Mass Effect 3 EP37: Blimey!

 By Josh Nov 17, 2012 302 comments


Link (YouTube)

Spoiler Warning finally hops across the pond to London. And then we blow everything up. Somehow, we managed to avoid falling into a British cliche storm in this episode, though I think that’s only because we were distracted by how bad this game is. Like, seriously, nothing makes sense.

On a side note, we’re doing another hangout tomorrow at 2 PM Pacific, 5 Eastern, and 10 GMT. Hopefully, this will be a more accessible time for you guys in Europe. I know it’s still late in the evening for a lot of you, but it’s really the earliest any of us can manage.

See you then!


A Hundred!A Hundred!A Hundred!2302 comments? What, did somebody start a flame war or something?


  1. StashAugustine says:

    Shepard’s on her way back home again…

    British cliche storm? Wait til you see the bright red phone boxes.

    • anaphysik says:

      Erm… sort of a dick move to link to a copy-upload vid instead of the one on Gavin’s actual official channel…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9feUxKIqKmg

      (EDIT: Although it might be possible that the official one could be region-locked in some places? I don’t have much experience with that, but that’s basically the only justification I could think of.)

    • Ringwraith says:

      To be fair, we still have red phone boxes, except most were removed due to “costing too much to upkeep”, not that their replacements are very well maintained at all…

    • Redingold says:

      I don’t think Shepard is on her way home again, she’s a spacer, right? Never visited Earth before, grew up on military ships? I guess the game forgot that.

      • James says:

        at this point i think its because Earth is the home-world for the human race, even if you were born in space you MIGHT have some sentimental attachment to it, maby not. i will give that the “take back earth” idea was a bad one, it should have been about rallying everyone to one force. not take earth back

  2. baseless research says:

    Best. Opening. Ever.

  3. Adam Rhodes says:

    Your comments concerning the Geth during Hackett’s speech could come off as racist. At the very least, ignorant. After all they do have souls now, don’t they? Doesn’t that mean they can feel inspiration?

    • Shamus says:

      You’re projecting your Anthropocentrism, here. Just because they have value as sapients doesn’t mean they respond to stimuli the same way. And a robot being “inspired” because a human said something obvious in a passionate voice strikes me as implausible.

      Morale, the willingness to fight, and aggression are things organic beings use in their combat decision-making, because we’re all individuals. It’s Lazy Trek Science to assume a robotic collective would become more effective or willing to fight after this speech.

      • Corpital says:

        Maybe Hacketts voice contains subliminal messages, leading to rounding errors. If rounding something to 1.33381 instead of 1.33382 can make the difference between space hippy and a dalek, I don’t even dare to imagine the result of rounding it to 1.334.

        They might get strobe eyes and a +2 for saving throws against cutscene stupidity.

      • ehlijen says:

        But what if Hacket moves those flaps around his face in a moving fashion like Legion did?

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Weeeeeeelllll…I can think of how a rousing speech can make robots more eager to fight.Although,it would be in a sort of roundabout way.

        So,lets have this team of dudes,and a robot with them.The robot observes them,and sees that they are scared,and that they will probably act suboptimally,therefore assessing that it should stay away from the front lines because these guys will get it destroyed.

        But then comes the co,with his morale speech.And the robot sees the morale of these guys improving,it sees the fear disappearing,and assesses that they will fight much better,therefore will not get it destroyed.So the robot decides to give its best as well,and not hide from conflict because of the lack of support from its team.

        Same result,but different reasons.

        • Shamus says:

          Sure. I don’t actually think it was invalid to include the Geth in the shot. I mean, that shot is also to show you everything you’ve accomplished and everyone you’ve brought with you, and to drive home the stakes. It would be silly to expect them to leave out the Geth just because the Geth are robots. But I just thought the idea of a Geth getting inspired the way a human does was chuckle-worthy. Of course, this goes back to a problem I seem to have a lot. My two major types of criticisms are:

          A) This is stupid and invalid and should have been better thought out, planned, or scrapped entirely.

          B) Hey, this is a funny idea / image if you think about it.

          If I cover 10 A observations in a show and then do a B, it often gets interpreted as just another A. I’m starting to suspect this is where people are getting the idea that I just hate everything and want to complain all the time. Not everything I mention is an A, but that doesn’t come across.

          • anaphysik says:

            I viewed it as B.

            Anyway, to me that platform didn’t look so much like ‘inspired’ as ‘moderately confused and amused at this odd vocal gesture; welp, how ’bout them organics, am I right?’

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            No,I got the joke.But like you said,its a funny idea when you think about it,and I too felt the need to think of a way of how a robot can actually be “inspired” by a morale speech.

    • Cody211282 says:

      I thought the “Legion Upgrade” made it so they were “smarter” (basically they didn’t need a few thousand programs to do anything more then walk and shoot at the same time) or did the Reaper code have a metaphysical algorithm imbedded into it?

      • AyeGill says:

        I thought it was stated that the Reaper upgrade made them sapient. Whatever the hell that means, considering they were clearly already capable of thinking abstractly on a level far beyond most other species.

  4. Amnestic says:

    “To the UK where they still have phone booths which no one uses!”

    Even if no one used them, we’d still keep them. We English are like that.

    Something which always *always* bugged me about Hackett coming aboard was his bodyguards. It’s easy to miss, but they’re walking around with pistols in their hands at their sides. It just feels…so out of place. Why aren’t they holstered? Why are they just using pistols with no other visible weapons? Isn’t the Avenger AR the more common weapon for instances like this? ARGH.

    Also that drives into another point – Shepard and weapons. Why do we have to carry a weapon? Vanguard Shepard’s main powers are her fist and her face. I’d like nothing more than to run around with no gun just flinging biotics fields like a nutjob.

    Shepard: “I barely even recognise [London].”

    Shepard (probably) never went to London! She was a Spacer and she was under house arrest in Vancouver. How WOULD she recognise it? Pictures? Shepard a big postcard connoisseur?

    Cortez doesn’t die if you convinced him to go to the memorial wall on the Citadel and ‘let go’ of his dead husband. I actually never knew he could die here until just now.

    • Entropy says:

      I wish we English were like that. We got rid of almost all of our red phone boxes already!

      That there would be some left in this spacey future is pretty unlikely.

      • McNutcase says:

        I used to pass a yard that had a whole lot of them on my commute. What’s the betting they reinstall them as nostalgia things, to replace the silly plastic shower cubicles?

        My favourite description of them is still from Cryptonomicon: “built as if the senseless dynamiting of public telephones had been a serious problem in the past” (or something to that effect; I’m working from memory, since my bum leg is keeping me from going downstairs and grabbing the book)

        • Ofermod says:

          Didn’t Google Voice at one point install a bunch of internet phones in phoneboxes to try to promote their service?

          That would be an interesting twist, to find out that they’d been reimagined as public internet terminals for videochat. Not necessary where everyone runs around with an omni-tool, but maybe just a place to step into and get a bit of privacy/silence as you talk with someone?

          • That’s a really good idea actually. Of course, you’d still have the vandalism issues, but if it’s got a video camera in it all the time the vandals should be easy to catch. I’d be happy to have “private videochat” booths scattered around. Google, make it happen!

      • James says:

        theres still a few where i live (Oxfordshire), but there mostly painted over or the frames been replaced to be black or clear, they are usefull, if you have no credit or signal or whatever.

        also that section looks NOTHING like Westminster (it has to be Westminster you can see the abby and parliament square, the center of London to the uniformed is VERY built up like any major city, it is or was after-all the most densely populated city in Europe, wheres The Gurkin, Canary Warf, hell the Thames runs right through here Westminster is on the dam river bank GRAHHHH!

        • McNutcase says:

          I wasn’t able to see anything past the particle effects, Josh!Shepard’s shoulders, and compression, and I’ve no intention of playing the game myself to sightsee. I was only really aware of it as a generic ruined cityscape #43 with extra chest-high walls. Add in the fact that I’ve not been to London (or indeed within about 5000 miles of the place) in the last 5 years, and I’ll just be taking your word for where in London it is. I doubt I could even manage to get from Victoria to Hyde Park these days.

        • LunaticFringe says:

          I think that’s definitely a reflection on the developer’s location. Canada doesn’t really do ‘dense cities’ or even ‘densely populated country’ so that could honestly reflect in the London setup (that and chest high walls in a regular urban environment actually seem out of place).

    • Cupcaeks says:

      She presumably gets all the postcards from Anderson. It would explain what he’s been doing in London this entire time, and likely makes up the bulk of his “intelligence” work.

    • Does it really make sense to kill off Cortez? I mean, he’s not a vital character by any means and he doesn’t have the same connection that Shepard had with the crew members in 2. It’s almost like killing a hooker in New Vegas: Who really cares?

      • Ofermod says:

        Well, if you romanced him, I’d imagine there’s a connection to Shepard. Me, I think I talked to him once, then ignored him because screw going back down to the hanger after every mission, so…

        It’s an interesting choice. He’s your only crew member (non-party) who winds up in harm’s way, and he dies if you haven’t done enough with him. I guess it drives home that people are dying, even those you know, but… it’s not very effective, as it’s just the one and not that major. If you’d started losing named characters left right and center, or one or two major ones that you’d had a chance to build an attachment to, it would have worked a lot better. Maybe kill some of your former party members who wind up as war assets or something depending on how you did their recruitment thing in this game.

        • But if you romanced him, that’s enough to keep him out of harm’s way. Basically, if you like him enough to interact with him, he’s safe. If you didn’t care about him or ignored him, he dies.

          That’s not exactly a consequence if you didn’t care about him.

      • Even says:

        Being not important isn’t really a reason to exist in a story either. I’m not sure they still really compare though. While the death of A New Vegas hooker makes no difference to the main story, it does affect the world and it also carries the possibility of consequences for the player. Here they kill off a static character with absolutely no consequences. Only possible damage is inside the player’s head. There’s little reason to care one way or another about his fate.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Shepard: “I barely even recognise [London].”

      Shepard (probably) never went to London! She was a Spacer and she was under house arrest in Vancouver. How WOULD she recognise it? Pictures? Shepard a big postcard connoisseur?”

      Damn,why didnt this get released years ago,when I was visiting new countries around here?I so wouldve used that line whenever I get to a new city.

      Seriously people,if anyone is doing a travelog,you have to say this whenever you get to a new city.Its awesome!

    • anaphysik says:

      It would, of course, been appropriate if that line were read differently.

      like:

      Liara: “Oh, Shepard, I’m so sorry about your planet-city-thing. You must feel awful.”

      Shep: “What? No, I don’t even recognize London. It’s just some city space-Wikipedia says used to be really important.”

      • That would require… good direction. I was going to say “good writing” or “subtly” or “faith in the audience investment” or “characterization”, but all of these have been done well in other parts of the game. Everything about this is just played so straight that it’s painful. It’s like watching a drama with professional actors and expert support crew, but directed by the star of your local community theater. There’s so much talent and potential, put in the hands of such poor leadership. You just want it to all go away, so that these talented people could have done something more worthwhile with their years of effort.

  5. LunaticFringe says:

    So I’m curious, is Spoiler Warning going to talk about the Leviathan DLC? Cause London’s going to go on for awhile, and discussing the stupidity of Leviathan would burn some time.

    • Cupcaeks says:

      Has anyone here had a chance to play the Leviathan DLC? I’m curious, but not $15 curious. Do they go into reaper/catalyst origins at all? Not that I think anything is going to fix the game for me at this point, but I kind of want to know what they’re take is on it.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Just watch a lets play.There isnt hat much to it.Here,one of them.

        As for the dlc itself,I didnt mind it that much.There was only one unbelievably stupid thing in it,and thats the telepathy line in the codex.

        In fact,when compared with the rest of me3,it is actually quite good.Remember how everyone asked “Why dont the reapers use indoctrinated spies to wreack havoc?”?Well leviathan does exactly that.

        • SleepingDragon says:

          I watched it in an LP too, I’m not even going to go about how asinine (or moneygrabbing I guess) it is to put something like this in a DLC. Instead I’m going to point out that I’ve heard a surprising number of people did just that (compared to my previous experiences with DLCs) and I’m pretty sure that rather than think “Hmm, maybe putting plot relevant stuff in 4 15$ DLCs isn’t such a good idea” devs are going to cry to high heavens how LPs are ruining the game market.

        • Klay F. says:

          There are LOTS more things that are unbelievably stupid in the DLC than just one. Like how Leviathan itself, like every other living thing in the universe, still considers machine logic unassailable. Apparently nobody in this universe has ever heard of a fucking software bug. I mean hey, if it compiles, it must mean it is one hundred percent bug-free and perfect, right?

          I’ll be honest, I nearly passed out after the conversation with it, just from the sheer concentration of stupidity. Just when I think the writers can’t get anymore incompetent, they up and surprise me again.

          • xKiv says:

            1) I think you are attributing too much brain activity of the knowing and learning kind to the general population (and specifically the top decision-makers) of *any* species.

            2) I am fine with most members of a species being non-thinkers, and with most-nonthinker believing stuff that just isn’t true (even (and especially) in a species (or (sub)culture) that used to be very powerful and dominant, and still is arrogant about it.

            3) you don’t even need bugs – just have contradictory requirements (and those might have been very likely in this) whose contradictoriness doesn’t surface until later … perfect logic proves everything if it can start with a contradiction (even if it takes very long to notice)! And those machines could have been fed (and administratively made to unconditionaly believe) any kind of BS, like “organics will always be destroyed by the synthetics they made”, or “this logic module is infallible”, etc; the people who actually have to build/program the stuff are so far removed from the decisionmaking and big picture that they aren’t necessarily even capable of changing (or noticing) anything (possibly even on the danger of losing hteir jobs).

      • LunaticFringe says:

        Leviathan DLC summed up: so it turns out the Catalyst was designed by giant space squids that enslaved other organics. Said organics kept destroying themselves with synthetics, so the squids responded by DEVELOPING A SYNTHETIC TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. Said synthetic then ate them all, turned them into the original Reaper, and began the cycles. This is why I want them to discuss it, it recontextualizes the entire ending and makes it even more stupid. This is either desperate backpedalling to try to fix the ending or the belief that EA was going to sell the ‘true ending’ as DLC has some merit.

        • Raygereio says:

          At this point it has become little more then inept writers digger their own hole deeper.

        • Zukhramm says:

          That’s it. Really. That’s the big mystery, that’s the whole reason for the Reapers, the cycles, the entire plot of the games. It’s just a rogue AI story. That is such a bizarre thing to reveal in a DLC to the final game that I don’t even know how to react to it.

          How can anyone possibly take the Catalyst serious or trust it about synthetics destroying their creators when it itself is just another AI doing just that? Does playing it unlock any new reasonable responses or will Shepard react no differently in the ending even knowing exactly what the Reapers and the Catalyst are? If I have two guess it probably changes nothing, but it really should.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            It does offer a new response.As for reasonable…What do you think?

            • Zukhramm says:

              Well, the refuse ending is reasonable. So maybe… To youtube!

              Oh. Nope, turns out it’s still stupid.

              • LunaticFringe says:

                The refuse ending (I assume there’s sarcasm there) is about as reasonable as you can get for a writer’s temper tantrum.

                • Ateius says:

                  Just checked it out on Youtube. I … kinda like it. Shepard gets to tell off Starchild, a nice speech about freedom, and then you see Liara’s “Vigil” (which she will show you while she’s working on it during the course of the game) spreading the knowledge for the next generation of species, like the Protheans did for you. Starchild is still incredibly dumb and should not exist, but the ending still showcasing the Reapers as unstoppable and casting Humanity/the Citadel races as the Protheans to the next generation is a decent bittersweet ending.

                  At the very least, it’s better than the three different colours of explosion you get in the base game.

                  • LunaticFringe says:

                    Like I said, it’s about as reasonable as you can get from a writer’s temper tantrum. It negates SOME of the major issues (as you mentioned, Starchild is still stupid, and Shepherd’s sudden freedom speech seems completely random after just accepting all of SC’s bullshit in such a passive manner). I’m still not a huge fan of it because it’s basically a ‘bad ending’ designed to be a shot at those who complained about the Mass Effect ending. Bioware was basically saying ‘oh, you don’t like the Starchild? Well if you don’t play along you get the bad ending and lose. So choose a colour.’ It’s just an odd side effect that the refuse ending is much better then the other EC endings.

                    • Alexander The 1st says:

                      Yeah. The best ending…is the one with the least amount of effort/render time put into it.

                      Also, I kind of saw people shooting Starchild in the non-extended version, so I decided to shoot around for fun before I made my choice, and shot starchild.

                      “Whoops. Sorry guys, I think I just triggered the worst ending…actually, that’s not so bad.”

          • swenson says:

            To be fair, the “Reapers are just AI who went rogue a bazillion years ago and upgraded themselves ever since” theory has been around since ME1. It’s not exactly a new idea. It’s just most people figured they’d come up with something a little less stupid in the end.

        • Deadfast says:

          No. No, that can’t be true. No AAA writer would have ever written a script so dumb! Oh, the stupid, it buuuurns!

    • I honestly don’t think any of them have played or watched the Leviathan DLC. We probably won’t be treated to bitching about that particular subject.

  6. Ofermod says:

    Why does Hackett bring two bodyguards with him when he boards the Normandy? Is he afraid that he’ll be assassinated by Shepard or Joker or something?

  7. baseless research says:

    I realise this may be a little early, but what will you be doing next season? Have you considered the Walking Dead? The next and presumably last episode should arrive the 4th of next month, allowing you to go through in one go.

  8. Entropy says:

    If you’re romancing Cortez, or completed his little arc (even if you don’t romance him), he doesn’t die.

    So I didn’t have him die in my playthrough.

    Also, not all Reapers are created equal. There are ‘Sovereign’ class Reapers, of which only one has died, to my knowledge (That one being Sovereign). And there are ‘Destroyer’ class ones, which are the two we’ve killed.

    I mean, it still doesn’t make much sense where they come from, but there is that.

    • Tohron says:

      The turians apparently killed several Reaper dreadnauts in their initial defense of Palaven, though they eventually had to fall back after taking heavy losses.

      So yeah, following Josh’s logic, even if the reapers win it would take dozens of flawlessly executed cycles just to recover from the losses.

      • Ofermod says:

        it would be interesting if the Reapers tried to play up that angle in their various conversations with Shepard: “We only wish to preserve. You only wish to commit genocide. For every one of us you kill, millennia of art and history perish. Billions of age-old lives, united peacefully as one, are snuffed out. Are you proud of yourself, Shepard? You are a mass-murderer worse than any tyrant from your history, or any other history in this Galaxy.”

        To which Shepard’s response would of course be, “Oh yeah? Well… you killed some kid! Meanie!”

        • Alex says:

          That’s not what “peacefully” means.

          • Ofermod says:

            Well… they were peaceful in relation to the rest of the slurpee. And for the 50,000 years between each cycle.

            • Mike S. says:

              It’s fair point: “When you humans have managed to put fifty millennia– or even fifty years– between genocides, come talk to us about being violent.”

              Of course the Reapers make it up in volume. (Their modal murders per year rate may be zero, but the mean remains surprisingly high.)

              • anaphysik says:

                Well, also when their in dark space (a.k.a. two stones’ throws away, as the beginning of ME3 shows <_<), they really can’t kill anything. The only relevant data is in the contact period.

                If two tribes live next to each other and their members get into frequent scuffles, you simply can’t compare their mild violence to that of the third tribe that comes down from the mountains and kills everyone above puberty every generation.

              • I liked it way better when the Reapers were an inscrutable super-intelligence above mortal reason or comprehension. We shouldn’t even have grounds of any kind to argue whether the Reaper tactics are “violent” or “genocide”. The fact that we can have this discussion at all means that Sovereign was just blowing smoke, which is profoundly disappointing. Somewhere the Reapers changed from H.P. Lovecraftian villains to Tom Clancian villains. Wherever that point was, it was when this silliness became inevitable.

                • Klay F. says:

                  I’ve never really liked the whole “inscrutable, unknowable, amoral, super-intelligence” schtick to begin with. Its impossible to portray such a thing accurately in fiction, in the first place, and a common excuse for why things make no sense in such a story is, “Oh well they are unknowable.” Which is just a bullshit excuse for the writer to write whatever the hell pops into their head. Laziness, in other words.

                  I’m willing to tolerate such things in Lovecraft, where things not making sense was the whole point. But in science fiction? Abso-fucking-lutely not.

                  • Mike S. says:

                    Yeah– SF writers have a decent bag of tricks for writing superintelligence, but mostly by means of limiting it in some way. The supergenius is a child raised by wolves (i.e., normal humans) who’s only starting to transcend them. They have instinctual drives that force them to choose very limited goals. (Niven’s Protectors, for example.) They’re encountered only obliquely, and shown as quickly and casually working out problems and implications on the fly (which the writer could do with normal intelligence by spending more time and knowing the preconditions in advance). They’re not that interested in mere human problems– humans are as ants to them, but who wants to conquer and rule an anthill?

                    None of those work for a primary onstage antagonist. If the Reapers were going to be Lovecraftian, then as with Lovecraft they need to stay on the fringes: eventually they’ll destroy everything, and periodically there’ll be some threat that they might casually commit some horror. But with luck and skill they won’t show up in force today, because you can stop them from opening the Citadel relay and shut down that dormant husk factory left over from some incomprehensible project half a galactic rotation ago. If they do appear en masse, you’ve reached Critical Mission Failure– reload?

                    After ME1, that’s where I’d hoped Bioware was going. But if they were going to do the Reaper invasion, then Sovereign pretty much had to be boasting. (Because what would an invasion by actually incomprehensible, unstoppably powerful beings look like, other than a walkover?)

                    That’s why I’m less critical of the Crucible (though not the actual ending) than many here. It struck me as necessary and obvious that the defeat of the Reapers had to be something of a deus ex machina.

                    (That’s how the defeat of Sovereign went, after all: it happened because a) Saren went three sides around the barn unnecessarily, and b) because somehow beating remote-control Saren in a small-arms exchange threw off a multimillion-year-old intelligence that eats civilizations for breakfast, and deals with interfering naval craft by flying through them.)

                    I was actually surprised (and initially impressed) that the ultimate defeat of the Reapers didn’t, at the last, depend on a three-person squad shooting small arms and powers at a boss. Unfortunately, big gambles mean the possibility of losing big, and boy howdy did they.

                    • LunaticFringe says:

                      Actually, I was all for getting curb stomped by the Reapers in the third game. I thought it would be a cool idea if there simply wasn’t a way to beat the Reapers. So the only move is to run, and run, and run. The game’s plot could focus around the construction of an ark (since Bioware seems to love their random Biblical imagery, a telltale sign of attempting to appear ‘deep’) and Shepherd, with the Reapers directly on his/her tail, traveling the galaxy one last time to collect species to leave the galaxy. The choice options here are obvious; with the Reapers constantly pushing forward they would force you to choose what species, factions, and companions survive (no perfect endings allowed). Oh, and fill it with a lot more moments like when that turian general is just silently watching his homeworld burn. You know, subtly, that thing the writers forgot about years ago.

      • Corpital says:

        What bugged me most about these ships in the cutscene is them all looking alike. In the endings of ME1 and 2 we saw the approaching Reapers and they were differences between the ships, even though all of them looked like squid. Plus, in ME2 we learned every Reaper is designed after the harvested species.

        Now we have several Reaper classes, but every single ship of a class looks the same? Meh.

      • swenson says:

        Actually, you know, I just thought of something–most cycles, if they managed to shut down the mass relays as in ME1, they never would lose any ships at all. The fleets would simply be too disorganized and cut off from one another. It’s just that our cycle was being… difficult.

        (not sure if this interpretation is actually supported by the games, but I’m going to pretend it is)

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          I just have this image of Child-humanity and Harbinger-father having an argument:

          Harbinger: “Now now, humanity, hurry up and get into the liposuction tubes!”

          Humanity: “But I don’t wanna! WAAAAAA!”

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      There are the big dreadnaughts and two smaller classes,if I remember correctly.However,all of those we see in the orbit of earth are the dreadnaught ones.And we killed at least 1 of those already(sovereign).And yes,the codex does say that they make one or two of those each cycle,and the rest of the species get slushied into the smaller ones.So yes,still way too many big reapers for it to make sense.

      My explanation:The codex isnt really that smart anymore.

  9. Noble Bear says:

    Can haz hangout link, plz?

  10. Newbie says:

    ‘It doesn’t help that London is the most grey, grim, dark part of the game.’

    Welcome to London.

    • Alphadrop says:

      All the colour is in the locals… who are either dead or in the pub.

      • Ofermod says:

        That would be great. You’re fighting your way through London… and you just come upon some bombed out pub, with the locals still inside not giving a damn about the invasion.
        “It’s just as well the Reapers showed up. The boys were in the Group of Death this Cup anyway.”

        • That IS a cool idea! Unfortunatly, the way this game is going, Shepard would give a rousing speech about how some kid died and they would all join your cause and you’d get, like, a hundred support points for no freaking reason. Awesome.

  11. Ateius says:

    Oh hey, the space battle cutscene is actually different depending on your readiness rating. I honestly didn’t expect a detail like that to be remembered.

    Also, that visor looks so dumb. It’s not even over her eyes properly.

    • Indy says:

      It is different? How so? Whether I had full readiness, high assets or no readiness, low assets, it seemed identical to me.

      • 4th Dimension says:

        In my cut scene less people died. There were no turians sunning from explosions and such. And Shepard didn’t comment on navy not making it.

        • Ateius says:

          Yeah, I watched the cutscene on youtube from someone on full readiness. Fewer allied ships explode and they actually blast apart a few Reapers.

          This is what it looks like if you get all the fleets together.

          For all the things ME3 does wrong, the sight of the united military force of the galaxy jumping in-system – endless waves of ships – is pretty darn cool.

          • swenson says:

            Yeah, on my second playthrough, even though I knew what stupidity was coming, I still was like… man, this cutscene is awesome. That playthrough, I sold out the krogan and got the salarians (if Wreav’s the leader, there is literally no reason, roleplaying or otherwise, to NOT sell them out), so I really did have every single fleet there!

            • Ateius says:

              Now just imagine if they were jumping-in to a location that actually mattered and made sense, like, say, the Citadel (both logistically crucial and a nice callback to the end of ME1) and your military readiness actually had an effect beyond a few seconds of cutscene (if your fleet isn’t strong enough you have to do something desperate like overload the Citadel power core or order kamikaze tactics).

              The combined efforts of all the races coming together to defeat the big evil is a good plot. It’s DA:O’s plot. The humanity of that sort of effort and struggle, the loss they endure but still grimly pushing on, has a lot more emotional weight behind it than a magic macguffin with a holographic kid inside.

              I’m not sure how they could translate that into the ground-combat the game is built around, though. Maybe Shepard has to infiltrate the Citadel (via the Ilos conduit!) to bring the relays back online to let the fleet jump in-system to begin with. Maybe the ur-consciousness of the Reapers has manifested there (like starchild, except less stupid, somehow) and Shepard has to shoot it a lot to weaken Reaper coordination and let the fleet prevail (a la Sovereign). Maybe the Citadel’s been upgraded with built-in defensive armaments after the events of ME1 and Shepard needs to turn them against the Reapers, effectively pulling off a massive flanking maneuver. However it’s justified, the allied fleet prevails, Reaper power is broken, and using the Citadel to manipulate the relay network the remaining Reaper forces are isolated and annihilated piecemeal by the surviving fleet elements in the epilogue before galactic rebuilding begins.

              Basically anything that legitimizes and gives a payoff to the efforts of Shepard and the entire galaxy instead of the magical ass-pull we ended up with.

              • Mike S. says:

                Yes, this. I’d rather keep the ur-consciousness of the Reapers out of the Citadel (if the Reapers’ central intelligence is on the Citadel, their loss of and inability to regain control for thousands of years just feels more off). But the Citadel and its control of the relay network is supposed to be central to the ultimate outcome of the war. The equivalent of the Crucible project might have been to hack those controls so that we can work it ourselves, isolating the Reapers and concentrating our own forces to defeat them in detail.

                (With the ground combat segment being anything from a last-ditch invasion of the Citadel to an incursion into a Reaper– caught alone by the combined fleets and crippled– to rip the last necessary interface components right out of its braincase.)

                • anaphysik says:

                  “hack those controls so that we can work it ourselves, isolating the Reapers and concentrating our own forces to defeat them in detail.”

                  I was really hoping to see a strategy like that if it had to come to an open war against the Reapers. Silly me.

                  • Ateius says:

                    INT. CITADEL PRESIDIUM

                    SHEPARD, having fought through every Husk the Reapers could place between the Conduit and the control systems, staggers, wounded, to the terminal. A projection of HARBINGER appears, taunting her.

                    HARBINGER: Your efforts are meaningless, SHEPARD. We are perfection. We will grant you ascension. Resistance … is futile.

                    HARBINGER continues to gloat. SHEPARD gains a look of fierce determination on her face. Two INTERRUPT OPTIONS appear.

                    -SHEPARD [Paragon: "Not this time."]: You’ve underestimated us for the last time, HARBINGER.
                    -SHEPARD [Renegade: "Go to hell."]: I’m going to enjoy watching you burn, HARBINGER.

                    SHEPARD executes the SUPER REAPER CITADEL HACK she spent so much time obtaining, reactivating the relay network.

                    EXT. CITADEL RELAY

                    ALL OF THE SHIPS come pouring through the relay, led by the SSV NORMANDY for maximum emotional impact.

                    INT. CITADEL PRESIDIUM

                    HARBINGER appears worried for the first time.

                    SHEPARD smiles.

                    CUE AWESOME SPACE BATTLE

                    • anaphysik says:

                      Uh, no, I meant something more like reverse-engineering the Keeper controls to stop the Reapers from benefiting from the relay network.

                      Or, fuck, really anything involving the Keepers. Love those little biomachine things.

                    • Ateius says:

                      Oh. Well I guess that works too. And it would tie in to that thing in ME1, with the sidequest to study them, and possibly link to the fact that they were no longer responding to Reaper commands (making everything Sovereign did necessary). Man, we really did just forget about them completely after the first game.

                    • Alexander The 1st says:

                      I guess that’s the one thing the writers kept from ME1.

                      “Please don’t disturb the Keepers.”

          • anaphysik says:

            Meh, as far as space battles go, I thought that cutscene was pretty dumb and felt hollow.

  12. Cupcaeks says:

    The whole reapers as a preserved species thing really bothered me in this game. If their goal is to preserve, then why aren’t they doing more low-key things ala Sovereign and Saren to minimize the danger they expose themselves to? I mean, I guess Cerberus kind of counts, but as pointed out in the episode, they’re still deploying about the galaxy with reckless abandon. And to all the places that DON’T MATTER.

    I’m starting to think Bioware simply has no respect for their audience, which is okay, because at this point, the feeling is mutual.

    • Ofermod says:

      Yeah. For a super-intelligent machine race, they’re really dumb as far as military tactics go. I mean, sure, they’ve never been up against a foe they couldn’t defeat with brute force, but they should have noticed by now that with every cycle, they’re basically fighting a losing war of attrition. And that for every loss, there’s another “preserved” species that’s instead been genocided. Not that it matters, since every Reaper is exactly like the others except with a slightly different colour slurpee inside it, but that’s one less flavour that will ever exist in the galaxy!

      • I want to pass that off as the “Hollywood Effect” where they dumb things down to make it more interesting to those unfamiliar with the subject, but honestly that’s upsetting regardless.

        Though I suspect the actual reason for this is that “We only had a few years, we were rushed.”

        • Ofermod says:

          Man, I could come up with better military plot-writing in a few months. Or weeks. Or days.

          Hell, give me a few hours, and I’ll have a comprehensive history of Reaper military tactics (as they’d have changed after the very first preserved species was destroyed, and give a few examples of how they fought different types of cycles, i.e. Prothean dominance, multiple united species, pre-existing war) that’s deadly, effective, in character, yet still leaves the potential for it not to be an impossible situation for the player.

          And I’ll probably still have plenty of time left over to re-write Kai Leng. Or just erase him entirely.

    • Oh snap Bioware! Where are the chemical wash showers, because you just got BURNED!

    • LunaticFringe says:

      I actually assumed that once the Collectors were revealed to be Protheans that the Reapers mainly just used ‘upgraded’ former species to fight their wars while they stayed on the sidelines, overseeing the battle and providing support (somewhat like the Combine). Of course I assumed a lot of stuff about the Mass Effect series; I thought a Reaper invasion=Lovecraftian doomsday scenario/body horror nightmare from the Prothean vision (seriously, that little wiggly organic thingy? Creeped me the hell out) but instead it’s very meh. Of course, the Reapers of ME3 are also very different from ME. Remember when Sovereign touched down on Eden Prime and he basically broke the weather? It was like the Hand of God descending from above. But now dozens of them can land on a planet in a completely non-intimidating manner.

  13. Ofermod says:

    I love how every race in the universe apparently uses the exact same model of military assault shuttle and APC/Tank. They could have done a lot where different races had different vehicles reflecting their approach to war. Like the Turian vehicles are very militarily pragmatic, the Krogan rely on brute force, the Asari integrate biotic abilities into their vehicles, the Salarians are lightweight but maybe have cloaking fields or other unusual technologies…

    Granted, that would actually be too homogenous for each race (I mean, look at our current armed forces, we have tons of different vehicles that we use depending on the situation), but it would have been better than the “Everyone uses the Kodiak and Mako” cutscene we have now.

  14. Artur CalDazar says:

    “we’re doing another hangout tomorrow at 2 PM Pacific, 5 Eastern, and 10 GMT.”
    During Desert Bus? I can’t watch two streams and chat in two rooms at once!
    Actually, I can totally do that.

    • SleepingDragon says:

      Well I don’t think I can, it’s complicated enough to try to watch this episode while monitoring DB stream for something amusing at the same time. On the plus side DB chat completely freezes my PC for some reason so I’ll think about it…

  15. baseless research says:

    About the whole discussion re: the reapers’ cavalier attitude towards numbers:

    It makes little sense no matter how you spin it, but I thought that the reapers were selecting 1 (or maybe a few) species each cycle, and then made as many new reapers from said as they could. Maybe keep a few (relatively speaking) for indoctrination or husifying, and cull those that are superfluous (if it takes 1.000.000 humans to bake a reaper, if you’re left with 800.000 humans you can’t make a new one out of them. Kill them or huskify them).

    Still doesn’t make sense to have reapers go off on their own rather than
    a) move in bulk to smash the various fleets in swift blows
    b) move in bulk to take the citadel and deny movement, spreading out slowly from there in any direction
    c) move in bulk to smash the various political, military, economic and industrial centres of the species (aka usually their shipyards and home planets).
    d) move in bulk the seal off a section of the galaxy, guard the borders, move on when it’s been cleansed.

    • This raises another question, why were the Collectors told to make a Human-Reaper in the galactic core when the Reapers were coming to make more Reapers and cull the galaxy anyway. “What was the point of Mass Effect 2!?”

    • Mintskittle says:

      The only reason I can see for the reapers acting so stupidly is that the writers for ME1 accidentally painted themselves into a corner concerning the reaper conquest of the galaxy.

      As soon as the reapers take the citadel, they have won, as they now have control of the ftl network, able to shut down all travel except to one system at a time, bringing their full might to bear on a single point, crush all resistance, then move on.

      Under this plan, there is no possible victory against the reapers, and there is no game.

      • Gruhunchously says:

        So Mass Effect 3 could be about defending the Citadel instead of Earth. I would say the story would be a lot more effective if the Reaper forces were a vanguard for the main group, a plan B in case Sovereign failed, who were gathering allies among the heretic geth, Cerberus, and the Collectors in preparation for a brute force assault on the Citadel. Then Shepard could do the whole uniting the galaxy thing in order to provide a defense force for the Citadel, a cause that was in everyone’s common interest, and not just humanity’s. And hopefully there would be no dead kid.

  16. Weimer says:

    About Reaper numbers:

    If we are going to assume that the spess elder god robots create a Reaper per sapient species, and that all of the Reapers are made that way.

    Also, I’m going to assume there isn’t a Space Virgin Mary of Evil Robots, and that they were originally created by industrous hands of organics.

    How did their original creators die? Did a single prototype or maybe a handful of dreadnoughts eradicate the super-duper advanced species that managed to create them in the first place?

    What about the earlier cycles? Were there a dozen of evil bots menacing the galaxy for several cycles before they gathered enough numbers to actually look like a threat?

    Okay, so maybe they made a whole bunch of them killing machines. One hundred or so.

    Who the hell throws together one hundred of super AI mega ships to do.. something, and trust them to not go berserk?

    So. I think our initial assumptions are either false, or they are true, and the writers did not think this through.

    (At this point I like to think that Mass Effect universe is the future of WH40K, when the Necrons win.)

    • guy says:

      The Catalyst was created by guys who look basically exactly like Reapers to stop organic-synthetic conflict from destroying their mind-controlled slave races. Then it decided to create the Reapers to solve the problem via murder.

    • Scimitar says:

      I hate to say this, but that’s all somewhat answered in the DLC.

      No, really. They put the answers to these important questions about who made the Reapers, why, were evil robots really a big problem in earlier cycles; all these questions are answered.

      In DLC.

      • Cody211282 says:

        This news has somehow made me go from being disappointing in Bioware to completely fucking loathing them now.

        Also Weimer, the foul Necrons could never win for the holy light of the Emperor protects all.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          “This news has somehow made me go from being disappointing in Bioware to completely fucking loathing them now.”

          Wellcome to my world.The two most important things for the story,the protheans and the original reaper creators,and they are both stuck in dlcs that are so unimportant to the rest of the game that it is insulting.Add to that the “real ending” dlc,and you get why ea still holds the throne as the worst game publisher.Screw always online drm,at least with that you get the full game without buying some dlcs.

      • Klay F. says:

        Well, the DLC doesn’t actually answer anything. All the Leviathan does is spout things that are BLATANTLY, PROVABLY wrong, but you are yet again forced keel to the writers and accept bullshit with nary a protest. You can’t even get a “Yeah, sorry we are responsible for a number of deaths that approaches infinity. Our bad.”

        • LunaticFringe says:

          Not to mention the possible implications of releasing mind-controlling space squids on the galaxy that have a history of controlling organic species and wiping out their only predator. Destroy ending? Leviathans take over the Reaper’s power vacuum. Control ending? Probably a massive war between the Leviathans and Robo-Shepherd over who gets to be the Space Dictator. Synthesis ending? Congratulations, you just made the Leviathans even stronger…somehow, because synthesis makes no goddamn sense and I refuse to take it seriously when it’s a collection of pseudo-science words thrown together to appear meaningful.

          • Klay F. says:

            An implication would mean that Leviathan implied those things. Leviathan doesn’t imply anything, the thing straight-up tells Shepard that they will take their “rightful” place once the Reapers are gone. It was at this point I wanted to say “fuck you” and leave, but no, the writers imposed their will yet again and I was forced into derping my way back up to the ocean surface.

    • Indy says:

      Necrons can’t win, the Tyranids will consume all. Unless you read the new rulebook and learn that Chaos is the guaranteed super-duper most dangerous thing in the Universe.

      • Rodyle says:

        Don’t get me started on the new Codices… The new fliers are way too overpowered. I played against a genestealer army, got slaughtered but still won because he could do nothing against my one flier after I dispatched of his Hiveguards.

        Also: Niddies really need some update which takes away their special character and removes the models with a number of arms unequal to six.

  17. Even says:

    That docking scene always bothered me. With the cockpit windows giving the blueshift effects, it would mean that the whole scene takes place while they’re traveling faster than light. It’s just insane.

  18. TMTVL says:

    Remember the space battle in ME1? How you got to make the decision whether or not to save the council? A bit odd, no? Giving the player choice in an RPG? They might even start role-playing.

  19. ? says:

    Remember how in the beginning of the game Shepard was complaining about being out of a loop about Kaidans promotion? Sweet revenge!
    “EDI, block his news feeds, thats an order! Guys, nobody tell him anything. Traynor, drop some hints about a hipster restaurant on Citadel. Good thing Tali is dead, she was such a gossip.”

  20. Yeti says:

    So, I just started OSC for the U.S. Navy, and part of the reason I chose Navy was its emphasis on tradition. Now, I know there is no warrant to assume that in the future the space Navy would in anyway resemble the Navy of the United States in terms of its traditions. I know that, just because Hackket is an admiral (which, by the way, originates from arabic “amir-al-bahr “, which means master/command of the SEAS!), Shepard is a commander, and many Naval terms are borrowed (such as ‘fleet’, ect), that Naval emphasis on tradition should be there, but I wish Mass Effect, and for that matter any Sci Fi video game, would take some time to either hold on to the smaller traditions (eg: how an Admiral is hosted, traditions around ranks, ect) or establish their own traditions around these. It would add an additional level of depth and immersion to the experience that I would really appreciate.

    Sure, sure, it takes time which could otherwise be spent playing the game, but I think it would add… additional context and clarity…to what the player is doing. After all, the draw to Mass Effect 1 was that I am a commander and not a mercenary, vigilantly, or something other. Sure, sure, I become a spectre, but it could have added something more to paragon/renegade in all the series. Paragon’s, for example, might find that these traditions are still good to hold onto, even after becoming a spectre, whereas renegades see them as unnecessary at best and harmful to the mission at hand at worst. I really liked Garrus in ME1 because his story arch asked that sort of question (well, it was about procedure but it’s still applicable to tradition). It’s just a shame that these small things weren’t a larger part of ME1, left absent in ME3, and were insulted in ME2.

    • Jekyll says:

      After replaying the original Mass Effect, I wholeheartedly agree with this. Even the little things such as announcing who took charge while Shepard was on the ground or the big deal it was made of the Normandy changing hands. It felt like Shepard was part of a real military, with real regulations as opposed to being a member of one of the many inept groups of glory seeking idiots the game passes off as “military”.

  21. TheAngryMongoose says:

    So, the camera man was totally checking out Hackett’s ass as he walked aboard the Normandy… Maybe he’s Miranda’s real father?

  22. cannibalguppy says:

    i gotta say its funny to see how bad this battle in the vids go because of their crappy ass warscore :p on mine they mauled several reapers at the get go because i had every species :p funny but not enough interactive

  23. Zoe M. says:

    Anderson basically IS Commander Adama. With Shepard’s Laura Roslin/Starbuck and Udina’s Saul Tigh, it’s not much of a stretch to think that Team Bioware were rather … inspired … by the show.

    • LunaticFringe says:

      Anderson’s basically Adama if Edward James Olmos was given worse material. Nowhere near the emotional range in character actions but all the macho ‘space admiral’ attitude.

  24. Chris, the reason Josh is doing so well is because:
    1.) He’s on easy mode.
    2.) He’s a Vanguard and has access to Charge and Nova.
    3.) Charge and Nova are a broken combination.

    BTW, how many people here got a high Galactic Readiness by playing co-op and was weirded out by the words “Alliance forces are turning the Reaper forces back” or something similar.

    • Cupcaeks says:

      Yes, that struck me as very odd. I think the exact message was “Allied forces are holding steady, and pushing the Reapers back in key locations.”

      Pushing them back? With what? Our superior infantry?

      “Oh, no! It’s a guy with a gun, our only weakness!”

      Actually, that might explain why they’re so afraid of Shepard.

      • Lalaland says:

        This is one of the most derpy additions MP brought to ME3. I never played MP so when I heard about this I just shook my head and sighed. It completely undercuts the panic and tension in literally the entire end sequence.

        Alliance: “Yes we’re turning the tide in key locations, just a few more thousand small 3 man squad spec ops missions and we win!”
        Shepard: “No sod all that, let’s Zerg-rush Earth and attach this weird whatchamacallit to the Citadel instead”
        Alliance: “Eh we’re winning by using small spec ops teams why risk the entire fleet?”
        Shepard: “This has been millions of years in the making and it just might create beams in all three primary colours!”
        Alliance: “Roll out!”

        • Cody211282 says:

          It does create a weird choice of what kind of stupid you want to embrace. On one hand you have something telling you that the super space fairing god robots can be stopped by a bunch of dudes with pistols, and on the other hand you have something telling you that nothing can stop them but a supper secret Mcguffin that everyone knows exactly how to build but doesn’t know how it works, what it will do, or what it plugs into, and then you have reports of the Turrian/Krogan being able to stop the reapers on the ground and in space. So basically anything can stop the reapers until the writers change their damn mind.

          • Scimitar says:

            Hilariously enough, you can get that without playing multiplayer if you just collect like 2/3s of the random war assets strewn about the map. Basically, just having all the races fight together is good enough to drive the Reapers back, even without a bunch of 3-man spec-op teams running around.

            Reapers can be beaten without the Mcguffin, just by having enough people shoot them.

        • anaphysik says:

          The reason why MP counts far more than anything Shep does is simple: in MP you get FOUR dude/ettes on your team!

        • Green isn’t a primary color; yellow is.

          Oh sod it, I knew what you meant! :D

          • Fleaman says:

            Red, green, and blue are the additive primary colors, like how pixels add red, blue, and yellow light to get white light. Yellow is a subtractive primary color, along with either red and blue or cyan and magenta. These apply to stuff like pigments, so if the Crucible shot beams of paint instead, we’d have gotten to choose between Yellow (Surrender), Cyan (Friendship), and Magenta (Take Your Ball And Go Home) endings instead.

    • Amnestic says:

      Difficulty was never a huge issue in ME3. Insanity wasn’t any more difficult, it was just a little more tedious. In fact at parts my Insanity run was faster since you get used to (rather than slogging through every single enemy) dashing past them to try to trigger the next scripted section and escape using the occasional charge to refresh your shields.

      Sometimes you don’t even need to do that. You can dash forward, die, and have a new fresh autosave clear of enemies in a further forward position than your last save. Some bypass doors can be done in combat but are interrupted when moving/taking damage, so you end up killing just *enough* enemies to bypass it without getting hit.

      Occasionally Bioware seems to remember you can do this though and throws up either invisible walls (Thessia before the temple) or doors which only unlock once you’ve killed all the enemies in the area (we saw one of these in SW on Horizon).

  25. SpiritBearr says:

    Just pointing out in Mass Effect 2 the collectors kidnapped a couple of colonies and had about a third of a reaper. There is still enough people in the universe to make hundreds of reapers of all types.

    Still doesn’t explain why they are not making some on a random planet for an extra mission.

    • Ofermod says:

      I think the collectors had been hitting a lot of colonies, and there was something about how they were planning to attack even Earth and fill the ship in order to finish the Reaper.

    • Interesting Point: In the codex, it says that the Reaper’s cull and harvest about 1 million people per day. That should be more than enough to have enough Reapers up and running that you can skip this whole harvesting business and just start killing dudes.

  26. Tvtim says:

    Cortez survived on my playthrough. I think you have to do his side missions or w/e it is on the Citadel. After taking the hit, he doesn’t go down but is able to get away, and isn’t heard from again as far as I recall.

  27. Alphadrop says:

    Huh, Doom Guy has surprisingly good facial animations when compared to most of the other human npcs, he even managed to give the ol’ eyebrows a wiggle.

    Figure it’s because he’s using the pc character model rather than a modeled npc head like whatever abomination Joker is now sporting.

  28. Ofermod says:

    So what happened to Sir Isaac Newton being the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in space? No Reapers seem to be being hit by shots from dreadnought mass accelerators. Did they just decide not to use them in case they miss the giant Reapers moving straight at them and wind up nuking Earth by mistake?

    Of course, it also doesn’t look like they’re fighting at tens of thousands of kilometers (or even the frigate/fighter “knife fight” range of ten or so kilometers) given that they’re apparently closing to close enough range for the Reapers to land on their opponents…

    • That is a good point. The battle we just saw had a very high chance of causing damage on Earth… and nobody cares.

      Hey ME3, do you want us to care about Earth or not!?

    • Irridium says:

      Didn’t you see the space battle above Palavan cutscene? They’ve stopped caring about that a while ago.

      The worst part is that they still could have had their epic space fight, all they had to do was orient the ships so the Turians weren’t firing at their own planet.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yes!That dogfight scene is so stupid on so many levels.

      It was specifically said in the codex in me1 that space battles are never around gaia worlds precisely because of this.

      Not only that,but we have a reaper literally grappling a ship.Why?Did someone flip through an rpg book,and read “grappling rules”,and thought “Hey,lets add this to our space combat!”?

      Remember how sovereign dealt with such a thing back in game 1?He plowed through a ship!Not turning back to grapple them,and then slowly cut through the hulls.He just went straight to his goal,and fuck everything that gets in between.Why are these idiots bothered by grappling a ship,and then slowly cutting through it with a laser?

      Oh,but like some people mentioned,it gets even dumber if you get a higher galactic readiness.You actually get to win.The combined fleets of multiple races in me1 was ravaged by a single reaper and a few geth ships,yet here we have a fleet of reapers,backed up by reaper fighters and whatnot,and we are winning?Because we managed to shake a few hands and kiss some asses?Why then bother with this idiotic plan,just have this uber fleet slowly creep from sector to sector and kick the reapers the old fashion way.

      • anaphysik says:

        The ME1 end battle actually doesn’t have all that many ships in it, though.

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

        In the aftermath of the battle on Virmire, the Council deployed its fleet to every relay in Citadel space, believing that Saren Arterius wouldn’t dare attack the Citadel directly. This strategy proved to be ineffective when the massive dreadnought Sovereign and a fleet of geth warships launched a surprise attack against the Citadel.

        (EDIT: great, MEwiki’s borked out, otherwise I would have looked up more.)

        It was disproportionately human ships that fought Sovereign, iirc (since I don’t think they were deployed with the Citadel fleet), with the Fifth Fleet being at the Citadel. (Naturally, significant turian ships were also there and lost, as we could see; I think Shep mentions numbers when she paragon-shuts down al-Jilani?)

        Now, the ME3 assets say that the First, Third, and Fifth fleets all lost a third of their numbers if you choose to save the Council. Otherwise, no mention. I also only remember the Fifth fleet being there, so I guess I’ll have to boot up ME1 and check.

      • Not only are we nuking the very planet we set out to save, but just the ship formations are implausible and against the Codex. Space battles are basically suppose to be long-ranged artillery duels. Not only that, but ships give off a lot of heat and radiation, especially during combat, which prevents prolonged engagements. The closer you are to a star, the more likely a battle won’t last as long. So we have this massive fleet, in a solar system, packed like sardines, all firing their guns at once. Putting Earth aside, that’s disaster for the fleet itself. Oh, and didn’t anyone bother to discharge their mass effect cores after disengaging from FTL?

      • Well, see, the “Reaper grappling a spaceship” is just another awkward sex scene. They decided to throw it in for the people who wanted a Reaper romance option. On the whole, it’s really one of the more convincing intercourse scenes in the game.

  29. Neko says:

    EPIC SPACE BATTLES YOU GUYS! Except it throws everything we are told about space battles from ME1 out of the airlock.

  30. Ofermod says:

    I’m curious. If the Reapers set up the Mass Relays so the galaxy’s technology would progress along the lines they wanted… why didn’t they do something similar with Religion? Set things up so that all races would have a culture where they revered giant beings from the stars who would one day return to Ascend them?

    Seems like that would solve a lot of the problems of “races they’re trying to harvest attempting to murder them.”

    • anaphysik says:

      That would require active interference a la the Vorlons in Babylon 5 (plus doubtless other and earlier examples others could come up with). Also even then culture does not take the ‘path of least resistance’ like technology tends to, nor would it have the same kind of bottleneck.

      ——

      (Also, I think Sovereign was exaggerating. The important part is that all major spacefaring species use the relays and reach the Citadel; that way the Reapers can catch them easily.)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Because we likes them meat to be nice and squirmy.We aint gonna eats them laying on the grounds,their meats be fat and full of cholesterol.A reapers gotta think bout its figure.See hows that there citadel be nice and thin,like a swim suit model?

      And I have no idea what made me write that in such a tone.Im so sorry.

  31. ehlijen says:

    In addition to the replenishment rate problem, there is the fact that if the reapers are serious about wanting to preserve organic life, they should not use those important data storage devices as battleships.

    They may be tough and powerful due to supertech, but they are still the very thing the reapers are trying to preserve. And the most effective way of preservation is avoidance of danger.

    • AyeGill says:

      This, exactly. For that matter, why are organics used to construct new reapers at all? I mean, yes, to preserve the species, but wouldn’t it be a much better solution to take the big slush of data they break each species down to, stash it somewhere in dark space, and simply build a shitload of new reapers from the raw material left behind by every cycle? They lose their limitation of only being able to build a couple of new reapers every cycle, and they don’t lose the history of a couple of species irrevocably forever every cycle, either.

  32. Wraith says:

    Why didn’t the Reapers go directly after the Citadel?

    BECAUSE EARTH. EARTH IS VERY IMPORTANT IN THE GALAXY BECAUSE OUR AUDIENCE IS ATTACHED TO IT, SO FUCK LOGIC.

    • anaphysik says:

      I’m not even all that attached to Earth *now*. Add 170 years, space flight, and access to a whole galaxy of planets, and fuck it, Earth can rot.

      Its cultures less so, mind you. But we’d have those in space too, so Earth’s only partially entangled with those.

      Plus, we have mass effect fields, so we can, I dunno, lift pyramids into space and stuff.

      (I am being somewhat facetious, of course. I’d care about Earth the same as I’d care about any populated planet with a storied history, varied geology and geography, and vibrant biosphere.)

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      And there were no kids on the citadel.Here on earth,there was the only kid in the universe!And he died!!

  33. Klay F. says:

    Oh God that stupid fucking space cannon. It fires like every 15 seconds, and makes the screen shake like fricking crazy. If you are a class that depends on guns at all you have to pause the damn game and literally wait for it to pass.

    Seriously whoever thought that was a good decision needs to be drawn and quartered.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Wait,the cannon is so powerful that it makes everything around it shake.And those shakes continue even when you are in pause mode?

      • Klay F. says:

        By pausing, I mean I just brought up the power select overlay. It pauses the gameplay while still letting you select a target. And yes, when you bring up the power select overlay, the shaking continues like normal for a good ten seconds, then it stops. When you resume gameplay, the cannon is still in its firing phase, but the screen no longer shakes.

        Whoever thought shaking the screen like that was a good idea needs to be trepanned. Especially because I was an Infiltrator. It wasn’t enough they completely fuck up the story, but they had to go and make even the gameplay an affront to all sanity.

  34. Deadpool says:

    Deadpool nerdy fun fact: Keith David and Jennifer Hale have done a game together before…

    David was Vhailor and Hale was Fall-From-Grace…

  35. Deadpool says:

    So the crazy, super brilliant plan to take Earth back from the massive, dreadnought killing spaceship/alien things?

    Land on Earth and run towards the light!

    • Cody211282 says:

      Even better, we are going to run right to the super huge space monsters and attack them on foot… Now I don’t claim to be a military strategist or tactician, but this plan is so face palmingly bad that anyone who agreed to it deserves to die and have their race melted to goo.

      And just to randomly throw in my 2 cents for better ideas.
      A) Go to Ilos, use the damn conduit we spent the entire first game looking for.
      B) We don’t need to be at the bottom of the light to use it, fly the shuttle into the beam and assault it that way.
      C) The reapers plan seem to hing on controlling the citadel, so blow it the hell up. Sure it will destroy earth but if “The Arrival” showed us anything it’s that not a a single damn reaper will be left after it goes boom.

  36. anaphysik says:

    How is the Hades Cannon supposed to be a threat to Hammer when it can only take out one weak shuttle and not the second?

    • And be annihilated with one shot from a Cain. I have to assume that ships would pack even more power than that.

      • LunaticFringe says:

        This seems more like a homage to Starship Troopers then anything else (the first fight on Klendatu has Rico fighting giant artillery cannon bugs by firing mininukes). Of course Starship Troopers had the sense to realize that human wave tactics aren’t effective against an enemy with more and better troops, unlike Mass Effect 3.

  37. LazerBlade says:

    Please tell me you are going to do this game justice by making the final episode an hour-long bile fest like you did with Mass Effect 2. This game has completely earned it.

  38. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The soldier with cain fires,the soldier with heat sinks follows them.When the soldier with cain falls,the soldier with heat sinks picks the cain up and continues firing.

  39. Daemian Lucifer says:

    About your retweet:So thats why the Rutskarn wasnt here.He was bugging his daddy about minecraft mods.

  40. Cody211282 says:

    So it’s been a while since I played it, and I may have thrown up some strong mental barriers between me and anything after Sanctuary…. but at least 40% of this looks new. Does Josh have the EC installed?

  41. This should be of interest to most here:
    http://blog.bioware.com/2012/11/12/an-update-from-bioware-montreal/

    For those that do not wish to read/follow that link, here is the super-short form.
    The team that took on the job of making the Omega DLC for Mass effect 3, will also be the team that will make Mass Effect 4.

    So if you are wondering what potential/direction that ME4 might go, look at the Omega DLC.

    Also, Casey Hudson will remain Executive Producer, but a new Project Director will be responsible for the day to day stuff with the new team in Montreal.
    I have no idea if this is an improvement or not upon how latter half of ME2 was made and how ME3 was made.

    If the Omega DLC actually retains the character focus, interesting plots, and no Shepard derp moments (Dherpard?) will stupid falls, or pointing guns at holograms, then ME4 could turn out to be as good as ME1 (or hopefully a few steps further as well).

    • lurkey says:

      “no Shepard derp moments”

      This the DLC where Shepard in the middle of reaper invasion willingly helps out a mafioso stupid enough to allow world’s most incompetent terrorist organization to take over her crime asteroid, and said mafioso loves to parade Shepard on a leash and gloat how she owns her/him, right?

      • Shamus says:

        Well. They’re starting from an already broken game. (Mass Effect 3.) ANY DLC that doesn’t begin with Shepard slamming herself in the forehead and going, “What? None of this makes any sense!” is going to naturally import all of that brokenness. Having said that, it would be totally possible to make a little self-contained story (like one of the planets in ME1) that holds up.

        However, buying games through Origin is like a trip to the dentist, so I’m probably not going to explore their DLC-buying obstacle course. Especially not for more Mass Effect 3.

        But yeah, if Omega is tolerable on its own then maybe we can think about getting our hopes up for Mass Effect 4.

        But this is silly. The Mass Effect setting is DONE. BioWare has a long history of kickstarting new IP. Some of it flies (KOTOR) some of it doesn’t (Jade Empire, alas) but I’ve always enjoyed their worldbuilding. The only reason to return to the brokenness of the Mass Effect setting is because EA is run by people who think that all games should strive to be like FIFA. They don’t understand the artistic process, they don’t know how to best use their people, and they can’t think far enough ahead to see that the only reason they have IP to exploit today is because other people forged new IP in the past. Their entire business model is a dead end and once again I’m writing a comment that should be a blog post.

        Whoops.

  42. 4th Dimension says:

    Is that stream on Sunday or Monday at 10 GMT?
    If it’s the later:

    I HATE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!

  43. Museli says:

    If the hangout is this evening, I’ll be there, but I’ll be grumbling to myself about it clashing with the Colts-Patriots game. I’m a bad European. :P

  44. Dovius says:

    What I’m wondering (Although it might be a bit nitpicky or because of something I didn’t notice) is, how is Hackett giving his speech to all the fleets from the Galaxy Map? When did that get equipped with a comm device? And depending on where the fleets are, how is the speech reaching them all at the same time without using a QED?

    Of course, all of the fleets might be in the same system and I just didn’t notice it, but I’m wondering, damnit.

    • In the codex (heh) it is started that Hackett was originally planning to use the Normandy as his base-of-operations. It’s why we have the war room and conference room and stuff.

      It’s not far-fetched to assume it has that kind of comm system either.

    • Even says:

      It had a comm-link utility in ME1. The series just kinda forgot about it and introduced the quantum entanglement communicators, guess because Bioware had to spend some more money on animation.

  45. Tse says:

    So, a hangout at midnight on a Sunday night/early Monday morning. Good thing I’m still unemployed.

  46. Mass Effect 4 news seems to be trickling out faster and faster now…
    http://www.wsgf.org/news/mass-effect-4-use-frostbite-engine

    Mass Effect 4 using the frostbite engine is good news in my opinion.
    The Unreal 3 engine is not a bad engine, but the Frostbite engine is made for large areas, vehicles and lots of characters running around. Also Dragon Age 3 will be using the Frostbite engine so BioWare as a whole will be very focused on learning the ins and outs of the engine.

    Does this mean that in ME4 we will see large areas with armies clashing, vehciles roaming around, and large spaceship combats and so on? I sure hope so!

    EDIT: Frostbite 2 possibilities http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pNOxynC1Dc
    So the limitation for ME4 won’t be the engine. Nor that its’ too time consuming/difficult seeing as Battlefield 3 had all this.

    • zob says:

      I adore your optimism.

      • I adore myself too!

        Besides. If they screw up, it’s because of bad design and planning. (rather than any limitation of the engine, different team for ME4, different engine, only thing that remain the same as far as I can tell is the executive producer, so if ME4 is as messy as ME3 the fingers can only point in one direction.)
        The latter half of ME2 and most parts of ME3 has design issues. Games like ME and Dragon Age need the right team, the right tools, and the right leadership to be good.

        The ME games are games that sci-fi nerds just love, which is why it hurts to see such a odd mix of good and bad design mushed together.
        The Spoiler Warning gang actually want to like ME3 if not for the rfact that as soon as they turn the next corner they run right into Dherpard.

        • Wraith says:

          I wonder what insanity is gripping EA and BioWare to think they’ll have enough of a consumer base for the franchise at this point to justify the expense of a game using Frostbite.

          I guess it’s the same insanity that is pushing devs to make new installments to trilogies that have already had concrete closure. I don’t disapprove of Halo 4, mind you, mostly because I find the Halo universe the most interesting existing Sci-Fi universe now that Mass Effect has been ruined. For Mass Effect, though, what else is there left to explore? We’ve already stopped the Galaxy-Eating Mecha-Cthulhus and resolved any sort of possible conflict between the existing races of the galaxy. How else can you raise the stakes even more?

          • Amnestic says:

            “I don’t disapprove of Halo 4″

            I do. In its current incarnation anyway. We could’ve had more Halo-universe games, we just don’t need the Master Chief. Hell, we already saw the relative success of those with ODST/Reach.

            Sigh >_>

          • Ofermod says:

            As far as still having a large fanbase, well… You have to remember that most fans of the series thought that the only bad part of the game was the ending, and that everything else was amazing. Yes, that includes everything with Cerberus, and Kai Leng.

  47. Hitchmeister says:

    Rutskarn was sorely missed in this episode. When Josh’s “Remember in Amnesia when I stood on the monster’s head?” was met with silence, I was just waiting for Rutskarn to chime in with, “No. I don’t remember that.” and wait to see who caught the pun first.

  48. Cyclone says:

    “It appeared over London. I love the passive voice there.”

    That’s not the passive voice! That’s the active voice! “It appeared” is subject (it) followed by verb (appeared). It’s bad writing and stupid, but it’s not passive voice, and I will NOT stand by while you disparage the proud and noble passive voice. It’s gotten too much unfair criticism that it does not deserve, don’t add to that.

    • ehlijen says:

      Shouldn’t that be: It’s being unfairly dismissed?

      And yes, the passive voice is delightfully useful in certain circumstances. Just because they are less common than circumstances that favour the active voice doesn’t make the passive voice redundant.

  49. I thought it was an excellent point that Chris made. The “space” part of the game is never really interacted with in game-play. You don’t deal with the vacuum, zero gravity, vast distances, or any of the other unique elements that the “space” setting brings to the table. In fact, there are multiple places where the game goes out of its way to eliminate these elements during the actual interactive parts of the game.

    The only element that is preserved is the prohibitive nature of the duration of trans-galactic travel, and again it’s used as a story and setting element, not a game-play one. Replace the planets with islands, the mass effect relays with “ports”, space ships with naval ships, and aliens with various races… and the game play would be exactly the same. In fact, it might get better, since then individual ground-based combat could be a significant element in ship-to-ship combat.

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