Because even thoughts need a place to rest.

3rd January 2013

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Mass Effect 3: 6th Session (thank you for not spoiling anything for me)

Well, that was a session and a half. I wasn’t tired, but didn’t have much brain power left for work, so I just played through the rest of the first third of the game, finishing up the Krogan DMZ missions and curing the Genophage. Yeah, of course I chose to cure it. My Shepherd couldn’t do anything else, and she did it in honor to Wrex’s memory.

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I have to thank everyone who has been reading and responding for not giving me any hint of spoilers. Tonight I had cause to be damn thankful for your cognizance, because I didn’t see Mordin’s death coming at all. It came as a complete shock to me and I was quite moved by the moment. It’s a perfectly written end to the character; if you play his loyalty mission, you know that despite what he says about it, he never really forgave himself for making the genophage stronger. A huge change came over him in this game as he worked to cure the genophage. He seemed happy, at peace. It’s the same kind of peace that came to Thane and it was subtly done in both cases. Because you don’t really see that the characters are not at peace in ME2; or rather, you do logically know that they are, but you never get to see them as anything but disconcerted. ME2 is like the Empire Strikes Back of the series—everyone is having a bad day. So seeing Mordin softly sing the lines to his “Scientific Salarian” musical number as he cures the genophage and waits to die in the Shroud tower really touched me.

It got me thinking again about the question of who can die in ME2. Like, I’m almost sure Garrus can’t die, but can Mordin? Seems like a huge part of the story revolves around him and his character arc. But I never know with Mass Effect.

Along the same lines, I had a pretty cool moment with Liara tonight, where she told me that she is recording all of the events of the games in case we don’t make it. First of all, I love the sense of tragedy behind this, where you have a species actually preparing for its own destruction. This is at the heart of Mass Effect and when it goes here, it always wins me over. Secondly, I liked having a choice in how Shepherd would be portrayed in this “time capsule.” The whole scene was, of course, made much more powerful by the fact that my Shepherd has a three-game relationship with Liara. And it made me wonder: could any of the other couplings have this much power to them? I’ve seen some chances with the Ashley/Kaiden storyline, since that character ends up in the hospital, but Liara plays such a central role in the games that it almost feels like she was the intended choice for Shepherd as a romantic interest. Further evidence for this is the fact that she is the only character who can be romanced by either a male or female Shepherd across all three games (yes, I know Kaiden can be romanced by either sex, but that’s only in the third game).

Of course, it might just be that the writing is clever enough to have fooled me and every relationship is given the same power and attention. Certainly the writing has been insanely seamless so far, considering how many little decisions here and there have affected the game. I’ve yet to come across any situation where I was able to chuckle and say, “I see how they crowbarred that decision into that conversation.”

So anyway, that was a pretty huge session. And yes, seeing the Thresher Maw take on the Reaper was a complete and total win. Next time I’m off to do all sorts of side missions, and then I’ll head back to the Citadel to check in with everyone. Aside from that I’ll just add, for gameplay fetishists, that I’m using a scoped Mattock Assault Rifle a lot these days and it’s become my stand-by weapon. Against shields and health it’s simply deadly. When armor pops up I use the Blood Pack Machine Gun and when I need a more complicated tactical approach, I switch to the Salarian proximity mine pistol.

Tagged: mass effect playthrough