Thursday, March 15, 2012

It's mine, all mine

The number of variables that Bioware had to account for when they decided to allow a single character to move through games is staggering. I though I was doing pretty well when I made it to the end of Mass Effect 2 with everyone alive, and it pleased me even more to see many of them return. These are not just cameos, there are significant chunks of the game build around characters that may or may not actually be alive for the Shepard being played. If the characters are dead are they simply replaced by a stand in, or does that quest line become unavailable? Each of these missions adds to the galaxies military readiness, so I would imagine that if they are  not done then the resources they produce are unavailable as well.

Does this mean that you could start Mass Effect 3 irrevocably fucked because you screwed up the end of the last game? I certainly hope so, as i find that kind of abusive consistency delicious. Actual consequences for you past actions in a game is quite rare. Even having kept all my characters alive (and loyal) I am still not in the clear. Destroying the research on curing the genophage led to the death of the one fertile female Krogan. This is will probably cause something else bad later, as it was called out several times. But sparing the rachni queen not once but twice means I have an army of bugs helping to build my uber-weapon.

Mass Effect could never work as a movie. The experience is too personal, too built of history, to work in a shared environment. My Shepard is mine, and I treasure his rugged good looks and paragon ideals. Seeing him worn down by the weight of the entire galaxy on his shoulders is difficult, as him surviving past the end of this adventure is doubtful.

No spoilers. I have managed to avoid all the complaining about the end of this game, though the simple fact that there is complaining at all does give me pause.

And no Tali yet. Where the fuck is she?


  1. Characters are replaced by stand-ins, with dialogue changing accordingly. If there's a mission which highlights character X from ME2 (or 1), and in your game X died last game, they'll either be missing, or - if the role is important enough to the quest - replaced by another character who (from what I've seen) has no previous relationship with Shepard.

    It's pretty cool how you'd only notice it if you played through with two different histories.

  2. That lessens the mystery, but it make me even more happy that I lucked my way into keeping everyone alive in the last game.