Did you know you would lose control of Reks fairly quickly?

I can imagine someone who went into the game blind 11 years ago seeing it as a shock, but people who had a grasp on the story and the artwork might have been less surprised.

On some level the death of Reks is a nice metaphor for the series change of direction. They let you know right away that they're breaking from the norms of the turn-based single player predecessors in a big way.