Spoiler Warning S4E2:
Kill Ten Robots

By Shamus
on Nov 18, 2010
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

The re-launch of the show went well. The changes seem to have paid off. We didn’t explode into a viral sensation of instant fame and stardom, but we did see a nice increase in viewership and nobody issued us a cease and desist over Rutskarn’s singing. I don’t know what success feels like, but I’ll bet it’s probably a lot like this.

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A Hundred!A Hundred!2019239 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?

From the Archives:

  1. X2-Eliah says:

    I resent this attempt at trolling. I know the audience is an elite club and all, but please – stop making videos private.

    That is all.

    Edit – fixed it fast, though :) So far, Josh’s playing style seems rather good, in fact – not too muh hopping, about waht would be expected for a shooter game.

  2. Sydney says:

    Have you considered just…using an LP forum?

    This is exactly the sort of thing that SA would love.

    • KremlinLaptop says:

      THIS.

      Seriously, LP forums and the like. Let’s be clear, LPs are a niche thing for now at least… so if you want to draw more eyeballs you have to go where the people into that niche congregate to draw them to what you’re doing.

      In terms of a Let’s Play, Spoiler Warning has far more value than a lot of the drek and… I think with a bit more promotion in the right places, while not maybe a viral sensation, could increase the viewership by a lot.

  3. Ateius says:

    Well, it’s nice to see some things never change.

  4. eri says:

    Video’s private. :3

    I’ve heard of this “success” thing, but I’ve never really come close to seeing it myself. It must be awful if all I’ve heard is true. One time I did feel not totally horrible about myself, but I quickly shook such silliness out of myself. You’d best stay away if you know what’s right for you.

    • Shamus says:

      Wow. I hit “publish”, then jumped over to Youtube and made the video public. Then I see five comments about the video being private.

      Although, I see the comments are spread out over 7 minutes, and I KNOW it didn’t take anywhere near that long to make it public. 30 seconds at most. I suspect it takes a few minutes for changes in YouTube to propagate.

      • X2-Eliah says:

        Well, how about first uploading the vid, making it public, and then creating a newsentry about it with the link & all.. Unless you do it in hamster-speed mode, it should serve as a good timewaster.

      • KremlinLaptop says:

        We’re still getting over that time the video was published, the author went to play Minecraft (when’s the next postcards post? I really enjoy those, no matter the game), and left us sitting for the better part of the day commenting on the set-to-private video.

        I still wake up in a cold sweat over that, man. You don’t know how it was! You weren’t there!

      • Triz says:

        You could just set it to public while uploading it (now that I think about it, the standard setting IS public, so you had to manually change that to private)

      • MrWhales says:

        Shamus, how does it feel to know that atleast 10 people troll your site waiting for new articles? constantly refreshing in hopes of being first?

        • X2-Eliah says:

          Hey! In this case, it was just coincidence – I just took a little gaming break and looked into some bookmarked websites, including this one.

          To suggest that I’m consciously loitering around here all the time, waiting for shamus to post so I can get firstzszszsz!!11 is slightly offensive.

  5. Kibbin says:

    http://i974.photobucket.com/albums/ae227/Kibbin01/Slow-Clap.gif
    please tell me this video starts with drinking some strange hooch found on the floor.

  6. X2-Eliah says:

    Oh, yeah, regarding success – statistically, the second and third episodes will be more appropriate indicators of how the show’s doing – the first one will have people who watched it to see if it is better and maybe decided against it – 2nd and 3rd will be the ones showing how large an audience will remain.

  7. Bodyless says:

    The vanguard charge cannot teleport you to places you cannot reach otherwise. So if the pathfinding fails, the skill wont do anything. same for the drone of the engineer.

    Anyway, i finished playing on insane to day (adept class), where you die in 1-2 seconds when exposed to the full enemy fire. charging into enemies is a baaaad idea.

    Also, you are using a clean profile? the bonuses from completing the game once are a huge boost on the beginning.

    • Michael says:

      Didn’t you catch the first episode? Or the first season? They’re starting on a blank slate here.

      They were male Shepard in the first game.

    • Aldowyn says:

      you beat… insanity.. as an ADEPT? Shucks, most people were impressed I beat it as anything other than a soldier (Vanguard).

    • TSED says:

      Nice. Adept is one of two classes I still have to finish it on insanity with (the other being sentinel) and I have to ask: what was your strategy? Unstable warp spam? I haven’t tried it yet because I suspect I’ll be frustrated after my friggin’ awesome soldier and vanguard runs.

      On the topic of vanguards: the trick to them (and I beat it on insanity, and it was actually my fastest play through on insanity INCLUDING the soldier which came AFTER the vanguard) is to be HYPER AGGRESSIVE. Load up maximum damage. Charge shotgun punch shotgun (anything should be dead by that point except maybe the big bad transformy mini-boss spoiler, or perhaps bosses in general / krogan in general). Charge the next one. Repeat ad nauseum.

      Remember: charge not only recharges shields, but also gives you bonus shield. Your aggressive spamming of it keeps you alive, the enemy AI going “ahhh wth dude where are you,” and because you keep divide-and-conquering you never really come under full fire.

      A single bad decision and you are DEAD, though. That’s not so much fun. Just remember: punching will make you reload faster. Shepard’s awesome like that.

      • Bodyless says:

        Nope, singularity and warp.

        Singularity is useful even if the enemy still hast shield/armor/barrier because it will make him move slower and small enemies stop firing at all (including harbinger). I think heavy mechs are kinda immune to this so they will be the biggest pain in the ass. then come geth hunter and synthetic enemies overall.
        As soon as they only got health left, enemies are merley puppets to play with. When they are in the air, hit them with warp to make your biotics explode for massive damage.
        But overall you are really dependent on your cover. anything that threathens to flank or charge at you needs to die first.

        Also, crew member with heavy warp are really good at exploding your singularity.
        For your bonus skill i recommend either warp ammo or barrier.

  8. DougO says:

    Wait wait wait….y’all started talking about polite robots, and Shamus MISSED a chance to talk about SysShock and the butler-robots that kept asking how they could help you while trying to explode next to you?

    Also, on the uselessness of robot security: Deus Ex. Those things are *great* once you retarget them.

    • FatPope says:

      Yep, that was what I kept thinking about when they started talking about robots. In Deus Ex you could turn the enemy’s Robots against them, and they were really, really powerful!

      Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’s a single time friendly robots get turned against you.

      One of these days, a long time from now, people will stop talking about Deus Ex. I don’t see it happening any time soon though.

    • Robyrt says:

      Polite Robots, as far as I know, are spiritual descendants of Isaac Asimov’s robots, who are programmed to be nauseatingly polite and deferential no matter how inappropriate the circumstances, basically treating you like its grandmother.

      • Aldowyn says:

        Except Asimov robots would NEVER shoot anyone. I don’t think they would even shoot someone who was planning on killing a bunch of people, though they might.

        For those of you who don’t know (shame on you), there are 3 laws: Don’t hurt anyone, obey orders (unless it involves hurting someone), and don’t die (unless it involves not obeying orders or hurting someone). Thus: polite. relatively, anyway.

        I just realized that the guys in Asimov’s books were Genre Savvy before the trope existed… unless Clarke’s Space Odyssey came first.

        • Peter H. Coffin says:

          They’d shoot, but feel really bad about it, probably to the point that Dr. Calvin would have to be called in to resolve the problem. Heck, that’s roughly what half the Calvin stories Asimov wrote were about…. Robots solving moral dilemmas and the consequences of it.

  9. Gavin says:

    Would you mind putting the videos in a playlist?

  10. StranaMente says:

    Mumbles and Rutskarn should lower the volume of their mics a bit.
    And I think Josh could have left 0.5 sec more to let Mumbles finish the phrase.

  11. Nyaz says:

    I have yet to hear Rutskarn sing…
    …actually, I may have heard it and then my subconscious pushed it back so far into my brain I don’t actually remember it.

    Huh.

  12. krellen says:

    Thinking back, I can sympathise a bit more with Shamus’s reaction to New Vegas, now that I remember what Mass Effect 2 did to me. The opening was so bad, so horribly devised and executed, that it soured me on the whole project and made it hard for me to find good things to enjoy about it.

    It’s not just the story for me, though. I’m one of those that Shamus mentioned about hating the new “cover-based shooter” gameplay (I suspect Shamus was thinking about me when he said that, really), and so that, plus ammo, plus Cerberus, plus the stupid story and reason for working with these people just soured the whole thing for me. I imagine that’s probably a lot how Shamus felt about New Vegas after the cloud save bug ate his game.

    • Shamus says:

      Very true. There is this threshold where a game just leaves you and no positive qualities can save it.

      • Integer Man says:

        Yeah…. Playing as an infiltrator and having them restrict the amount of ammo that fits in your sniper rifle was fairly annoying. It meant that I couldn’t handle every encounter in the game with a sniper rifle anymore like I did in ME1 (some of those encounters got REALLY hard when I locked myself into that approach, but it was fun).

        ME2 says “Sorry, you get a handful of shots and then you need to play differently for awhile until you find more ammo.”. This got a little bit better once you find less powerful rifles with larger clip sizes, but it was really annoying up front.

        • Integer Man says:

          Not to mention the complete nonsensical nature of having every gun in the universe (including those on a ship that crashed decades ago) instantly convert to the new clip-based system…

          • PurePareidolia says:

            At the same time I’m of the opinion the entire cover based combat system was an improvement over 1. It might not make sense that I can’t neural shock things as a vanguard and now my guns have ammo, but continuity wise that’s the least of my worries so I’m willing to ignore it because there’s no way to justify in-game the abandonment of the overheating model unless you insist people just realised it sucked and rather than optimizing it they abandoned the concept altogether.

            • Dovius says:

              Actually, didn’t they explain the change?
              I can remember something about every round being a small, seperate heatsink.
              It’s a complete bullcrap reason, but a reason nonetheless.

              • MintSkittle says:

                The explanation for the switch to clips is that instead of waiting several seconds for your weapon to cool down, you pop out the heat sink, click in a new one, and your good to go in a fraction of the time.

                The wallbanger is that you don’t hang on to the used heat sinks. They should cool down on their own, so after a while, the spent clips should be ready for another round. And the loaded clip should slowly replenish itself between encounters.

              • Blanko2 says:

                they explain it, but only in passing, and then a later story completely abandons that premise.
                i mean, what they say is that they changed all the guns to that system in the two years you were out because its better. (“scientifically” means you can fire in a no-atmosphere or hot environment without overheat)
                course then you get Zaeed from the DLC and he tells a story where hes been using thermal clips for years and years.
                so even they didnt care much about that.

                • Sigilis says:

                  The most reasonable explanation would have been that the two systems of heat dissipation have been developing in parallel. So while the militaries of the world chose at first to alleviate their supply and logistical issues with the first, weaker batch of weapons. They would eventually find that losing soldiers to the powerful Geth weapons was unacceptable and they embraced replaceable heatsink based weapons with their higher damage output and already well developed and diverse lineup. There are regular old cooldown based guns, but you ignore tehm because these new ones are so much better.

                  Of course this is not the explanation presented in the game. Somehow they replaced all the guns in use after only two years or so, then went around replacing guns in recently crashed ships, and changed people’s memories so they would never remember using the old system. Or something.

            • Integer Man says:

              Now, mind you, I loved the combat improvements in ME2. ME1’s combat was a little annoying but the plot and the game world made up for it. ME2’s combat was fun (albeit, I wanted more ammo for my sniper rifle) but the plot made me want to injure myself. Thankfully, they did have Mordin.

          • Bodyless says:

            and you are also getting a different amount of clips when you pick them up on the battlefield. you get roughly 1/4 of your shots back. which makes everything but smgs and rifles unpractical to rely on.

            sniper rifles may still work if you score enough headshots.

            the worst part is really how they tried to balance the weapons by giving them different amount of clips. it annoys both gameplaywise and doesnt make any sense.
            Like the carnifax is actually a downgrade to the first pistol because it only got 1/3 of the ammo. I dont usually mod my games on myself but that really bugged me.
            And then there are the heatsink upgrades for smgs and shotguns, which does not improve how much shots you can fire per clip, but simply adds more clips to your reserves.

            • Aldowyn says:

              I really like the Carnifax. The automatic, and thus shield/barrier penetrating weapons, always have a ton of ammo, so everything else is slow-firing and armor-penetrating. I use it a lot against… those big things with the guns that act like shockwave.

              On the ME1/ME2 ammo thing… I don’t really care. The only weapon I regularly run out of ammo is the sniper rifle (I HATE the Viper. 6 shots to a clip and NEEDING several shots to one-hit kill anything? I’ll pass, thanks.), and that isn’t any worse than ME1 where you can only shoot like once before you have to cool down. Annoying for the infiltrator, though.

              Other than that, combat wise ME2>ME1.

              Story wise is another story. You should at least be able to wait for the last clip to cool down.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I like new vegas a lot,yet I can still bitch about its glitches(like how the new patch made my game stutter when it was running smooth before).And I hated the main plot almost completely in me2,but I still can say loads of good things about it(and even defend the poor choices).

      So that means I can safely proclaim myself the most objective person alive!Bow before my superior thinking!

  13. Zagzag says:

    Loving the new series. I really hope it goes up to three episodes per week, but I know how much editing would be required.

  14. hewhosaysfish says:

    Isn’t language a funny thing when “exploding into a viral sensation” is not something you hope desperately to avoid?

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Funny thing,but youtube seems to have acquired this glitch when it reloads the whole video from beginning when I switch to full screen.So that means viddler has a better track record with spoiler warning.

    I can just imagine you shooting tim and going “Oh,he was a traitor,but it was too risky to interogate him”.That would be sooo satisfying.

    And why are robots always the mooks in every game?I mean its a freaking expensive piece of tech,it is a machine with superior targeting and movement,and yet it is always amongst the weakest of enemies.I can see a trained commando killing one robot,maybe even two,but a mercenary fighting off 3 or 4 of them?!(when you hack enemy robots,they die out so easy)

    I dont mind them not resurrecting you again.It was a costly and time consuming process,so I guess it was just a one time thing.

    Also,they did introduce the ammo in a very nice way there.Basically,ammo is now just a bunch of small heat sinks you use up when you fire your weapon.And rarely is technological progress seen in sequels in such a consistent way.

    • krellen says:

      Even if the technobabble explanation of “thermal clips” was valid, having to find new clips is still invalid. Once you reach a certain threshold of thermal clips, you will eventually find the point where an old clip has cooled off and can be reused. Thus, you only need to carry around X clips, and never have to worry about finding new ones after that.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        That is correct only if the clips dont deform when exposed to heat.

        • 8th_Pacifist says:

          Incidentally, the reason it reloads the video when you switch to fullscreen is that doing so automatically changes the resolution from 320p to 480p.

          Why do they do this? You got me.

          • Nyaz says:

            Probably so the video won’t look horrible when you pull it up fullscreen. I actually kind of like this setting, unless I’m watching a really long (or large filesize) video and it has to buffer it all again.

        • Jarenth says:

          Or if you just toss them out after use, which is something a trained military specialist would certainly do.

          • General Karthos says:

            Seriously. Throwing things away after you’ve used them is AWESOME, even if they might be re-usable in the future. Like the guns in the Matrix lobby shootout. Even though they have a lot of extra ammo for their guns, they just throw the guns away when they run out of/low on ammo. Why bother bringing extra clips if you’re just going to throw away your guns the way you throw away a prepaid cell phone? I guess if the shootout goes long, there might be a “time out” where you’re allowed to collect your discarded guns and stuff.

            In any case, I’m all right with the “thermal clips” thing, and I figure you’re throwing them away because (you may haven noticed) they’re glowing orange-hot, so storing them for reuse later is a little dangerous. I mean… if you’ve ever gripped something that was orange hot and glowing… it hurts. Unless you give yourself third degree burns in which case the point where your gripped it will never feel anything ever again.

            Your armor is obviously made of light-weight plastic (does anybody else get that feeling from the pastel colors and pleather-like textured look?), so if you store the orange hot clips on yourself, your armor melts into the joints and then you have no mobility.

            Point is… throwing useful things away before they become useless is awesome.

        • Kale says:

          I was annoyed by the heat sink clips, but could understand it in story context. The bit that annoyed me was that I couldn’t fire my gun when I ran out. Did the manufacturers just start slacking off and building guns with none of the heat dispersion capabilities from a mere what? 15 years ago I think it was?

          By the end of ME1 just one super good heat coil was enough to pull off at least 12 straight shotgun rounds with no cooldown time. I really doubt this new era needs more shotgunning without a 5 second breather for the gun than that. Surely they could design one of those add on things like the heat coils for the old guns that could be switched out so you’re not utterly defenseless when you run out of heat clips and psychic energy.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            I rarely ran out of ammo,and it was only for the heavy weapon(the collector beam thing).But thats because in the end I relied mostly on my powers.A sniper shot or two in the heads of the toughest enemies,and then its incineration/hacking all the way.Add to that the awesome invisibility infiltrators have,and I could drop enemies with a single melee punch if needed.

          • Dovius says:

            There’s 2-ish years between ME1 and 2, so either you used outdated guns in ME1, or they managed to overhaul EVERY WEAPON IN THE GALAXY IN 2 YEARS.

            • Jarenth says:

              Including, as has been pointed out earlier in this comment thread, the guns on a ship that crash-landed on a remote planet a good number of years back and has been presumed lost.

          • Retlor says:

            I agree with you mostly, but it’s worse than that. As recently as two years before Mass Effect 2 an assault rifle with the right add-ons could fire indefinitely without ever overheating.

            And it could fire for DAYS before the ammo block finally ran out.

            I’m all for gameplay changes, but when you egregiously nerf the capabilities of weapons you better have a more reasonable story excuse than the one provided.

            Especially when every gun in the galaxy now uses the thermal clip system exclusively, and no-one thinks to carry a backup old-model gun in case they run out.

            Especially when even the guns on a ship that crashed and was inncommunicado for over a decade are using the new system.

            Especially when every race in the galaxy has made the switch, even the ones that HATE the other ones. Even the ones, like the Quarians, whose whole schtick is re-using and optimising old technology because they can’t afford or make new stuff.

            Now, the thermal clip thing could have worked as an ADDITION to the old system just fine. You deliberately overheat your weapon in order to make a few extra shots at a crucial moment. But you have a couple of spare heat sinks, so you just pop one out and keep firing.

            This is one of those things that really bothered me. It was a clunky, ham-handed retcon to the entire galaxy that made the whole thing far less efficient than it had been.

            Additionally, the infinite ammo heat management thing was one of the things that set Mass Effect apart and helped define it as a setting. I don’t know how realistic the idea was, but it added to the feel of the universe, but Mass Effect 2 is just generic sci-fi gunplay.

            • Robyrt says:

              This problem could have been solved elegantly by allowing the player to fire with no ammo clips remaining, but replacing the reload animation with a really long “oh no, I’m overheating!” one a la Gears of War jammed weapons. This way, picking up ammo is still way more effective than other methods, but you hang a lampshade on the whole thing.

              • Retlor says:

                Actually, I really like that idea.

                It’s certainly way better than what we did get…

                • Aldowyn says:

                  That’s what I’ve always thought. Ammo, but when you run out your penalty isn’t “oh no you can’t use that any more”, it’s “Ah shoot I can’t shoot for 20 seconds anymore”.

                  … My personal problem? Every gun uses the same clips, right? So why are number of clips individual for every gun? It should just be one big supply of clips, which give different numbers of shots depending on your weapon. Especially when picking up one clip adds a clip for every weapon… inconsistent.

                • Dovius says:

                  I’m actually puzzled that they managed to change all the guns in the entire galaxy, including lost and abandoned ones, to an all new system, but they couldn’t modify them to accept 1 kind of universal clip, instead of unique ones for every weapon.

              • Michael says:

                I seem to recall that was actually the system they showed during development a couple times before going to this system exclusively.

    • Nyaz says:

      It might be because of YouTube’s settings. I know there’s a setting somewhere that loads a the most high-def version of the video if you blow it up to fullscreen, regardless of what it was set to before.

      You can uncheck it… uh… somewhere, I don’t remember where :P

    • PurePareidolia says:

      Shooting TIM is one of my many dreams for Mass Effect 3 – that and a coherent plot that makes sense of Mass Effect 2.

      But yeah, this is space, why are the robot mooks not at least as good as the terminator?

    • MrWhales says:

      The reconstruction thing also kinda got to me. I mean it took them 2 years to rebuild you from reentry, but it would still take awhile to recover a human body being shot with whatever the guns fire(energy? lasers?) And the station your at, the only one to my knowledge that can do this, is being attacked by robots, and nobody else seems to beable to kill them efficiently, except Miranda.

    • Blanko2 says:

      whats funny is not that the robots are mooks, its that EVERY VI IN THE MASS EFFECT UNIVERSE GOES ROGUE. whats the point of having a VI as an alternative to AIs if the VI give you even MORE issues?

      • scowdich says:

        Avina never went rogue (the Citadel tour guide VI). Neither did the one running Rift Station on Noveria.

        • Blanko2 says:

          YET!
          anyway, thats like what, 2/20?
          lets count, theres the one on the moon, theres the, oh god there are so many i cant think, theres a cerberus one in ME (at least one, likely more) theres one in ME2 where you have to go destroy the factory that produced the robots, theres a bunch of generic ones…
          i remember that by the time i got to the moon base in ME i was thinking, whats the benefit of having VIs, with AIs, only one time did they go “rogue” VIs just keep going crazy all over the place.
          that and only shepard can kill them.

    • Soylent Dave says:

      Except the technological ‘progress’ in this case is ‘regress’ – a gun you never have to reload is always better than one you do (especially as the heat sink ‘clips’ don’t actually allow you to fire any faster).

      I didn’t have a particular problem with the change (it was one of the things that removed the naff inventory/ upgrade system from Mass Effect, and it made gunfights a bit less static), apart from the explanation they used for it, which made me wince a bit.

      • Blanko2 says:

        if you think about it, a gun that you fire in space would not be able to cool down very rapidly since there is no convection, only radiation.
        also a gun fired in a very hot atmosphere would have this same problem, the heat clip would, in theory, eliminate that problem, since all the heat just gets dumped and then discharged.
        i think its what they say they do with the normady’s engine discharge, even, in ME.

  16. Specktre says:

    I’m enjoying this, but starting to miss the 30 minute episodes. I guess that’s just me being one of the show’s “cult followers” as we were do aptly named.

    • Integer Man says:

      Same. 30 minutes was awesome.

      At least we still have our membership cards and those awesome cultist robes.

    • NeilD says:

      So wait for two episodes and watch them back-to-back. I was equally baffled in the previous thread by the number of people who didn’t seem to think it was possible to watch a 30 minute video in two or three segments. Viewing time is the one aspect the viewers have complete control over.

    • trevman says:

      Although 30 min was a bit too long, 15 min segments seem a bit too short. Perhaps if they change to 22.5 min episodes, they can make a nice compromise.

      • Josh says:

        You get Youtube to up the length limit and I’d be happy to oblige you.

        • X2-Eliah says:

          You are still a good few seconds under the limit. So much wasted possibilities in those uncalculated cuts.

        • Internet Kraken says:

          Or you could split the video at the midpoint if it goes over the limit. I don’t see what’s so bad about that. It’s what every other LPer who uploads to Youtube does.

          I preferred the longer episodes. I liked that there was a video series that not only had consist updates but lengthy ones. If I didn’t have time to watch the whole episode, I’d just save it for later. To be honest, I don’t think a 15 minute format is going to work well with Mass Effect 2. There are several stretches of pure combat in the game that go over 15 minutes, and ending the video during the middle of those might feel abrupt.

          • Specktre says:

            I think they’re already splitting their recordings at midpoint.

            And as what you said about combat, I was thinking more along the lines of conversations in the game. Those ALONE will eat up most of their time, and might bring the season to a crawl, I would think.

            …Wow, listen to us complaining immediately after the change. Now I kinda feel bad.

  17. Integer Man says:

    I’d like to see Miranda date Adrian Monk. I can’t see that ending any other way than her shooting him in the head.

  18. Jarenth says:

    I’ve always thought of the gun turrets from Portal as less ‘polite’ and more ‘child-like’. Like they’re just playing a game of hide-and-seek with the player.

    Still not sure where the bullets come in, though.

  19. Greg says:

    I played the first Mass Effect and loved it, but low funds caused me to wait to buy the second when it came out … something which I heard less than a week later was a godsend, as virtually everyone I know complained of frustration at the idiotic main plot.

    Two episodes in, I’m already getting annoyed myself. Your backstory with Cerberus doesn’t matter, and neither do the multitude of missions on which you could destroy Cerberus bases and wreck their plans. They give Cerberus a massive, MASSIVE new technology for the sole purpose of giving an in-game justification for your face changing (and why would they change your face?). Then that incident with Miranda just capping a guy and you not even having the opportunity to go “WHAT THE HELL”.

    Although on the whole “Lazarus” deal … they don’t mention Shepard as having gone through reentry into the atmosphere, just the damage from the explosion of the ship and then asphyxiating and freezing in space. I think her floating away at the end of the opening cinematic was meant to be her remaining in orbit, not actually falling down to the planet, although it did look like that’s where she was going.

    • ulrichomega says:

      That’s what I’ve always assumed as well. I didn’t notice the glow around Shepard as s/he decompressed until my second game, and so it made a lot more sense that they were just recovering him/her from deep space than the charred remains from reentry. Shepard undergoing reentry is an example of this: It isn’t mentioned anywhere else, and the only time it is even hinted at is a faint glow around him/her.

      I think a big problem with the Mass Effect Series is the disconnect between the art and design team. There are a lot of times where the design team has a really good idea, and then the art team makes it flashy and breaks it somewhat. Almost all of space combat is done by the art team, and so it doesn’t really reflect the reasoning and logic the design team put into it.

      • Aldowyn says:

        They specifically mention his/her injuries: Vacuum exposure, asphyxia, and trauma from the explosion. NO reentry. Thus, much more reasonable. Not being able to revive her from a simple bullet wound.. dunno.

        • Jarenth says:

          If your intro cinematic seems to indicate your character going through re-entry when they’re actually not (supposed to), and a large percentage of the viewers picks up on this even though it’s not what you want to show at all, then your entire testing department should be fired.

          • acronix says:

            I´m more amazed on how they found a dead corpse in space. It´s a damn big place, and a damng big place without many recognizable features. Planets don´t work, because they are also big (not as big as space, of course), so you can´t say “Well, let´s just scan the space around Planetis II!”.
            And that´s not counting the fact that objects in space never lose momentum, so Shepard´s corpse could be anywhere by the time they started the search.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              If I remember correctly,they never did find your body but used some dna they got from somewhere else to reconstruct you from scratch.Thats why it took them two years.And that also why they couldnt do it the second time:Because they werent actually reviving you,they were cloning you.

              • Dovius says:

                But…cloning doesn’t work that way! What about variables! The effects of the environment on her mental and physical growth!

                And what about the part in the opining sequence when they bolt machines into your lifeless corpse and RESTART IT

              • Taellosse says:

                You are remembering incorrectly, I’m afraid. It is made explicitly clear at multiple points throughout the game that Commander Shepard has been revived, not cloned. This is why you can buy upgrades to health, damage resistance, and so forth for Shepard–they’re enhancements to the cybernetic reconstructions that were installed in your corpse.

                I can’t blame you for the confusion–there’s no shortage of OTHER sci-fi stories involving cloning of the main character (one just came out a couple weeks ago, in fact, The Force Unleashed 2). But this is not one of them, despite the other failings of the plotline.

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  I stand corrected.But then again,I didnt care that much for the whole main story part of the game,so I probably got a few things wrong.And that is probably why I didnt mind most of it,save for the few extremely bad and frustrating parts(like the binary choice at the end,grrrr!)

                • Taellosse says:

                  @Daemian Lucifer: Agreed on the main plot–it was deeply disappointing compared to that of the first game, and the smaller-scale plots that took up the bulk of ME2, gathering the team together.

                  I seem to remember reading somewhere that the lead writer on ME1 left early in the development of ME2, and didn’t leave complete notes on where he planned to take things in the sequel. I’m not sure I’m recalling that correctly, but I thought I remembered that.

  20. bit says:

    Actually, Shepard never did suffer reentry; I didn’t say so last time in the comments because I had no hard proof, but if you look at the last bit of the video (right after the last mechs are cleared) Miranda’s audio log states that the damage to Shepard’s body comes from long term exposure to the vacuum and damage from the explosion; if she had suffered reentry, the former wouldn’t have been very long term, and the latter not very significant.

    Though, from the video, it appears as though she suffers reentry. Dunno.

    • General Karthos says:

      Maybe you glanced off the atmosphere? Though I always just took it as you remaining in orbit, which is essentially falling towards the planet, and just missing the ground.

    • Irridium says:

      If she didn’t suffer re-entry, then why did she start bursting into flames like the common spy when she was moving closer and closer to the planet?

      I guess its possible that Shepard stayed in orbit for a bit before entering the atmosphere, but with the way its shown in the game, I doubt it.

      And even if she didn’t hit the planet, she’s still going through its atmosphere, which showed to be burning her up. Atmosphere’s tend to make solid space rocks very, very tiny. And even disintegrate them completely. I doubt a squishy human would fare better.

      • Blanko2 says:

        its possible that she was going fast enough and at a shallow enough angle that she effectively bounced off the atmosphere and went into orbit. dunno if that would still cause the flames, though.
        maybe the art team was just all like:
        FIRE BECAUSE ITS AWESOME.

    • PurePareidolia says:

      I’d argue that long term vaccum exposure could refer to more than a split second – ie, enough to asphyxiate then be dead for several seconds before entering the upper atmosphere of a planet.

    • Cookie Of Nine says:

      Don’t you find your cracked helmet at the crash site?

      Wouldn’t that imply that your body went through re-entry?

      Maybe your suit was good enough that **despite** the holes in it, your body remained mostly intact after re-entry and possibly a collision with the surface. Maybe that’s why you can get shot so much…

      I also noticed the second time running through the game that in the cutscene, Shepard hits the button to close & launch the escape pod, the moment before the final blast destroys the ship. She possibly knew that unlike Joker’s suit, hers would give her a better chance to survive in space long enough for rescue, but either shrapnel from the explosions, or her collision with the far wall damage the suit to the point that it’s not 100% vacuum sealed.

      Maybe Miranda was being very pedantic, Sheppard went through re-entry, but didn’t “suffer” any ill effects, both due to an awesome suit, and being dead from vacuum exposure.

      • Dovius says:

        But wait, if you’re suit is that awesome, how can you even be harmed by bullets if you can ‘survive’ atmospheric reentry pretty damn intact?

        • Keeshhound says:

          The codex mentions that combat armor has built-in shielding that only activates for objects traveling above a certain speed. If the rest of the suit is just various layers environmental shielding, they wouldn’t need to be particularly sturdy; for example, the shielding on modern space shuttles is actually quite brittle. If the shielding is only meant to protect against flecks of metal accelerated to a fraction of 1% light-speed, then it likely wouldn’t activate for atmospheric re-entry.

          • Aldowyn says:

            Or the cinematic was just wrong. Simple answer.

            • MrWhales says:

              Something to think about, I might be completely off here, but in the reconstruction cinematic, it lloks like the sent a drone to pull Shepard from the frozen bottom of an ocean. While this could be just a zoomed in shot of tissue, it doesn’t matter because the rest of the ridiculous plot makes up unimportant

              • Avilan says:

                You are in a bath of something.
                No, Shepard never went through re-entry, and I don’t see where it looks like she does.

                As for the plot as such… I see no problems with it. I guess I am easily distracted or something, but both DA:O and ME2 has downright wonderful plots.

                I usually get a feeling when watching things like this and reading comments along these lines, I have to wonder how one can find any entertainment in anything, if all one does is pick it to pieces immediately.

                • krellen says:

                  There’s plenty of things that are entertaining that are put together well, why should I waste my time with the ones that aren’t?

                • Avilan says:

                  @Krellen: But that is the point; These ARE put together well. I don’t know of any CRPGS that has better plots; of course I refuse to play JRPGs, so I wouldn’t know about those.

                • krellen says:

                  Better plots than Mass Effect 2? Either you’re not a good judge of plot, or you have a very skewed view of “good”.

                  The only plot less sensible than ME2 that I know of that has come out in recent years was the one in Fallout 3.

      • Simon Buchan says:

        My personal cannon is that the “flame” in the cinematic is just the gas leaking from Shepard’s suit being lit up by the “dawn”. And who said that helmet was the one worn in that scene? Could just be Shepard’s favourite, that went down with the ship.

        I actually find the Normandy surviving less explainable, in the state it was at the end of that scene. Perhaps that planet is simply low gravity and therefore also low atmosphere? (That could be CO2 snow, for all we know.)

  21. General Karthos says:

    This was a good episode. Yeah, a lot of it was still complaining about the game, but I also found the intro a little less-than salient/sane. I mean… Miranda shooting Doctor whatever-his-name is? Too dangerous to bring a prisoner along. What is he going to do? Strangle us (a woman/man half his age who also happens to be one of the most dangerous people in the Galaxy) in front of two fully-armed, well-trained people with his bare hands while they protest feebly? “No… please don’t strangle him/her… I’m telling!”

    And WHY IN THE WORLD did he reprogram those mechs? What was his motivation? If he wanted to kill you, why didn’t he do it “accidentally” at some point in the past two years? Why get it to the point where Shep is awake and THEN reprogram the mechs to do a really bad job of trying to kill him/her?

    I don’t honestly recall if the game explains it to you or not? I’m obsessive with the dialogue options (go through every single one that I can before I finish a conversation) and I don’t remember it coming up, but it has been a while since I played through the section where you still remember that Doctor Shifty McTraitor ever existed.

    Regardless of all this and the plot inanity/insanity… I still enjoyed the game.

    • ToastyVirus says:

      You, thinking about that entire tutorial level, It COULD have been some elaborate exercise made my TIM to test Shepard.

      We’ll never know I guess.

    • Fnord says:

      If you look at the audio logs, he’s clearly not a fan of Miranda. I don’t think killing Shepard was the only objective.

      • Avilan says:

        He is hired by the Shadow Broker to kill and deliver Shepard to him. As for the mechs… to kill everyone else (but him) on the base, obviously. No chance of witnesses if everyone thinks you are dead…

  22. poiumty says:

    03:30 -> was Rutskarn referencing the Ballad of Clay Carmine?

  23. Leviathan902 says:

    I’m in the “I enjoyed the game despite the inane story concessions” camp as well.

    I guess I’ve just been playing games for long enough that my brain automatically glances over the bad parts and only recognizes the good bits.

    You know, learned behavior, like an inverse of Pavlov’s Dogs. It makes things like the opening of ME 2 enjoyable :)

    • Avilan says:

      Heh. My problem of course is that i don’t even see the bad parts.
      Well it’s not a problem for me usually, but it seems like there must be something wrong with me when I don’t find even half the things complained about by Shamus and the gang, or the commentators here, as issues at all…?

  24. Nyaz says:

    One thing that always bugged me about Mass Effect 2 after seeing one of the images they released before the game was released (this one: http://bit.ly/a2FIpQ ), I always figured that since Shepard was “rebuilt”, he or she would be freaking out a bit about robotic additions and whatnot… but in fact he/she never gives it much thought.

    Shepard never even looks in the mirror and checks him/herself out after being 99,9% dead. I mean, come on?

    “Okay, these guys fixed me up with robotics and maybe a bit of organic-fixing-up, but it’s okay. I’m probably still all human. Right…?”

    • Avilan says:

      The point is she is such a badass that she doesn’t care.

    • Michael says:

      Maybe, after the assimilation, you forget you were ever human to begin with.

      If you can’t think, you can’t think.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Shepard is a forward-oriented person. Events of the past are of no real concern, what matters is the now and the next. That also explains the total indifference on the whole Cerberus allying thing. Shepard doesn’t hold grudges.

      It might be a mental trauma not addressed explicitly, in fact – a quirky disability to consider the past, possibly due to military training issues.

      • Retlor says:

        But Cerberus are criminals and terrorists. And TBH particularly stupid criminals and terrorists with a track record of wiping out masses of humans (and for some reason exclusively humans) for no very good reason.

        What would possible convince the paragon version of Shepard to go along with these people?

        Renegade Shepard…maybe you have a point, but then TBH renegade Shepard is often written as a particularly stupid criminal/terrorist with a track record for wiping out masses of people for no very good reason.

      • General Karthos says:

        Perhaps the writers of Mass Effect 2 suffered from the same inability to consider the past?

      • Whither Canada says:

        Well who knows whether or not Cerberus went ahead and did a little brainwashing during the two years they were rebuilding you? That’s how I wrote it off.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          That is, actually, part of what I’m expecting to happen in ME3. If Cerberus wants to maintain what little scraps of credibility they have left with me there is going to be some kind of “would you kindly” or “Shepard clones army”, or at the very least “Shepard self desruct” out there somewhere. I know the writers kinda try to handwave that idea with Cerberus reputedly thinking “Shepard needs to be perfectly as he/she was before or else 1) when they discover it they’ll think it a puppet and not follow our human hero thing and 2) it won’t be the real Shepard and as such he/she won’t really work the same way, which is the best way for humanity” but still, I strongly believe in some kind of confrontation with TIM in part 3 and this just has to be part of it.

          edit: ooh, I just remembered, there is that assuring thing when you enter the Citadel for the first time and the guy at the desk says you’ve been scanned through and through and you’re clear… I wonder how this accounts for the stuff we’ve seen them put on your bones in the reconstruction sequence…

    • acronix says:

      What´s more, when you go full Renegade your skin cracks and those cracks start shinning in red, not to mention the eyes. Nobody seems to notice. I guess those nanoimplants aren´t that uncommon after all.

      • Keeshhound says:

        Maybe they’re just being polite; you don’t bring attention to someone else’s horrific surgical scarring unless you’re intentionally being an ass.

        • General Karthos says:

          By “intentionally being an ass” you mean “making ‘Renegade’ or ‘Dark Side’ choices”, don’t you?

          • Aldowyn says:

            Well, you do get more intimidate options, which is linked to Renegade scores, which is linked to your scarring… so…

            And let’s see. How many people do we know of that have that kind of thing? I can think of 3, including Shepard: Saren, who was implanted by Sovereign, TIM (his eyes)… no clue, and Shepard. More than you would think.

      • Nyaz says:

        I know! You look like some kind of sith lord, and everyone’s like “Good day, sir! Lovely weather, eh?”

        • X2-Eliah says:

          Who in theiur right mind would speak in a hostile manner to a Sith Lord (or any person with red glowing eyes and freaky robot-scars)?

          No, in fact, the more horrible you look, the kinder people will be.
          They better be.
          Or else.

        • Soylent Dave says:

          I always liked the bartender in KotoR 2 who addresses your dark side character with “You are human aren’t you?”

          Although I’m pretty sure that’s the only time one of these games has ever actually noticed my glowing red eyes and horns, or whathaveyou.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            No, I’m pretty sure if you go all dark in KOTOR2 there are at least a couple other cases when people mention you look kinda sickly or something along the lines.

  25. PurePareidolia says:

    It’s like there’s a well rehearsed quota of story points and lore inconsistencies you guys have to get through in this level alone, and presumably for each subsequent level.

    Not that I wouldn’t be doing the same.

  26. LurkerAbove says:

    I don’t have strong opinions on the format changes, but I really miss the changing titles under each persons’ name during the credits.

    • Josh says:

      The titles won’t remain fixed, but changing them for each episode is time consuming (since the opening credit sequence is actually a separately encoded video that’s imported into every episode because Premiere doesn’t like keeping clipboard data between saves). Also, it gets a bit hard to come up with original, witty titles every episode.

      So they’ll just cycle at the beginning of every week now instead of every episode.

  27. MarkHawk says:

    I like the shorter episodes, but still hate waiting for longer than 1 episode for it to buffer. stupid fucking AOL.

    • Cookie Of Nine says:

      I don’t have an opinion on the episode length, as long as I get the same overall amount of spoiler warning.

      I like the change to YouTube because, at least for me, it’s the most reliable service that I’ve used, and I can watch it on the go on my iPhone.

  28. JoCommando says:

    Incidentally, I think the audio logs (yeah… I know…) featuring Wilson had him foreshadowing his own treachery. If I recall correctly, he complained of being underpaid and unappreciated by Cerberus and Miranda respectively. Basically, Cerberus was dropping infinity+1 credits on bringing a dead person back to life, and Miranda explicitly needed his expertise in order to accomplish that goal. From his perspective, anything less than worshiping the ground he walked on would have been insufficient.

    With all of this in mind, Wilson’s betrayal seems less like high-minded Good vs. Evil vs. Eviler intrigue and more like his own workplace-wish fulfillment. Come to think of it, in Cerberus’ employ, turning the robots on one’s coworkers is a reasonably appropriate method of resigning one’s post. Killing Shepard was just that delightfully spiteful act that would linger after Wilson had departed.

    In the above context, I think Miranda’s decisiveness comes off as a comedy beat. She was just a coworker who finally found the need – and opportunity – to fire that guy at the office whom no one likes. (Note her facial expression – looks more like irritation than anything else.) Shepard may not have known the score, but it was there and ho boy, it just got settled.

    • Adam says:

      I like that interpretation. Miranda woke Shepard up early. (the scars on his/her face weren’t fully healed, remember) If all had gone according to plan, the complex would have been wrecked, Miranda and Jacob would have been killed, Shepard would be recuperating, and Wilson could have a shot at promotion to Lazarus Head. With a bit of track-covering, Wilson could retroactively make it look like an outside job, override his own sabotage just in time to save what was left of the facility, and make a case for promotion to TIM. (Having saved the cell and the slowly-convalescing Shepard)

      • Audacity says:

        I haven’t played either Mass Effect so this is all conjecture, and is probably completely off from whatever, if anything, is later revealed to be Wilson’s reason for trying to derail the project and off everyone.

        Perhaps whoever Wilson was working for just wanted him to keep an eye on the Lazarus Project, thinking – reasonably – that it must all be a cover for something else since resurrecting the charred, splattered corpse of someone who experienced unprotected reentry – I don’t care what the audio log said; the cinematic very clearly showed Shepard glowing from friction with the atmosphere. – is a ridiculous idea. So it wasn’t until he saw Shep actually revived that he decided to try and kill her/him for whatever reason. Maybe his boss wanted you to stay dead?

        Or, and I think this most probable, he just got tired of being ordered around by the freaky Australian tranny and couldn’t take it anymore. His brain simply cracked from the strain of trying to calculate how many metric tonnes of hair gel are required to keep her/his/its(?) hair completely motionless. Seriously it creeps me out; does Miranda’s head have its own gravity field?

  29. Hugo Sanchez says:

    I can really get behind the new runtime if you guys are gonna pump ’em out this fast.

  30. Mazinja says:

    I am a bit sad that you are doing a fresh run instead of importing a ME1 character… is there a reason for this?

    • Internet Kraken says:

      The player who has the save for their original ME1 character left the show, so they lost the save as a result. I guess they figured it would be better to just start a new character rather than import a character nobody had seen footage for. Which makes sense really, otherwise they’d have to give an explanation for each one the reoccurring characters.

  31. guy says:

    I really, really hated the heat-sink change and how much squishier everyone on your team is. The old overheating mechanic was innovative, fun, and didn’t ever leave you unable to use your actually any good guns.The new ammo is none of those things. It’s extra-terrible because you frequently have only two useful guns with limited ammo supplies.

    Also, although the first game was mostly cover-based, with work any character could become a tank, including Tali. Really heavy weaponry could blow through that, but not easily. I kind of liked that.

    Vanguard Charge is pretty fun, but best combined with Barrier, Fortification, etc. and followed up with diving into cover. Eventually, it grants enough shields to be mildly safe to do most of the time. Also, playing as vanguard led to me trying to punch through as much of Grunt’s loyalty mission as possible. I landed a killing blow on a Krogan commander with a punch. It’s certainly better than a short-duration cloak on a sniper.

    Do we ever find out why Wilson betrayed Cerberus, anyway? It’s implied to be due to money, but who’s paying him? EDIT: apparently it’s answered in a DLC I don’t have. Not in a way that makes any sense, but it is answered.

    • Bit says:

      What? The infiltrator is a bloody amazing class. With Assassin’s Cloak and Agent, you can stay neigh constantly invisible, allowing you to get to some great power positions early on and shift around your location as you see fit. Add to that the huge damage boost that lets you (with the Widow) take down a Krogan in one shot and a heavy mech in three, and it’s hardly a useless class.

      • Aldowyn says:

        I’m pretty sure none of them are useless. Sentinel’s are pretty much invincible, Adepts get to play with you like putty, and engineers just make anything with electronics die.

        Soldiers get Adrenaline Rush, though. The only time you AREN’T using that is when you’re using something else.

        • guy says:

          I liked playing infiltrator, except when I ran out of ammo. However, the tactical cloak just didn’t quite fit the class. It’s not good for charges, and hiding behind boxes supplants the main other tactical role. You also can’t go all predator because a single sniper rifle shot downs the cloak.

          • Aldowyn says:

            The point is to either flank them or get into position for a single shot against a strong enemy. I’m pretty sure. Besides, I’ve cleared entire rooms with the starter sniper rifle as a soldier, so you don’t need to be cloaked to snipe. There is a damage bonus, though, and I bet the recharge isn’t THAT long.

          • Jarenth says:

            Alternatively, if you cloak, the enemies stop moving around as much, making it far easier to line up sweet, sweet headshots.

            That’s what I did, anyway. Cloak, casually saunter to a good sniping spot, line up shot, BAM DEATH, go into cover. Rinse, repeat where needed, win.

            I love invisibility on command.

          • Avilan says:

            What do you mean? “Tactical cloak does not fit the class”? “Infiltrator” is basically synonymous with “invisible”!

      • TSED says:

        My first play through was on insanity.

        With an imported infiltrator.

        I HATED IT SO MUCH. I refused to back down, though.
        My next play through was the vanguard. It was SO MUCH BETTER YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

        Anyway, seriously, I had min/maxed my headshots (and the widow, yes) and a headshot could barely – just BARELY – take out your standard mook towards the end of the game. Seriously it was so awful. My cloak was delegated to “oh frig I’ve been too focused and gotten myself flanked / need to retreat / so terribly screwed now” situations. It was more damaging in almost any given circumstance to throw a heavy incinerate instead.

        Vanguard charge? There were only a handful of situations in which that was a bad idea. Almost all of them comprised of things like “FIGHTER JET” or “HUGE ROBOT AT FULL HEALTH” or etc. You still had to use it intelligently, but it was so much more fun to play. My vanguard playthrough actually took less time (hours less) than my soldier (which came later), because its aggressiveness was so much more effective.

        I suspect adepts and infiltrators are much better on lower difficulty settings, but my epeen won’t let me try that out.

        tl;dr – I would rank classes, in terms of power, as follows: soldier > vanguard > technician > sentinel > infiltrator > adept.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          “My cloak was delegated to “oh frig I’ve been too focused and gotten myself flanked / need to retreat / so terribly screwed now” situations. It was more damaging in almost any given circumstance to throw a heavy incinerate instead.”

          And I think this is why you had so much problem with your infiltrator playthrough.Basically,when you are an infiltrtor,you should never stay visible for more than 2,3 seconds.Turn invisible before the fight starts,line the shot,fire(bullet or incinerate) in the last second,cover for one more second,turn invisible,flank the enemy,fire the shot in the last second,stay visible for a second more,etc.Except against robots.Against robots its hack instead of fire.Turn them all to your side,then watch them fight it out,and then kill the last survivor with ease.

          • TSED says:

            Maybe I suck at being an infiltrator, because there wasn’t enough cover around for me to do that 99% of the time. Trying to move around often got me caught out-of-cover, which is not good at all. I often couldn’t make it from Safe Point A to Safe Point B in time, regardless of whatever, and then died. The worst part of the game (by far) was the stupid bubble in the finale. The second worst part was… that ‘trap’ that TIM sends you into. The hexalegos.

            And when I say min-maxed for damage I had the headshot glasses on, I had Miranda with the maxed out Cerebrus Officer (or whatever, the one with the bigger damage bonus). I didn’t like Miranda, but if she wasn’t around widow headshots would leave mooks standing. Some ‘anti-vehicle’ weapon, eh?

            Such a difference from ME1, where my min-maxed soldier could just take a leisurely stroll through rocket-fire on insane difficulty and then punch turrets to death. Sometimes I’m glad it’s different, sometimes I’m not.

        • halka says:

          Oh yes, the sniper rifle is a bit ineffective against shield-type defenses. I used to lean out of cover, pepper my target with SMG fire to drop their shields, cloak and switch to the sniper rifle.

          One of my friends lamented over the same cooldown timer for all abilities, since he was used to just basically throw every available biotic ability at his targets at once; as well the ineffectivity of certain biotic attacks against shields or armor.

          Personally, I think it added a nice layer of complexity to the ME1 formula.

  32. Psivamp says:

    More of us need to vote on youTube. Seriously, 50-odd people like the first episode and there are 300+ comments here. About 30 people like this episode and there are 100+ comments here. Show your support for Shamus.

  33. Heron says:

    Wilson says “Miranda was over in D wing[…] There’s no way she survived.” (7:46)

    … but Jacob says he and Shepherd are in D Wing (5:15). Wilson presumably knows that, since he knows where he has been doing surgery on Shepherd for the preceding two years.

    If Shepherd and Jacob could survive the mechs in D wing, why is Wilson so convinced Miranda couldn’t survive? Is he not aware of Miranda’s genetically engineered perfection?

    • Jarenth says:

      Could be that this is supposed to drive home to the player how totally awesome you guys you have no idea Miranda is.

      Too bad the rest of the game forgets to back that up.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        No matter the fact that Miranda doesn’t really give any reason Wilson had Traitor written all over him from the moment I first heard him. Let’s see the typical traitory stuff that he does.

        1) While everybody is being gunned down he’s on the comms and like “anybody out there… hello?” and when he finds you before you can get any actual info you get the usual “oh noes, the enemies are at my doorstep, gotta fly”.
        2) Then he leads you through a couple rooms full of enemies without any warning, when this is mentioned he’s all defensive claiming that he’s doing whatever he can.
        3) When you finally get to him he IMMEDIATELY gets defensive about what he’s doing in the section he’s not supposed to be in. In fact he starts talking about it without being asked and becomes aggressive when he’s questioned further.
        4) The “I got shot in the leg”… if by this point you don’t see he’s the traitor you don’t watch enough movies and don’t visit TVTropes. If there was an option I would put a bullet through his head then and there.

        Considering I had him branded as a traitor from the moment we started talking I always assumed that his insistence that Miranda is dead was motivated by two things: firstly he wanted, oh and how he wanted, for her to be dead, (especially considering her reputation for being close to TIM and being a powerful biotic without all that much conscience) I think it is implied some of the mechs were sent specifically for her. Secondly, if she somehow managed to survive he wanted to get out of there, he probably could, or at least assumed he could, get Jacob and/or Shepard out of the picture once they relaxed on the ship (I haven’t played the Lair DLC yet so I don’t know if his orders are specifically mentioned anywhere).

        • acronix says:

          Yes, he has “traitor” written all over his T-shirt. But take into account that three of the four proofs of his treachery couldn´t be seen by Miranda, unless besides being a biotic she´s a telepath. She doesn´t have any reason to shoot him besides the “I´m awesome and you are suppoused to like me, player!”.

          I don´t recall if any of the options let you inquiry further about her proofs, so maybe I´m wrong and she does give some reasons.

          • Sleeping Dragon says:

            Seriously, nobody is going to read this seeing as there’s already a new episode but consider that just as Miranda wasn’t there to see the stuff we did (and she might not be genre savvy) we weren’t there to see her doing stuff. She might have been suspicious earlier, she might have gotten into some kind of log in the meantime and found out who hacked the security system… though yeah, we don’t really have much of an indication about this, they could have at least made the guy reach for some weapon or say something relatively compromising right before he gets shot. On the other hand I suppose the purpose of this scene was largely to establish Miranda as a ruthless Cerberus agent that she, to be perfectly honest, isn’t.

  34. Rosseloh says:

    RE: Imperfect cover mechanics..

    Yup, I see the same. And the best part is, I tend to play snipers. So, when I see ANYTHING sticking out from behind cover, I take a shot at it (and usually score some damage, often a kill with a good rifle). So why don’t the NPCs do the same? Or at least have the animators move the actors a little lower?

  35. Aldowyn says:

    Now that I’ve dug through the comments and replied with like 10 of my own… :D

    I kind of feel like I should feel that ME2 sucks with all the ragging on it you guys do, but I don’t. The writing and characters are still incredible, I like the combat immensely better. The only real problem is that the plot is just not as good. Geth – MUCH better enemy than Collectors. (Didn’t the Reapers figure out that using organics doesn’t work that well?) And the biggest secret reveal (… hmm, I suppose you could argue there’s two) just don’t have the MASSIVE punch of the first one.

    • Nyaz says:

      I know! The geth are a much better villain, which is evidenced once you meet up with Legion and have some of the best conversations in the game.
      They actually have a cool backstory (also, they scratch that particular Battlestar Galactica-esque itch of robot ethics-stuff) rather than the Collectors who are all like “Grr, shoot Shepard, rargh. Oh, also we harbor a not-so-awesome dark secret.”

  36. mischab1 says:

    Now I thought the volume was just right. I could hear every body easily without forcing my volume up to max.

  37. Kale says:

    Looking at this episode makes me wonder about what Cerberus does with all the labs that get ransacked. I wiped out every base I found in ME1, but it’s not like you demolish the building or even wreck the equipment unless it shoots you, blocks you, or has goodies. Here we have a lab somewhere in the middle of space, now overrun with robots, but otherwise not in terrible condition, that has all the equipment, and presumably notes if you feel like looking, necessary for regenerating really almost dead people.

    Could Galactic Miracle Max come in with a well equipped crew, or a few decent hackers, and take control of the station in order to set us up for a Princess Bride space opera?

    • Audacity says:

      That would be so cool! I can just imagine it. The Dread Space Pirate Roberts is following the ship of Buttercup’s kidnappers when Inigo says, “I wonder if he is using the same solar wind we are using?”

      • Zaxares says:

        At the debriefing screen at the end of this mission, they mention that they actually destroyed the base via remote detonation to ensure no incriminating evidence is left behind. Guess they have deep pockets.

  38. Cybron says:

    Yeah, definitely loving the new format. I’ll probably start actually watching them now.

  39. Zaxares says:

    Cerberus being broke: Well, they DID spend 4 billion credits to bring Shepard back after she died the first time. If my 4 billion dollar investment went up in smoke, I’d probably want to cut my losses too. ;)

    Lazarus Project: … OK, I just realised I need to brush up on my Abrahamic religion knowledge. Prior to the Google search I just did about “Lazarus”, I thought Lazarus was that crazy priest from Diablo 1. :P

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Which brings me to debating how the hell did they justify 4 billion bucks on one meatbag?
      Especially – if that is almost their whole budget of operations/a great fraction.

      • Kale says:

        Are you wondering if there’s an investment board or something to justify the expenses to? Otherwise I think it’s all up to the guy burning out his eyes by sitting in the dark and staring at a…star? What is the blob thing outside the window? A power core?

        • Amnestic says:

          It’s a star. A very special star which actually changes colour depending on which ending you pick. If you blow up the station it goes blue, if you keep it it goes red. Why is he sat in front of a star? Because it’s awesome, and shut up, that’s why.

          @Guy complaining about Infiltrators: I used mine to beat Insanity. Was pretty fun. Harder than a Soldier but they’re basically hackers with Adrenaline Rush.

  40. Specktre says:

    While I completely agree that BioWare is really stretching things with Shepard’s “death” I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a second here, and as ridiculous as this sounds, I’m going to say it:

    It is scientifically proven that it IS possible to go through re-entry, fall to the planet’s surface, and survive. The probability is really small, but if you fall a certain way, you can hit they ground and you’ll be okay. There have been one or two (honestly don’t know how many) people who have accomplished this feat, though not the re-entry bit.

    And I will say that the percent chance of surviving re-entry itself would be REALLY tiny in comparison to the regular fall to the ground.

    Also, if you’re unconscious during a fall, or whatever, that could also increase your chances of survival as well. Since you’re not actually aware, your body relaxes and you’ll kinda “cushion”, for want of a better word, around whatever you hit.
    Take someone behind the wheel of a car for example. If you’re dead-tired or pissed-drunk and you pass out/fall asleep then have an accident, you have a greater chance of surviving the crash unscathed because your body is relaxed and not tense like if you were awake. If you were awake and aware during the accident, your body naturally tenses up because you’re aware of the imminent impact. In an attempt to protect yourself (a natural and sub-conscious instinct) you ironically end up doing more harm. All this is proven fact.

    Now while I understand that a car crash and re-entry and falling from several miles up are two vastly different scenarios, I’m simply saying you could apply all I’ve said to the latter scenario; the probability of survival is extremely small, but it is there nonetheless.

    And to copy the Princess Bride, this is all going off the supposition that Shepard is “mostly dead” and not “all dead”, of which I am of the opinion.

  41. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Maybe it’s the cut length (yeah, I’m one of the people in favour of the longer episodes but I’m not gonna cry about it, at least not here) but I am incredibly surprised you haven’t addressed two things yet. The new minigames, considering you already did the “hacking” and “lockpicking” in this episode, and the renegade/paragon thing, considering you already got renegade points for being “I do not trust you Cerberus people”.

  42. Avilan says:

    Am I really the only one that is amazed that people pick at “problems” with the story and the setting when the whole thing is basically one big collection of Shout Outs and Tropes from classical SF?

    • Josh says:

      Well I think it’s fair to say that after Mass Effect 1, we were all expecting something a bit more interesting than “Hey, let’s throw all internal logic out the window and send the player on a wild goose chase they don’t care about with an organization they really pissed off in the first game while we fill the game with tropes and shout-outs.” It’s not because we hate Mass Effect 2, it’s because we really liked Mass Effect 1.

      And it isn’t as if we all absolutely hate Mass Effect 2 either, but the beginning is probably the worst part in the entire game.

      • Avilan says:

        I have only played ME1 once, and that was after playing ME2, so I was too busy being annoyed by the technical flaws to notice ;).

        Seriously though the “only” real flaw with the intro is this: “I should be able to kill Jacob and Miranda and take the shuttle to somewhere else”. That said that in character, most of mine would be curious enough about what the Illusive Man was doing to actually hear him out. And then they spend the rest of the game destroying Cerberus from inside.

  43. LB says:

    It’s going well so far, but nitpick: please cut down the 30 second intro by at least 25 seconds.

  44. Ateius says:

    I’m disappointed you guys haven’t mentioned the achievement popups yet (unless you did and I missed it). That, for me, is my biggest petty grudge against ME2 – those stupid, screen-hogging, attention-grabbing, immersion-destroying achievement popups that are all “WOO! YOU SHOT TEN DUDES IN THE HEAD YOU SURE ARE GREAT AT VIDEO GAMES! HOPE YOU WEREN’T TRYING TO BE ENGROSSED BY THE STORY OR GAMEPLAY!”

    I could not find an option to turn them off. So much rage.

  45. sebcw1204 says:

    regarding polite robots that still kill you; system shock 2’s protocal droids. “i have a package for you sir……KABOOM!!!!” there’s a lot of comments and i didn’t bother to read them all so i don’t know if somebody referenced this already

  46. Inyssius says:

    This game would have been better if you could take Wilson with you at the beginning instead of Miranda.

    … admittedly, you could substitute “Wilson” with any one other NPC out of the entire game in the previous sentence and it would still be true.

  47. Eljacko says:

    I like to imagine that, rather than reviving Shepard’s original body, they took some sort of copy of his/her mind and stuck into a horrible monstrous golem made of sheep fetuses and adhesive polymers.

  48. B.J. says:

    “They fed colonist to the thresher maw to test… the effects of colonists being fed to a thresher maw. SCIENCE!”

    Bwahahahahaha!

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