Reviews: Exodus Of Stars

Interesting Premise, Lousy Theme

This is a BattleTech / Mass Effect crossover, where Kerensky's exiled fleet runs into a Mass Relay, which leads into a first-contact situation with the quarians. Things progress from there.

It's a work that's focused far more on how these two rather different universes mingle than plot, character, or theme. It's really about how BattleTech-tech is an Outside Context Problem for the entire Mass Effect universe. ME tech is based around kinetic weapons, so the use kinetic barriers. BattleTech has highly effective lasers, from warship-grade down to laser pistols. This makes for interesting discussions, especially when a BT sensor operator says that a quarian scout ship's armor is around BAR-8 (high-end industrial, rather than military-grade).

And therein lies the problem. BT is superior. Always. Every battle we see is a face-stomp. BT AeroSpace fighters take out pirate warships. Early powered-armor BT soldiers easily defeat ME troops. Sure, Mechs and BT lasers are going to give them a substantial edge. But why are power-armor in any way better than ME guns, which use mass-manipulation to have more kinetic energy than any BT weapon? It would have made far more sense to have Glass Cannon fight: ME kinetic barriers would be useless against BT lasers, but BT armor wouldn't hold out long against ME-based guns. But that's not what we get here.

Even worse, if you look at BT history, then the theme of BattleTech would be abundantly clear: humans are stupid and kill each other for no reason.

But not here. No, Kerensky builds the perfect human society he always wanted. Free from faction warfare. They're always on the right side morally, which not only goes against BT's Grey and Grey Morality, it goes against ME's Grey and Black Morality.

Oh, and what about Nicholas Kerensky, founder of the Clans? He gets killed by his brother. In a very random way, with reasoning that's only given to us as it is happening.

There is very little character conflict in this story. There's some tension, particularly around the first contact. But once that goes through... everyone cooperates. There's a plot, but it's more about the tech and its effects on ME's world than anything else. And we already covered the thematic failings.

I'd love to see this concept get the treatment it deserves. You just won't find that here.