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Mass Effect 2: The Return of Shepard

January 27, 2010

Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Mass Effect 2 (and to a lesser extent, Mass Effect 1). You have been warned!

Areas covered: Introduction, Freedom’s Progress, Omega, Citadel

It has begun. While MMOs are my games of choice, every once in a while I am known to enjoy a little console gaming on the side. After a quick trip down to the game store, I had in my hand a brand-spanking new copy of Mass Effect 2 for the Xbox 360. The second installment of my FemShep’s epic adventure is about to unfold, the details of which I will chronicle here. Only one thing is for certain: it’s going to be hard not to stay up until 5am playing this game every night, but I’m going to try and pace myself.

The game starts off with a bang, literally. Shepard’s beautiful ship the Normandy is ruthlessly attacked and torn apart by an unknown attacker, and everyone gets ready to bail. We see Shepard, ever the noble and courageous one, making the attempt to get every single member of her crew off the ship alive (though maybe the whole “I’ll haul Joker’s crippled ass out of here” was juuuuust a tad bit harsh…yep, Shepard says it. Just try the renegade speech option! ) It took a while for me to orient myself, as you’d be surprised at how different the Normandy looks when she’s in flames and crumbling all around you. Shepard reaches Joker and they attempt to escape together, but it’s too late. The cinematic segments that follow are just to die for. As Joker makes it to safety, an explosion rips through the scene, sending Shepard hurtling off into space to her death. Cue main title and intro music.

What a great way to start the game. With Cerberus finding and literally rebuilding Shepard, Bioware found the perfect way to link the first game with the second while allowing players to select their appearance and class, even if you imported your Shepard from your saved game files! I, of course, opted for this to be a true sequel–same face (the default female, which I personally found the most appealing) and same class (Sentinel) as my Shepard from the first Mass Effect.

Some of my other thoughts on the game so far:

– I love the new Normandy! My captain’s quarters look more like a suite on a luxury liner, complete with leather seats, a state-of-the-art sound system, and even a friggin’ aquarium. And what’s this? A framed picture of Kaidan on my desk? Oh, Bioware, you make me laugh.

– Joker’s back at the helm! But he’s not the only familiar face aboard the Normandy v2.0. Oh my God, it’s the kindly Dr. Chakwas! After completing the quest to bring her a bottle of brandy (in retrospect, liquoring up your ship’s doctor probably isn’t the brightest thing to do), the two of us shared a drink and raised our glasses to the memories of our fallen comrades. It was one of the most touching moments I’ve seen in a game.

– I could tell that the writers of the game were trying very hard to make you see the softer side of Cerberus. For roleplaying purposes, my Shepard’s not going to be so easily swayed. As far as she’s concerned, Cerberus is little better than a terrorist organization and she’s only in it to stop the Collectors. Sorry Miranda and Jacob, I’m going to be a bitch to you guys for a little while longer.

– What the hell? My assistant Kelly Chambers seems to have stolen my haircut. In fact, we look so much alike, the two of us could be sisters! This is going to be wee-ird!

Commander Shepard

Kelly Chambers

– On Omega, I discovered that Elcor make really funny bouncers!

– I am amazed at how many of my decisions in first game have come back to haunt me already, and not just the big ones. On Omega, I encountered Helena Blake, who claimed I helped her out with a favor two years ago. It wasn’t until I looked her up on the Mass Effect wiki that it all came back to me. I’m looking forward to more like this.

– I’m not crazy about Professor Mordin Solus as a companion and I doubt I’ll take him out on missions that much, but he did win me over by calling Kirrahe “a bit of a cloaca”.

– As some of you already know, Garrus is back! With his recruitment, as far as I’m concerned my team is already complete. Lucky for him, my Shepard happens to be one of those females who like facial scars, heh heh.

– I chuckled a little at the games vendor on the Citadel, who told me about a great game called “Galaxy of Fantasy” that has over 11 billion players, an easter egg that is clearly a reference to World of Warcraft. Ha, I knew there would be a way for me to relate this post to MMOs.

I’ve already encountered a couple bugs. The major one was during the Archangel fight where the game would not proceed as intended, and reloading to an earlier save point was the only way to fix it. Despite little hiccups like this, I still find myself enjoying this game a lot so far.

3 comments

  1. (i didn’t read the whole post, i’m still on omega) but Shepard is really BA in this game. also, did you think that that personal assistant looked a little cockeyed? i have a feeling she’s gonna stab me in the back later on 😦


    • Oddly, I felt almost like she might become a possible romantic interest, based on some of the dialogue options available to me. Remember how there was a comment she made about falling into me or something, and you had the option of saying “I’d drop you” or “I’d catch you” or “I’d embrace you?” I was like, what the hell is up with that last one? 😛


      • My female Shepard had no romantic liaisons in my first game. I liked Kaidan, but we were professional.

        But hell, if I’m on a suicide mission – perhaps a relationship with Ms. Chambers or Garrus is called for.

        HOWEVER I’ve poured my money into STO right now, so ME2 is a while off for me. I’m carefully avoiding your spoiler-riffic posts, MMOGC.



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