Tags

, , , ,

Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for main story points in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Went hunting, but didn’t finish the quest line. I’m at the door where I had to talk like a Kett. That was kinda funny. As was Drack asking “Why are we still keeping our voices down?” and having Jaal incredulously say “We are infiltrating an enemy ship!” to which Drack, rightly says “They know we’re here…”

Didn’t see that they’d have the Salarians. This can’t be good.

On that, as I haven’t finished…..

I think this quest line is gonna be kinda dark. I think there’s gonna be a whole lot of Salarians who are not going to meet a good end. I’ve come to like the history teacher who’s been roped into this, and, well, I don’t expect her to last. We’ve talked on the fact that this game has a vein of darkness that other ME games lack, and we’re ok with that….

So are we ok with the jokes (like above) and the lighthearted moments (like talking like a kett) in the midst of it?

“Ha ha! Funny…oh, sucks that everyone you know is dead and your species might go extinct, yeah, that’s some dark theme…but ha! Another joke!”

While I do like me some banter, sometimes you just want to point out to the game that there might be a time and place…..

Feminina:

Yeah, see, I had done EVERYTHING I COULD DO, and I was starting to get concerned because that “find leads on the salerian ark” was still on my quest list. Was I missing a lead I should have found? Had I failed to talk to someone somewhere?

I mean, I figured odds were it was associated with the archon somehow, because those were the only things left, but WHAT IF I MISSED IT?

So it was a relief to find “oh yeah, there is it is, whew!”

And dude, are any of the arks happy stories, really? The turian ark was smashed to heck, and I seem to recall you’re far enough on Cora’s mission that you know the asari ark was jettisoning escape pods at some point, which is rarely a sign that things are going great.

Ark = Dark, I think was something they kept in mind writing these subplots. Heh.

I did love the “why are we still keeping our voices down?” bit. Good question! How sneaky are you really being, when there’s an alarm going off? I had Drack and Cora with me, but it was the same basic dialogue.

And black humor, you know, laughing to keep from crying, etc. etc. Maybe.

Butch:

Maybe. But there’s some narrative dissonance there. Bioware seems to botch that more than others it seems.

Still, I am curious as to how this is gonna go. Want to play. But it’s a half day Thursday and Meatball had a play date and now I’m in the car watching him sleep. Boo.

Feminina:

Perhaps. I mean, wouldn’t it also feel dissonant if we were puttering along with BioWare funny, and then had an hour-long session of TLOU-level crippling gloom, and then popped back out into funny? I mean, I get what you’re saying, they COULD maybe just ease off the jokes in certain sections, and wouldn’t have to go full into “life is despair” mode.

But then, where do you draw the line? I mean, EVERYTHING is pretty horrible from a certain standpoint. We showed up in this unfamiliar galaxy and everyone is trying to kill us! Half of us are already dead! This is no time for jokes!

You know, unless we’re only murdering Kevin, who doesn’t matter, or risking our lives against robots, which is not scary, or holding the fates of thousands of people in our hands, which is not that big a deal…

Butch:

Well, no, I’m not looking for “life is despair,” but there IS a time and a place. Different quests have different vibes, you know?

Searching out a bunch of bootleggers to get a krogan booze? Not the same as touring a shattered ark that might doom a species. Joke it on up when you’re looking for popcorn, but…

And it isn’t some kind of disrespect thing, it’s more of an interruption of mood and narrative. If you’re doing a quest line that’s supposed to be all moody and ominous, stick with it. Otherwise, it ruins the emotional momentum.

Feminina:

You’re right, there’s certainly an argument to be made for maintaining a certain mood throughout a particular, contained mission. I could see the protest that that’s pretty much impossible over these long, multiple-step quests where you bounce from planet to planet, because who knows what you’re doing in between steps? But once you actually embark on the mission, a mood could be set and stuck to, for sure.

I think I personally tend to just read the humorous moments as self-aware, like “people in tense situations cracking little jokes to keep from freaking out,” so I don’t generally notice that they break the mood for me…I guess I must just incorporate them into the mood and mutter a distracted “ha” to myself while moving on (they tend to be funnier to me in retrospect when you mention them, because then I can think “oh yeah, that was funny!” while at the time I’m more “good one, Drack, way to keep our spirits up–and moving on, what’s around this corner?” But I can see how they could also be distracting and mood breaking.

It’s kind of the other characters acting like players, though, isn’t it? Because this is pretty much always the way I’m talking to myself, going through a game, even a very dark one. Every spooky fungus-infested hallway in TLOU I’m muttering to myself, “OK, this looks nice, nothing could possibly go wrong here” or something, which is completely sarcastic and yet also (to me at least) slightly funny, and which is a way to deal with the tension.

And the other characters doing this same sort of thing…could work or not work. Plus if we instead read the funny bits as not INTENTIONALLY funny, just characters being random, that could also be distracting, because why are you talking about random stuff at a time like this?

I don’t know. But apparently (apparently) it’s a bit more complicated than I might have thought, before I started thinking about it.

Butch:

T SHIRT! Sorta.

But yeah, this has bugged me on many a bioware game. And I love me some bioware games.

Especially as this game does a good job of NOT breaking the tension when it does do silly quests. Everyone on the movie night quest explicitly says “Hey, I know we’re saving the galaxy and stuff, but it’s important to keep our spirits up.” They basically say “Yes, this is a silly quest in a serious game, but go with it.” And that’s fine. That sets the tone for that quest. But…I dunno.

Had I finished the quest we’d be talking about that. That’s the real moral: If you’re gonna blog, finish the quest.

Feminina:

Finishing a quest is good, but we did get some oddly thoughtful discussion out of the mood comments, and you probably wouldn’t have remembered to mention it if you had finished the quest because we’d be too busy talking about how surprising it was that we ended up flirting with the archon and –oops! My bad! Spoiler!

Haha, kidding. Probably. I mean, if I could have, I would have, it would have been too weird to resist, but PROBABLY you can’t.

Anyway, the point is, even if you don’t finish sometimes you can get decent bloggage.

Man, it would be an interesting plot twist if you could flirt with a kett, and we couldn’t help ourselves, and we kept going until we wound up agreeing to be exalted, just because we can’t NOT click the heart option.

“Sure, I’d love to be exalted so we can be together, why not? I was promised nudity, after all.”

BioWare would just be openly messing with us personally at that point.

Butch:

You can SAY it’s too weird to resist, but he IS your type, except for the evil. Moody, armored carapace, that sort of thing. Gravelly voice.

And we’ve had a lot of practice spinning something from nothing. If we can spin something from nothing, we’re fine even when we have very little.

I’ll play tonight. Maybe.

I dunno, though. The exalted thing would be a bit much, but I’m all for a game where you can save the world by wooing the baddie. Why not? At the end of TW2 you end up saying fuck it and get drunk with the baddie. That was cool (and he came back to help in TW3).

“Why are we fighting? We could be having sex!”

Works for marriages, right? Why not galactic conflicts?

Feminina:

I would absolutely sleep with the bad guy to end the game. Because, you know, it’s for the good of all, ending conflict without violence! Plus flirting.

Although we SAY that, but what if the bad guy was really horrible? What if it wasn’t what’s his name in TW2, it was Junior in TW3?

Also, we SAY that, but if it turned up in a game for real, to what extent would we feel that was breaking the mood, turning a battle for the soul of a galaxy, plus the resolution of a plot involving murder, torture and attempted genocide, into a flirtatious dialogue session? How would we really be able to square “oh, I seduced him, it’s cool” with the angara’s justified anger over decades of mistreatment by the kett?

And if we just seduced him in order to get him to let his guard down and then killed him, that’s a hackneyed plot with that would have to be very carefully done to avoid troubling implications of “a woman’s true value lies in her sexuality” (a male character would have to have equal opportunity and motivation to do it). (Not that ending with a big final battle is not THE most hackneyed plot of all plots.)

So. Hm. I like the idea in theory, but in practice it would have to be very carefully handled. Which I am all for, so bring it on.

Butch:

Well, sleeping with Junior didn’t end well at all. Eww.

I wouldn’t be surprised if horizon did something where they made you involved with someone only to have to make a choice to betray or kill them. Avad has “go bad” potential, as sun kings do.

Feminina:

Yes, indeed.

Complicated plot twists could abound.

Advertisements