I’m fairly certain that the good-goes-bad plot-twist was attempted long before Ryan Andrew’s epic man/slave monologue in Bioshock; however, seeing as this narrative element has resurfaced on more than one occasion since my time with Rapture, not to mention how severely fanboy I am towards Mass Effect, I figured it be interesting to discuss this issue. Hey, Portal 2 pulled the same trick (*spoilers*). It’s gotta be good.
Could you imagine if Bioware actually decided to go for the ultimate irony and take everything Shepard has relied on/believed in and turn it upside down? I’m not just talking about the cigarette-budding, vodka-tanking, bazillioanire “Illusive Man,” what if EVERYTHING you knew was a lie? What if Shepard really did die after the Mass Effect 2 intro? Could Shepard be a clone? (a fascinating suggestion found in the immaculate Bioware forums)? Was Wilson innocent? Has Shepard’s existence been reduced to following orders and living in submission? Yeah, a little extreme I’ll admit. I’m in no way suggesting that Bioware will COMPLETELY rip off Bioshock’s “would you kindly” revelation, but huge releases are no strangers to being “inspired” by their peers. Don’t believe me? How about Crysis and Halo: ODST? Ya know, the whole dropping-down-on-a-mission-with-your-squad-and-SUDDENLY-something-goes-wrong-and-your-whole-team-is-separated. How about Modern Warafe 2 and The Rock (movie)? Ya know, the whole epic-blazing-firefight-in-the-bathroom-because-that-is-totally-badass. Hell, what about Portal and Darksiders? Ya know . . . portals?
Anyway, let’s get serious here. It would be no surprise to me if the Illusive Man ended up being a total D-Bag and turned on you. But hey, let’s play the irony card again! What if Bioware pulls a “Harry Potter” and the BAD isn’t so bad after all (Snape FTW!). There really is no way to tell until the finale launches in 2012, but the possibilities are oh so exciting for fan like myself. Hopefully, many of you have played and enjoyed Mass Effect as much as I have. If not, it’s never too late. Get started now. Hell, you don’t even need both games. Jump in wherever you feel like entering the series. The Mass Effect team has done a commendable job in making the franchise as accessible as possible. Just remember that you can import your files from game to game. Not only does stress continuity but it makes the experience that much more personal and consistent with all the decisions you make.
As far as irony goes, I really hope that Bioware doesn’t pour it on too heavy (if that’s what they plan to do). Although they have no intentions of “punishing decisions” from their fanbase, it would be utterly depressing if everything I worked for went to hell. Let’s say that Miranda Lawson (my “sidequest”) never really abandons the Illusive Man when you encounter him for a final time at the end of ME2 and is secretly a mole that gains your trust. What if Cerberus is actually in league with the Reapers? I’ve heard this quite a bit from some random sources lately, but I don’t buy it. Come on, that’s too easy. An organization with a “sketchy” reputation and an even more “sketchy” leader has been secretly collaborating with the ultimate threat? Plausible actually now that I think about it. Let’s Bioshock it! Cerberus rebuilds Shepard but secretly implants some sort of mind-control to keep him in check! When the time is right…BOOM! . . . “would you knidly?”
Speculation and nothing more. Looking forward to E3 2011! In the meantime, how about some catch up with Mass Effect’s lead producer? Say hello to Casey Hudson.
-Fifth Fleet Out-
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