Friday, 24 August 2012

ME3: The Top 20 Questionable Things Part 3

I'm finally done with all the collective ramblings and questions that are ME3.

Yes, I will get around to doing an analysis of Bioware's Extended Cut, but it's really, really painful.  No, I will not do a plot analysis of all of ME3.

I had to spend a few weeks just playing Baldur's Gate 2: Shadow of Amn/Throne of Baal.  It reminded me of what made Bioware great.  Storytelling.  Characters.  Interaction.  Impromptu conversations.  Completely optional plot lines and levels to explore.  Branching paths and ideas that games like Witcher 2 have embraced and pushed forward.  If a game is to be interactive, and grant the player choice to explore one path and not another, so should the story follow.

Anyway, it seems there are some Indoctrination Theory people in the comments who just can't let go of their own delusions, clinging as hard as they can to an interpretive scenario because "complete nonsense must be an interactive mind control dream."

ANYTHING makes more sense than the ending of ME3.  Because the ending of ME3 is the worst piece of writing in the history of video games, because -- for one of many reasons -- it's ME'3'.


  1. "it seems there are some Indoctrination Theory people in the comments who just can't let go of their own delusions, clinging as hard as they can to an interpretive scenario because "complete nonsense must be an interactive mind control dream.""

    I've supported the majority of what you've said on Mass Effect 2 and 3, but I won't support you on this, not because I necessarily think you're wrong but because of the tone you've chosen and the examples you're relying upon.

    Seriously, don't comment on something if you can't be bothered to do even the most basic research on it. You based almost your entire attack on the "Indoctrination
    Theory people" (as if they're a segregated group) on a mistake that YOU made in thinking that IT refers to Shepard already being indoctrinated, and then chose examples that knocked down the example that was never part of the theory to begin with. This is called a straw man fallacy, I would have assumed you'd heard of it since you (correctly) call people out on appealing to authority all the time. Pretty much everything else you brought up is not 'head canon', it's ACTUAL canon. It wasn't established in the main plot, but it was there and provable within the events of the series, testimony of characters, and codex entries.

    The IT is not a 'delusion' or anything even close to it. It's an incredibly complex theory that goes way beyond how you're deliberately trying to misrepresent it. That doesn't mean it's true - I don't believe for a second that BioWare intended even a fraction of these 'clues' - but attacking the theory itself and the people who have added to it is missing the point.

    If you wanted to attack anyone, attack those who state the IT is fact and try to call into question the intelligence of those who won't believe in it. Attacking EVERYONE who has ever been interested in the theory is just alienating them for no reason. It's almost like you're going out of your way to make enemies, and it calls into question the integrity of everything else you've said and your motivation for saying any of it.

    1. Tone is irrelevant. What matters are the facts.

      IT is a delusion. It is not incredibly complex. The narrative of ME3 (and 2) is for idiots, and not some literary deductive introspective psychoanalyst. This is not a murder mystery investigation story. This is not The Usual Suspects, and this most certainly not a stream-of-consciousness style. Shepard just gets shell shocked. Sure, post-laser beam, things get wonky. So?

      Oh, THEN Shepard's Indoctrinated? Really?

      What's more believable: everything post-laser beam is actually a mindscape into Shepard's psyche (who doesn't have one), or Bioware was just pressed for time, and, having painted themselves into a corner, did what they thought the best they could?

      The IT video's I've seen showcase scenes like the kid in the intro, and state that Shepard is in the stages of indoctrination, and that the kid is one giant hallucination. That's clearly false. Ditto with every other possible "clue" they came up with.

      But, what? Now you're saying everything pre-laser beam isn't the theory? Well, wow! Oh wait: so what? After that, the narrative is GONE. It's rubbish. Gibberish. To try and make sense of it is meaningless; there is no meaning. You may as well just say Shepard is dreaming and it's all one giant acid-alcoholic trip, and any reasoning would be just as accurate.

      The extended cut just adds more gibberish. Oh look, a 3 second cutscene of favorite character X. A still image of character Y. Forced drama. No logic or reason.

      I am calling anyone who believes in it delusional. That's because the theory is a delusion. A fantasy. This is not an attack. This is an observation. These are what delusions are, just like the Indoctrination Theory: seeing something that isn't there.

    2. "The IT is not a 'delusion' or anything even close to it."

      Whenever I explained and showed to people back in march how improbable the indoctrination theory was, how it wasn't supported by our evidence or background information available to us, all they could say in the end was that people find comfort in the indoctrination theory and that I was some kind of bad person for ruining that for them. And that was after I called them out on their own logical fallacies they tried to throw at me (violations of the law of parsimony, moving the goal post, shifting the burden of proof). Those are all signs of delusion, not theory. And I knew at that point, that they would still be pushing the indoctrination theory even after the extended cut DLC. (remember how, according to the theory, the extended DLC was supposed to reveal that the bad ending was just an halluciation? You probably don't because you moved the goal post).

      "If you wanted to attack anyone, attack those who state the IT is fact"

      At least someone who states that the IT is fact is at least taking a clear stand on the issue. Most people who argue for the IT treat it like a theory one second, and an interpretation the next. Even that AVACOS, or whoever that youtube channel is, called it an interpretation at the beginning of the vid, then a theory at the end. Which is it?

      A theory is supposed to explain the facts, not explain away the facts, and that is why the indoctrination theory is a delusion.

  2. I would like for you to tackle something different now, since ME3 has been eviscerated enough for now.
    What about:
    1) Planescape: Torment, I know that's quite big, but since I haven't played, and I heard it's one of the best rpg around, I would like to hear your take on it;
    2) Kotor 2, it just arrived on steam, this might be an interesting time to analyze it;
    3) Spec Ops: the line, this is a mixed bag, with some nice things and some less interesting things. It's also something outside your usual game range, but has interesting game mechanics and narrative;
    4) the Witcher 2, my computer cried when I tried to play it, but I heard this game has choice the mostly matter, and I like the story and the choices of the first one.

  3. Smudboy...

    I had, like, the best idea ever.
    You + SpoilerWarningShow.

    Do it.

  4. And now it's time for the Leviathan. It seems that Bioware listened to you... at least partially, I can ceirtainly see some of your ideas there.

    1. Hahaha, hardly. Leviathan is absolutely pathetic. From making a DLC that's soul purpose is to elaborate on a topic that should have been addressed in the actual game, to the simple question of "why would omnipotent superpowerful Cthulhus give two shits about the lesser races if they didn't need them to survive" that breaks the whole point behind introducing them, I fail to see how any of his ideas were used properly.

      I see those little tips as nothing more than passive-aggressive pokes by the dev team. They're blaming everyone but themselves for what happened to Mass Effect. Or, there's the creepier thought...

      That Mass Effect 3's ending was a dive as a means to sell more DLC to merely elaborate upon it.

  5. I played the first 10 minutes or so and actually enjoyed what they did. The quest is not hand fed to you, but you rather have to investigate the place and filter information. It's very simple, but welcome, and gives you an LotSB vibe.
    The beginning doesn't feel rushed at all, unlike the original game.

    As for the plot, it works if you digest it in a vacuum, ignore the Crucible's existence and most parts of both ME2 and ME3.
    Like I said, I didn't finish it yet, but it's jarring how this DLC sinks itself thanks to the immutable ending and the Crucible's retarded existence.

    Even before playing it I was already in a default position of: "Should I really care about this? It changes nothing. Why add anything if you already have enough resources to finish the story the best way you can? Why more EMS? What are they trying to accomplish by launching this DLC?"

    Anyway, I'll have to finish it first before I draw any more conclusions.

    1. Just finished the Leviathan DLC.

      This felt a lot like a discarded idea they had (like the dark energy plot), which was kept stuffed in a drawer somewhere, gaining dust, only to be picked up again and released anyway because why the fuck not.

      This should've been a major plot point in ME2.
      Having the second game tackle the indoctrination issue (finding ways of protecting oneself and so on) -- alongside with finding a way of defeating the Reapers -- would've brought the plot together and pointed it in the direction of the Leviathans.

      Sticking this story in the middle of ME3 just turned the whole thing into a venture devoid of any meaning. Even so, the Crucible and all that ending nonsense just got subverted. It makes no sense to keep wasting resources on the Crucible when you have the power of the Leviathans at your side, which could turn a "conventional" victory into a rather easy thing to accomplish.

      Apart from that, the DLC is decent. Characters actually do something to accomplish their goals (like investigating data and cross-referencing results) and the slow build up is rather pleasing to go through. There were some strange decisions, like the out of nowhere melodrama with one of the new characters, or the new high-res NPC face model that only sticks around for two minutes or so.

      Anyway, Smudboy, I'm all in for new non-ME content from you, but I believe this is actually worth analysing. Will you?

    2. Yeah I agree. I felt like it was filler. That's the problem with DLC. I was all for it thinking "hey after I beat a particular game the developers are going to add side missions to expand the story". After I finished the game not throw DLC in the middle of the game.

  6. I've started playing mass effect from the ME2 then ME3. I agree with all the points you have touched but I think you should consider that BioWare is a company and as such wants to sell its products to the maximum so focused this last game (to my way of course) to the population most consume videogames: teens who love blood violence gratuitous sex and the highlight: the easy to follow patterns.
    Put all this together you get a ME3 is not bad (in my opinion) but has very many interesting and serious faults they had concentrated more on a good story, not a check with fame seudoshooter ready to be sold.
    I wish you have undersand me because im not english

  7. one thing more:could yo make a review of the halo trilogy? :)

  8. @smudboy
    Great news. This should fit nice with your current state of mind: