ME established that if you talked specific people long enough and choose the appropriate options, you could hop in bed with them before running off on a very important mission. ME2 expanded on this by offering more specific people and a few more romantic moments. Romance became a fun game.
Unfortunately, I feel like this is where ME3 really let me down. The game emphasizes how much weight is on Shepard’s shoulders and how physically, emotionally and psychologically draining it is on her. Above all things, sometimes, she really just needs a hug, even if she doesn’t want to admit it.
Molly romanced Garrus, and while I appreciate that Garrus is lacking in the romantic and sensitivity skills as a romance option, I hate that accepting him as your romantic interest means missing out on the friendship with him, which I’ve experienced through playing on Tarisa. Instead, Molly wants to chat with him and support him, but he blows her off with “Maybe later,” and “Not right now.” It almost made me miss the calibrations…
The romances are fun and fanservice, but I’m very happy they balanced this with moments of friendship from Liara (and even chess with Traynor). I’d like to think that, in such a heavy situation, Shepard has far greater need for a friend than a lover. It’s a pity that the romantic interests don’t seem to get more opportunity to fill that role.
“Garrus, it’s not so much the romantic skills I need right now. I just need you to … hold me … and tell me everything’s going to be okay … even though we both know that’s a lie.”