Here’s the very first Commander Shepard I ever played (10 YEARS AGO, OMG), named Cora Shepard. Colonist/sole survivor background, paragon through and through, saved the Citadel Council, saved the rachni queen, pretty much saved everybody everywhere, kept everyone alive during the suicide mission, romanced Kaidan Alenko and stayed faithful to him even though he broke her heart in ME2. XD
OMG OMG OMG!!! MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA COMES OUT IN 4 DAYS GUYS, EEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!! Expect a ton of ME fan art, lololol
“Hmm?” Kaidan glanced up to see a very large, very intense-looking krogan nearly staring a hole through him. “Umm… I joined right around the time that Shepard did. Why?”
Grunt… grunted. He crossed his arms over his chest and didn’t bother answering the human’s question. “So you helped her kill that turian?”
“Saren?” Kaidan set his beer aside to give the krogan his full attention. “Yeah, I was right there by her side.”
“Good,” Grunt replied with a nod. “And you fought Collectors?”
“Well, I wasn’t with Shepard at the time,” Kaidan answered, his hand rubbing the back of his neck idly as he glanced aside. “But yes, I fought them, too. I heard that you have a talent for it as well.”
“You bet your ass I do,” the krogan answered, not even a hint of a smile on his face. “Rachni, too.”
“Yeah, heard that, also. Did Shepard ever tell you about the Rachni queen we found?” Kaidan was probably trying to start a more friendly conversation than the one Grunt seemed to be intent on conducting at the moment.
“You fight thresher maws?”
Kaidan paused and glanced around at the other party goers. No one seemed to notice the odd list of questions that Grunt had for him. “Uh… I have before, yes.”
“No. Definitely not. That’s more Shepard’s style, apparently.”
Ouch, i have to admit, ME3 was still good (my personal favorite). I just like to forget its ending even exists lol. (As for ME:A, not as trash as I thought lol, managed to clock over 140 hours and 1 ½ game completions .w.)
I know, I am quite harsh about it but after playing all the previous games multiple times, I felt letdown. It had so much potential up until the last 5-10 minutes (minus all the plot holes and erased decisions throughout the game like the rachni queen or choosing anderson for the citadel job, or the pacing of the game didn’t really match what I expected for an intergalactic war). I just can’t forget the ending and the EC was like rubbing salt in the wounds (had to choose the no choice option -_- ). I didn’t hate it, but I couldn’t forgive them for the utter mess they made of it after ME2 which was brilliant. I am surprised my TV didn’t get a controller thrown at it tbh. MEA definitely needed some improvements, but at least I don’t feel like I should have never played it.
My biggest issue with ME3 is there was no consideration for the future of the franchise. I would have been happy with a no choice ending that left it open for more games in the Milky Way but it just felt like instead of ending Shepard’s story, they ended it all. Seriously, that was a lack of foresight.
I think most of us have complained at least once about the deep flaws in the Mass Effect morality system. Here are my observations from trying to play ME1 as Renegade:
Sometimes the Charm and Intimidate checks are just alternate ways to get exactly the same result.
In Wrex’s case, Charm, Intimidate and getting his armor all lead Shepard to say the same things almost verbatim, and you can get either Paragon or Renegade points depending on what you used. If you found the armor, to get the Renegade points you have to do extra work, which doesn’t really make sense – pick a response that pointlessly angers him, to be redirected to the Charm/Intimidate dialogue options.
On Feros you get a lot of Paragon just by doing the mission properly: 32 for all assignments given by colonists (in terms of roleplaying, it’s wise to eliminate nearby geth unless you want to be flanked by them and surrounded on a narrow skyway with no cover or escape route, and varren/power cells/water valves are on your way and you’d have to ignore them on purpose), and up to 32 for colonists alive by the end (why kill them when you can easily knock them out?).
Similarly, you can get a lot of “free” Paragon by helping Kirrahe.
Sometimes the game pretends that it presents a difficult problem with two valid solutions, but the scene for the Renegade solution is written and staged as outright evil. Out of the choices I’ve played myself, in ME1 it’s killing the Rachni Queen, in ME2 it’s killing the heretics.
Sometimes Paragon is more risky and Renegade is more pragmatic, but everything goes smoothly for Paragon and the dangers that Renegade hoped to avoid don’t happen. If you save Destiny Ascension, Sovereign goes down just as easily. If you let Balak go, he doesn’t attempt another attack on that scale. It’s just unfair.
Renegade and “bottom” responses are written very inconsistently. You can play a character that makes sense by mostly picking Paragon dialogue options, but Renegade didn’t seem to have their own personality – it’s just what is opposite to whatever the top dialogue option says or to what the person in front of you wants to hear. When a squadmate is trying to make a friendly conversation, you’re strict and impersonal. When a superior is giving you orders, you’re overemotional, rude and unprofessional. When you can shoot a criminal, you do because you hate crime. When you can profit from breaking the law, you do because you can get away with it.
tl;dr: It’s hard to play a Renegade because the game is written with Paragons in mind and rigged in their favor.
Literally every alien race either sidelines or sexualizes their female members within the series except the Quarians and the Rachni.
The Turians are literally governmentally led by The Patriarch and you never meet a single female turian. The only one ever mentioned is the one Garrus banged in a funny story.
The Salarians are technically ruled by their female members but it’s as a queen insect style set up where their gender defines their social role and they are very few in number. You do meet one female Salarian as their leader and ambassador.
The Krogan have gender based clans due to the genophage’s effects on reproduction wherein almost all dfab members are infertile and those who aren’t are closely guarded. However the only female Krogan you ever meet is a single fertile one whose role laregly surrounds this though she too, if she doesn’t die (which she does by default) goes on to be a leader (married to the head of the Krogans).
The Asari are a single sex race still called female both because of the social tendency to classify single sex species as female instead of not gendering them and their extremely sexualized appearance. There are many dancers and strippers in Mass Effect and every single one is Asari. Though they are good for having powerful and diverse female characters that they are the only significant non-human female presence in the game and are so heavily sexualized is far from great.
The other races (discluding quarians and rachni) are fewer in members showing in the game but they across the board bring only male members to the table, or having some male characteristics and having masculine pronouns used.
The Quarians are the only humanoid and primary race other than humans presenting no real differences in consideration for gender while the Rachni literally only have one significant character - The Rachni Queen - and are noted exceptions only to be clear that literally every other race brings nothing.
I love Mass Effect but it’s just it’s so exasperating.
EDIT: EDI the artificial intelligence identifies as female, eventually taking on a female (though in-game notably naked/sexually presenting) body, other robotic entities are treated as male but show no signs of caring about gender.
Life is Strange - Reversing Time, Saying “Hella” A Lot
Have you ever fell asleep in class and woken up only to be embarrassed by your annoying classmates and then discovering that you had superpowers? Well I’ve definitely been through the first part, but if I did wake up
with superpowers, I can imagine it being something like Life is Strange. With Episode 2 of Life is Strange to be released on March 24, it’s a good time to consider if this series is right for you.
Maxine Caulfield, a recent transfer to a prestigious
high school discovers in the middle of class that she is able to rewind
time at the wave of her hand. Max is in many ways, a stereotypical
representation of teenage girls in high school: She’s quiet, she likes
photography and writes in a journal, she feels isolated and different
for very arbitrary reasons - not very revolutionary character type, but
it is an archetype we don’t see much in gaming, so I won’t chastise it
too much. Before we even get into the gameplay,
it’s worth noting that the game has a visually elegant and unique art
style that makes it feel like a moving, artsy photograph, with an
emphasis on intricate lighting, eye-popping color, and the interplay
between action in the foreground and background. If you like your games
pixelated or photorealistic, this is definitely a style that might take a
few minutes to get used to, but it is certainly beautiful.
main mechanics of the game are simple: You walk around, you interact
with items or people, and you reverse time, but of course, it’s the
latter that puts an engaging, different spin on
what is otherwise a teenage drama. Thematically and mechanics-wise, Life
is Strange is a unique counterpoint to the Marvel/DC and inFamous style
of having superpowers in gaming. While many stories about people
with superpowers explore the ethics, responsibility, and temptation of
having powers on a large scale, and focus on combat, Life is Strange
explores the nuances of the day-to-day life of having an amazing power
and how it affects your relationships with others. This exploration
is made possible by the fact that Maxine can only rewind a few minutes into the past. Now, if you’re like me when playing a video game in which
you have to make choices, you might make a choice that leads to an
outcome that you immediately regret so much so that you restart at
the last checkpoint in order to select the opposite choice (I’m so sorry
I almost killed you, Rachni Queen!). Well you’re in luck; part of the
complex yet elegant system of choices of Life is Strange is the fact
that by design, you actually CAN and often MUST go back to make
different choices and observe different outcomes. Do you give your bully
her comeuppance, or do you show her compassion? Do you tell the
principal that the student of a rich donor had a gun, or do you keep
your mouth shut? Well you can do both and decide which outcome feels
better to you before proceeding. Even though that may sound like there’s always a safety net for any decision you make, like in any great game
that confronts you with decisions, there are very few choices
that feel like the “best” option. There were some choices in which I was certain
about what wanted but watched all outcomes out of
curiosity, and others in which I needed to look at each outcome two or
three times before making a tough decision; the beauty of the rewind mechanic
is that it lets you choose how scrupulous you want to be.
there are some aspects of Life is Strange that are distractedly bad,
they are technical ones. If you greatly care about voice
synchronization, Life is Strange will bother you. A lot. The dialogue
never syncs up with the mouths of the characters, which is unfortunate
for a game that has this much gameplay integrated through dialogue. The
voice acting is generally good, if somewhat flat on the part of the two
main characters you will encounter. Also, if you are not a fan of West Coast slang, be warned: There’s a lot of it here - and this is coming from an East Coaster who says “hella” more than she should.
The crux of the storytelling lies in the relationship between Maxine and her estranged best friend Chloe, and they have a dynamic that is straight out of 90s girl power movie: Maxine is the mousy loner who needs to come out of her shell, while Chloe is the troubled, rough-around-the-edges badass (she has a lot of tattoos and blue hair so you just know she’s edgy) and together, they get into trouble. Luckily, the backstory of the two girls allows them to be more vulnerable quickly, and Chloe’s complicated family life is able to give sympathy to an otherwise cliched character. Though we’ve only gotten a glimpse of it in this episode, the growth of their friendship will be paramount to the success of the storytelling in the game, and it’s difficult to end Episode 1 without wondering what these two will do next. It’s clear to me playing through the first episode that the relationship between the two women will grow into some emotionally dynamic, and that alone makes it worth the time and money.
Play if you like: Talking to NPCs, making multiple choices multiple times,
beautiful visuals, introspectively looking at the relationships
between young people and especially women.
Avoid (for now) if: You’re looking for
something action-packed, fast-paced, if you need realistic voice acting
synchronization, if you for some reason don’t like playing a teenage girl.
Shepard sat at her desk, chin in her hand as she went through her emails on her personal terminal in the Loft. There was a soft ding as a new one came in and she opened it up.
Can we talk for a bit? It’s important.
Reaching over, she pressed the button on her personal comm.
“James, I just got your message. I got some time now.” She said.
“On my way.” He said and she got up, turning and leaning against the desk, crossing her arms over her stomach. She heard the elevator open a moment later and the door slid open with a hiss, James’s large frame almost filling the doorway. His eyes moved over as he looked at her in her tank top and BDU pants and a shiver slid down her spine at the naked desire that crossed over his features. James suddenly seemed to remember himself, clearing his throat and looking away from her, his hand coming up to rub at the back of his neck as a blush crept over his skin.
“You wanted to talk?” She asked and he nodded, looking back at her again, the expression from before buried away.
“Yeah, I uh…wanted to tell you before Admiral Hackett did.” James said, “I uh…asked to tell you first.”