Reeling

12 03 2012

It’s still on my mind: in the wake of what I would deem the most catastrophic decisions I’ve yet made as Cmdr. Shepard (and I’m maybe half-way through the game, meaning it’s going to get even worse) this sobering realization came to me.

The game is saying good bye to me.

I run into old allies and crew members – calling in every favor I can to save the galaxy from the Old Machines – and they all take one last chance to say good by to Shepard and shake hands. I can save some of them. I cannot save all of them. The game presents me with choices and so far they’ve been increasingly difficult to make. So difficult that I’m still reeling from one made last night, even now.

“Save one at the expense of the other. No, you cannot save both. Yes, no matter what you choose, you are going to feel it in the morning.”

The game is a good one. Every time it presents me with a sadistic and unfortunate choice, I am 1. extremely angry with it, 2. shocked at the outcome, and 3. overall impressed. The game is successfully communicating to me on several levels just how deep in the crapper the galaxy is. And while the leadership of the galaxy flails and panics, slowly everybody is coming around to the very realization that they’ve all really had all along.

Shepard is their only way out.

Every side quest I did, every character I met, so many of them are coming up, coming out of the woodwork.

“Shepard, I/we remember you. You saved me/us when nobody else gave a crap. I/We will be there for you, when the hammer falls.”

I’m halfway through the Paragon run…though on this first run I’ve made a small handful of Renegade decisions because (frankly) Shepard says Renegade-like things without my prompting at times: evidence to me that even he’s pushed to the brink. And sometimes in their panic and sniveling, bureaucrats are huge jerks. I haven’t punched or shot anybody that isn’t 1. a Reaper sympathizer, or 2. exploiting refugees and casualties of war, and 3. deserving of it. Yet.

That’s really for the Renegade run through anyway. That play through will necessarily be an extremely harsh ride, I have no doubt.

This “nice guy” run is harsh enough.

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