Tuesday 2 February 2010

Pictures deface walls more often than they decorate them

In Mass Effect 2 you can decorate your captain’s cabin with various bits n’ pieces like model ships or, quite splendidly, a space hamster (thus empirically making it the best game of all time). While shopping for these knick-knacks (and other less important stuff like weapon and armour upgrades) in the Citadel, every shop gives you the opportunity to offer an endorsement in exchange for a discount: “Hi, I’m Commander Shepard, you may know me from Saving The Entire Galaxy From Mortal Peril And Generally Being Brilliant, and this is my favourite store on the Citadel.” This seems like the sort of deceitful manipulation that would characterise a Renegade character, as not only is every single store on the Citadel your favourite, but you get to record your message before you’ve even glanced at what they’re selling let alone tried any of the goods to see what they’re like (“Geoff’s Emporium of Sex Aids, Cut and Shut Shuttles and Malfunctioning Weaponry? Oh yes, it’s my favourite store on the Citadel.”) Only it’s not. It’s the “Paragon” choice, apparently, netting you +5 Paragon points every time you shill. I haven’t tried the “Renegade” option, I’m guessing you strong-arm them into a similar discount, which at least would be a bit more honest. Speaking of advertising, while wandering around the Citadel it’s well worth having a look at some of the billboards, there’s a particularly excellent one for an all-Elcor production of Hamlet.

Anyway, after putting the finishing touches on your own cabin, there’s the small matter of the rest of the ship to decorate. Thanks to a slight misunderstanding (the original plans were metric, the new ones imperial) Normandy 2 is much larger than the first ship, driving your most vital mission…

“Look, Shepard, all this empty space is a bit of waste, so go around and find a bunch of amazing people to decorate it a bit, lean on bulkheads in a broody fashion and the like.”

So off you toddle around the most dangerous spots of the universe, assembling a crew of the amazing and powerful warriors…

“I will help you fight the Reapers!”

“Err, yeah, don’t worry about that, I’ve already recruited thirty seven other amazing people and can only take two of them with me at a time anyway. Could you just lean on that bulkhead over there for me and chat about your life history now and again?”

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