Part 22: The ending isn't the dumbest part of ME3The ending isn't the dumbest part of ME3
We were told to meet with Councilor Valern on the Citadel about Udina's financial shenanigans so we pop by for a visit. In completely unsurprising news everything has gone tits up. Somehow Cerberus has invaded and taken over the entire station. Comms are down and nobody knows WTF is going on. Also there are lots of dead people everywhere. We find Bailey who immediately gets gutshot, but in an unusual twist for this game he survives just fine. Thane is also in the mix somewhere, while Kaidan has gone MIA, presumably to get the Council to safety.
After blasting our way through the obligatory mooks we make it to the Executor's office. It's no longer on the Presidium where it was and apparently Pallin got the boot because it's some random human dude. Valern stole Kasumi's cloaking ability and was hiding the whole time while we were spraying gunfire everywhere. And then the galaxy's greatest douchebag shows up.
Fucking Kai Leng.
Here's another example of EA pooping the bed in "making the series accessible to new players" while at the same time confusing the fuck out of longtime fans. Leng, like Kahlee Sanders, was introduced in a shitty tie-in novel that nobody read. He's supposed to be a badass, but he reads like some kind of total edgelord that a 12 year-old would come up with. He's a ninja! He carries a sword! He talks in stupid cliches! I've read Sonic/Tails slashfic that comes across better than this (ok, I've never actually read Sonic/Tails slashfic, but you get the point). He's also a complete fuckup and the only reason he doesn't die is because the 12 year-old's uncle who works for BW is trying to stay in the will or something. His alleged badassery includes things like breaking into Andersen's apartment, eating his cereal to show dominance and pissing in a vase. No, really. And here he gets completely owned by a Drell with late-stage tuberculosis. Some people on these forums argue that he's a good character because he evokes strong emotions in the player. They are either trolling or should be put on ignore immediately and ostracized from human contact.
We give pursuit in a taxi and again the plot armor for dumbshit could easily coat several dreadnaughts. After crash landing in a strip mall we get introduced to a new elite enemy type, the Phantom. Phantoms can be a real pain in the ass as they have both long and short range attacks that will fuck you right up. The handcannon is a 1 shot shield breaker, while the melees stagger you and set you up for the sync kill which is also a melee. Vanguarding is exceedingly hazardous around them, and are probably the second-most dangerous enemy to us in the entire game. Throw either dark channel or warp on them before they get their bubble up then lock them down with stasis. Then they become manageable. This was what the plan was for all the lady biotics at Grissom was - to indoctrinate them into becoming Phantoms. If you ignored Grissom then Jack is one. You can find a log of how they tortured and broke her, it's not pretty.
We finally catch up with Kaidan and the Council. Udina tries to get us shot. We have enough reputation to just L1 our way out of it, but if you don't whether or not the Virmire survivor survives again is an incredibly complicated formula similar to holding the line in ME2. So complicated that I had to look it up (I've never not had enough reputation to deal with it). And then we have the difficult choice of shooting Udina or letting Kaiden do it. Just kidding! It's not difficult at all Then it's off to the hospital to say goodbye to Thane. It's a pretty good death all things considered; he was past his expiration date by a fair bit and he at least did it with some style and for a good cause.
This mission is a weird smoothie of technical wizardry and terrible writing. Tons of variables go into deciding how this plays out. First of all Valern: He can die to dipshit if a)Thane is dead and b)Kirrahe is dead. If Thane isn't around Kirrahe takes his place, if you didn't save him either then Valern gets shanked and the rest of the next section plays out the same. If Valern is saved you get a bunch of war assets, effectively bypassing ignoring the Dalatrass on the genophage mission. The section with Udina is likewise incredibly complicated. We're fine because we've been talking to people and visited Kaidan in the hospital twice. The formula for whether or not you have to shoot him to get to Udina is here: http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Pr..._The_Citadel_II So if you haven't played your cards right you can have both your original human squadmates dead. It's awful writing because according to the codex the Citadel is home to a population of 13.2 million people and C-Sec has 200,000 cops. Probably not all frontline officers, but the number of troops Cerberus would need to take over the station would be in the tens of thousands at least and sleeper agents or no, you're gonna need a fleet of ships to get them there. Surely a crapload of Cerberus cruisers dropping out of hyperspace would raise a bit of an alarm. And 200,000 armed police are going to put up a hell of a fight, comms down or no. Just shoot every asshole in the white/yellow/black armor. Not to mention any civilians with weapons, which are a thing as we've overheard. Even if you assume Udina pulled some strings, if random employees turned off the radio, the pushback would be immense and not just "whoopsie Cerberus took over the Citadel with a hundred guys." A plot hole you could fit the Crucible through. Still with the exception of shitninja, the dialogue and character interaction is quite good.
We'll have a couple minor things to wrap up on the Citadel before we get to the next major plot mission so we'll do that next time.