In all seriousness though, I'm hearing a lot of "Garrus is back", but not a whole lot of "Jack, Legion and Tali are back and Miranda is dead forever because gawd what a fucking awful character". Personally I'd like a Vorcha squad member, just for the intimate and thoughtful conversations.
Okay, here's something else I have to say about Mass Effect, and the reaction of its fanbase. Specifically, my opinions of the sequel are generally more optimistic than you'll find elsewhere. Which is bizarre for me, since I've hated everything else Bioware has ever done.
While I hate to turn this blog into "SHAMUS AND MOVIE BOB AND YAHTZEE AND SO AND SO SAID THIS, SO NOW I WILL SAY THAT LONG AFTER IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TOPICAL OR RELEVANT TO DO SO", I must point out something: Spoiler Warning is Shamus Young and a few other folk's Let's Play series, where they go to every length to nitpick every tiny flaw and try to make them out to be game-destroying faults. A casual stroll through any forum discussing these games shows that this is not an isolated phenomenon. Otherwise intelligent people are devoting themselves to missing the point. This is the effect Ben Croshaw has had on video games and the people who play them, and we are not benefiting from it.
|83% of Mass Effect's fanbase needs to see this face on the cover. A girl main character would make them too uncomfortable.|
I realized recently that yes, the plot of Mass Effect 2 doesn't hold up when put under even a little scrutiny. Neither does The Wizard of Oz. Or Star Wars. All of them have their retarded plot-holes(if the Witch is vulnerable to water, why does she have buckets of it hanging around her castle to put out Scarecrow fires?). Somehow, I don't think that's enough to ruin them.
When I was playing Mass Effect 2, I wasn't considering how the Illusive Man's decisions make absolutely no sense, and certainly couldn't advance his goals, idiotic though they may be. I wasn't thinking of the silliness of Mass Effect 3's focus on Humans and Earth as being super-important, even though we've saved much more important places and people twice over and so it feels like a step backwards.
After I beat the game and walked the now emptier halls of the Normandy, was I reflecting on how dumbed down the combat was? No. I was thinking:
"During my command, I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of people are alive because of me, but many are also dead. Good and bad people alike are gone from the universe because of errors in my own judgment. People trusted me and I let more than a few of them down. I didn't always treat my crew the way they deserved. Maybe I'm no good at being a commander."
And I was thinking this right up until I spoke to Jack again. My favourite new character in the game, Jack has had to put up with more shit than anyone else onboard the Normandy. She keeps out of the way, is ruthless and violent and is nearly incapable of trusting or getting along with others. But every chance I could get, I went down into the lower levels of the ship and shot the breeze. Learned more about her and what makes her tic. I even brought her along for the final battle with Garrus. Figured I'd need the toughest bitch in the galaxy, you know?
And you know what she said after the Collector threat was taken care of?
"I like you."
And no, not in the Romance Option kind of way. But as a show of respect, from a character who has some pretty good reasons not to respect anything. It's not easy for her to say, either.
That was the prize for me. At that point, I didn't care how many brown corridors and chest-high walls there were. I didn't give a shit that there weren't RPG elements trying to block me from the parts of these games that actually do matter.
I mean, I'm still convinced that Bioware doesn't deserve my business, but that won't stop me from borrowing ME3 from a friend after it comes out. Then I can bitch about it some more without financially supporting a bunch of assholes! :D
(I really wish I'd thought of that for the Halo games. -_-; )
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