Spoiler Warning S4E3: I’ve been working on the Railroad…

By Shamus Posted Saturday Nov 20, 2010

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 280 comments

Link (YouTube)


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280 thoughts on “Spoiler Warning S4E3: I’ve been working on the Railroad…

  1. zob says:

    Mission completed screen has mission report or something like TIMs commentary on your acts (renegade or paragon).

    1. Ringwraith says:

      They are like his reports, with the descriptions on the objectives achieved and such, and they also serve the gameplay purpose of providing a summary of stuff, like how much experience awarded, credits found & paid, and the materials found.
      Helps you keep track of how you are getting of these which is important as they’re all finite.

      1. Kale says:

        Thinking of them as if they’re police reports makes the first one kind of funny. Just imagining Shepard getting on the shuttle ship and being asked to summarize “her” point of view since waking up.

  2. wootage says:

    Shamus – “It’s a shame to take this game and beat up on it”. No please do, you guys are absolutely right about what you’re calling out. But you wouldn’t be doing it if the game didn’t have things you liked. So in the end, it’s a tough love kind of thing. We criticize because we care :)

    1. The problem with the Mass Effect trilogy (so far) is that since the games are so good (high fives BioWare) the few flaws there is will stick out that much clearer.

      And heck, some of the flaws could have been smoothed out by just tweaking the dialog here and there so it makes sense, which is probably what annoys the Spoiler Warning crew so much right?

      The Illusive man is an oddball.
      Miranda even states in the dialog at some point to TIM wondering why he didn’t implant Shepard with a “kill switch”, upon which TIM states that he wanted Shepard exactly restored to themselves.

      It’s almost as if TIM admires Shepard (heh. TIM as a romance for a renegade female Shepard in ME3 would be hilarious)
      since he let Shepard come back better than before but with no way of controlling Shepard.

      1. Klay F. says:

        Hell, at least a kill switch would have given the player SOME reason to work for Cerberus. Not a very good reason, mind you, but SOME reason.

        1. Velkrin says:

          Regina Shepard is not a mercenary. Now hold still while I point this grenade launcher at your pocket.

  3. Cookie Of Nine says:

    I think that the dissapearing Paragon option, which happens a few times in the game IIRC, is a result of Bioware trying to tweak the P/R system to consider the players “actions” during dialog as part of their score.

    For example: in the previous area, where you met with the guy with the gun-wound, you weren’t given a paragon/renegade choice when you first met him, you were given the fast/slow conversation options (left=investigate, right=get the talking over with), which was translated into a moral choice “what happened” vs. “less talk, more healing” and so appropriately you got paragon points for not excessively wasting the injured man’s time with questions before healing him, while the renegade to her sweet time to find out what she wanted first.

    I could see that in the dialogue with the illusive man, Bioware only wanted to reward the player with Paragon points for picking the “I refuse” option, otherwise the conversation options are “I’m not sure”, “I’m in”, or “Tell me more…” which undercuts (in their minds) your attempt to refuse him on moral grounds.

    That being said, I agree with the opinion that the Paragon choice seems very OOC for paragon players. Which I think happens more often when “law-abiding”/”job-completing” clashes with “cooperative”/”out of my way” methods of deciding the Paragon/Renegade choices.

    1. It’s also possible that BioWare is trying to show that sometimes Lawfull and Chaotic sometimes clashes with itself.

      What I do miss though is the possibility of: [Lie] Ok I’ll help you!
      That would have allowed renegade points but with a paragon result or vice versa.

      1. Felblood says:

        Do you honestly think that much thought went into that conversation tree?

        This isn’t a profound parable meant to teach us about moral relativism. It’s just lazy writing.

        1. The example “[Lie] Ok I'll help you!” has been done in other games (KoTOR?), and could easily have been done in the ME dialog tree.
          But I assume it was a design decision not to do this in ME.

          1. Felblood says:

            Mass Effect doesn’t have a Bluff/Persuade mechanic, which is what those were there for.

            Allowing you to lie in the early part of a game that doesn’t actually have a deception mechanic would be pretty misleading.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              The [lie] conversation options in Neverwinter Nights and Kotor don’t use skills.

              [Persuade] used Persuade, [Diplomacy] used Diplomacy etc. I’m sure you a pattern there. One of the rare exceptions was [Insight] in NWN, which came from Wisdom but was only offered if it was high enough (no skill check, no virtual dice rolling).

    2. Cookie Of Nine says:

      I realize now that the confusion between the meaning of Paragon/Renegade may be because throughout all of ME1, and after the current mission in ME2, you have an overall goal to complete (ME1: Save Eden Prime, Stop Saren, ME2: Stop the Collectors), but is this extended intro, you don’t have a job to do, and the railroading seems to make sure that you get to your mission.

      The dialogue options still suck though…

      I was also annoyed with the Tali intro, for much the same reasons, but also because it made it look like you could recruit Tali then and there if you made the right choices in ME1/ME2 up to that point. That would have been AWESOME!!! (To paraphrase Dr. Chakwas.)

      1. Deadpool says:

        THAT particular choice, the Paragon choice was “I’m gonna need some convincing” which is pretty much what investigate did there: Let TIM make his sales pitch.

        I think it disappeared because it would have given you a very similar answer…

        1. Audacity says:

          Does anyone else think it’s funny that almost all this confusion and frustration could be avoided by ditching the silly conversation wheel, and just showing players what their dialog options really are?

  4. Cookie Of Nine says:

    I think the mission complete screen was to compliment the “Restart Last Mission” load option to allow players to know exactly what they were going to do, or what score they had to beat to improve their result from last time.

    Alpha Protocol did the same thing, and was probably better justified, but since that was a game that was released later, at the time it gave me bad FFX-2 flashbacks.

    1. skd says:

      It also gives you a quick synopsis of what resources and upgrades you picked up during the last mission. For the completionists it can help to identify what you missed.

      1. scowdich says:

        And what, in most missions, you can never go back and pick up ever again.

    2. Taellosse says:

      It was also the mechanism by which you receive your experience in this game. Since, unlike in ME1, you do not earn experience dynamically, based on killing enemies and opening locks and so forth (this also serves to guarantee that you never level up in the middle of a mission, which I found to be sort of annoying).

  5. Deadpool says:

    Taking the wrong definition of Illusive. Producing, produced by, or based on illusion; deceptive or unreal.

    Still, considering he’s the LEADER of a massive organization, calling himself “Deceptive Man” and asking for loyalty is being stupid…

  6. *proud member of the Tali fanclub*

    In fact, when I played ME2 and realized you could romance Tali,
    I re-played ME1 ignoring the Liara romance.
    So now I got 3 ME2 saves ready for ME3.
    One where I romanced Liara in ME1 and cheated on her by romancing Tali in ME2.
    And one where I didn’t romance anyone in ME1 and romanced Tali in ME2.
    And then I believe it was the Tali “only” romance path that I did two variants of the “ending”.

    So in ME3 I’ll be starting with a save where Tali is the only romance and I nuked the Collector base,
    and one where I didn’t, and then another where I cheated on Liara with going for Tali and nuked the collector base.

    And in all three cases I spared the rachni queen in ME1.

    Oh and the only person that died of my companions was um, Kaidan in my first ME1 playthough, but in the second ME1 playthrough I think it was Ashley that survived.
    And everyone survived the ME2 suicide mission, so I’ll be starting ME3 with a full team-1 in that regard. (in theory it’s possible for only you and Joker and Liara and whomever you did not let die (Ashley or Kaiden) in ME1 to be the minimum companions you can start with in ME3, which fits the you + two squadmates lineup that the ME games uses.)

    Will be interesting to see how any of this affect ME3.
    (the BioWare writers did say that cheating on your romance from ME1 could have consequences, Liara could at worst become your enemy in Me3)

    So this has the “potential” to get very interesting.

    1. Bodyless says:

      “Oh and the only person that died of my companions was um, Kaidan in my first ME1 playthough, but in the second ME1 playthrough I think it was Ashley that survived.”

      So you killed kaidan both times?^^

      “(in theory it's possible for only you and Joker and Liara and whomever you did not let die (Ashley or Kaiden) in ME1 to be the minimum companions you can start with in ME3, which fits the you + two squadmates lineup that the ME games uses.)”

      Is Liara on your team/ship when you do the collector base? because with only joker left onboard, you die.

      1. Taellosse says:

        No. Kaiden/Ashley and Liara are not recruitable teammates in ME2, though you encounter them as NPCs. There’s a DLC for ME2 that features Liara as a major character too, and she does temporarily join your squad for that, but you can’t use her in the main game.

        1. Bodyless says:

          ye thats what i thought. and i think at least one of your team has to survive. because joker cannot pull you up when you are hanging after defeating the end boss.

    2. Skan says:

      Yes, Tali all the way. She is one of the few reasons that I played as male Sheperd. =)

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Noooo!Ashley is aliveee!!!*sob*

    And I remember there being more questions…I think…Is it like this because its a deault character?

    The weirdest thing about this beginning is:It would make so much more sense if you remained alliance soldier.So why was there need to pair you up with cerberus?I mean,a soldier has to obey orders,whether they like them or not,but blind obedience is not something you will find in a terrorist group.Its so weird that in the first game where you are a soldier,the main plot makes you disobey,and here where you are rogue,you just salute.

    And,of course,TALI IS BACK!!YAY!!

    1. Actually, despite being dead, Shepard is still a Spectre (although at this point in Spoiler Warning he’s not officially re-instated yet) so Alliance or Cerberus does not really matter, and a Spectre is renegade almost by default.

    2. Mike says:

      From what I understand, Mass Effect 1 never saves after you make the choice between Anderson and Udina, so if you import a ME1 save into ME2 the game inserts a question basically asking which one you picked.

      1. Mina says:

        Yeah pretty much. Which kind of irked me because I didn’t pick either in ME1 but the question in ME2 forces you to pick one.

    3. Aldowyn says:

      You pretty much chafe against joining Cerberus the entire game, as Paragon or Renegade, mostly because TIM keeps screwing you over… again, and again…

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        And the only few times you can screw him over(with the few cerberus files and stuff you find around)simply get “lost” in the end.Which is pretty irritating.And the one thing you can do to even the score is to blow up the station.Which is the dumbest thing you can do.That is,if your goal is to do something about the reapers.If your goal is to blow shit up,then it is the smartest thing to do.

    4. Josh says:

      It’s a bug, Kaidan’s alive. Probably comes from me messing around with the save file – we’re actually not using the default save, I just used some fancy (not) editing to make it look like we started a new game to show off the character creation choices. I’ll probably mention it in an episode eventually, just haven’t had the opportunity yet.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Youve just made my day.

      2. Nyaz says:

        So that’s why we saw Kaidan in episode one and Jacob is now claiming he died on Virmire… interesting.

      3. PhilWal says:

        KAIDEN’S ALIVE?!

  8. zob says:

    By the way what will you do to get enough materials to upgrade? Will planet mining happen off-screen, will you cheat?

    1. For the suicide run?
      Well, at least show viewers one mining excursion, then do it off-camera/cheat. All depending on if Josh decides who/how many he’ll want to survive by the end.
      Then again he liked the sole survivor background so who knows *grin*…

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Oh,they definitely have to probe away at least once.Its the highlight of the game!I mean,it even has its own song:


        And,of course,the perfect place to probe is uranus.It may be an obvious and an old joke,but come on,how many times can you brag about actually probing uranus?

        1. Oh man your right, Josh just have to probe uranus.
          EDI’s sarcasm is hilarious.

          1. X2-Eliah says:

            Interesting. I thought that one comment was actually incredibly bad-natured and just outlined how low the game has fallen in some parts.

  9. Chong says:

    Wait a minute, wasn’t Kaiden alive in the first episode?
    So why is Jacob saying he was killed on Virmire?

    1. Shamus says:

      Yeah, there was some save-game confusion. We’d actually recorded the first episode twice and had multiple saves going. Not sure how we’re going to fix that.

      1. Deadpool says:

        Maybe a quick run down on what save and what past decisions we’re using on the next Spoiler Warning post?

        It’s not that serious anyways…

      2. Aldowyn says:

        That doesn’t really make sense… Kaidan should be alive since you’re fem Shep, and that’s all there is to it. Unless you imported a save, obviously, which you didn’t. Just a bug of some sort. *shrug*

        1. Friend of Dragons says:

          Yeah… so does this game think Liara was the romance in ME1, or just no romance?

        2. acronix says:

          Maybe next time Kaidan of Ashley are mentioned the game will bug again and mention Saren is the one who survived…

        3. Deadpool says:

          Well, he DID say he reloaded several saves… Maybe he DID import a FemShep save. Or maybe you can change gender post death…

      3. Neil Polenske says:

        Shamus, I think you’re going to hafta edit your blog post to clear the Kaiden confusion up, cause clearly not everyone’s catching your correction in here.

      4. Chong says:

        Huh, thought it was some kind of bug.

        By the way, I love the new saturday updates.

    2. Deadfast says:

      Indeed, they were even making fun of his ridiculous pink “uniform”.

      Did you guys restart the game or something?

      EDIT: Should have refreshed the page first :)

  10. Nyctef says:


    1. Josh says:

      Lies. The G-man is way more awesome than TIM.

      Also far worse at English.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Here here!Plus,the g man actually lets you shoot him in a few choice scenes.It doesnt do much good,but at least you can try.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I’m not a native speaker of English but I always thought it was “hear, hear!” o.0

          1. krellen says:

            It is.

  11. GiantRaven says:

    I must say, I am loving the frequency of these updates!

    The whole ‘Spoiler Warning’ show has really clicked for me now whereas before I struggled to get past watching the first video.

  12. Aldowyn says:

    You guys just stopped in the middle of a fight! It wasn’t even between mini-fights, Josh was literally still shooting at something >.>

    Anyway… Yeah, there really should be a “screw you, TIM” option, even if it ends up with a “several years later, the Reapers come and kill everything – The End.”

    Tali’s not my favorite character (that would be Garrus, probably), but she is a LOT better than Liara. I just don’t really like Liara…

    1. Jarenth says:

      Garrus in Mass Effect 2 kind of took me by surprise (I only figured it out a few moments before), and I choose to remember I did a fist-pump in the air in celebration.

      It’s too bad he got so mopey afterwards, but I’m hoping Mass Effect can clear his spirits.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        The whole him getting his squad killed (backstory) is really interesting, but he does get a bit whiny. I think they could probably make a cool DLC, Leliana’s Song style, with that… hmm, that’s a pretty good idea, actually!

  13. Narida says:

    Hmm.. wasn’t Kaidan there in the first video? What happened, did I miss something?

  14. Robyrt says:

    Tee hee! I love these new, more frequent bite-size updates.

    Tali is great and all, but I’d bet at least 40% of the viewers have chosen the Tali romance option, so it would be nice to see something else. Oh wait, you’re Jennifer Hale, you HAVE to pick something else. Carry on!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Unless they hack something.Can you imagine jennifer hale on liz sroka action?I usually dont like lesbian romances,but this one I wouldnt mind dreaming about.

  15. bit says:

    Query; am I the only one who actually likes Miranda, both design and character wise? She’s a tad bland at times, and her outfit doesn’t make much actual sense, but she’s got a good personality and and some good lines and moments. *shrug*

    1. Well! Thee is a pretty humorous love scene in the engine room with Miranda so…

      And for females there is Garrus which is also hilarious.

      But the facination wit Tali is that she seems true to her character.
      Her interaction with Shepard in ME1 and then her loyalty mission in ME2 etc.
      She slowly develops a crush and falls in love with Shepard.
      and out of all BioWare characters I think Tali is actually the most naturally written one. (in fact one could broaden that to almost any game, BioWare writers did a damn good job with Tali’s chharacter growth)

      Other good ones is Bastila in KoTOR (Jennifer Hale btw) and Morrigan in Dragon Age (Claudia Black)

      Liara just seem schizo, and I suspect she cheated on (albeit thought dead at the time) Shepard during her hunt for the Shadowbroker.

    2. Retlor says:

      I didn’t mind her character, but I had the annoying feeling all through the game that her only real purpose was to constantly remind you that Cerberus was actually awesome, and that you are narrow-minded for not comepletely obeying them and loving them.

    3. swimon says:

      Miranda gets better IMO. Her character makes very little sense in the beginning and she’s pretty obnoxious at first but once you do her loyalty mission she gets a lot better. The fact that she “only cares about the mission” while wearing high heels is annoying and she gets a little to fan servicy at times but other than that I like her.

      1. PurePareidolia says:

        Wait, if she ‘only cares about the mission’ and then when you do her loyalty quest she reunites with her sister and presumably starts caring about something else, wouldn’t that make her LESS effective in the endgame?

        1. Aldowyn says:

          :D Fridge Brilliance…

          Possible explanation: It’s not actually focusing on the mission, at least not for everyone. It could be exactly what it says: They’re loyal to Shepard, and thus are better… somehow.

        2. Avilan says:

          She only cares for the mission, the mission being what TIM has given her. She is highly suspicious of Shepard at first (especially if you screw her around by giving Jack full access, etc), keeping him or her at arms length; but after her loyalty mission she is in this not because what she has been ordered to do, but because she is now helping a friend (Shepard) or lover (Shepard).

    4. Jarenth says:

      She’s introduced rather ham-handedly, and then hyped up as being a genetic super genius plus one, even though she did nothing to deserve this reputation and she does nothing to live up to it.

      This irked me.

      1. Kanodin says:

        Oh wow I’d actually forgotten she was supposed to be hyper-intelligent as well as everything else she’s good at. Remembering that really does make her worse.

  16. Bodyless says:

    Sometimes i hate youtube, especially in those moments where it interrupts the video even though i have like 2 or more minutes already buffered.

  17. Wolfwood says:

    mmmm Tali *.* <333

    1. Neil Polenske says:

      Yeah, I’m with Rutskarn. I’d tap that.

  18. Anaris says:

    Less pistols, more charge+shotgunning!

  19. Mina says:

    Am I the only one who didn’t like the characters or their missions in ME2? I didn’t think most of the game was much of a step up from the beginning.

    Especially Jack and Zaeed, there honestly should have been an option to shoot both of them.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Probably,yeah.I mean you can not like most of them,but not liking mordin?I cant see how thats even possible.

      1. Bodyless says:

        you can leave zaeed for dead if you do his loyality mission after the suicicde mission. or alternativly, give them some suicide mission in the collector base.

    2. Irridium says:

      I loved the loyalty missions. Particularly Thane’s and Samara’s.

      Thane’s because I just love the interrogation scene. Samara’s because dicking around in the club is just fun.

      Plus neither had combat, which was a very nice change of pace.

    3. krellen says:

      I liked Mordin, Garrus, and Tali – but Garrus and Tali don’t count, because they’re ME1 characters.

      So no, you’re not the only one. I never got the “but the characters are just so good” excuse.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        No one seems to give Grunt any credit just because Wrex was awesome.

        Okay, maybe that is a good reason.

        ANYWAY, Grunt is pretty awesome if you give him a chance. Somehow I can just feel something behind him.. huh, hard to explain.

        I liked a bunch of the new characters: Thane, Mordin, Legion, the aforementioned Grunt, and Miranda, if not as much as the others. Samara reeks of Lawful Good more than pretty much anyone (not always bad, but… not much personality), Jack is just a bitter jerk, and Jacob is like Kaidan, but different. (Boring)

        For some reason the humans aren’t that interesting in either game.. You’d think they’d make more effort to make them interesting since they aren’t, you know, ALIENS?

  20. Mersadeon says:

    You know what? I hate you guys for playing Mass Effect 2. You know why? Because I am sooo jealous. The german version is wonderfully dubbed (especially compared to Bethesda stuff – you dare to complain about having only 10 voices for all NPC’s in Oblivion and Fallout 3? In german, it’s half of that. Everyone sounds the same, especially in Oblivion.), but Tali doesn’t have that awesome accent. Now, because of you, I will have to play through the english version.

    I think most people like Tali because she just is the most interesting character. She is intelligent and confident, but not too confident. She has motives and background and every conversation is really well written. I’m just glad that we got the chance to romance her in ME 2, because I really wanted that in ME 1 already. ME 2 has many interesting characters and interesting romance-options, but ME 1 only had… Liara, the Nerd-Scientist and Ashley, the religios, xenophobic soldier girl. (And Kaidan, but he was kinda… boring.) Both of them were just too much of a cliché for me.
    So, Bioware, if you read this… Well done. I like ME 2. Except for the ending. Whoever wrote that: shame on you. Seriously, what were you thinking?

    1. scowdich says:

      Not to mention, Tali’s romance is probably one of the best-written. The awkwardness Tali expresses, the adorable hand-wringing, the absolute show of trust…it just blows most of the others away, in my book.
      Garrus’s is pretty hilarious, though.

      1. Irridium says:

        Well except when Shepard smiles. Seriously, its “Revenge of the Uncanny Valley”.

        And don’t even get me started on Shepard’s dancing…

    2. eri says:

      Tali is basically the ultimate fan-service character. She is well-written, I admit, but it’s pretty obvious that everything about her is designed to appeal to a certain demographic of BioWare fans. Trust me, if you look at the BioWare forums and see the hundred-page-long threads about X or Y characters and romances, you’ll understand exactly why BioWare wrote Tali that way. It’s raw manipulation.

      1. Retlor says:

        Whaddaya know? If you write a genuinely compelling character the audience will respond well to them. This is especially true if that character is well-written, humanised with believable quirks and flaws, and (and I really think this is important) not ludicrously over-the-top like some characters.

        People respond well to Tali in the sequel because she’s one of the very few characters who aren’t massive douchebags. This is also why people like Mordin, Thane and Garrus. :P

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I never romanced Tali, I really, really like her and I probably would have if it was possible in ME1. Through a large portion of the game I pretty much thought it would be an option, there was just so much awkwardness in the air. I ultimately didn’t go for this in ME2 since I was going out with Jack (I know, not a common choice, but I’m one of the few freaks who find her character and backstory appealing) but I checked the dialogues and videos on youtube an the wikia and I have to say that Tali romance is probably the sweetest choice in the game. Yes, I do believe bioware added it as fanservice (was there even a mention of cross-species romance with Quarians in ME1 at all? I thought the one reason it wasn’t possible was their fragile health…) but they did a good job of it (though they did have to retcon/lampshade it a bit), especially since for many players it continues the romantic tension from the first part of the game.

          1. BanZeus says:

            The fragile health thing is what stopped me. Even my full renegade Shep never killed anyone with his junk and I wasn’t about to risk Tali being the first.

            Aaaand by the time I recruited her I was already busy cheating on Liara with Jack. Yeah, that’ll never come back to bite me in the next game…

      2. Ringwraith says:

        The main reason why Garrus and Tali were added as romance options was as people wanted it so much from the first game, so they decided to throw it in.
        They did it very well though, they did their homework. It feels like it was always meant to be there.

      3. Avilan says:

        Actually the opposite happened.

        The reason why Tali was not an option in ME1 was because the writers could not fathom how anyone would go for a woman with chicken legs.

        1. BanZeus says:

          That makes me wonder how many people were complaining you couldn’t romance Mordin, Grunt or Legion.

          I would say Joker would be a perfectly valid option for ME3 but then EDI might “accidentally” depressurize your quarters.

          1. Avilan says:

            Not neccesarely. If you are female, maybe she will insist on using you for a ride with Joker… (letter her inside your cybernetics or something). ;)

            1. BanZeus says:

              EDI: “Assuming direct control…”

  21. SpammyV says:

    So… wait. Is the Illusive Man’s voice actor the narrator from the old Eyewitness Collection videos?

    Also, please put a helmet on Miranda. And some different armor. I’m sorry, I just cannot take her seriously with the Shrek jaw, plunging neckline, and ridiculously tight suit. She doesn’t have the body pull the Zero Suit look off. And I can’t take the Zero Suit look anyway in a “serious” space opera RPG.

    1. Neil Polenske says:

      Actually, he’s the former President of the United States.

    2. scowdich says:

      The Illusive Man is voiced by Martin Sheen. Not Bill Pullman, Morgan Freeman or any other president.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        He was kennedy in the miniseries.He was also a couple of fictional presidents here and there.

      2. Neil Polenske says:

        Am I really the only one here who remembers The West Wing?

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          No. And I didn’t even watch it.

    3. Irridium says:

      You can’t change companion’s armor sadly.

      Which sucks because I really wanted to put at least a shirt on Jack.

      Seriously, she used a damn belt as a bra. And walks around in it everywhere. I’m not a woman, but I’m pretty sure that would not be comfortable.

      Plus, why the hell is she still wearing it while [i]out in space[/i]? Why does Miranda and Samara still show ridiculous amounts of cleavage in the vast, cold, harsh emptiness of space and insanely harsh worlds?

      1. SpammyV says:

        My theory is that the character designers played Brawl for a weekend or got the 100% ending of MP3 and decided that they needed something like the Zero Suit in their game. While ignoring the fact that outside of Brawl(which is utter fanservice), Samus doesn’t actually work in the Zero Suit, it’s just the under layer (or something) of the Power Suit. Although, it seems somehow fitting that the Galaxy’s Most Inept Terrorist Group lets their top operative run around in something she got from space-Victoria’s Secret.

        Clearly Jacob is a grunt by choice, as he knows that if he were promoted any higher they’d make him run around in a muscle shirt and some space-leather pants.

        1. Jarenth says:

          The fact that Jacob, as a ‘regular soldier’, manages to stay up to speed with, among others, a genetically engineered super-genius, the most powerful biotic in the known universe, a hyper-advanced robot, Krogan Jesus, and even commander Shepherd themself, lends support to this notion.

        2. Velkrin says:

          We can only hope that Shepard quits Cerb before the third game, otherwise he’ll be running around in a space-thong. Unless it’s a female Shepard in which case they’ll be in a space-thong and have strategically placed hair.

          Naturally they’ll have a helmet on during missions.

      2. Actually you can change companion looks. But you need to do their loyalty missions first. And there is a DLC/bonus addon (or was it a patch?) that adds some extra looks. (for Garrus and Jack at least).

        1. Irridium says:

          Yeah I know, but all that really does is change the color of the clothes.

          The only people who’s clothes change into something new are Miranda’s, who gets a skin-tight leather suit. Jack, who gets a tank top a.k.a. an actual piece of clothing(DLC gave her a semi-decent outfit though).

          The DLC your thinking of, and that I mentioned, is the Alternate Appearence Pack. It gave Garrus new, fixed armor, Jack a Biker Outfit, and Thane got a new suit and some sunglasses.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            I never understood why Garrus’ new outfit after the loyalty mission is still screwed up… that’s like admitting it’s just a paint job.

            1. Ringwraith says:

              That’s because it is.

              You’ll begin to notice a theme among the costume changes when you start getting a few of them.

  22. Marlowe says:

    The Quarians: so that’s what happened to the Omar after Deus Ex: Invisible War.

    I appreciate their “Zer ar zee nuklear wessels” style accents – ideal for Russian Muslim cyborgs in space.

    TIM really needs a white Persian on his lap for him to stroke while speaking. “So-o-o-o Commander Bond”. Presumably, they cut the No option in the dialog which would have flushed Shepard straight down a hidden floor tube into an aquarium full of sharks.

    Josh – well done for playing this new, improved popamole cover shooter like a proper fps. Cover, I don need no steenkeen cover. Keep it up!

    1. eri says:

      You know, that’s what I’ve always thought about the quarians. The thin body type, the “semi-human” physiology, the odd Eastern European accent, the skin-tight, protective biosuits, and the penchant for technical aptitude… I guess BioWare were betting Invisible War wasn’t successful enough for anyone to notice the Omar similarities.

      Actually, they cut the “no” option because they realised it would break their entire story if the player picked it.

      1. Zero T. Katama says:

        I always just thought the Quarians were supposed to be “Space Gypsies”. But then again, I haven’t played Invisible War, so.

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          You were fooled by the fact that they’re really Space Gypsy Russian Muslim Cyborgs.

          Although now that I think about it, their background is pretty close to the Eldar in 40k ain’t it?

          So, Russian Muslim Eldars.

    2. winter says:

      Josh ““ well done for playing this new, improved popamole cover shooter like a proper fps. Cover, I don need no steenkeen cover. Keep it up!

      Hear, hear!

      1. Aldowyn says:

        Yeah, but I’m pretty sure they’re on normal. Don’t try that on Insanity (been playing too much Halo, almost said Legendary…), you will die. Very, very quickly.

        1. Ringwraith says:

          Hardcore is a nice balance, the addition of secondary bars to everything makes a huge difference. You have to use everything at your disposal properly to get through more often than not.

          Insanity is designed to be simply unfair, at least it’s signposted as such.

  23. swimon says:

    I find it interesting that some characters have accents. I mean they all speak foreign space languages and you only hear it as english since you have some space translator in your brain. So how come some people have accents?

    The quarians especially seem to talk broken english except for Claudia Black and Adam Baldwin. Is this really subtle racism (after all the quarians aren’t exactly well respected) or did someone not think this trough (more likely)?

    1. scowdich says:

      Well, let’s think about the “universal translator” convention critically. If it were to work “realistically”, every alien speaking some alien language would be dubbed over with a monotone voice that didn’t match their mouth movements. I’d say the alternative is better.

      1. 8th_Pacifist says:

        The quarians’ accents seem to match what ship they come from. I like to think that the universal translator changes whatever alien accents they have into earth equivalents, the same way they “translate” vocal inflections and stuff.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          As a person who does translation as part of the job I have to say that yes, a translator that actually keeps/emulates accents would be awesome and, in fact, much more effective/better than the “dry English” one, assuming of course that it did the job right. Considering we get it down to idioms and wordplays the “universal translator” should probably be considered the single most advanced piece of technology in the ME universe. The amount of data that is transferred by an accent, idioms and other language specific phenomena is downright insane. Even within English you get (or at least assume) a lot of information on the person and/or situation depending on if they greet you with “yo”, “good morning sir” or “salutations”.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            A talented translator is often under appreciated, I imagine. There is always a better translation than the direct one.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              Goddamnit. I planned on replying with a synonym for “says you” with a broken English literally translated from Finnish. But I keep transforming them into proper English idioms.

              I’ll try one: “From your mind.” (Finnish: “Sinun mielestä.”, proper: “In your opinion.” or “According to you.” Closest might be “That’s what you think.”) That just felt wrong.

              A realtime universal translator that properly conveys intent and meaning would be awesome, yet one of the few things less likely than an actual FTL drive.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Why wouldnt there be accents even with a universal translator?Its hard to believe that all of the aliens would speak in the same manner,and only us humans have this quirk.So all these subtle variations are picked up and translated in a different manner.

      1. Sigilis says:

        Either that, or different languages are translated into different accents in order to allow you to differentiate who is speaking what by ear.

      2. Nidokoenig says:

        Reminds me of the remark from the ninth doctor’s first episode, when Billy Piper asked him something like, if you’re an alien, why do you have a northern accent? “Lot’s of planets have a North.”

        It’s certainly true that accents would be useful as ways of distinguishing species and classes, but making a universal translator that assigns accents in ways that adequately maps to important social distinctions is only slightly more ridiculous than making a universal translator in the first place.
        So it’s possibly more likely it just assigns random accents to counter the perceived wrongness of the elephant alien and the blue space nymph both speaking the same way. Or it could assign accents in ways that adequately maps to important social distinctions, because fuck it.

        1. Will says:

          More likely, aliens have accents because the game is designed to be played by people who speak english.

    3. Vect says:

      It’s hardly broken English. It’s heavily accented English, but otherwise perfect.

  24. pffh says:

    I don’t get the Tali worship that most ME fans seem to share. In fact I found her annoying right up until I hugged her on her mission in ME2 and then she just became tolerable (but still stayed on the ship).

    1. eri says:

      She is basically the cute, intelligent, semi-awkward, nerdy girl that every single pathetic, lonely geek on the planet pines for.

      1. Jarenth says:

        That took an ugly turn around the second half of the sentence.

        1. Heh!

          Yeah. If anything Tali is probably one of the most realistic female NPC’s in a game for ages.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Alongside alyx vance.

        2. eri says:

          Well, I am being serious. That is by and large who she is designed to appeal to. I’m one of them, so it’s okay. Tali is a great character, but she seems far too engineered for a certain portion of BioWare’s fanbase. Her little quirks and flaws are all just a bit too perfect for me.

          1. Ramsus says:

            Indeed Tali is almost too perfectly engineered for the intended player. Then again….it certainly beats the standard of characters that are just horribly annoying or bland. If we lived in a world where games consistently had likable characters this would be a bad thing. As is it’s just nice that there’s a character made with the intent of us not wanting to slam our heads into the wall when we hear them talk.

  25. Chuck says:

    So am I the only one to see the Illusive Man as a clear ripoff of The Smoking Man from X-Files?

    1. Felblood says:


      The Illusive Man is clearly Stan Lee.

  26. Shep says:

    I don’t really get the complaints about not being able to say no to the Illusive Man in the first cutscene. It’s a bit like complaining that, in Mass Effect 1, we weren’t given the choice to just ignore Saren and the Prothean beacon and spend the rest of the game in the strip joint on the Citadel.

    1. swimon says:

      Well no stopping Saren was the goal in the first game so ignoring that would just be not playing the game. The goal in ME2 however isn’t working with Cerberus it’s stopping the reapers/collectors working with Cerberus is just a means to that. Also even if working with Cerberus was the goal I would still complain (and I guess others would too) because it’s stupid and makes very little sense to work with a known racist terrorist organisation that functions badly.

    2. Shamus says:

      1) In the first game Shepard was a new character, now you’re playing an established character. One who spent the first game FIGHTING Cerberus.

      2) Joining Cerberus is not remotely the most sensible course of action at this point. As a member of the Alliance Navy (and an officer!) you should report to your superiors. As a spectre, you should report to the council. Both of whom should be better equipped to handle reapers than a group of famously inept and disorganized terrorists who up until this point have racked up a huge civilian kill count while not benefiting humanity in any way whatsoever.

      3) Personally, these guys are your bitter enemy.

      Joining them makes no sense at this point. Later, after the council AND the navy reject you (for stupid reasons) then it MIGHT be a viable renegade option to go back and agree to work with them.

      Nobody complains about railroading when you’re force to make sensible, reasonable choices. It’s when you’re forced to take actions that make no sense that people notice and feel a disconnect with the game.

      1. PurePareidolia says:

        I want it noted that in this game, the “stupid reasons” are that you’re working with the aforementioned terrorist group.

        1. eri says:

          Shepard just couldn’t resist decorating the Normandy with all those cool Cerberus insignia stickers, could he?

          1. Retlor says:

            Well if you’re working for a super-secret terror group that the entire galaxy wants destroyed why wouldn’t you want to paste your logo on everything you own?

          2. PurePareidolia says:

            The best part is that it came with them. And that it’s totally in character for Cerberus as the Three stooges of super secret xenophobic human supremacist groups.
            The second best part is that nobody except the crazed psychotic even notices, including the master thief, the assassin, the pilot, the ex C-Sec officer and the centuries-old battle hardened justicar who until recruitment had been focused exclusively on tracking a ship. and then, when it potentially jeapordizes your mission by turning said psycho against you, YOU LEAVE IT ON THE SHIP.

            But it gets better – not only do the council who are actively opposed to Cerberus let you land on the citadel and walk around freely, potentially with two agents IN CERBERUS UNIFORM, but you go through a C-Sec customs checkpoint, the question of your death is immediately raised and SOMEHOW you manage to explain it away without mentioning Cerberus or anyone noticing said agents.

            But it gets BETTER. You can go up to the presidium, and get a meeting with the council itself alongside both Cerberus agents, in the office of someone who is potentially a councillor himself, and you can have them specifically say Cerberus is their enemy, with two Cerberus agents STANDING IN THE ROOM IN FULL UNIFORM.

            Man, Ashley was right, the council really doesn’t give a damn about humans. You’d think it’d care about a human supremacist terrorist organization but they read your Spectre reports so I’m pretty sure they know as well as we do that Cerberus is only dangerous to other humans. I bet the “enemy of the council” thing is just lip service after the Alliance brass complained about all their troops and admirals being killed.

            1. Sleeping Dragon says:

              They DO try to lampshade it a bit by insisting that you being a spectre basically gives you privileges, and in the later portion of the game by claiming you’re operating largely outside council space. It’s a dumb, stupid, ridiculous explanation that doesn’t work but they give it anyway.

              What I think they wanted to kinda retcon a bit is to turn Cerberus from the guerilla terrorist organization into more of a “corporation that everybody knows is doing evil stuff but the evil stuff always blows up upon discovery, or is proven to be done by a rogue faction, or a villain subsidiary or such”, the Lex Luthor kinda thing. Again, doesn’t really work.

              1. Retlor says:

                The sad thing is that it could have been completely avoided just by making up a NEW organisation.

                Or by using the Shadow Broker or something instead. Anything but Cerberus.

                1. Felblood says:

                  There are a lot of things TIM could have said to buy him some temporary cooperation, from the person who is nominally his prisoner (right up until he give Shepard a free battleship).

                  “We’re not the same Cerberus; those guys were another cell that was purged for embarrassing us.” This let’s Cerberus wash it’s hands of actual wrongdoing, but remain badass enough to fulfill their role.

                  “Cerberus was like that in the past, but we’re under new management now. I have a new vision for Cerberus.” This establishes TIM as a force to be reckoned with, and even a potential ally.

                  “There were reasons for what we did back there that are not immediately obvious. In time you will understand.” This is really shaky, and would need to bear out, if a long term relationship was to make sense, but it’s something anyway.

                  “I had Miranda install a bomb in your head. Do what I say until you can convince her to take it out.” This gives TIM some real threat, and while it makes him more antagonistic than the writers wanted, it’s probably the only way he could hope to control a paragon Shepard, once he leaves the base. Bonus points if he can also blow up the Normandy II remotely, or if the “bomb” inside Shepard is something more creative, like a dependency on some sort of Cerberus supplied medication.

                  Anything would be better than this piece of mutual idiocy:

                  Shepard:”I remember you; you’re those evil guys who did all that bad stuff, right in front of me. We are enemies!”

                  TIM:”Cerberus is not as evil as you think.”

                  Shepard:”Oh, okay! I’m flying under your flag now!”

                  TIM: “Here, have a battleship that could do incalculable harm to me, in the hands of my enemies.”

                  That was how the game ended for me, because the game exceeded it’s maximum bull allowance right there.

            2. Big Tiki says:

              They could seriously have written around that by having Cerberus be making a genuine attempt to rehabilitate its image (thus the omnipresent logos). With some careful and not heavy-handed information leaking out, the enemy Cerberus actions from ME1 could be partially explained as ‘false-flag’ activities by Earth Firsters or co-opted by Batarians using brainwashed human slaves…

              “Of course, Shepherd, I’m not the first person to try to guide this organization. My predecessor attempted to deal with her predecessor’s mess, but Cerberus had become a useful bogeyman for many of the galaxy’s less scrupulous criminals… and politicians. But, I repeat myself.”

              I mean, seriously – Bioware – you used to see these angles before me.

      2. krellen says:

        I often get the feeling that Mass Effect 2 was not designed for fans of Mass Effect, but rather for a whole different audience altogether – like EA and BioWare decided that the proper response to a successful Mass Effect was to make an entirely different game to appeal to an entirely different demographic, and thus try to tap two markets with one game – hoping the fans of the first would buy the game just based on it being “2”, while drawing the new group in with the “new and improved” gameplay and “badassary” of the story.

        The got the BioWare RPG fans with ME1, and so they made ME2 hoping to draw the cover-based shooter fans in too. Perhaps they’ll make ME3 an RTS, just to get the trifecta of big genres.

        1. PurePareidolia says:

          No, it’d be some sort of multiplayer FPS, probably based around a ‘warfare theme’, tinted grey and with grizzled alliance space marines as the main characters and OHGODITSHAPPENING!

      3. Shep says:

        You didn’t really spend the first game fighting Cerberus, you may or may not run into them a few times but it’s hardly the point of the game. Even if it was, the whole idea is that you have to work with Cerberus reluctantly because they are the only ones who seems to have the leads and resources to fight the collectors. Which sort of leads to the next point. When you talk in the Citadel, it’s basically outright stated that the Council and the Alliance aren’t willing to look into the Collectors. Now admittedly, it might have made more sense if there was an option to go and learn all this BEFORE you went to Freedom’s Progress, but it would have messed up the pacing even more of a game that has problems with pacing.

        As for Cerberus being a bitter enemy, there are plenty of dialogue choices to grumble about working with Cerberus and an opportunity to stick two fingers up at them in the end. But ultimately, they have all the info, so you have to work with them. Is it railroading? yes, but no more so than the council telling you which planets to investigate in Mass effect 1. After the first mission, you’re free to ignore the main plot and go and do some side missions if you feel that strongly about working for Cerberus.

        Ultimately, although the whole Cerberus thing could have been handled better (why does a top-secret terrorist organisation have uniforms again?)I just don’t understand the utter rage being directed at it. I mean, I had a bit of a laugh about how badly handled the rachni queen choice was in the original game, but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of an otherwise superb game.

        1. krellen says:

          The rachni queen isn’t the central point of the entire game. Working for Cerberus, who operates in completely nonsensical terms, is. And the Cerberus arc is the single largest “side quest” in ME1; it has nearly as many missions as the main plot line does.

          And can people please please please stop using the “the Council/Alliance won’t help” excuse? The stated reason they won’t help is because you’re now associated with Cerberus. Seriously. Go back and check. You have no choice but to work with Cerberus because you’re working with Cerberus.

          1. Shep says:

            Maybe try fact-checking before accusing of other people of not doing their research? Cerberus involvement is one reason given by the council. The first reasons they give are that the settlers in the Terminus Systems are outside Council jurisdiction, and they still refuse to believe that the reapers are real even if you tell them to talk to Virgil on Ilos or to examine Sovereign. Even if you weren’t working with Cerberus, they make it clear that they don’t belive in the reaper threat and won’t give you resources to investigate it. Therefore, the “excuse” (or “reason” if you’re being pedantic) is perfectly valid.

            1. krellen says:

              Doesn’t Cerberus come up first? IIRC, it does.

              Everything else is just excuses.

              EDIT: Just checked. Cerberus comes up first, and as a central reason – “rumours regarding your unexpected return are … unsettling”, and “You’re being manipulated by Cerberus, and before that, Saren.” The Council lays no credence to you because you “are working with Cerberus, a sworn enemy of the Council”.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          True,you can not have anything to do with cerberus in the first game.But,mass effect is a video game,an interactive medium,with multiple paths to go through.So if one of those choices doesnt make sense,it should be either fixed or discarded.If you never ran into cerberus in 1,thered be no complaint about it in 2.Plus,one of your backgrounds,one of 3 choices that defines your character in the very beginning,is a conflict with cerberus.That means that one third of both games revolve around them.And thats a pretty significant portion.

      4. Aldowyn says:

        In other words, if they hadn’t have been portrayed the way they were in the first game, it would have been fine?

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yup.Or if you never dealt with them in me1.

      5. Ringwraith says:

        Mass Effect is a slightly ‘third-person’ narrative, as Shepard is an established character before you even get control, all you really do is direct the general attitude Shepard expresses.
        Dragon Age is the pure ‘first-person’ narrative, as you basically define the character from scratch, whereas Shepard’s already been a force in the setting before the start of the games, like passing through the N7 academy and such.

        Also, it’s probably Shepard’s reluctance to ignore a possibility of a Reaper threat when there’s past experience of it being ignored by everyone despite the fact it could wipe the galaxy out which is much worse than anything Cerberus could ever hope to achieve. Lesser of two evils. Sure, Cerberus do horrible things, but they don’t aim to wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy.

    3. Stellar Duck says:

      For what it’s worth: in ME1 you were a soldier. As such it makes sense that you obey actual orders. That’s what soldiers do.
      I imagine that spending time in the strip joint would have harsh consequences for a soldier.

      In ME2 you just decide working for a terrorist group who seem to specialise in killing humans to further their pro human agenda. From what we see in ME1 they are a pretty despicable bunch and it makes no sense that you suddenly feel that working for them is alright.

      One might argue that it’s because the Council wont acknowledge the threat from the Collectors/Reapers and that’s the reason you team up with Cerberus.
      But that makes no sense. Shephard showed clearly, in ME1, that he/she is willing to work within the framework of Citadel authority and is willing to go a long way to convince the Council. Why not do that again. The motivation for working with Cerberus is extremely flimsy I think.

    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

      In 1,you are a soldier,first a human one,then a specter(they are a bit on the brink,but they still answer to the council,so they are soldiers).And you had the option to fight cerberus in a few optional missions,and see that they are just a bunch of(dumb)terrorists.Plus theres that background where your whole team was killed by them.

      In 2,you have no real motive for working with them.Theres nothing stopping you from killing every cerberus agent you see,hijack a ship,and go back to work for the alliance.You still are a specter,after all.But never do you have the option to even consider such an action.An obedience chip wouldve removed most,if not all,of the complaints about this.

  27. Rick W says:

    Watching this video and thinking about it some, it occurs to me how many of my issues with the game (and its opening) could be solved by changing the sequence from your first meeting with TIM to your second as follows:

    – You meet with TIM. You’re not happy about being thrown in with Cerberus, and TIM senses this. He tells you that he’d like your help investigating the disappearance of human colonies, and that before you refuse, to at least investigate the latest disappearance and talk to Anderson.

    – Freedom’s Progress plays out the same.

    – After Freedom’s Progress, you go to the Citadel. Not much happens differently here, except your conversation with Anderson hits the point that the Alliance and Council really can’t do much about human systems disappearing in the Terminus Systems and provides exposition that makes the transition from what Cerberus was in ME1 to what they are in ME2 less jarring. With the Alliance’s hands tied by political matters, it becomes apparent that working with Cerberus is the best option ““ although he warns you not to trust them.

    – You return to TIM, and tell him that Anderson convinced you. The rest of the game plays out as normal from here.

    1. PurePareidolia says:

      That might work if not for the fact you could get your Spectre status reinstated meaning the only thing stopping you from going and investigating them yourself is a ship.

      Still doesn’t stop you from just running off with the Normandy SR2 when you get it either.

      1. Irridium says:

        Thats probably what EDI is for. I wouldn’t doubt that TIM had her programed with some sort of “kill switch” if you try to take the switch.

        Sure it sounds stupid, but TIM already seems rather stupid, so I wouldn’t put it past him.

        1. Well Miranda mention the lack of a kill switch being added to Shepard, but TIM brushes it off.

          It almost seems like TIM idealizes Shepard as maybe the perfect human and as a symbol of humanity.

          So if you imagine Shepard just using the bastard then it kinda makes sense that Shepard seems to be “helping” TIM.

          I just wish BioWare had added “[Lie]” dialog options as that could so easily have fixed the issues plotwise that Shamus is stuck on.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Actually,the only thing needed for shepard using tim was to add an option in the end to not blow the station,but not handing it to cerberus either.During the game,there are numerous places where you get sensitive data regarding cerberus,so if they only used this in the ending,it would make so much more sense.I know I was playing this way,and got majorly pissed when I got nothing for it.Not even a mention.

            1. Irridium says:

              From what I’ve been told in other places, apparently Cerberus can actually go through the relay, so “keeping it for yourself” wouldn’t be an option.

              Apparently EDI is programed to send all relevant data about The Collectors and The Reapers to TIM. So when you brought aboard the IFF, EDI sent a copy to TIM who can make copies for Cerberus ships.

              If you get the ending where Shepard dies, you see Cerberus Ships moving in to the Collector Base. So yeah.

              Granted this brings up lots of other issues, but thats the answer I got for this particular problem.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                You are the only one with the iff,and if it was just data that was needed,why did the normandy go alone?And even if you die,the normandy still survives,so thats probably how cerberus gets there.

                But even if this was not the case,how long would it take for other ships to reach your destination?You have all the time in the world to study the base,plus you have the brightest minds in the universe,both organic and synthetic,with you.

                1. Irridium says:

                  Well when you get the iff it looked like it was on a data-pad of some sort. Which means they copied it onto it which means its possible EDI sent a copy to TIM.

                  As for why you went alone, I have no damn clue. I’d say its because TIM is secretly hoping that you die(the end cutscene where you die TIM doesn’t seem to phased), but that is just stupid since that would mean he spent billions bringing you back just so you could go die.

                  Ugh, I just don’t know anymore…

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Yeah,but why is it then called reaper identify friend/foe transponder?Im not saying that it couldnt be copied,just that it would be way more time consuming then just transferring data.

        2. PurePareidolia says:

          Yeah, but at the end that’s exactly what you do – you tell TIM where he can stick the remains of the collector base and leave with the Normandy, and he does nothing to stop you despite being visibly angered.

  28. KingODuckingham says:

    Thank you for explaining why he’s called the Illusive Man! It makes SO MUCH SENSE

  29. cancerbaby says:

    I’d like to imagine that “memory test” scene went on for longer than actually shown, and after a while Shepard just started lifting scenes directly from John Hughes movies to see if they’d notice (they didn’t).

    “… and then my sister got her period on, like, the day of her wedding, and she was high on prescription muscle relaxers all day, and then my parents left me at the church after the wedding but that was okay because Jake Ryan showed up to pick me up and he had a giant birthday cake with him…”

  30. Kira says:

    Dangit Josh, you’re a vanguard, charge + shotgun, not charge + pistol. you’re making me a sad panda :( (and I miss the viddler comment system)

    1. TSED says:


      I don’t get it either.


    2. Friend of Dragons says:

      This. The whole mission I was going: “ARRGH! YOU HAVE A SHOTGUN NOW!”

    3. PurePareidolia says:

      To be fair – half those enemies were sitting in areas off the main path and the Charge doesn’t work for areas where there’s no way to get back.

  31. poiumty says:

    Well that one was over just as i was starting to enjoy it.

    Something about the video length kind of annoys me. Maybe skip the pointless intro since you’re already tied up on time?

    1. PurePareidolia says:

      Yeah, these things feel absurdly compressed.
      I mean, I’m glad the 15 minute time limit is better for viewership but it always ends with someone (Mumbles) being cut off. Just leave a second of quiet at the end after the last person finishes talking and it’ll sound so much more natural.

      1. winter says:

        (A running joke where Mumbles gets cut off would be slightly amusing… Difficult to do, though.)

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          You know, I can perfectly see them trolling us with this in a near future by actually giving Mumbles some kind of signal to start a sentence like “I really liked ME2 until I discovered…” or “You would never know if you didn’t check the forum but [character x] is…” or even “There’s a simple way to fix this glitch, you just have to…” and cutting it off every single episode XD

  32. Walker says:

    I think the next game for them to do is Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate version

    1. eri says:

      The big problem with doing Dragon Age is it doesn’t really have that much of a story to interrogate. A lot of the conversation would be “hey, this is just like Baldur’s Gate, but not quite as good”.

      1. Viktor says:

        And the fact that Dragon Age would take years to do in 15 minute segments.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          at 4 times a week (for simple calculations’ sake) it would take over a year. Literally.

  33. Sekundaari says:

    So, Josh seems to have chosen a yellow-black color scheme for Shepard’s armor. I wonder what the reason might be…

    1. Jarenth says:

      Damnit Sekundaari, I wanted to make that joke!

      1. Bees are yellow and black.

        1. scowdich says:

          We, uh…we got that.

        2. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          Ooh. I thought it was a reference to that suit Bruce Lee wore.

          (To those slow on uptake: No, I didn’t really think that.)

  34. Exasperation says:

    After watching the previous season, I am sorely disappointed that this episode did not contain some variation on the following joke:

    Illusive Man: “Shepard, go investigate the colonists’ disappearance, would you kindly.”

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ha!Shepard is tims clone!It makes so much more sense now.

  35. Jarenth says:

    I find it very amusing that you are reassuring us that “…we’re not going to spend the whole season harping on this single stupid plot point…“, because I can still vividly remember the Fallout 3 season.

    Also, three Spoiler Warnings in a week means all is right with the world.

    1. eri says:

      I was kind of under the impression that the entire point of the show was to totally wreck games. Which I kind of love.

    2. Well I’m kinda hoping the SW team will cover interspecies sex at some point,
      as Mass Effect trilogy is probably one of the few games that actually takes a serious angle on alien procreation. (ME is clearly a Sci-Fi game for adults, which is why I love the franchise, then again, BioWare never really made kiddie games anyway)

      In ME1 they touched on Krogan’s and their 3 testies and the breeding.
      And then you had Liara explaining their species an procreation.

      Now in ME2 you got the “Doc” giving you some advise,
      and if you are a female Shepard you learn certain thing about um Turian bodily fluids.
      And if you are male then you can learn about Quarian procreation.

      And in a way you learn about the Geth “procreation” when talking with Legion as well.

      And in the trilogy you do also learn about lifespans of some of the species, and even food/drink.

      So I hope the SW team covers this stuff at the appropriate places
      as whomever wrote all this stuff at BioWare do deserve some praise for such rich Lore.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I think theyll leave that for the bachelor party scene,which is such a great hint at asari and whey they all appear to be like blue human females.

        Except that mass effect 2 is actually a good game,and not in the “so bad that its good” way of fallout 3.It has its flaws,but overall it is quite good.

        1. Will says:

          Yeah, the bachelor party is fun if you listen to the whole thing: They start arguing over what the dancer’s defining features are, heavily implying that Asari look different depending on who is looking at them.

          1. acronix says:

            That, or they were drunk/drugged.

            1. Aldowyn says:

              You know, it would actually be kind of hard to get a Salarian drunk. They’d have to drink like 3 times as much due to their hyperactive metabolism.

          2. Avilan says:

            They don’t. It’s just that different features attracts different species. They are NOT shape-shifters and do NOT have any psychic ability to make you think they look different.

      2. PurePareidolia says:

        Speaking of ‘the Doc’ did anyone else notice how completely pointless Dr. Chakwas was in this game? She has one side quest and then Mordin completely takes over her role as the Ship’s Doctor. Why even include her? I know she was kind of pointless in the first game, but she patches you up after Eden Prime and at the very least the crew acts like she exists – such as when Liara feels faint.

        I mean, I guess nobody’s going to talk to her more than once, especially if they can talk to Mordin instead, but her presence on the ship is just so pointless.

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I really, really like Chakwas. Seriously. She’s one of those friendly characters that have a bit of a personality. I felt sad she wasn’t more prominently featured.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            I would talk to her more than twice (once to get the mission, once after), but she only has one dialogue tree!

    3. guy says:

      See, ME2 has much more in the way of good things. By partway through you may want them to shut up about the omega recruits being awesome.

  36. guy says:

    Tali has picked up the voice of command between games. Too bad you can’t recruit her for a while yet.

    Omega is awesome and has two particularly awesome characters. Actually, all the recruits are pretty awesome except for the cerberus guys and The Convict. Only two episodes until the crew gets one of them, I think.

    1. krellen says:

      I rather suspect that Tali’s grasp of command comes almost entirely from observing Shepard.

      1. scowdich says:

        Some personnel files you can find in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC pretty much confirms this. It also confirms that she’s a fan of Fleet and Flotilla and, after Haestrom, downloads some instructional videos on her suit’s computers: “Understanding Body Language:Human Edition” and “Human Courtship and Mating”. So…yeah.
        It’s also shown in the DLC that she’s quite uncomfortable with command. One of the files you can find on her documents her struggle to write to the parents of a Quarian marine that died under her command; she’s definitely not used to that sort of thing.

        1. Irridium says:

          I love the companion files at the end of Shadow Broker. They’re hilarious.

          And speaking of DLC, I wonder if Josh will play through any DLC.

          1. Ringwraith says:

            I’ll have to skip those, I don’t want spoilers, and I haven’t got any DLC yet and won’t get any of it before the last bit comes out, so I’m not left with awkward numbers of Bioware points, though they’ll likely release a version with it all thrown in, which would be awesome.

            1. Irridium says:

              Well the big DLC’s(Kasumi, Overlord, and Shadow Broker) all can be bought and you’d have zero points left.

              What I’m saying is that two of them are $7(Kasumi and Overlord), and one is $10(Shadow Broker), which means you could just buy 800 points for $10 and 2 helpings of 560 points for $14.

              You’d get the DLC and not have an awkward number of points left.

      2. Ringwraith says:

        I believe the proper term is that she took a (several) level(s) in badass.

        In fact, pretty much everyone has.

        I kinda hate myself now.

  37. Retlor says:

    Was anyone else bothered by the fact that the game also re-treads a lot of the territory from the first game?

    Importantly, we’ve already DONE the whole “the Council doesn’t see the real threat” thing. At the end of ME1, no matter how the final battle went down, you stood at the forefront of a collection of alien races who were (more-or-less) aligned and agreed that the Reapers were a threat who must be fought. The second game takes us right back to where we were at the beginning of the first.

    ME2 SHOULD have been about gathering allies (by which I mean SPECIES and fleets, not lone individuals), finding out more about the threat, preparing tactics and contingencies, fostering co-operation and gathering intel. Instead you collect a few people and sort out their daddy issues for them. What relevance to stopping the Reapers did any of this have?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Yes,it is sad that they chose this way to start the game.If they just continued from where you left off,with shepard going rogue because council is so passive,then accepting help from miranda not knowing she is working for cerberus,it would be a much better game.And in the end,when you find the collectors base,you actually use it to find out how to stop the reapers,not blow it up,or give to cerberus.These two (semi)minor changes wouldve made the games main story so much better.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Ok, this is gonna be a bit of a long post that nobody is gonna care about.

      My personal theory is that the council is under Reaper influence and that they alienate the human councillor cause humans are immune/resistant to the whole brainwashing thing (also the reason why they wanna make new Reaper(s) out of us). This is really the only explanation that works for them suddenly going all “Sovereign was a special Geth ship”, despite powerful evidence to the contrary (I mean, even a couple fragments would probably be enough to see that it is based on an entirely different technology). I am of firm belief that in ME3 we will finally give a finger to the council and start creating an alternate coalition to fight off the incoming Reapers (I also think we’ll meet “good Reapers” but that’s another story). I mean, think about it, depending on the choices the player makes we already have a strong ground for this: the Quarians like us, the Geth like us, our pal is in the lead for reorganizing the Krogans, the Rachni like us. Even if we messed up most of those there are still humans in various colonies whose butts we saved a number of times. Not to mention the species we haven’t had much interactions with, like the Elcor or Hanar and Drell, and some of these guys are already largely fed up with the council like the Volus.

      If these cards are played right we get people like master technicians (Quarians), supersoldiers (Rachni, Krogan), master tradesmen (Volus) all on our side… the entire Council thing actually starts to look like a small federation compared to our side of the table. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the paragon/renegade of the third game was a difference between “let’s reform the galactic society into one big happy family” (paragon) and “the council has pushed us around long enough, now it’s our time to push” (renegade).

      1. guy says:

        The council does have a super-majority of warships. I think the Turians alone have as many dreadnoughts pre-ME1 as all the noncouncil races combined.

        ME3 will probably diverge hugely based off the ending of the first game, with the Destiny Ascencsion possibly having been destroyed and the Turians deciding the arms treaties no longer apply in the renegade path.

      2. General Karthos says:

        If there are “good reapers”, I am gonna be PISSED. Do you know how many epic science fiction series I have despised at the end because the huge threat turns out not to be as united and evil as we thought they were, so we were able to make peace either with the whole of them, or with a faction of them which allowed us to turn around and fight them.

        I’d rather the entire Galaxy gets wiped out by the Reapers than it turns out that there are two factions of Reapers. Seriously. As downer an ending as that would be, it would be better than discovering that there are the Reapers and then there are the “Sowers” (I dunno… what’s the opposite of a Reaper?)

        However. Your theory of a Council under the influence of the Reapers is interesting. After all, a lot of extra-chunky reaper hit the Council spire in ME1. And we know for a fact that even a dead Reaper can indoctrinate you so maybe chunks of a dead Reaper can do something similar but more subtle. Or maybe the Council are just asses, more concerned with votes and retaining their positions of power than with actually helping the Galaxy. Maybe they’ve even managed to convince themselves that without the Citadel, the Reapers can’t invade the Galaxy and that the humans are “fear-mongering” to try to increase their influence in Galactic society. (We have been known to do it, from time to time.) As for the human-led Council, they want the rest of the Galaxy to believe the threat is gone, because of a human (Shepard, who was conveniently dead) in order to maintain their choke-hold on the Council.

        Oh, and we should be able to recruit Captain Baily (Saul Tigh, Battlestar Galactica, the reboot) as our XO in the 3rd game. Plus, of course, a mission to help Refund Guy FINALLY get his refund.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          I totally didn’t realize that was the same guy until my last playthrough with the “I’ve been trying to get this refund for TWO YEARS!” line. ROFL, almost literally!

        2. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Yeah, the refund guy made me laugh. And as for the good reapers. Hey, I never said it’s a good idea, just that for some reason I find it likely. So far the Reapers en masse are way too much for anything we know we would be able to throw at them, there has to be something to balance them out and this is the thing that strikes me as the most obvious… if annoying and clichéd.

        3. Dude says:

          Yeah! Unless the good reapers all look like Tricia Helfer. Then I’m all for Shepard showing them what humanity is made of… on his own terms. Yep.

      3. Irridium says:

        But what about when the Cerberus Team got indoctrinated when looking for the iff on the dead Reaper?

        1. Deadpool says:

          On the subject of things that won’t make any sense if ME3 don’t RetCon them: Kaidan/Ashley being such douchebags to you, I REALLY hope they’ve been indoctrinated.

          Why? Because we see a cutscene with the spaceship landing and Kaidan/Ashley as the FIRST person to get frozen, the person NEAREST the ship. Then the Collectors proceed to pick up EVERYONE ELSE, but leave him/her there?

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            And I hope to get a chance to cap ashley.Personally.Not just leaving her to die,but killing her myself.Preferably with my bare hands.

        2. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Oh right, I keep forgetting the Cerberus team, for some reason that missions is particularly fuzzy in my memory and the only thing I really recall about it is the Legion. Though weren’t they like generally messed up rather than loyal thralls to the Reaper? Have we actually met people who were indoctrinated rather than turned into husks? I admit that humans being resistant to indoctrination is largely my belief that Bioware is going to do the “humans are special trope” aided by the final boss ridiculousness.

          1. Irridium says:

            Well, they apparently were messed up enough to shove themselves on the dragon’s teeth that were in the Reaper.

            I’d say thats indoctrinated enough.

      4. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Why is that the only explanation?How about:They know sovereign was a reaper,but saying it publicly would lead only to senseless chaos,so they hide the fact,while secretly sending spectres(or maybe some other group)to find more about it.And you,as an agent of cerberus,are not to be clued in on this,even though you are still technically a spectre.Is it so hard to believe that people can lie to shepard and dont tell him all their motives,plans and actions?

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Okay, first, take into account that I’m following the paragon option here (as this is what most game scenarios assume you’ll do). In this variant you saved the council and generally got good grades. I can sort of accept they’d be keeping you in the dark… but the actual fourth councillor too? What’s more, the one reason why you (let me stress that “you” means “the one guy who was aware of the Reapers earlier and almost single handedly stopped their previous plot to destroy life as we know it… and saved our sorry asses while he was at it”) are actually FORCED to work with Cerberus is because they refuse you any effective assistance. For the sake of the argument let’s not discuss the idiotic change of heart Shepard has about Cerberus (like, what would Cerberus do if Shepard just told the council “oh yeah, I think you should commandeer that ship, disconnect the illegal AI and generally analyse and refit it for our purposes).

          It may be that there are some massive weapons development and construction programs going on out there somewhere but I’m not sure if that’s really realistic. I know it may be just an oversight but considering that the council controlled fleet took a major blow during the Citadel battle… I’d say that creating both new quality and quantity of ships to possibly withstand an attack by an entire Reaper fleet would require the military spending to be increased a couple times. This in turn would not go well with the populace (I assume that council fleet is in some way maintained with some sort of taxes, either to the council or within the individual races providing said fleet) and we have no indication of any additional unrest. Of course I may be overthinking this and in ME3 the Council will suddenly pull an entire Normandy Fleet out of their behinds…

          Yeah, I know, another wall of text, but I’m geeky in this way ;)

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            In the 90s and 00s(heh,love typing that)numerous countries have released their dossiers that were kept secret from before the second world war.Those were concerning various spy missions,weapons testing,etc.So to believe that the military would keep something this huge a secret for a few years is not far fetched.And these were kept secret even from spouses of people knowing something,or everything about these.So keeping it secret from “a good guy” is also not that far fetched.Yes,it sucks,but thats how our world works.

            And I know that this is not our world,and that aliens should act different,but the council has salarians and turrians,one being well known for their covert ops,and the other for their strict adherence to orders.

            Plus,they have no clue why you are with cerberus when you first show up.And here,Im going to skip the “what if you tried convincig them”,because though it would be a sensible path,it is not offered.So,there you are,from beyond the grave,working with terrorists.They arent going to tell you anything,no matter how good of a guy you are.

        2. Jarenth says:

          It’s considered strange because it would be totally rational for Shepard to tell them “Yeah, those guys revived me, but I totally don’t care about them. Seriously, help me out here and I’ll ditch them and report to you guys again.” If Shepard has been characterized up to this point as honest and respecting the rule of law (or ‘Paragon’), there’s no reason for the Council to not act upon that.

          The fact that the Council sticks to their ‘Sovereign was just an awesome Geth ship’ story even in front of Shepard, is just odd, especially considering they know Shepard knows it isn’t.

          1. acronix says:

            It´s true that the Council sticking to that doesn´t make sense, unless you consider the option Daemian mentions up there: they are doing something. It is much easier to tell Shepard “You were wrong!” and look stupid than to say “Yeah, we know and we are doing something super secret about it but we won´t tell a Cerberus operative!”. The first just makes them look like idiots and jerks; the second confirms that they are idiots and jerks.

  38. Ramsus says:

    Well that was a pretty good episode. It’s a shame you had to cut it off right as Rutskarn was starting to sing an ode to Tali.

  39. Avilan says:

    …So why are you skipping both enemies and cash?

  40. PurePareidolia says:

    The other point of the test was that the importable saves were always made before you nominated Anderson/Udina to the council so that section is set up specifically so you can tell the game what happened. You didn’t get that option because new game assigns it automatically. Presumably it assigns Udina because ‘canon’ Shepard is both a renegade and a complete moron.

  41. scowdich says:

    Something I’d like to point out:
    I think it really indicates how good Bioware’s writing and characterization is that they managed to create a character that appeals to pretty much every male geek out there, and that (as far as I know) a significant proportion chose to romance, without ever seeing her face.
    It does help that she’s suitably curvy, but she’s still a very well-written, three-dimensional character.

  42. Alex says:

    …I kind of miss the hollow “You!” on the couch in the title card. Now it just looks weird that Toon-Shamus isn’t sitting on the couch with them. =/

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I didn’t like the hollow “you” but it does look as if Shamus got up for toilet or snacks or something, came back into the room and sort of asked “where you guys at”. Like it is his place but he simply didn’t sit down yet.

  43. sebcw1204 says:

    does anybody else notice those annoying glowing… freckles?, scars? on shepard’s face in the cutscenes? it’s REALLY distracting. what are those? is that a side effect of re-entry? of ressurection? are those glowy bits the reason you can’t get ressurected again if you die? do they change to blue if you make paragon choices?

    this is going to bother me until i can find out the answer

    1. Alex says:

      Scars from reconstruction. They glow more obnoxiously depending on if you roll Renegade, and fade if you’re more of a Paragon Shepard.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Like Alex said, scars from reconstruction, reputedly because you weren’t entirely back to health when all of this happened. They get smaller and disappear if you go paragon, get worse if you go renegade. There is some half-assed explanation about how your muscles tense and make it worse when you’re getting angry and/or agitated and that’s what causes them to get worse (cause remaining paragon when people are obnoxious to you is clearly not stressful at all). There is an option to remove them surgically even if you go renegade but don’t want to look like a freakshow. That being said it’s fairly clear that they just wanted to have some kind of “dark side makes you look eeeevil” markers.

  44. Zaghadka says:

    Wow. That was so railroadtastic you may as well have called the dialog choice “circle” the “Would you kindly” circle. As in preface any “choice” that shows up with “Would you kindly?” and quietly go mad.

  45. Avilan says:

    As far as the “I don’t get why paragon and renegade is inverted in the dialogue with Mr Elusive” I would almost go as far as say “Duh”.

    I don’t mean to insult anyone of you that bring us so much entertainment, but you said it yourself:

    Paragon Shep is extremely pissed with Cerberus AND is not willing to lower herself to their methods to get the Reapers. Renegade Shepard, as is pointed out in this video, utilizes any resource aviable. So of course she will quickly analyze the situation and mentally go “Ok, they are giving me a shitload of resources to kick Reaper ass”. In short, since she is willing to do almost anything to further her goals, it fits her to (ab)use the Cerberus connection. For now.

    Besides, in this game it is made much more clear that Paragon Shep is NOT a very nice person either; paragon options in this game includes things like threatening to break every bone in the body of a merchant, and telling people to shut the fudge up.
    I consider this an improvement.

    1. Shamus says:

      You’re missing the point. Sure, Paragon Shep would act like that. Sure, para Shp should actually refuse to work with TIM at all. But why is Renegade such a doormat? I said as much in the episode. Suddenly Mr. No Mercy / No Prisoners is all about working together.

      1. Avilan says:

        I think you are missing the point. Ren!Shep is not working together “because they are evil too”. She is USING Cerberus to get resources to fight the reapers.

        Oh and I have to point out that unless you go 100% renegade / 0% paragon (which I never do, just like I never do it the other way around either) Ren!Shep even if she has 100% renegade points will work together with others a lot.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          No,she is not using cerberus.If that were the case,youd have an option to use all the collected data at the end,which you dont have.And,unless you think that paragon=stupid,blowing up the collector station doesnt cut it.

          Although,there are a few instances where paragon does essentially mean stupid.Like that prisoner in 1 that turns on you the moment you set him free,but the other two options give you renegade points.

          1. Avilan says:

            What collected data are you talking about? You blow up the base (which is something I would have done IRL, too), but I do not remember any large amount of data that you choose to delete?

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              On the side quests there are sometimes data about various cerberus operations.You can give those to cerberus for a reward,pass them on to someone else(press or the alliance,I forgot),or keep them for yourself.And if you keep them,you get xp.And youd expect that if you keep that data,youd use it somehow later,right?But nope,its never mentioned again.It just disappears.

      2. aegof says:

        Eh, Renegade Shepard fits right in with Cerberus. What with the space-racism and the lack of regard for the lives of any sapient creature (including humans, of course). If Shepard hadn’t been slated for Spectrehood, he probably would have gotten recruited eventually.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          So it is true then that there is only one type of evil,and they are all a big happy family?

          1. aegof says:

            What. No. The entire point of the whole Cerberus thing in ME2 is that the mysterious, evil, borderline incompetent human supremacist terrorist organization is less bad than the Reapers. The game presents and sets it up really poorly, but this is why Shepard works with them despite any past grudges. My point was that a renegade would have less of a problem working with Cerberus because she and they share goals, motives, and thresholds for acceptable losses.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Not necessarily.You can play renegade shepard without being xenophobic,without being evil.You can only be rash and careless,without love for red tape and orders,and youll end up being renegade,but still on a completely opposite side from cerberus.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So if a thief disagrees with an arsonist,he is a lawful citizen?And because both thieves and arsonists are breaking the law,they should be allies,right?

      This is the main reason I hate universal moral compasses.

      1. Avilan says:

        You are missing the point about the Paragon / Renegade system: The ACTION of disagreeing with TIM IS Paragon. Therefore you get paragon points.
        It is worth pointing out (again) that the Paragon and Renegade points are on two different scales, you do NOT remove paragon points because you gain renegade points, or vise versa.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Im not missing the point.Just because cerberus is renegade and you are renegade,doesnt mean that agreeing with them is a renegade thing to do,nor that disagreeing with them is a paragon thing to do.You yourself said that these arent mutually exclusive.So why does paragon automatically mean disagreeing with cerberus,even though it may be a renegade action(threats,for example)?

          1. Avilan says:

            Because essentially the Paragon / Renegade dialogues are better written in ME2.

            Seriously, Paragon does not always mean “agree / cooperate / play nice”. Renegade does not always mean “I have Evulz”. Besides your question does not make sense; a Paragon option cannot be a Renegade action. If you choose the Paragon option, the action performed is by default a Paragon action. The fact that you do not agree with the writers about what a Paragon action is, does not make them wrong.
            You confuse “Paragon” and “pacifistic”, at least in this instance. Just because you are aggressive / threatening does not mean you are not behaving like a Paragon.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              No,Im not mixing paragon with pacifist.It was just one example.And paragon/renegade options are better written?Seriously?Paragon is “blow the station up”,renegade is “give the station to cerberus”.You say that paragon should not be always the most obvious choice,yet then you defend how paragon is always the choice that goes against cerberus agenda,even if it is the stupidest thing you can do,even if what they are doing is a good thing,just because cerberus is evil.Evil people can do good things,you know.I never blew that station up because Im a goody good good,but because I wanted to be a dick to tim.Yet that made me a paragon.

              Let me use the same example extra credit did:Legions loyalty mission.Basically,you have to choose between a genocide or slavery.Its a tough moral choice.And its done for the greater good.Neither of the options is pure paragon,nor pure renegade.Yet,because the system is there,they have to shoehorn the options in it somehow.Without the objective moral compass this wouldve been so much better.

              1. Avilan says:

                First of all, what? I never said anything of Paragon being “the obvious choice”.

                That said… Not this again. Blowing up the station is the OBVIOUS paragon action. Mostly because of indoctrination issues but also because Cerberus is evil.
                And again: This is not D&D. Your ACTION matters, not your INTENT. Of course you will get Paragon points for doing a Paragon action, even if you just do it to screw TIM.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  No,its not the obvious paragon action.Why didnt we blow normandy 2 then?We finished with the collectors,and cerberus is the next evil thing,so why not blow up their most advanced equipment if its the paragon choice?Its just a stupid waste of resources.If you already are using cerberuss weapons,why not collectors weapons as well?Why is suddenly using one weapon a good thing,and using another weapon a bad thing?Just because it pisses of tim doesnt make it a paragon choice.

                  Your actions matter,not your intent?Ok,so why arent you getting paragon points when you agree with cerberus of the bat?They are offering you info and weapons to fight the collectors,which is a paragon thing,right?It doesnt matter why they are doing it,so they too should be paragon for that.

                2. BanZeus says:

                  The Normandy 2 wasn’t built out of orphans and doesn’t use puppies as ammunition.

                3. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  This is cerberus we are talking about.I wouldnt put it past them.

                  Besides,that station was there long before it was turned into a reaper maker,and probably has numerous other uses.

                4. Avilan says:

                  Why on earth would we blow up Normandy 2? Sorry, your argument does not makes sense.

                5. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Because its been made by an evil organization that killed thousands of humans,and maybe even an alien or two,just so they could finish their experiments.So the same reason as for blowing up the collector station.Oh,and it has forbidden tech incorporated in it.As a paragon,it is your duty to prevent an ai from going rogue.

                  The only difference between collectors and cerberus is that cerberus is a human organization.So if its ok to use cerberus tech for greater good and not collector/reaper tech,that means blowing up the station shouldve been a renegade option,not a paragon one.

                6. BanZeus says:

                  Except once someone has created a sentient machine, destroying it for something it could do in the future is murder, tantamount to handing someone a gun and then shooting him because “now he’s dangerous”. Also, the last people who tried that didn’t have it turn out so well.

                  I only see this argument going in circles, clearly nobody has enough points in paragon to convince you that you’ve been indoctrinated. :)

                7. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Isnt that why genophage exists?Or why you can decide to kill the rachni queen.

                8. BanZeus says:

                  Yes, and killing the rachni queen gets you huge renegade points.

                9. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  So why does a renegade shepard then trust an ai?Why isnt not trusting cerberus,especially concerning edi,giving you renegade points,but paragon instead?Its inconsistent.And thats my whole point:Why dont you get paragon and renegade points based on your actions,and not who these actions are toward?Which is the biggest problem with objective morality systems,not just the one in mass effect.

                10. BanZeus says:

                  You make some good points.

                  I suspect it would be unreasonably difficult to play as a paragon if you got renegade points every time you discharged your weapon.

  46. Zaxares says:

    I bet Josh (or was it Randy?) is reeeaaally regretting the choice now to play as FemShep, since Tali’s not interested in the ladies. ;)

  47. Corsair says:

    The whole Cerberus thing does look pretty sloppy at first glance, but for the vast majority of the game, Shepard really ISN’T working for Cerberus. His equipment and crew are mostly Cerberus personnel, but Shepard can be reasonably stated to only be working with Cerberus in the sense that their goals in this case align, and it’s significantly smarter to take the massive loads of money, personnel, intelligence, material, and the only stealth ship in existence with the destruction of Normandy SR-1.

    There’s a very good reason why BioWare didn’t bother to put in a ‘No, I will not assist you, Cerberus – because what follows is a game where you walk around a station with your thumb up your arse until you finally agree to assist them. Could they have sold it better? Probably. But

    But getting worked up over working with an organization when the ‘Working With’ mostly amounts to getting fed intelligence and equipment is a little peculiar. The only point where you’re actually advancing Cerberus’ aims is the very end.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I would agree with you,if they did something with all the data you collected on cerberus throughout the game,instead of tossing the whole thing away.Yes,it makes sense to use their resources for the greater good,but the way it is presented here,the only chance you have to one up cerberus is gone without explanation.You can work actively towards getting an upper hand and screwing tim in the end,but you never get the resolution of that whole side quest.If only those were used in the end,all wouldve been forgiven.

      1. Avilan says:

        You can sc*w with Cerberus several times during the game (like sending all data from one of the side missions to the Alliance (or keep it for yourself, an option I have taken just to see what happens with that in the third game).

  48. Herman says:

    Hey Shamus, what address should I email you at? I ask because you went over the problems with the old one a while ago and might have made a new one.

  49. Zagzag says:

    Yesss! Three SWs in one week! I’m a bit late to the comments, as I’ve been watching a lot of Desert Bus this year. Thanks for the new episode guys!

  50. sebcw1204 says:

    as shamus has pointed out in one of his articles, combining fully voiced interactions with an open world game is prohibitivley expensive. so your interaction choices with cerberus HAVE to be limited due to the budget. as has also been stated elsewhere, morrowind came up with a pretty good solution; idle voice acting and greeting voice acting, setting the tone of the character for the text you are about to read. but since ME1 already bypassed this excellent middle ground choice, they can’t very well go “backwards” to an older style of voice acting that actually would have worked better for an “open” game.

  51. Alex says:

    “Railroading! Boring enemies! WAAAAAH!!!”

    That’s all I heard when I was watching this. Shamus, are you really that upset that the –first hour– of gameplay of a 15 hour game isn’t an open world sandbox with a bazillion different enemies to take down? =/

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      It doesnt have to be open,just with the better story.And this is bioware,so we know it can do better.Plus it doesnt have to have plethora of enemies,just not robots.Robots should not be mooks.

    2. Shamus says:

      Upset? Not really. The robot fighting thing is a trope, and we pointed it out. No big deal.

    3. Irridium says:

      But the first hour sucks ass. There’s plenty of reason to be upset about that.

  52. GhostBoy says:

    In the interest of nipping things in the bud, now that you are fresh out of a big round of critique: It’s getting a bit bitchy already. Now that is your prerogative, but please keep the bitching to what is actually relevant to be bitched about.

    Point in case: During the shuttle interview one of you mentioned “This is all you get if you played the first game, these questions” (or words to that effect). That is simply not true. There are tons of little nods to your accomplishments from the first throughout the second game. Some in the form of a person you meet who will update you on what you did for them in the first game, others in the form of dialog lines that reference choices made, even at least one followup quest.

    In trope speak: Please don’t use “Did Not Do The Research”.

  53. Derpderp2 says:

    It seems like, except when dealing with the Illusive Man, renegade denotes being antagonistic towards whoever you’re talking to, and paragon means being friendly. This creates weird situations where a renegade can be both pro and anti human/Cerberus depending on who he’s talking to.

  54. Wes1180 says:

    What happened with the escapist and spoiler warning out of interest? Also would the new format not work better with the escapist (time wise)?
    I prefered the longer episodes, but tis still good nonetheless :D

  55. Corsair6500 says:

    Presumably, the idea was that you would read the dialog options instead of just automatically selecting the Paragon or Renegade option. Although they hamstrung that by tying Paragon/Renegade to your persuade/intimidate.

  56. (LK) says:

    Am I the only one who finds it a little weird for people to be attracted to Tali?

    As a character she’s really interesting and has good reason to be popular, but physically she’s like a leukemia patient in a space suit.

    The game gives you a lovable female character who passes the Bechdel Test as well as it can be applied to a game, and people often just end up commenting on her in terms of romantic attraction.

    The writers even seem to mock this fixation in a scene in a bar, where a Quarrian character is commenting on a guy fixating on physical intimacy with her… while she points out the absurdity of thinking this is possible with a member of her species.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      It just shows that physical appearance isnt everything.

  57. Anthony Durl says:

    Having played this game more than once, I still can’t decide if miranda is just as bad as Morrigan from Dragon Age or if she’s EVEN WORSE!

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