Dragon Effect of The Old BioWare
Just finished Dragon Effect (where TOB doesn’t stand for Throne of Bhaal – this was pre-generics after all). With Commander Warden (the guy who looks almost exactly like Dr. Jack Shephard from L O S T [for years I wanted to get this off my chest!] – in the default setting – if they ever do a movie, don’t be stupid: THIS is your guy! Play it safe!). I wanted to refresh my memory (sometimes I was totally surprised by my squad, couldn’t remember they would do stuff like that) for part II that is coming out in late January (if I import a savegame, I wanna know what it contains – although, by sheer coincidence, I still had all my original savegame files; and who wants the important decisions of ME1 [like showing some interest in Asari OR giving Ashley reason to look happy – they obviously made a severe mistake with that camera angle, btw] to be swallowed by oblivion in ME2). It still payed off. I never played the DLC “Bring Down EA Because of DLC” either (introduces the new race dark spawnarians), so I had plenty of incentive (I finished it TOO SOON after release). I perceived it quite differently than the first time around. I didn’t even remember having to pick an origin story at the beginning. I always go with the “sole survivor” and “ex-gang member” background. For the characters I play are TOUGH, baby!
I felt at home immediately, the game starts in Lothering Prime, where some scientists survived an attack and welcome you with the words “Thank the maker!” (no kidding). After that first introduction, it’s right of to “Britadel Castle“, where we’ll meet Leliana at a med clinic, who’s a doctor this time. The red hair or her voice give her away. Or maybe just the latter. I LOVE recurring stars, btw. Makes me smile (e.g. Jennifer “Then I suggest we move on” Hale should start doing podcasts, it wouldn’t even matter what she would talk about!). Except for when I hate them! Then it doesn’t.
Lots of little adventures happen after that, trying to keep the player from noticing, that there actually are only
FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR FOUR
or 4 main/story missions, between the prelude and finish of the entire adventure/game. I read a while ago, that BioWare tried to do an open world game (think Fallout 3/Oblivion) with the planets, but it didn’t pan out the way they imagined it, so they had to go back to the usual scripted stuff. Sadly, at this point, their time had run out and thus there is really only a single layout for every base type on all planets (and other locations). ME could have really been the ultimate stuff, if it would have featured unique locations. The maps they did build from scratch, were awesome. Be it the lush ocean world (Virmire), where the bomb goes off, or the prothean world leading up to the finale (Ilos). For ME2 they specifically promised ([…] location […] singular […] you can’t get anywhere else […]), that wouldn’t happen again. So I’m “stretched to a breaking point”, if they’ll actually come through.
They could have brought the Normandy into DAO, to “ride” into battle, like they put the blood dragon armor into ME2. Fuck griffons man! Just imagine the expression on Loghain’s face! Suddenly there’s this mind numbing, everything supressing sound and BAM! Joker (or the other one) puts down the ship in a hot zone (I’m pretty sure that’s how griffons would have looked like anyway, if they didn’t go extinct)!
This is how the Mako should have been. Like the tumbler from BATMAN. Put a huge rocket engine on the back and turbo boost away! It was SLOW. I’m not even talking about the fact, that it “drove” like a ball, that’s just uncontrollable bouncing around… (As a nod to the sometimes outrageous ability of the Mako to climb cliffs, there is a ‘Mako Mountain Climbing Team’ t-shirt in BioWare’s official store.)
And this is what people missed (a delightful Mako wallpaper collection), who didn’t land on every planet, because they were ALL THE SAME:
After seeing this, you regret not visiting every copy/pasted pirate base out there, right? I don’t blame you.
What actually sold ME2 to me (pre-ordered), was Tali (“I can’t tell you how much what you said means to me.” Wow!). Learning she would be back made the decision for me. Pushed me over the edge. My favorite character from the first game (the engine room [where she spent her time] was the coolest on the ship too). The misleading (and ultimately unsatisfying) mysteries from ME surely wouldn’t have done the trick (because they promised something – anything, that really wasn’t there).
In their E3 reveal video they even tell, that the characters are now the focus of the game, so they apparently admit, that it’s officially no longer e.g. the story, that should pull the whole project. Interesting!
Thinking about the story, this (unfortunately) makes sense… Some of it was really written like they hoped no one would actually listen to it and just skip it all. Close to the end Vigil reveals some contradictions pretty close to each other (e.g. telling that the reapers knew everything about the protheans because of the databases on the citadel, but a few sentences later, that the reapers never found Ilos because the reapers destroyed all the information during their attack on the citadel, so they had nothing to access to find that base…). I also never bought that slogan about why the real plan of the reapers never was explained, because organic life forms couldn’t comprehend it anyway. That’s pretty much only a lot of BS to me. And I also perceive it as a huge cop-out, in the form of bringing that instead of an actual explanation, what really would have required some ideas… Come on… Such babble passes through quality assurance? If anyone maybe thought this might come over as mystical or eerie… it does really NOT.
Since I didn’t kill him, I’m looking forward to major events with Wrex in ME2 (RIIIGHT). :P Because otherwise it wouldn’t really matter, riiight? Considering, however, that another krogan appears to be a team member in ME2, I won’t hold my breath for more than a short cameo.
“Sorry folks, but as a biotic with barrier active and bastion specialization, I cannot be killed, no matter what you throw at me! Even if the 1000 extra hitpoints of this shield should be depleted, it would just immediately recharge! Boom!”
“Hey! Aren’t you that chick  from this comic?!?”
Now it’s time to watch the video that’s NEW (at least since I last checked).
BioWare revealed at the 2009 GDC that originally Liara T’Soni was supposed to be discovered on the mining planet Caleston in addition to several side quests, in a section of the game comparable to the size of Feros. Due to scheduling and coding issues, Caleston saw severe content cuts during the development of Mass Effect before being eventually changed to Therum. Originally there was a human mining station that served as a hub; much of the architecture for this station was later repurposed as the final fight location in Bring Down the Sky.