So, let's talk about Kai Leng (w/Mass Effect 3 spoilers)

#1 Posted by AndrewB (7568 posts) -

In case you didn't notice the spoiler mention in the title, here it is again: Spoilers for Mass Effect 3 be here.

Alright, good. Let's begin.

What the fuck?

Those were the only words I could come up with every time he appeared on the screen. I'm sorry, but for everything I actually *do* love about Mass Effect 3, every moment where Kai Leng is on the screen was either funny, absurd, stupid, infuriating, or any combination of those.

We start out with the first time you really see him in action: where he fights Thane. First of all, that whole scene, from the way Kai Leng is dressed to the choreographed sword fighting moves reminds me of those two weirdos from Highlander 2, which I sure wish I could find a Youtube clip of to illustrate because it's freaking funny. The fact that Shepard just stands there slack-jawed while Thane gets run-through while he has plenty of opportunity to fire off a couple of rounds is frustrating, especially since this is a game, and I totally would have fired if it wasn't super-long cutscene time.

Then you actually fight him. Then you realize that, for the amount of time he spends doing acrobatics for no reason, getting stuck on the environment and running in place, or just standing stock still, he's gotta feel lucky that he has the best shield strength in the Mass Effect universe. And yet you fear him, because (on insanity, at least), he'll pummel you dead in a matter of seconds, even from a distance. Couple that with the legions of troops that accompany him in the last fight, and you're ready to crack the disc in half and forget any of that even happened. It's not fun; in fact, it's among the dumbest boss fights I've ever played.

He's just the most absurd character who comes out of seemingly nowhere.

#2 Posted by Quarters (1667 posts) -

He has set up in the books. After getting used to him in those, he feels like a natural fit in ME3. Was glad to finally shank him like a boss.

#3 Posted by Turambar (6718 posts) -

Because every game needs a cyborg ninja.

Online
#4 Edited by mordukai (7149 posts) -

Don't you mean Raiden?

COME ON! it's Raiden but evil. I couldn't help but giggle every time he was on.

#5 Edited by MikkaQ (10281 posts) -

I agree. Kai Leng felt like a pretty silly character. Oh a Chinese katana-wielding cyborg ninja? Nice going. Real original.

And the fights with him weren't that fun, even on normal. At least it was easier though. Also it's disappointing to think that he's basically the last boss.

Also he kinda came out of nowhere. Like maybe he was in the books but seriously, they can't assume we've read that stuff.

#6 Posted by RockinKemosabe (619 posts) -

@Mordukai: Yeah when I first saw him I thought it was Raiden too.

#7 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1104 posts) -

I did not have an issue with his character, but it was an odd decision to have a melee heavy boss in a game based on cover based shooting.

#8 Posted by GunstarRed (5103 posts) -

He's the only dude I hit the renegade prompt on.

#9 Posted by AndrewB (7568 posts) -

@Quarters said:

He has set up in the books. After getting used to him in those, he feels like a natural fit in ME3. Was glad to finally shank him like a boss.

But from what I've read about people *talking* about the books, he's just as absurd in them too.

#10 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7614 posts) -

It really felt like the developers had just played Deus Ex: Human Revolution and said "we totally need someone like that for our game!".

He was a really lazy character, one of the few parts of the game I found to be disappointing (along with the obvious).

#11 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

He was dumb, but then hella everyone is dumb on the surface in Mass Effect games. He was just a character that we didn't get to dig deeper in to. He fulfilled his role as a villain that increased cerberus' threat, did that fine.

#12 Edited by BoG (5187 posts) -

Yeah, I could only think of Raiden when Kai Leng showed up. Kai Leng is one of the non-ending issues I had with ME3. On the one hand, I like that they added an antagonist character who wasn't a reaper, and who I could face one on... three. On the other, a ninja felt out of place in Mass Effect. You're right about the silliness of the boss fight, though. Even on normal he could take me down quickly once he reached my character. Gladly, I really tailored my squad and abilities to take down shields fast, so he wasn't too difficult. Of course, he only just runs around and recharges.

#13 Posted by AndrewB (7568 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

It really felt like the developers had just played Deus Ex: Human Revolution and said "we totally need someone like that for our game!".

He was a really lazy character, one of the few parts of the game I found to be disappointing (along with the obvious).

He didn't ask for this.

#14 Posted by Irvandus (2875 posts) -

@Quarters said:

He has set up in the books. After getting used to him in those, he feels like a natural fit in ME3. Was glad to finally shank him like a boss.

#15 Posted by Codeacious (960 posts) -

@GunstarRed said:

He's the only dude I hit the renegade prompt on.

And what a renegade prompt it was.

#16 Posted by Chris2KLee (2332 posts) -

Never read the books, but I agree he seems like a character built by committee and then focused tested into a smooth, uninteresting caricature of what a cool video game character is. He was like fake video game character from a TV show or movie.

#17 Posted by mordukai (7149 posts) -

@RockinKemosabe: Except that Raiden actually fit within the world of MGS where Kai Lang made zero sense. Plus Raiden took on group of Gekkos, fought Vamp on top of Rex and won by stabbing himself through, then fucking stopped Outer Haven with his FUCKING BODY, then took on a whole group of Frog Unites without having any arms.

#18 Edited by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1726 posts) -

Katanas in space. 
 
Viable. 

#19 Posted by mordukai (7149 posts) -

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

Katanas in space. Viable.

Hey man. If a Marks & Spencer's towel is the most important thing you can take to space...

#20 Posted by project343 (2816 posts) -

He's Raiden. Who works for The Illusive Man. Terrifying when you think about it.

#21 Posted by believer258 (11776 posts) -

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

Katanas in space. Viable.

Except in Star Wars, it always bothers me when someone can win a gunfight with a knife in movies and such. It's just not realistic at all, and I'm not even a stickler for realism. The shield thing that Kai Leng has does feel like a handwave, which begs another question:

Why the fuck does an extremist terror organization have more funds than, I dunno, the center of government for the entire fucking galaxy? You'd think that they'd tax every civilised nation but it seems like they keep things running on charity funds. I mean, wouldn't you give the guy leading your universe-saving campaign the best shields and guns that money can buy?

#22 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

Katanas in space. Viable.

Except in Star Wars, it always bothers me when someone can win a gunfight with a knife in movies and such. It's just not realistic at all, and I'm not even a stickler for realism. The shield thing that Kai Leng has does feel like a handwave, which begs another question:

Why the fuck does an extremist terror organization have more funds than, I dunno, the center of government for the entire fucking galaxy? You'd think that they'd tax every civilised nation but it seems like they keep things running on charity funds. I mean, wouldn't you give the guy leading your universe-saving campaign the best shields and guns that money can buy?

I actually never had a big issue with Cerberus' crazy power. It's established in 2 & 3 that the Illusive Man has a lot of money, is willing to finance crazy amoral research projects, and has interesting connections. I never got the feeling that he was richer than any government, just a whole lot more reckless.

#23 Posted by AndrewB (7568 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I mean, wouldn't you give the guy leading your universe-saving campaign the best shields and guns that money can buy?

That was going to my next topic. Just once I want to see a game where the hero of everything is given all the resources they can give. From there, your upgrades could be experimental and newly-developed technology. Again, a topic for another day.

#24 Edited by James_Giant_Peach (751 posts) -

@AndrewB said:

In case you didn't notice the spoiler mention in the title, here it is again: Spoilers for Mass Effect 3 be here.

Alright, good. Let's begin.

What the fuck?

Those were the only words I could come up with every time he appeared on the screen. I'm sorry, but for everything I actually *do* love about Mass Effect 3, every moment where Kai Leng is on the screen was either funny, absurd, stupid, infuriating, or any combination of those.

We start out with the first time you really see him in action: where he fights Thane. First of all, that whole scene, from the way Kai Leng is dressed to the choreographed sword fighting moves reminds me of those two weirdos from Highlander 2, which I sure wish I could find a Youtube clip of to illustrate because it's freaking funny. The fact that Shepard just stands there slack-jawed while Thane gets run-through while he has plenty of opportunity to fire off a couple of rounds is frustrating, especially since this is a game, and I totally would have fired if it wasn't super-long cutscene time.

Then you actually fight him. Then you realize that, for the amount of time he spends doing acrobatics for no reason, getting stuck on the environment and running in place, or just standing stock still, he's gotta feel lucky that he has the best shield strength in the Mass Effect universe. And yet you fear him, because (on insanity, at least), he'll pummel you dead in a matter of seconds, even from a distance. Couple that with the legions of troops that accompany him in the last fight, and you're ready to crack the disc in half and forget any of that even happened. It's not fun; in fact, it's among the dumbest boss fights I've ever played.

He's just the most absurd character who comes out of seemingly nowhere.

#25 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

More games need space ninjas.
 
Probably not Mass Effect, but more games need space ninjas.
 
Halo should have space ninjas.

#26 Posted by AndrewB (7568 posts) -

@rebgav said:

He's like a dancing cartoon ninja who was laughed out of the auditions for the Matrix sequels and crash landed in Mass Effect. Hideous.

I wonder if he was added after they abandoned plans to have TIM turn into a big monster for the final boss fight? Could that have been worse?

Assuming you don't care about spoilers for Dragon Age 2, where something like that totally happens... yes... it could have been worse.

@James_Giant_Peach said:

Yup, though the video would still work better because they even move like Kai Leng; but thank you!

#27 Edited by Encephalon (1240 posts) -

I don't mind the concept. With the fetishization of Japanese culture that runs throughout video games, I'm frankly surprised it took this long for Mass Effect to get its own Space Ninjas. But Kai Leng just didn't do much of anything. It was hard to convince myself he was the threat Anderson said he was.

#28 Posted by eroticfishcake (7783 posts) -

He had potential to be interesting but that quickly became invalidated by his drawn out cutscenes and that he was just there as MacGuffin. It just annoys me that that he manages to undermine you at various times. I understand that's why he was there but it just feels too out of place. So yeah, he's pretty awful all around.

#29 Posted by BoG (5187 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@BoG said:

@believer258 said:

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

Katanas in space. Viable.

Except in Star Wars, it always bothers me when someone can win a gunfight with a knife in movies and such. It's just not realistic at all, and I'm not even a stickler for realism. The shield thing that Kai Leng has does feel like a handwave, which begs another question:

Why the fuck does an extremist terror organization have more funds than, I dunno, the center of government for the entire fucking galaxy? You'd think that they'd tax every civilised nation but it seems like they keep things running on charity funds. I mean, wouldn't you give the guy leading your universe-saving campaign the best shields and guns that money can buy?

I actually never had a big issue with Cerberus' crazy power. It's established in 2 & 3 that the Illusive Man has a lot of money, is willing to finance crazy amoral research projects, and has interesting connections. I never got the feeling that he was richer than any government, just a whole lot more reckless.

It's established that he has very rich investors, not that he's independently wealthy. Which begs the question; who the hell are these people and what part of Cerberus' continued failure is provoking them to keep on financing this stuff?

Well, I would imagine that Cerberus was involved in much more than just taking down Reapers. The medical technology that brought Shepard back could be worth a lot of money, and could attract investors. Remember, Cerberus' on fails repeatedly in the third game, and TIM likely already had plenty of money by this time. I was really hoping that Bioware would expand upon the organization in future games. I imagine they'll become a benevolent synthetic/organic life-form advocacy group financed by a super cheerful guy who loves to make appearance, and calls himself the not-so-illusive man.

#30 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1726 posts) -
@AndrewB said:

@believer258 said:

I mean, wouldn't you give the guy leading your universe-saving campaign the best shields and guns that money can buy?

That was going to my next topic. Just once I want to see a game where the hero of everything is given all the resources they can give. From there, your upgrades could be experimental and newly-developed technology. Again, a topic for another day.

"You are the chosen one! Only you can save the world from this ancient evil!" 
 
 
"But that potion will be 300 gold."
#31 Posted by Ghostiet (5242 posts) -
@GunstarRed said:
He's the only dude I hit the renegade prompt on.
You didn't punch Han'Gerrel in the gut? You have impossible self-restraint.
#32 Edited by TheOther (77 posts) -

He's actually introduced and developed rather well in the third Mass Effect book (Retribution). He wasn't a space ninja, he didn't even carry a katana. He was just a professional, stealthy, xenophobic assassin in general.

Thing is, the fourth book is an abomination written by an external writer who transformed the character into a cereal thief who pisses into vases and stabs people with a toothbrush.

I can see why the video game version of him might feel really out of place and tacked on without having read the books. The idea behind the character is that he's essentially Cerberus' response to Shepard. He's supposed to be as good, if not better.

#33 Posted by Quarters (1667 posts) -

@AndrewB said:

@Quarters said:

He has set up in the books. After getting used to him in those, he feels like a natural fit in ME3. Was glad to finally shank him like a boss.

But from what I've read about people *talking* about the books, he's just as absurd in them too.

Eh. That's mainly people talking about Deception, the second book he's in (and fourth of the series). And they are greatly exaggerating over him in it. Most like him in...crap, can't remember what the third book of the series is called. Retribution? Hm. Whatever the third book is.

#34 Posted by N7 (3580 posts) -

THE PATRIOTS HAVE CREATED A MACHINE THAT CAN SEND PEOPLE THROUGH TIME
 
RAIDEN WAS THAT MACHINE. BUT WHEN THEY SENT HIM BACK IN TIME, THE ILLUSIVE MAN GOT HIS HANDS ON HIM AND REWORKED HIS NANOMACHINES FOR HIM.
 
INDOCTRINATING HIM FOR EVIL. RAIDEN, HAVING NO CONTROL OF HIS ACTIONS, PERFORMED COUNTLESS MISSIONS FOR CERBERUS, AND SUBSEQUENTLY, THE PATRIOTS.
 
BANANA.

#35 Edited by AndrewB (7568 posts) -

@rebgav said:

It's established that he has very rich investors, not that he's independently wealthy. Which begs the question; who the hell are these people and what part of Cerberus' continued failure is provoking them to keep on financing this stuff?

Cerberus is the Team Rocket of the Mass Effect universe.

@Quarters: The only book I have is the first and I haven't finished it. Maybe I should. All I know is that his depiction in the game was over-the-top.

#36 Posted by Swoxx (2988 posts) -

@Quarters said:

He has set up in the books. After getting used to him in those, he feels like a natural fit in ME3. Was glad to finally shank him like a boss.

This is exactly my thoughts. I thought it was awesome that ME3 brought in so many characters from the books.

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