The biggest early surprise of Mass Effect 3 is that it gives Commander Shepard, regardless of his genre and past choices, a rather complex and disturbing inner life, which is expressed via a series of dreams involving his past, his present and, of course, the state of the galaxy.
The first time the dream sequence is introduced, it comes as a surprise and I was ready to enjoy it on its own terms, running through the woods chasing a certain kid I knew was dead on Earth and trying to make some sense of the weird surroundings and the fiery conclusion of the sequence.
One thing I hated in the first dream sequence: the fact that my agile and fast Commander Shepard was reduced to moving around the dreamscape in painful, annoying slow motion, making the dream state longer than it should have been and draining it of emotional content.
I don’t know about anyone else’s dreams, but in my dream sequences I tend to move around at normal speed, even if the action takes place in weird places I have never visited or I am flying above the city rather than simply walking through it.
It makes little sense for Commander Shepard to experience his dreams in slow motion, and it actually requires a further suspension of disbelief that makes the sequence feel much longer and more intrusive than it needs to be.
I was not inclined to look for meanings or for signs when all I could think about was “This is taking much too long!”
This is a major failure on BioWare’s part because the dream sequences could have been used to show Shepard’s vulnerability and anxiety about facing the Reapers head on, something that unfortunately requires more than dark shadows and slow motion running through the woods.