The Socratic Exercise
I had promised myself that I was done talking about Mass Effect 3 now, the topic seems fairly played out. But then I saw this video on Shamus Young’s blog and thought it rather excellent. Not just in discussing the problems with Mass Effect 3′s ending, but in analyzing what makes a particular story work, whether for games or otherwise. The part about the Socratic Exercise and Star Trek, in particular, nailed why that show is so enjoyable.
I was dubious at first, but it turned out to be well worth the 40 minutes to watch. Have a look, if you’re not completely bored with the topic.
The points he raise illustrate why I enjoyed ME2 so much. I felt the narrative coherence, up to the Human Reaper bit, was a lot stronger. It was a plot about Shepard gathering his ‘Dirty Dozen’ for a suicide mission, and it worked well. The RPG mechanics could have been better, I thought, but the plot overall was pretty satisfying.