AP after all the endorsement it keeps getting in SW’s comments you ain’t gonna anyway)

          Speaking of bosses – Omen Deng shares quite a few basic similarities with Kai Leng: pretentious outfit, flashy hair, brings martial arts into gunfight and has an upper hand, defeats the protagonist via cutscene power, overuses combat taunts + his name is Omen. And yet not only he isn’t so goddawfully annoying, he even is kind of cool. Just better writing or something else?

          1. Open Source Idiom says:

            Well, Kai-Leng has a fucking horrible visual design, for one. And two, Deng has a personality, motivation, and isn’t built up to be anything more than a minor antagonist.

          2. Gruhunchously says:

            I would say that their attitudes and characterizations are decidedly different.

            Omen is like: I respect you, Thorton, but I will not hesitate to kill you in order to protect President Sung.

            Whereas Kai Leng is like: Bwahaha. You so slow and dumb, Shepard. I will defeat with you my cutscene powers and then send emails telling you how bad I defeated you. Lol. Long live Cerberus! Die alien scum!

            So yeah. Probably better writing.

        4. JohnnySteps says:

          Yeah they should really do AP such an underrated gem.

          I want AP 2 :(

          1. Deadpool says:

            They don’t wanna do Alpha Protocol because they feel the dialogue is too fast for their style.

            I disagree. I think the fast dialogue would make the season even funnier… But alas…

            And yes, AP2 would be awesome. Maybe if Project Eternity does as well as it sounds like it will they’ll revive some old franchises. The game could use a LOT of improvements, but the story and dialogue were great…

            1. StashAugustine says:

              My dream would be to see Eidos Montreal get their hands on it.

              1. Alexander The 1st says:

                No. No no no.

                They would outsource the boss fights, and the boss fights would get even more imbalanced.

                Which is to say, Alpha Protocol’s biggest fault is in the balancing of the bosses. If you want to win, max pistols.

                If you want to waste everything in your inventory and still have to melee, do anything else.

                Get Capcom to do the gameplay balancing, but keep them out of everything else in that game (Except maybe the release schedule), and it’d be golden.

            2. IFS says:

              The problem with the fast dialogue is that they wouldn’t have time to discuss the options they get before having to choose, I think they should just go ahead and mod out the dialogue timers so they can do AP.

          2. newdarkcloud says:

            I don’t want a sequel to Alpha Protocol, but I want them to try again to make a good spy RPG. They did a fairly decent job, but they need to tighten up the gameplay a bit more.

      3. newdarkcloud says:

        Of course, if you give Legion to Cerberus, then he get’s that same treatment. It’s like Bioware was either rushed or stopped caring past Thessia. It FEELS rushed.

        1. Open Source Idiom says:

          To be fair, if you gave Legion away it wouldn’t make sense to have any kind of emotional scene. Maybe an off-hand “Huh, that was weird.” would be about as much as could be justified, I reckon.

          1. Deadpool says:

            If you get Morinth she becomes a Banshee…

    3. Dork Angel says:

      I’m surprised they skipped over Jack’s death so quickly. I think her story was the most tragic. I mean she was tormented and tortured by Cerberus all through childhood to somewhere in her teens. Finally escapes for a few years where she helps save the galaxy and finds some peace teaching the students only to be captured by them again and more or less tortured to death along with the students she came to love. The game doesn’t even give her a cut scene on screen death scene like some of the others got. Mind you, I am biased as Jack was my love interest…

  2. Patrick says:

    “screw kai leng”

    That tag pretty muchs sums it up, don’t it?

    Shamus – and I’m speaking as a total stranger but one who saw you struggle through Mass Effect and the pitiful dungeons of Guild Wars 2 (Brisui in the guild if you want to gab at me)…

    Don’t touch Assassins Creed 3. I know your teamj hasn’t dealt with AC before, but it is the hot game right now. I’m offering fair warning, a few hours in and I think your brain may melt. The crushing despair which takes hold has no end – no freedom, – no release! The screaming sound of your soul tearing free of its corporeal prison, desperate to escape the nightmare and end its suffering in the sweet embrace of death, would no doubt condemn thousands in your area to perpetual madness. Ia! Ia ftaghn! Ia Dagon! Ia Cthulu!

    On the other hand, I suspect the comentary would be hilarious and I’m prepared to send you my copy, free of charge.

    1. Adam P says:

      They actually did do a season for Assassin’s Creed II. They got to the part where you punch the Pope and Rutskarn lost it. It was sort of funny.

      1. anaphysik says:

        Hahaha, that’s very funny of you.

        The non-teens had lost it *way* before then.

    2. Yeti says:

      The game for next season, I think, has already been chosen and it’s going to be more positive. Actually, I’d like to see another mini-series like the Half Life 2 series where you guys take a game you really like and talk about it.

      Assassin’s Creed (errr, shouldn’t it be ‘ Assassins’ ‘ Creed), *shudder*, I haven’t played 3 (I don’t intend too), but I have to wonder how much of the colonial setting is there to evoke a knee jerk emotional response, similar to the “TAKE BACK ERF SHEPARD!” in ME3. I happen to really enjoy Colonial and Formative history, and I shudder to think how AC3 shreds it all apart in service to some Mary Sue protagonist.

      I’ll go out on a limb and guess that the main character actually lead those forces over the Delaware in the Battle of Trenton, and G.W. was simply the quest giver. Later, you go to kill William Howe only to learn that some guy called Andrew Jackson is actually a templar, and William Howe and G.W. were really conspiring to draw out the conspiring Andrew Jackson, reveal him and his army of mantasmen as templars, and kill them. Then a cutscene happens in which G.W. and W.H. temporarily become morons and tell you to wait a bunch of years to grow a beard before taking A.J. on. You go to kill A.J., but in a quick time event he kills you because he’s fucking Andrew Jackson.

      Oh, and Desmond, uuuuhh…, we’ll wait for DLC.

      1. Vect says:

        Well, the game is at the least not completely “AMERICA FUCK YEAH” as the advertisements go. Connor participates in a few battles and befriends a few guys like Sam Adams but otherwise is sorta ambivalent about things. His main loyalties are to his tribe, which causes a few problems later on. Also, the main villain of the game is Charles Lee, a Revolutionary General.

        The Templars are decidedly less “Cacklingly Evil” or at least they generally give some reason for their actions other than “I WANTED POWAH” except for one who just straight-out admits he was in it for the money. Also, Connor’s dad is actually a fairly interesting character for a Templar (it’s revealed really early on in the game).

        Connor is more naive than anything else with a very poor tolerance from taking crap from others. Not so much a swaggering ladies man but just someone who kinda distances himself from others.

        But yeah, the ending is really bad.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          The ending for Desmond’s arc is bad, but I enjoyed the epilogue cutscenes for Connor’s story.

          Despite all his struggle’s in the fight for revolution, slavery is still there and his village gets wiped out. The “freedom” he fought so hard for wasn’t what he got. Serves as a good reminder that the Patriots weren’t all they were cracked up to be.

          Also, Connor’s dad and the plot twist around him were both very well done. I’m glad we’re getting back to the grey-and-grey morality the series was known for.

          AC3’s writing has flaws, but it is a significant improvement over AC2 in many ways. It’s set-piece-y, but at least in a more plausible sense, even if I feel that Connor is way too directly involved in Viva La Revolution.

        2. SleepingDragon says:

          The trailers did leave a bad “all of America just wants freedom for everyone! We will all stand together and defend our freedom loving American utopia against the English, who hate freedom and hate us because we’re free” aftertaste. I think I’m going to skip buying it and wait till my friends go on holiday again and leave me to keep an eye on their apartment, I can play it on their PS3 then.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            The trailers don’t do the game justice. The story is actually more grey-on-grey with both the Assassins/Templars and Patriots/British.

            Desmond and Shaun even have debates over which side was in “the right” with Shaun coming from the perspective of a British historian and Desmond from an American viewpoint.

            1. SleepingDragon says:

              the grey-on-grey thing is exactly what I’d want to see more in AC, and possibly in games in general (not all of them obviously, but still).

              1. newdarkcloud says:

                Apparently enough people were saying it that Ubisoft could hear it and obeyed. The plot is very much about how all of these factions think they are in the right and oppose many of the others because of it.

                It also highlights how these factions can be painfully wrong at times, even if their logic makes sense.

      2. anaphysik says:

        Nonsense. This is where G.W. comes into play:

        Bwahahaha. BwahahAHAHA. BWAHAHAHAHA. I’m so evil for melting Yeti’s brain.

  3. I think the hype from the developers, the hype from the marketing guys and the hype from the players set the bar for ‘your choices matter’ a little bit too high for a computer game that had to come out according to a schedule. But the Reaper Baby is perhaps one of the smallest hurdles to overcome and you managed to fluff that one rather hard Bioware.
    Personally, I hate audio logs. It feels like a really weird way to tell a story.

    1. newdarkcloud says:

      There’s both that and Udina and the counsel. The most obvious examples of Bioware disregarding player choice.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    As an infiltrator Ive used quite a lot of my powers.Cloak then sniper headshot was really effective.Then I would usually follow by incinerate.And if robots were around,it was hacking all around.And I always had disruptor ammo on.So the only power I didnt use was cryo ammo.

    Granted,that was in me2,but I see that not much has changed in 3.

    1. Deadpool says:

      I did that a lot in ME2 but it felt slow.

      Here I played Sentinel and all I had to use was Warp and Throw and sometimes Shield Overload.

    2. Klay F. says:

      I was an infiltrator also, and I also used cloak a bunch, that is, until I discovered tech explosions. After that I never took anyone with me who wasn’t named Garrus or EDI, and I almost never fired my million kilogram anti-material sniper rifle.

    3. evileeyore says:

      I played a Sentinel and I used all my powers, pretty much flexibly as the situation warranted.

      If I could be ‘accused of spamming” any one it would be… ummm… maybe Cryo Blast accompanied by my charging the enemy, popping Tech Shields as I rolled in and meleeing guys.

      I was also pretty flexible with my combat, while I preferred to charge into melee, some enemies were bad to do that with so I’d hang back and shoot them.

      For firearms I carried the Mattock or the Avenger and the Phalanx hvy pistol (once I got it).

      1. Deadpool says:

        Honestly, all you need as Sentinel is Tech Explosions and Biotic Explosions… And you could probably skip the Tech ones and be fine…

    4. newdarkcloud says:

      Playing an an Adept, I just spammed Singularity, Warp, and Shockwave at different times. I barely used the SMG and Pistol I had equipped.

      The only real times I had difficulty with this strategy was fighting the three Geth Primes on Rannoch and during the long, tedious battles on London. Those parts sucked for me.

    5. swenson says:

      I played Infiltrator for my Insanity playthrough (because it was the undoubtedly best class for ME1 and ME2), but… I don’t think I’m very good at Infiltrator, because I just get bored out of my skull every time I play it. And it seemed less OP in general than ME2, where I must confess the cloak is basically the Win Game button (in particular because you can always just cloak and run past enemies to the next checkpoint…).

      On the plus side, I feel like Vanguard got buffed with Nova. So I can live with that. I may have to do a Vanguard Insanity run. It was a lot of fun in ME2 (if… trying at times).

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        “where I must confess the cloak is basically the Win Game button”

        Heh,yeah.The only tough part in 2 for me was that corridor where you had to protect the biotic from the swarm.The rest,you could just cloak,find a nice position,line up a headshot,fire off incinerate,then cloak again and reposition.But hey,thats what a real sniper should do anyway:Strike from shadows,then disappear in the confusion.

        1. StashAugustine says:

          ME3 fixes cloak by making it so that enemies can still spot you, it’s just less likely and less accurate.

          1. anaphysik says:

            Except in MP, where if you’re the last player alive, they always know exactly where you are <_<

          2. Luhrsen says:

            “Fixes”? Sounds more like breaks.

    6. Phantom Hoover says:

      I played engineer, but the only weapon I really used was the Salarian sticky grenade thing. I did use different powers, though combat drone is so ridiculously useful it was always the first thing I did no matter what the situation.

  5. guy says:

    Actually, the Prothean VI did specifically say the Crucible had been designed to interface with the Citadel.

    Also, any omnitool can make an omniblade, but vanguard shepard prefers the biotic punch of doom

    1. Deadpool says:

      Yes, it needs the Catalyst as a “power source” whatever that means.

      None of this makes any sense.

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        Except that doesn’t even make sense. The Catalyst at the end states that the Crucible is basically a giant battery filled with energy that is released when Sheppard does… something.

        1. guy says:

          The Citadel link always seemed pretty clear to me. They wanted to destroy all the Reapers at once, presumably because the Crucible would burn out or take a while to recharge or something, which meant a galaxy-wide FTL pulse. Which meant they needed to project it via the Mass Relay system. Which is controlled from the Citadel. So they redesign their anti-Reaper superweapon to link to the Citadel and project the technobabble pulse through it so that it’ll be sent through the relay system.

          1. Luhrsen says:

            Unfortunately that only reaches to systems with relays in them and doesn’t cover all the outlying systems wich are also full of Reapers.

            1. Alexander The 1st says:

              Well then you launch it, and while it recharges, the Reapers have to deal with the consequences.

              I mean, the idea is sound – in fact, I imagine the Cruicible is *actually* the device that does the Klendragon Dead Reaper thing from ME1 -> ME2 lore.

              They just shot it, and went “Well, that worked…can we do it again? No? Okay, what can we link it up to disperse that power to as many systems as possible? If only we could force this power through a transportation system of sorts that allowed for FTL transmission…I know! Let’s see if that Citadel thing can do other stuff than host meetings!”

    2. swenson says:

      Except for when Vanguard Shepard is killing Kai Leng, for some bizarre reason. Bioware, my friends, I do not play Vanguard because I like delicately and strategically eliminating targets. I play it because I like punching Atlases in the face. A knife is NOT her style.

      1. Amnestic says:

        Every single time I played that section it pissed me off. Not just the Kai Leng, but the killing him after. My Vanguard does not “knife” people, she punches you with a biotic fist so hard you fly across the room, then she Charges your ragdolly corpse and Nova’s on top of your face.

        I don’t get it Bioware, is it so hard to make a judgement call whether you pick a Biotic or Tech class just for that one cutscene?

      2. IFS says:

        Seriously, Vanguard shep would just nova the ground, sending Kai Leng into the air, then biotic punch him out of the air sending him flying across the room. And then go “Hell Yeah I am awesome, did you see how far he went! Oh yeah something about Kirrahe,”.

    3. Tse says:

      Any Omnitool? Even for civilian use?

      1. guy says:

        Well, you’d probably need to fiddle with software interlocks, but basically it works by using the machining/industrial functions of the omnitool cut things.

  6. Gruhunchously says:

    No one can resist looking at that sun. No one.

    It also seems to induce utter stupidity in anyone in it’s vicinity. That would explain a lot about Cerberus, really.
    Remember way back when Shepard’s first thought after defeating Saren was to “check to make sure he’s dead”? That didn’t happen here.

    And screw Kai Leng actually said, non ironically “not so fast!” when he first showed up. As if he could be more of a joke than he already was.

    1. IFS says:

      I have made the point about how Shepard and her team grabbed the idiot ball there, as opposed to how they acted with Saren, many times, and I keep recieving the same answer of “Well I thought it was awesome, so clearly you are wrong” and it really annoys me. At the very least it should give you a choice of whether or not to put a round (or two, or a dozen… clips) in his body, or whether you want to ignore him, at which point you get the sword punch that people seem to love so much.

      1. scowdich says:

        The absolutely ridiculous sword punch. The physics of that don’t even work if the sword is at 3 Kelvin.

    2. Luhrsen says:

      ‘No one can resist looking at that sun. No one.”

      That bothered me so much. Because as soon as we saw TIMs office in ME2 I went back through ME1 to see if I could figure out where he was. I found Notanban. From its moon Solcrum you get the same view.

      And that made it so much worse when they decided to make a new sun to put it around instead that didn’t even look the same as it did in ME2.

  7. HiEv says:

    Josh shouting, “I’m gonna shoot you through the Internet!” has had me chuckling for over a half an hour now.

    Chris’ “I built this giant spaceship that has a hole exactly the shape of the Statue of Liberty, and I don’t know how to activate it,” was pretty good too.

    Great episode. Thanks. :-D

    1. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I’m reminded of Earth Star Voyager where the super-ship having a hole the shape of ESV was a major plot point and reveal. And it was awesome.

      This just felt like recycling.

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      That whole thing with the Crucible is definitely an odd one.

      As Shamus said earlier, it’s like if one cycle had a barrel, and then another cycle had a trigger, and another cycle had another thing, and at the end you have a giant Glock pistol that conveniently fits a galaxy known monument that to this day is a complete unknown.

      This whole thing doesn’t make any sense.

      1. swenson says:

        It makes sense until you find out that no, the Reapers didn’t set the whole thing up, which what I assumed right up until the Catalyst was like “hey, actually, we have no idea where the Crucible came from!” As stupid as the whole “WE ARE IN CONTROL” thing is, it would actually make more sense if that’s where the Crucible plans came from. But nope, there were just a whole bunch of species that worked together on something that none of them understood at all, and somehow it worked.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          Yeah. The fact that there seems to be no origin point for the idea is the worst part of it. It seems to just come from out of nowhere. Like someone took a DeLorean into the past and told some random species “Start building a large battery. Someone will take over later even if it makes no sense for them to.”

        2. StashAugustine says:

          Yet another reason why everything post-TIM death is completely unreliable narrator AT BEST.

        3. lasslisa says:

          Speaking as an engineer, just reading that sentence makes me gibber a little.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Surviving pieces?From a thing that exploded in the center of the galaxy?The thing that was holding the massive black holes at bay,and that then exploded,somehow still holding the massive black holes at bay?And tim managed to get those pieces?By going through a mass relay through which only normandy could pass safely?


    1. Deadpool says:

      To be fair, the only reason the Normandy was the only ship that could go was because it had the Reaper IFF, which would be pointless now that everything there is dead.

      It’s still EXTRA stupid… Just saying, that part is okay.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yes,the reaper iff,the only one we obtained,and we immediately used it on normandy,and never let anyone glance at it.That part is still not ok.Unless the reapers gave tim a new one for the lulz.Or he found another derelict reaper and sacrificed another batch of scientists to get it.

        1. Deadpool says:

          Well, the idea was that we needed the IFF so the base wouldn’t automatically shoot us when we left the Mass Relay, but as has been established, the base got blown up, the mass effect field it had to hold gravity and heat at bay has collapsed and there is nothing to shoot at you when you cross the relay, so the IFF is kinda worthless now… There is no way to seem friendly to a star…

          1. anaphysik says:

            Um, didn’t we really need the IFF so that the relay wouldn’t throw us way off course?

            EDIT: Yes, yes we did:

            Standard relay transit protocols often result in a drift of several thousand kilometers from the intended position, but this is fatal in the galactic core. As a result, the area is filled with debris from the many ships which had used the relay without a Reaper IFF and hence did not survive. The Reaper IFF triggers advanced safety protocols in the Omega 4 Relay, which would ensure a ship survived coming into close range of the black hole.

            Booyah. Pointing out more dumb shit in the game, yeahhh….

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              I’m kinda glad this season will be ending in the coming weeks. Pointing out all of ME3’s stupid stuff isn’t even fun anymore.

              1. anaphysik says:

                I know…..

  9. McNutcase says:

    You didn’t even comment on the worst part. As you Renegade-interrupt the Prothean VI and walk away, you’ll note that screw Kai Leng is STILL! NOT! DEAD!

    I’m serious. He’s ALIVE and watching you walk away! That was a CUTSCENE! EVERY single thing in it is pre-baked! It’s not a physics wigout, it’s their pet villain being STILL ALIVE after you’ve done enough damage to kill a CAPITAL SHIP, twice over!

    I was SCREAMING at my monitor at THAT one. Picture some of the worst Angrish wigouts from the Assassin’s Creed 2 season, but with a British accent.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      Quick! To the Lazarus Project MkII! We can bring him back, even more pointless and annoying than before.

    2. Deadpool says:

      I saw that too. He is STILL moving.

      Probably gonna be in the next book or something…

      I swear, if he is an ally in ME4 I’m gonna flip…

      1. Nidokoenig says:

        This gives me the idea of having a suicide mission where you can get him killed, Miranda-style. Then the idea of having a biotic clone of him and a droid with an AI imaged from him in addition to him, and you can get them all killed in horrible ways. That’d be nice. Mwahahahahaha.

        1. ? says:

          And then for rest of the game your character would say things like “That’s for Kai Leng and his holo-robo-clones! I loved that man! He was truly the best of us!” in every cutscene.

          He moved, he is so not dead. He totally will be in the next game.

    3. Klay F. says:

      I noticed that also, but I’m pretty sure the only reason Leng moved at that point was because part of his body somehow managed to clip through the floor and the engine was wigging out trying to fix it.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yes,it seems like his head is rising from the floor.

      2. Amnestic says:

        I recently played through that segment again and the same thing happened for me, so it’s either a common problem or it’s intentional.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Imma gonna punch this floor so hard!You impressed yet,shepard?See how hard I punched the floor,huh?!

    1. Jakale says:

      It looked like he was doing that solely to uncover the giant pipes so that he could do his cartwheel thing over them.

      1. Lovecrafter says:

        I never played any of the ME games, but it looked like he was sticking his fist in the power cables to recharge his shield. I could’ve sworn I saw him regain a bit of shield as he punched the ground in the video.

        Of course, running X million volts through you for an extra blip of shield is still a monumentally stupid idea in my book.

        1. Indy says:

          I know! He could hook up a Reaper’s heart to his back to power his shields. We’d never get through!

          1. Lovecrafter says:

            Kai Leng: “You’ll never stop me now, Shepard!” *plugs his suit into the Reaper heart*
            Kai Leng: “Witness my true- ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL”
            Shepard/SW crew: “Oh Jesus, not this shit again.”

            And then Shepard just walks out, because Kai Leng attached himself to a giant, immobile object.

            1. Amnestic says:

              Xenogears reference? :D

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yeah,but he did that same move during the last fight,only it was more effective back then.

    2. Indy says:

      “This office is utterly devoid of chest-high walls. That means this isn’t a gameplay space. I know how to fix that. SUPER DUPER BIOTIC ALIEN SMASH!”

      1. newdarkcloud says:

        Oh yeah. It’s not like it matters that much, but who decided that making a fight in a large, open arena in a COVER-BASED shooter was a good idea. This fight is both easy AND unfun. There’s nothing special about it.

        “We EVOLVE or we DIE!” Yeah, we evolve, you’re DEVOLVING Bioware!

        1. Indy says:

          It’s a set-piece battle but the problem is it’s a set-piece from another game. The office doesn’t feature in this game nearly as much and the main thing you associate with the office is TIM, who is inexplicably absent.

          1. newdarkcloud says:

            I noticed that. I was thinking, “Why put me in this office if it’s main occupant isn’t here. Is this some sort of bait-and-switch?”

            It seemed kinda pointless. Even more pointless than typical Cerberus.

            1. Alexander The 1st says:

              Oh…killing TIM here and being able to Saren-kill Kai Leng in the Citadel…

              I’d be up for that. That might actually work for Kai Leng to be the one who goes all “Look at my power!” and you’re all like “This isn’t the way!”

              Then he goes “Oh noes, my one weakness – Paragon/Renegade option in a cutscene!”

              Then he decapitates himself with his blade.

      2. Even says:

        It’s sad that they wasted the chance for a dodge mechanic gimmick boss on the stupid lasersighting sequence on Rannoch. It could have been more fun than this.

        1. Alexander The 1st says:

          Wait, so in your version, we’re using the fleet’s cannons to three shot Kai Leng?

  11. Re: The Illusive Man and his “humanity first” motivation.

    Two sci-fi TV series did the “aliens suck” thing so much better. In the series Star Trek: Enterprise, during the 4th (and best, apart from the finale) season, Peter Weller plays an alien hating dude who blows up the Vulcan embassy and then goes on to take over a giant comet-deflecting thingie on Mars (which can be used to blow up stuff, of course) and demands every alien leave the Sol system.

    The one I think this game was shooting for was President Clark on Babylon 5. He kills his predecessor and founds the Nightwatch, using “alien influence” as the new Red Scare for ousting/getting rid of people who oppose him. He further goes on to use the technology of the show’s space-Cthulhu villains, The Shadows, for a special doom-fleet he wants to build.

    It’s the B-5 concept that makes me think it’s why Cerberus was the way it was in ME2. Cerberus is more like a government with a fleet and military, etc. The problem was that since you were working in and for an organization where anti-alien-ness was assumed, there wasn’t any added intrigue or need to hide your loyalties or affiliations with non-humans. Even the Illusive man didn’t oppose using aliens when it suited him, just like any other merc or employee. I’d only consider him as being actively portrayed as a racist if he had the full knowledge that by employing aliens, they’d wind up getting killed by rogue cell experiments.

    Say… if he had been a huge user of alien labor, he would’ve achieved the same level of success with Cerberus’ research while decreasing the alien population at a staggering rate.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      When enterprise does something better than you,you know youve got a problem.

      1. The fourth season was an exception. They booted Berman & Braga, and suddenly the show was 2-3 episode arcs about the actual early days of the Federation, and they were well-written and pretty darn good (the episode I mentioned above showed the Curiosity rover on a plinth on the Martian surface with a plaque dedicated to Carl Sagan). The only problems remaining were the acting (I never liked Bakula in the role of not-Captain Kirk) and the fact they let Berman & Braga ruin the finale by making the whole thing a holodeck simulation from the TNG era where Ryker was inserting himself as the ship’s cook to gain Archer’s insights on a moral dilemma.

        1. ehlijen says:

          Didn’t the 4th season of Enterprise also give us the atrocious ‘meanwhile in the mirror universe where you don’t care about anyone’ two parter?

          1. It did, but unlike the other “Dark Universe” stories from other series (where somehow the parallels continue centuries after the timelines diverge), this one was more about the people in it rather than having someone from the “good” universe crossing over and killing regular cast members. It also brought back the Tholians from the original series, so… nostalgia, I guess.

            I’d put it up against just about any episode from season 1 to 3, which is how bad Enterprise was.

          2. Jingleman says:

            Yes, that was weird, but it apparently resolved some continuity issues with the original Star Trek series, or something like that. Which is kind of a cool concept. It was just original series fan service, which I guess is good if you’re an original series fanboy.

            1. Mike S. says:

              It didn’t really resolve anything from TOS, just mashed up some of its toys.

              Though in many ways the crowning moment was a TNG riff, seeing how the climax of First Contact played out in a world in which humans are unrepentant aggressors. Complete with the stirring chords of the movie’s music being interrupted when Zefram Cochrane pulls out a gun, shoots the first alien to land on Earth, and leads a charge to capture their starship.

              (Especially satisfying given the extent to which “Enterprise” had turned the Vulcans into huge jerks.)

              Recutting “Enterprise’s” credits so that instead of celebrating exploration, it celebrated aggressive war to a martial theme was another lovely touch.

              But yes, total fanservice, no question. And why not? :-)

          3. Mike S. says:

            That would be the fantastic “Yes it’s fanservice but I don’t care because I’m the fan who’s being served” mirror universe two parter. The opening tag and credits alone were worth the price of admission. Putting the entire mirror crew into TOS uniforms and making it a direct sequel to “The Tholian Web” was a hoot. And using a 23rd century Constitution-class starship as a McGuffin was just a lot of fun.

            (Thanks to viewers more attentive than me, I learned there were some subtle easter eggs embedded in the show. For example, a historical text mirror-Archer views not only reveals how main-universe Sato will die, but ties that in to a different TOS episode.)

            It’s clearly the sort of show you do when you’re not trying to broaden your audience anymore. But the TOS fans I managed to press it on (“Yes, it’s an episode of Enterprise, *but*…!”) have all been been much-entertained by it.

            1. ehlijen says:

              Excellent how? It wasn’t too bad on its own, but it also did nothing (visible) to connect it to the rest of the show. It used the same sets and actors, but it lacked even the usual token character from the real universe for the audience to pin all their sympahty on.

              It was nothing but tearing what viewers they had left out of the show to present them with some meanies with familiar faces being mean and sexy for no reason with a plot that doesn’t tie into the main arc at all. It was an admission that they realised that the fans would probably have enjoyed an entirely different show more.

              It was better than the rest of the show an episode taken at a time, but as a part of that show, it was still its worst part.

              1. Mike S. says:

                I suspect I didn’t have enough investment in “Enterprise” for a standalone episode– especially one with connections to a series I’d liked a lot more– to remotely bother me. “Better than the rest of the show” struck me as a very good place to start.

                It is possible that it’s the perfect episode for a Star Trek fan who doesn’t like “Enterprise” very much.

                1. ehlijen says:

                  I didn’t like Enterprise much either. I just couldn’t help but stare in bewilderment as they basically admitted that the writers were more enthusiastic about making stories about completely different people…

  12. Jace911 says:

    Writer: “Hey, remember that major plot point in the first game where the Reapers’ whole plan was to take over the Citadel and shut down the mass relays so that they would basically win?”
    Casey Hudson: “Nope.”
    Writer: “Me neither.”

    1. karthik says:

      Me, I’m still wondering how the Reapers turned up in two years since Sovereign’s demise by just flying into the galaxy.

      Two years is nothing to a Reaper. It’s nothing even to humans. So if they were that close, why the whole push to open the citadel (which, surprise! is also a mass relay into dark space) and let the reapers through in ME1?

      I’ll tell you what the citadel is: It’s whatever the newly hired writers on each successive Mass Effect game needed it to be. Just like Cerberus.

      I wish ME2 and 3 were reboots of ME in parallel universes, kinda like the Final Fantasy series, but with the same setting and characters and different plots, motivations , denouements and Deus Ex Machinas each time. The Reapers have different motivations in each game.
      The Douglas Adams story “The various ends of the earth” (or something like that) comes to mind.

      1. James says:

        “Me, I'm still wondering how the Reapers turned up in two years since Sovereign's demise by just flying into the galaxy.”

        This. This drove me nuts at the start of ME2 with Shepard running around screaming “The reapers are coming!”

        I could only think “Hang on, aren't the reapers in dark space? Which is like a billion light years from anywhere? By the time they arrive won't you be dead anyway?” At the end of ME1 the reapers were set up to be so impossibly strong that I thought it was clever to create a way to give people time to combat them. So then the ME series would be about preparing for a future apocalypse war, which you then get to fight in as a new future character.

        But what we got was “Derp a derp a derp derp”

        1. Indy says:

          I maintain that a twenty year skip between games would have been a far better idea. That even gives time for Cerberus to gain infinite resources between each one.

          1. Jingleman says:

            Agreed. Humans are supposed to live longer, but look younger, too right? So that wouldn’t have been a problem for Shepard as a protagonist.

            Even the much-maligned Ezio Auditore had a story that spanned several decades; by the end, his age was an interesting factor. Could he really do the things he needed to do? In ME, that would have been a neat character point for Shepard. She’s been warning everyone for forty years that the Reapers are coming. Now, on the brink of retirement, they finally arrive. Does she still have what it takes to stop them?

        2. Mike S. says:

          I entirely agree that the whole “dark space” idea strongly implied that the Reapers were too far away to just fly here in centuries, let alone years. Because if they could do that, why would Sovereign have had to spend millennia trying multiple plans once he uncovered the Protheans’ sabotage?

          That said, the Reapers can do 30 light years per day, and don’t need to refuel or discharge static. At that speed, two years lets you cover over 20,000 light years. That’s a quarter of the way to our nearest galactic neighbor (the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy), and so technically probably qualifies as a fair way into intergalactic space.

          (Especially from the point of view of the Citadel species, whose fuel and static discharge requirements would make the distance impossible even with an asari lifespan.)

      2. ehlijen says:

        I assumed the main reason the reaper suprise attack through the citadel was such a big deal was that without that, the reapers risk giving the galaxy enough time to coordinate a defence line around the ‘switch off the relays’ button.

        If the reapers truly do try to ‘save’ organic life by saving it to a reaper shaped floppy disk, they should care a great deal about not losing more ships than absolutely necessary.

        Also, dear god. I just understood the reaper plan: it’s all a pun on the word ‘save’…save data vs save people…Rutskarn, are you bioware?

        1. Indy says:

          Doctor Who did that pun waaay better. “Four million people saved. No survivors.”

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            And way creepier.

            1. ehlijen says:

              Yeah, for starters, in doctor who they actually acknowledged that pun.

              In ME3…they just don’t… :(

              1. Bryan says:

                Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved.


        2. silver Harloe says:

          The Jart were also big on ‘saving’ beings by destroying them. I remember something about their desire to gather all information in the universe. Problem: living things keep changing information. Solution: save them to disk and don’t run the program, so the information is stored unchangingly.

    2. Hitch says:

      Well, the good news is that even though they’re turning Mass Effect 4 over to BioWare Montreal, Casey Hudson will still be in charge. So we have that to look forward to. Wait, is anybody looking forward to more Mass Effect at this point?

      I can’t figure how they’re going to do it. Will it be a prequel and you spend the whole game wondering why none of the epic stuff you’re doing was never mentioned in the other games? Or will it be a sequel, which pretty much has to invalidate almost everything about the end of Mass Effect 3?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Mass effect 4:The story of kai lengs.

        You are leng kai,a genetically engineered clone of kai leng,sent back in time to destroy the lazarus machine before it brings kai leng back to life and heralds a new era where everyone is a clone of kai leng.On your journey,you will be helped by lai keng,keng lai,kang lei and lang kei.However,the illusive leng will try to stop you,with the help of his giant cyborgs,reaper kais.

        1. Hitch says:

          I should bookmark this for future reference. It will probably turn out to be better than whatever they release. They’re probably going to put out a game that does for Kai Leng what “probing Uranus” did for the Mako.

      2. Jingleman says:

        You’d think it would have to be a prequel. But what would that look like? Isn’t Mass Effect 1 supposed to take place pretty soon after humanity arrives on the scene? I know it’s still been a few decades, but one of the major themes of ME1 was that humans are the new kids on the block. Maybe they do the First Contact War? That only lasted a few months.

        If they do a sequel, maybe they could move it way into the future, like several thousand years. I don’t know if you can move far enough ahead to negate the ME3 ending events. But Bioware “canonized” certain choices from KoTOR, right? Like the first protagonist was male, but the KoTOR II hero was female, and they were good, I think. So maybe they pick one of the three possible endings, and go with it. Because your choices matter.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          “You'd think it would have to be a prequel. But what would that look like? Isn't Mass Effect 1 supposed to take place pretty soon after humanity arrives on the scene? I know it's still been a few decades, but one of the major themes of ME1 was that humans are the new kids on the block. Maybe they do the First Contact War? That only lasted a few months.”

          Heres a scary thought:They were pushing mass effect series towards the bro shooter genre for a while now.So if they do a prequel,set in the contact war,it would be exactly like gears of war.

          1. StashAugustine says:

            But with the ability to kill people with your brain.

            1. Cody211282 says:

              Not really, it was pointed out that humans didn’t start harnessing biotic power until after the first contact war.

              1. Mike S. says:

                And they’d certainly limit gameplay options rather than retcon or ignore established backstory.

          2. IFS says:

            I’d rather see a prequel from way before humans discovered the relays, there is plenty of interesting backstory around the Rachni Wars and Krogan rebellions, and I’m sure people would love the chance to be able to create a non-human main character.
            I also wouldn’t mind a prequel covering the time Garrus (with you playing as Garrus) spent on Omega, gatehring his team and fighting mercs before it all goes wrong. Garrus has been shown in the psat games to be steerable to being either more paragon or renegade (though it feels wrong to use those terms) so there is plenty of room for the character to go either way in dialogue.

            Of course the real question is whether or not we trust Bioware to actually pull off a prequel (or a sequel) without damaging the ME universe/series even more.

            1. Jingleman says:

              No, I do not think we trust them at all. On the other hand, they already ruined the series; maybe there’s nowhere to go but up.

              I might as well mention that I generally think that prequels are a bad idea, especially when the original story involves the end of the world, as was the case here. Everything you can accomplish in a prequel would be rendered irrelevant by the other story anyway, and I don’t think that there’s enough value in the “journey” to overcome that deficiency. Who wants to save the world when it’s just going to get destroyed anyway? I think that’s a big reason why Caprica was so poorly received, for example. I think a new ME story could only work if the time frames are thousands of years apart.

              I don’t think they’d ship a game without a human protagonist.

              1. Mike S. says:

                Agreed across the board. Just use the post-Extended Cut Destroy ending (which gets the mass relays and Citadel repaired, and doesn’t have reformed Reapers flying around and/or everyone wearing circuitry on their faces), push things far enough down the timeline that it doesn’t matter what sex or class Shepard was, and tell some new stories.

                (You probably have to canonize something about the krogan situation. But if you don’t go to Rannoch, the writers don’t even have to decide if anyone lives there now.)

                1. Jingleman says:

                  Yeah, that’s what I would do (actually, I would have ended ME3 properly in the first place, but it is what it is).

                  I think maybe you could get away with not canonizing anything about the genophage; we know that after the 1500 years or so since the krogan rebellions, the thing was starting to reverse itself, which Mordin had to correct prior to ME2. Set a sequel far enough ahead and it may be fixed no matter what Shepard did.

                  Rannoch, too. No matter what happened with Shepard there, it’s plausible that pockets of both geth and quarians survived elsewhere, and thousands of years later you can find them scattered around.

                  It’s just a matter of having the recognizable elements like krogan, geth, and quarians around in the background so that it feels like the same universe, but not drawing attention to the stuff with ambiguous history. But, knowing them, Bioware will just write something that can’t work with the old continuity, and then shove it unapologetically in our faces.

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Prequels can work.You just need to detach them from the main story.Same universe,but different focus.Like with kotor.

                1. Jingleman says:

                  Yeah, they can work, sometimes, but I still think that they’re usually a bad idea. When they do work, I think it’s usually because either (a) they are set so far in the past that very little of what happens in the prequel would reverberate through to the time frame of the original work (KoTOR), or (b) the fate of the world (and/or the major players) is uncertain or status quo ante at the end of the original work, so fleshing out the backstory would be helpful for any future sequels.

                  Still, I think that it’s generally better to stay away from prequels. They’re too difficult to do without causing continuity conflicts. If you need to go back in time, use a flashback or a secondary source. Otherwise, keep moving forward, and don’t write yourself into a place were the universe can’t support a sequel.

            2. Daemian Lucifer says:

              “and I'm sure people would love the chance to be able to create a non-human main character.”

              Dont be ridiculous.Next youll be telling me that people were buying avp games because of those silly alien and predator campaigns.Puhlease.

          3. Jingleman says:

            I’d be for that. Maybe if they got away from choice, morality, and dialogue trees, then they could handle writing a story without tarnishing the IP. I’d rather have a straight-up shooter with a linear story that works than another hybridized RPG that can’t take a step without conflicting with the previous stuff in the most spectacularly stupid ways. Maybe something a little more simplified is the answer for Bioware going forward.

  13. Dragmire says:

    If I remember correctly, the value of the intact human reaper vs the should-be-atomized one is like 10 EMS points.

    Kind of funny how the best thing you could get from an incomplete space god corpse is a glorified large battery you don’t really need.

    1. StashAugustine says:

      It does affect which ending you get. Which would be significant if a) it wasn’t ridiculously easy to get enough war assets to get all the endings and b) the ending wasn’t shit anyway.

    2. Nidokoenig says:

      Cerberus acquires something specifically designed to unleash the sort of carnage that usually results from them trying to do something more technically complex than opening a tin of beans and they find a nice, peaceful purpose for it.

    3. newdarkcloud says:

      Yeah. Although it also affects whether getting the best “Destroy” or the best “Control” ending is easier apparently.

      As if that actually matters.

      1. StashAugustine says:

        I happened to notice an article on Kotaku complaining that Black Ops 2’s good ending was ‘too hard to get’ and saying that ME had an easier time of getting the good endings. If CoD is making you work harder to get a good ending, something’s gone terribly wrong.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          Oh yes, getting the “good” ending in ME3 is easier. I reject the notion that synthesis is the “good” ending. Fuck that.

          I guess Bioware didn’t trust me enough to weigh the options and decide for myself. Nope, they just picked one, made it the best, and pressured me to pick it.

          1. StashAugustine says:

            The analogy holds up better with ME2 (which was the comparison in the article.) It’s also amazing how many side issues are worsened by the ending. If you’d actually gotten to see your war assets in action, if the final choice was interesting enough that unlocking more options was a good thing…

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              Again, an large-scale, galaxy-wide, logical extension to the Suicide Mission from ME2 would have been the PERFECT way to end this game.

              I think I would’ve been more willing to forgive the game’s faults if the ending was as awesome as I envisioned.

              1. StashAugustine says:

                Why they just didn’t copy/paste the ending to Dragon Age is beyond me.

  14. Vect says:

    I just assumed that Cerberus was sorta like the IRA in space, only with resources disproportionate to their actual power. Their whole propaganda was kinda BS. Would’ve been interesting to see explicitly anti-alien propaganda that draws aliens in a fashion similar to the WW II Jew posters, like the Salarians with maniacal grins while holding scalpels over a little girl or something.

    And I always thought that “Rogue Cell” is just the standard excuse to go by to cover their ass. Sorta official protocol that anything really suspect (everything they do) can simply be handwaved as a Rogue Cell. If it succeeds then good. If it doesn’t then IT WAS A ROGUE CELL.

  15. JPH says:

    “He’s supposed to be a mirror of you, like Dowd was in Dishonored…”

    When I heard that I thought he said “like Dowd was in Deus Ex” for some reason. This made me go, “Wait, Dowd was supposed to be a mirror of me in Deus Ex? I didn’t get that at all!” Then I went and read up on his character again, watched a few scenes with him on Youtube, and thought about it some more before re-watching this episode and realizing what Chris actually said.


    1. Maybe Kai Leng is literally supposed to be like you, the player. I mean, think about it: How many video games are there where you play an action badass out of nowhere who shows up at the most inconvenient times only to try and kill everyone and wreck everything for no apparent reason using “cheat-y” powers and abilities?

      They failed, of course, but that’s an explanation I could believe came from a developer who failed every literature course they took and had just read an article on Wikipedia about symbolism.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        Heh. Imagine if he had reload powers. You can kill him and kill him, but he keeps coming back and resetting the fight.

        1. anaphysik says:

          An idea for a bossfight: you have to fight someone who can reload their quicksave, and the goal is not to beat them, but to beat them enough, so savagely, or so *barely* that they ragequit instead of continuing XD

          1. Grudgeal says:

            Well, that is *sort* of what you do with Sion in KotOR2. Only somewhat less meta.

          2. Indy says:

            Oh no, Andrew Ryan started using his Vita-chambers!

        2. Ofermod says:

          That kind of happens in Baldur’s Gate II… you run into a group of other adventurers, and, depending on how things go, they might attack you… at which point you mop the floor with them, they reload, and then decide not to attack you and simply go on their merry way.

          1. Grudgeal says:

            Yeah, but that’s a cutscene fight and they only do it once. It was still pretty funny.

          2. Lame Duck says:

            Where does that happen? I don’t remember it at all.

            1. Amnestic says:

              As I recall, it was in Throne of Bhaal when you were infiltrating the Blue Dragon compound place jumping through pools of water and holding your breath.

              “Tim can cast Magic Missile, can’t you Tim?”

              1. IFS says:

                Yes you hire them to go clear out a cave that either holds kobolds or beholders (you’re not sure which) and when they get back they decide to attack you (not until after talking about how tough those kobolds were), you turn into the slayer and kill them, the leader of their group reloads and they accept the reward and go on their merry way. Now if you try to clear the cave yourself to get the item you need it is instead guarded by a ton of beholders and is a really difficult fight.

                That whole sequence was hilarious, I laughed for a couple minutes easily.

                1. Grudgeal says:

                  It’s even more hilarious if you as a player has done the exact same thing towards the game’s many powerful neutral NPCs, like Drizzt or Firkraag, to see if they can be killed and have their stuff stolen only to realise how woefully unprepared you were for the ensuing beatdown.

                  I know I had.

              2. Lame Duck says:

                Oh, that explains it; I haven’t played Throne of Bhaal yet.

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      Dowd was by far the best character in Dishonored. He only appears for about 10 minutes in total, but you get a very clear picture of him in those 10 minutes. Really well done.

      1. Indy says:

        He’s also interesting from a gameplay standpoint with all the ways you can deal with him and a very interesting fight. He has mooks but also has an ability to just let you one-shot them. I wish that only happened if you had that power… But still. And beating him leads to an interesting plea. I think Cecilia might be a better character, but in a world of amazing characters, Daud is up there.

        1. newdarkcloud says:

          I also liked the little detail where he tells his boys to stand down because he wants to deal with you himself.

          As for me, I snuck around used Sleep Darts on his men, then once they were all out of sight and asleep, then I blinked behind him and choked hi out. Then, I sent him a message by stealing his stuff.

          Again, 10 minutes, but the best 10 minutes of the entire game imo.

          1. IFS says:

            He actually only tells his men to stand down if you have low chaos because he respects you as an adversary, if you have high chaos he realizes that you’re a complete psychopath and isn’t taking any chances.

            1. newdarkcloud says:

              That’s interesting. I didn’t know that.

              Guess they put more though into choice and consequence in Dishonored than the ME franchise.

              1. Keeshhound says:

                Don’t tell me that surprises you.

                1. newdarkcloud says:

                  It doesn’t, but I still feel disappointed in Bioware anyway.

  16. mdqp says:

    You know, I wasn’t bothered too much about this because I saw it coming, and because I didn’t expect anything that had direct ties with ME2 to be good. To be truthful, I was expecting that ME3 was going to tie more with ME, and basically pick the story from there, ignoring ME2 completely. Instead it takes the worst from both prequels (with really few exceptions) and for the rest it adds new s**t on its own, pulling it from thin air, just to mess with the plot (and the players) some more. I guess there was some kind of contest among the authors to see how far they could push things before players just gave up, and this is the final result… At least, this what I got from ME3 plot…

  17. Grudgeal says:

    Wait, didn’t Jack get killed in the ME2 playthrough? She dies before Miranda does in the hold the line segment and I think she wasn’t amongst the living during your end cutscene. Did the game retcon her death just so it could kill her again?

    1. anaphysik says:

      No, we reconfirmed that Jack lived quite a while ago in the comments. She lived through ME2, but Josh didn’t do the Grissom mission in ME3 so she showed up here as a phantom.

      ME2 deaths: Thane, Jacob, Grunt, Miranda.
      (They also wanted to kill Samara to get Morinth, but Josh couldn’t because he was too nice to Tali.)

    2. Ofermod says:

      Jack being loyal bumped her survivability level above Miranda’s.

  18. anaphysik says:

    Shamus’ timing with “Renegade interrupt” was perfect. Finally getting used to the delay? XD

    1. Indy says:

      More likely he really wanted to break that sword.

    2. What happens if you don’t take the interrupt? Does someone else shoot Kai Leng?

      1. anaphysik says:

        You do the same thing, except you dodge the sword (which stabs into the holographic display durr wut) instead of breaking it. There’s no real choice. You will do the slowmo thing and you will say the scripted lines, dammit!

        1. Wow, that’s incredibly lame.

          And if holographic displays can shatter, maybe Shep could’ve shot the Illusive man through that communication channel he was using… which means not shooting was a really stupid decision. Heck, the way technology works in this game, it would’ve been worth a try. I mean, if Cerberus built the com channel, maybe they’d accidentally made it such a good simulation that the projector on the other end would try to simulate incoming blaster fire and kill the viewer.

          1. Mike S. says:

            “We took the blueprints from an influential twentieth century Terran entertainment franchise. They called it a ‘holodeck’.”

          2. Alexander The 1st says:

            To be fair, it would really fit Cerberus’ MO to build communicators that did that.

  19. Indy says:

    Does the geth shotgun always have two barrels or is just a weird cloning glitch when Shep opens TIM’s door?

    On fighting the Flood: The Flood are only a decent enemy when they’re interspersed with Covenant encounters. All Flood levels tended to be the worst levels in each and every game. From a narrative standpoint, the Flood still only works when they take armies by surprise, fighting both Covenant and humans while they’re fighting each other. Walking through an area fighting Flood doesn’t feel like you’re stopping the spread, unlike how wiping out Covenant makes you feel like you’re stopping an invasion. Graphically, the Flood are brown zombies. Nothing more to say about that.

    Overwhelming alien enemies aren’t exactly entertaining. The Reapers are no exception. You need something distinct from them and for the most part, Cerberus fills that role. I wish there was something better in their place, but this is a point where Cerberus works.

    1. anaphysik says:

      It actually has THREE barrels.

  20. MrGuy says:

    A great example of Bioware not knowing how to write a dialog moment
    “Cerberus is an idea, and will not be destroyed so easily.” A throwaway line smacking of bravado, made by a man when all indications are to the contrary, and with nothing to back it up. In this context is laughably absurd.

    Compare almost the same line from the movie V for Vendetta (please don’t nerd rage at me for referencing the movie not the comics – I’m picking the moving video image). “I am an idea, and ideas are immortal.” Possibly the best and most lasting line from the movie. And it’s because it’s it’s uttered by a man who has just killed a dozen men, been apparently shot multiple times, and who just refuses to quit. And, by the way, who was mortally wounded in the fight. It strikes complete fear because, crazy as it sounds, it’s somehow plausible.

    Context is everything to making a line work or not.

  21. baseless research says:

    So, your opinions on Mass Effect 3 can be summed up as follows:

    It started badly, it tailed off a little in the middle and the less said about the end the better, but apart from that it was excellent?

    1. Indy says:

      If a game can get you thinking, that’s excellent. If it makes you feel an emotion (i.e. rage) that’s excellent. If it lets you kill Mary Sue’s, it can’t be all bad.

      Really, this game is better than Spoiler Warning paints it. The gunplay is pretty fun, it takes around 20 hours of it before it becomes ‘meh’ (Hey, that just coincidentally happens when you reach Earth). The characters are solid and it’s easy to get invested when they get involved (Never shot Mordin, even on my stupid playthrough). Looking at some of the set pieces is enjoyable.

      All that said, when this game fails, it fails hard.

      1. lurkey says:

        Dude, your rating scale is kind of tipped – are you perchance a game ‘journalist’? I’d say if game gets you thinking something else than “What a dumb game”, that’s goodish. Excellent would be if it leaves a lasting impression for a loooong time. As for invoking emotions, that’s just normal, because making you feel emotions is what games – as a subset of entertainment – are supposed to do.

      2. Ofermod says:

        There’s a difference between the game making you feel an emotion because the game is good, and a game making you feel an emotion because the game is bad.

        By your logic, Silver Surfer was an amazing game because it makes you feel rage due to how frustrating it is.

        The difference is, a good game makes you feel an emotion because you’re emotionally invested in it, you’re immersed. You feel an emotion with the game, as it were. A bad game makes you feel rage at the game, either for bad gameplay, bad writing, or whatever.

      3. Luhrsen says:

        Since I started saying ‘meh’ as soon as I saw my apparent ‘good friend’ in the intro and it got worse as we went, doesn’t that mean the game fails as a whole?

        Granted I was slightly happy each time we met one of our old npcs and hope things were about to turn around, but then more stupid would come along and ruin the moment.

    2. newdarkcloud says:

      I think it’s more of “This game had many good IDEAS, yet none of them were properly executed and it all fell flat in the worst way possible.”

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Its not really that bad.Just how me2 isnt really that bad.The thing is,both games are just average,and if they were stand alone games,we would treat them as average games with some good and some bad sprinkled around.What kills these two the most is that they are breaking so much continuity.

  22. Now this is completely off topic. but since I know Shamus likes procedural generated content, as do i, and I assume other regular commenters as well.


    David Braben explaining the number sequences that they used for Elite and Frontier…

  23. SleepingDragon says:

    And here it is, the latest in really big weapons against the reapers. The citadel powered Crucible 3000!

    Now all we have to do is find the one citadel that fits it.

  24. Dev Null says:

    I’m still trying to get over the choice of:

    A) Destroy the immensely powerful alien base that you completely control, or
    B) Give the immensely powerful alien base to your worst enemies who you don’t trust.

    Because if you’re anything like me, you were screaming “C! C! I choose to keep the immensely powerful alien base for myself and screw Cerberus!”

    They lost me so hard at that point that I haven’t even picked up episode 3 yet, so I don’t care how badly they ignored my (non)choice.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Maybe theyll release a new dlc to satisfy you.Which will end up by you giving the station to udina,who will then give it to cerberus.

      1. Amnestic says:

        Speaking of DLC, Mass Effect 3 is getting a new one in a week-and-a-bit in the form of Omega.

        I’m a wee bit curious why Shepard is taking time out of her busy schedule of saving the galaxy to help Aria to save her little spit of a space station, along with the already available question of why Cerberus wants it. Is Aria going to refuse to fight the Reapers if you don’t ‘save’ Omega? Is she going to go all conscientious objector for the conflict?

        Why doesn’t Shepard just say “Look, Cerberus is clearly fighting alongside the Reapers, once we beat the Reapers, Cerberus won’t even be a thing any more, so you can just sweep back into Omega no problem. And if we don’t beat the Reapers – SPOILER WARNING – Omega won’t even matter.”

        Omega is a DLC which, from the details I’ve thus far seen, is entirely superfluous and is out of character for both Shepard and Aria.

        /Rant off

        1. anaphysik says:

          Because then how else could BioWare gouge $15 out of its remaining customers?

          1. Amnestic says:

            Make a DLC which has a compelling storyline? Back when SW did Thessia I wrote that it never seemed like a Homeworld and it didn’t offer anything to distract from that. Tuchanka and Rannoch both had multiple missions on them. Why not do the same in DLC?

            Let me go to Thessia again. Let me go to Sur’kesh. Let me go to the Volus or the Elcor or the Hanar homeworld. Let me deploy on Palaven proper instead of just the moon.

            Let me pilot the Normandy. Give me space battles against the Reapers. Let me deploy in the Mako/Hammerhead and let me fight on ground against one properly without a gimmicky Thresher Maw/target laser to save me.

            There is so much they could do with story-appropriate DLC. Instead we get Gimmick Character T (Turian female) and Cameo Character A (Aria).

  25. Amnestic says:

    “Shoot [Kai Leng] in the head. Sh-Shoot him.”

    Hey everyone, remember when Shepard told her squadmates to make sure Saren was dead after his (first) boss battle? I mean, yeah, they checked and then he came back to life with Reaper Tech, but at least they checked. And, hey, maybe she could’ve learned from that and shown some development in the way she fights Indoctrinated opponents.

    1. Keeshhound says:

      It wasn’t even “checking.” It was “make sure he’s dead.” With a shotgun. How do you go further than that?

      Shepherd: “Make sure he’s dead.”
      James: *uncorks capsule of napalm*

      1. IFS says:

        That right there would make James my favorite character, you know if they actually did that.

    2. Irridium says:

      I was about to mention this as well.

      But I guess we’re just not allowed to truly harm Bioware’s pet villain. Only in the designated gameplay sections. And even in those he’s sometimes invulnerable, because reasons.

  26. Wraith says:

    Let’s think about TIM’s plan for a second. He NEEDS the Crucible to interact with the Catalyst in order to control the Reapers, because when that happens you get the option to do so, and otherwise why would he have been waiting around on the Citadel later doing nothing? So he goes and tells the Reapers that the Citadel is the Catalyst, and the Reapers go and try to prevent the Crucible from interacting with it, thereby DEFEATING HIS OWN STUPID PLAN. And yet, he goes to the end still insisting he is not indoctrinated. What.

    And then let’s think about the scene after the fight with Kai Leng, also known as the Most Contrived and Drawn-Out Boss Fight Ever. So we go sit in TIM’s chair and randomly type on his computer…doing what? We have access to the VI, which is the only thing in TIM’s computer we care about. Remember, the Citadel is at Earth, we’re running out of time and we have to get to it! The Reapers are about to wipe out Earth completely! So…we’ll google some lolcats on TIM’s computer for a few minutes? And our teammates will just pace around staring at a sun, not caring about the very loud grunts and staggering of the guy behind us, who has repeatedly been called one of the most deadly people in the galaxy. And right after we kill Kai Leng, we just go right back to talking to the VI like we should have been (which is also a fairly pointless exchange), so apparently we got tired of all the lolcats. I mean, contrived, stupid actions are made as an excuse for a cool scene to happen – that’s fine, as long as the actions aren’t TOO stupid and contrived, which these are. After all, they couldn’t very well have had Shepard talking to the VI again, because the VI would’ve warned her. No, she has to pointlessly type on TIM’s computer for no reason.

    1. anaphysik says:

      TIM: “I’m indoctrinated – you don’t have an excuse!”

    2. ehlijen says:

      I assumed Shepard and his crew were just trolling Kai Leng there. Note that even if you fail the interrupt to break his stupid sword, shepard still dodges the swing and kills that stupid poopoohead. You just don’t get to shout ‘for !’ while doing it.

    3. SleepingDragon says:

      Remember those zetabytes of porn that were mentioned just a few minutes back? Well unless their compression sucks and/or the formats they use take a lot more space (though I think I’d prefer old 2D to bluish holograms) that’s a lot of porn, and TIM had a lot of time to sift through it and leave the best stuff for himself…

      1. Indy says:

        No, he was still signed into Facebook and Shepard was just going to make stupid posts to all of TIM’s friends.

        1. StashAugustine says:

          @Commander Shepard is the coolest gal ever!

          (“Confirm you are not a spammer.” I’m only pretending to be one.)

  27. Wedge says:

    I know we’ve been over this, but I just want to let it sink in:
    Kai Leng is invincible when he’s crouching in the open.

    1. Tse says:

      Kai Leng is the authors’ own character. They obviously prefer to be doing a different kind of game. That’s why he acts like he’s in a Japanese hack and slash beat ’em up with multiple lives or invincibility power-ups.

  28. Dante says:

    Spoiler Warning is more than a show… is an idea… idea that trolling can be done to people and they will intentionally endure more just to watch an LP.

  29. Chris says:

    I like spoiler warning idea, it is important! What voice will be on the internet with the bile for a game after 20+ hours of play saying what is on gamers’ minds while playing.

    Still a real person, I think.

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