The Shifty Cow

Just a bit of a beef really. Maybe a big beef. Or perhaps it doesn’t involve Shifty Cows at all?
Have seen (and been unimpressed), by an info-graphic regarding player choices for Mass Effect 3. No idea how they compiled this information and also have no knowledge of whether or not these statistics are a reflection of exclusive Mass Effect 3 players or if the information gathered was compiled over the course of all three Mass Effect titles. But one thing is clear, the statistic shown for percentage of players who saved Kaidan vs. Ashley are wrong.

Shifty Cow

Image copyright: BioWare

Why do I say this? Easy. For the simple fact that should you, the reader, feel so inclined to Google search a Kaidan/Shepard or Kaidan/FemShep romance, the amount of “hits” received from said search blows that statistic out of the water. I’ve no idea whether or not the devs of this game at some point thought that because they “assumed” (I’m guessing here – view the female character images and make your own decision), that their target audience would be young males, Kaidan would automatically get the player shaft when choosing who to sacrifice in the first Mass Effect title.
The trouble is that over the past 2 years, female gamers have increased to 46% of all known gamers and of those who have played Mass Effect©, the majority of female players saved Kaidan. (Except for the ones who went for Garrus, which I think is a bit weird myself, cause seriously? Garrus is your best friend and buddy with a gun. Why would you want to mess that up with romance? But that’s a whole other post, so moving on.) Also, many gay male players also chose to save Kaidan which you will also find in any YouTube search for a Kaidan/Male Shepard romance arc.
So for whatever reason, (which as a huge fan of the Mass Effect universe), I can’t comprehend how players completely disregard all of Kaidan’s awesomely redeeming qualities by chalking it up to – “he whines a lot.” Um what? Did you actually play Mass Effect and listen to what the characters were saying? Or did you just go “meh, he’s a guy and Ashley is hot with that “be first always attitude and big guns?”
But since I didn’t choose Ashley I can’t say, although I’ve seen enough comments about Kaidan that I feel I’m not far off the mark. Which is a shame since as a result of  either deliberate assumptions or oversight on the part of the writers, Kaidan got the shaft in ME3 with a lack of screen time, dialogue and not a heck of a lot of interactions with him. Not too bad if he’s not a love interest, but even as a very interesting and well-developed character, extremely disappointing. Especially if you take into consideration all the great conversations you probably had with him in the first game on the SR1 – SSV Normandy.

Then after several dozen hours or so, you arrive at ME3 and when Kaidan is finally (after nearly playing half-way through the game), a part of your crew, and in great anticipation, you click on him for dialogue and get something like this in return: “Hey, Shepard.” “Can’t wait to get back out there.” Or my personal favorite, “Maybe we can talk later.” (Which if you’re like me are then sitting there thinking uh, wtf was that?) As a writer, I don’t understand at all why any writer would veer off from what was a great character in Mass Effect 1 and turn Kaidan into something he really wasn’t for Mass Effect 3. To show growth and maturity the way they showed and didn’t tell was awful. Kaidan was not like that in ME1 and after 3 years he could have been so much more than what the devs/writers gave him in ME3. Which to my way of thinking is a huge loss. Not just for players, but for the writers as well. Kaidan is a great character, who for whatever reason was hugely over-simplified by devs or writers (no idea where to lay the blame here) to the point that the majority of male players passed him off as not that interesting due to the horrid dialogue he was given in ME2 and 3. As a writer I feel this is more than just disappointing, it’s complete disregard of fan feedback. As a player and lover of the Mass Effect Universe, I also feel it was a betrayal of player loyalty and a huge lack of caring on the part of devs/writers on how fans would react to this “out of character” treatment of  a much-loved and well-developed character.
So that’s my beef. No shifty cows involved this time unfortunately. But if you wold like to see a Shifty Cow, check the top scores in the Combat Simulator. Just don’t turn your back on him – he’ll rob you blind. Huh… maybe that’s a metaphor for some entity that “should not be named” company that picked up the BioWare franchise? Okay nope. Not gonna touch that one. Not even with a Shifty Looking Cow.
That being said, *I* should go. Or maybe it’s I SHOULD go. Or, I should GO? 😉

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7 comments on “The Shifty Cow

    • Well that wasn’t very nice. Lol… when I first came to the Mass Effect series I didn’t know all the in and outs of saving everyone. She died on my first play-though of ME3, but I saved everyone in my 2nd attempt. 🙂

      • Well I was FemShep so I just had to be really nice to her in ME2 and Paragon/Renegade the fight between her and Jack. Wasn’t too hard after I learned how to maximize my reputation. And I think the reward for seeing all my crew later on in the 3rd game was worth it, but everyone has a preference there.

      • That’s a whole other post and then some. Suffice to say that they are and they aren’t. No Shepard and no word from BioWare or EA what that means. Prequel? Sequel? No one knows and no one is talking. Well actually, fans are talking a lot about the cons of both ideas and the lack of Shepard, but would have to write a new post on that subject.
        Thanks very much for commenting on this and am glad you liked it. Am off to my day job now so have a great day! Take down some Reapers while you’re at it. 🙂

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