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So I decided to download the demo for ME3 today. Based on what I've seen, it looks like come March 6th I'll be having tons of makeup sex with Bioware. That being said, I found more story in the first mission of the demo than I did in all of TOR. Bit o spoiler coming up
During one part of the mission, you are heading to another area, and you come across a little child hiding. (Only played paragon part so far.) You ask him for his hand so you can guide him to safety. He says nobody can help him, and sneaks off through the duct he was hiding in. Amidst all this death and chaos is an innocent child. He didn't deserve this.
At the end of the mission, you see him again boarding a shuttle. You feel a sense of gladness the boy escaped harm..... until the camera pans out and a Reaper is in view. You can see it in Shepherd's face. He wants the kid to run. You are probably saying it yourself. The kid gets in the shuttle fast, and they try to zoom away. at that point, the camera pans out even further, and you watch the Reaper blow up the shuttle. If you needed a reason to hate the Reapers, I suppose child murder will do! Yet it also pans back to Shepherd. He feels like he has failed. A real sense of failure comes over his face.
Now what does this have to do with TOR? Two things. In TOR, you character, all the way from level one, is meant to be an unstoppable force of nature. The only way your character "develops" in the story is he becomes even more implausibly badass. There isn't much failure in the story lines. There isn't much room for personal development of your guy. It really is the most boring story in the world: where the "hero" always gets it right.
The second way is in the way they used characters. They used the environment to make you care about the kid. He wasn't there to serve your every need, or have you do something for him. He was just there, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. You identify with him being terrified. He only says maybe two sentences. Yet you see him again when you are about to leave the planet, and it might be your one sense of accomplishment. Earth is burning, I'm fleeing to do the impossible, but at least my actions helped save a child's life. Then all for nothing. You identify with the kid, but also with the villian, you really come to hate the Reapers.
I haven't seen that in any of the storylines TOR has. Instead, characters other than you exist to serve your every need. You rarely fail (only minor setbacks), and everyone treats you like you are the force made flesh.