Tuesday, September 2, 2014

20 Stupid Thoughts: Mass Effect 3

I finished Mass Effect 3 for the second time last night, so in celebration (mourning?) of that event, I have decided to inundate you with my thoughts and feels on the subject. Since this was my second playthrough, maybe some of my outbursts will reflect that. I'm not sure yet though as I'm literally going to just pull this out of my ass as I go. You're welcome.

20 Stupid Thoughts: Mass Effect 3 (Or: Why Synthesis Is The Best Ending, Shut Up You're Wrong)

1. Okay but the main thing I need to get across first of all is that EDI and Joker are everything. EVERYTHING I TELL YOU. They're the crux of this whole story I swear to god and if you disagree I don't know how you can exist in this world. The entire trilogy is based on organics vs. synthetics, and the increasingly blurred line between the two. Can synthetics have souls? Can organics become synthetic? Joker and EDI's relationship represents the ideal harmony between organics and synthetics. They are everything. Synthesis, mmkay.

2. Talking to Citadel Child made me super confused this time around, even more so than the first time?? Especially as I'd done the Leviathan DLC, which I feel should have clarified things but only made them worse. I'm pretty sure this was not meant to be the case. Instead I was like, Leviathan? Reapers? Star-Lord? Who? I don't remember that mission, I did it like three weeks ago. Christ. Just let me pick an ending already.

3. Uhhh. Miranda died this time? She didn't die last time. What the hell did I do wrong? Or, let's be real: what did I do right.

4. Arriving on Palaven's moon and being met with that view of a mountainous reaper with the war-torn Palaven behind it? Fucking shivers. The epic scale of this game just blows me away on a pretty much constant basis.

5. The final stretch in London with the big ol' canon going off and then the reaper coming ever closer, with the whole SCREEN SHAKING, holy shit have I never felt this immersed in a game before. It's beyond scary, it's overwhelming, it's like I'm actually there and it kills me how good it is.

6. The Citadel DLC is the most happy/sad thing of my entire life. Everyone is so mad at Shepard for breaking the floor of the best sushi place on the Citadel! Nobody cares that a bunch of dudes were coming at her with guns and she was wearing her fancy dress! Her evil clone says "I should go"! They throw a house party! EVERYBODY GOES ON A MISSION TOGETHER, INCLUDING WREX. Just, all of that DLC. All of it. The best thing to ever happen to me. I don't even need a husband or children at this point because they couldn't possibly make me happier than this DLC.

7. Thane vs. Kai Leng. Jesus take the fucking wheel.

8. The dream sequences. No, it's cool, Mass Effect. You go right ahead and crush my soul into smithereens. I didn't need it anyway.

9. Shepard's defeat after Thessia just hits me on an intensely emotional level. When she goes to talk to Joker and accuses him of taking things too lightly, and then he reminds her that his family might be dead, and to shut up anyway because everyone is so worried about her, and how Anderson told Joker to look after her because she's under so much stress, I'm just no no nope no. Nope. Nooope.

10. Garrus asking if Shep thinks she could be a one turian kind of woman. I clasp my controller to my chest, shrieking: YES I CAN BE A ONE TURIAN KIND OF WOMAN. NOW KISS ME ON TOP OF THE PRESIDIUM RIGHT NOW YOU STUPID ADORABLE ALIEN. (Yeah I threw the shot, what am I, some kind of asshole?)


12. Everyone around the Citadel. The conversations taking place are so captivating, I stand and listen and am so taken by all of the NPCs. All of them! Especially the salarian with the special new suit that his friend sold her fancy new car to buy for him so he'd be safer in the war. And the turian looking out for the girl who's been separated from her family. And the woman who's worried about breaking up with her boyfriend for the woman who's been there for her while he's away. And the fact that Shepard goes around dispensing advice and inspiring people with her presence is just so magical to me.

13. I feel like Shepard has grown so much as a person since the beginning of all of this shit with the reapers, and while she's not afraid to do what it takes to get things done, she's still compassionate. She feels pain for every person she couldn't save on Earth. She hated to leave them behind but she had to so she could unite the galaxy, and that sheer weight of responsibility tempers her, I think, but it also motivates her and shapes her, and the fact that she endures for so long under that weight is just. Beyond words.

14. I liked Legion more and the quarians WAY less this time around? I'm pretty sure part of it was that I was paying more attention while I was in the Geth Consensus, because man those quarians are jerks!! The geth just wanted to be helpful, dudes! Don't turn on your synthetic children! Not cool, guys. Not to mention that idiot admiral starts firing on the dreadnought while Shep is still on board?? SERIOUSLY NOT COOL GUYS

15. Does this unit have a soul? UGLY SOBBING

16. Liara's parting gift to Shepard. I don't even have the faintest idea what it's supposed to be but it made me cry a fucking lot.

17. Jesus H. Christ, can Jacob go die already? How can any one person be so overwhelmingly monotonous? Seriously. I'm upset that Jacob even gets his own thought, so here, have a bonus James thought: WHY IS SHEP ALWAYS FLIRTY WITH JAMES BY DEFAULT. I would actually like ol' Jimmy Vega (sounds like a pole dancer on Omega) if he didn't have a creepy flirt-fest going on with Shepard all the time? I had to spend literally 12 minutes doing 183 pull-ups in Anderson's apartment to beat his stupid record before I could feel better about it all.

18. I just really like the bit on the Citadel after Cerberus attacks, when you're zooming around on top of an elevator, shooting down other elevators; and Captain Bailey, meanwhile, is foiling Kai Leng by making his elevator stop on every floor.

19. Seriously though you guys, the synthesis ending is 100% the only ending you could possibly choose and here's why. You can't choose control because that's fucked up. You can't choose destruction because it destroys all of the goddamn mass relays, AND it destroys every synthetic in the galaxy, including, oh wait: your friend EDI. Also fucked up! Synthesis takes Shepard's ~essence~ and turns it into this magical green light that achieves the ultimate in evolution: a melding of organic and synthetic beings! EDI and Joker fully understand one another. EDI is alive. The reapers now fucking help to rebuild in the wake of the destruction they caused. Everyone is at peace. Shepard sacrificed herself so that the galaxy could be the best version of itself. If you go destruction, then pretty soon organics will create more synthetics that will inevitably rise up against them, and the cycle starts all over again. But with synthesis, it's over. And it's better! So there. The only logical choice to make. And if your reason for choosing destruction is so that you can get the one "happy" ending, well fine. FINE I understand that I guess. (But watching Shepard dive into that beam, slowly breaking apart at a molecular level, all to make the galaxy a better place? Fucking most heartbreaking moment of my life thus far okay.)

20. I'm Garrus Vakarian, and this is now my favorite spot on the Citadel!