I like the idea of loyalty missions. Mass Effect 2 revolves around recruitment, and there are optional missions to gain your crew’s loyalty. I heard that they better a character’s odds at surviving the events of the game. I don’t know. Anyway, I’ve got one left; Tali’s. I hate Tali. I decided that I would do all of the loyalty missions, so I felt obligated to accept her requests. What surprised me was that you can actually fail these missions. If you fail them, you don’t get another chance. Failing a loyalty mission is not dying, but is failing the objective. The concept of a single chance at an in-game mission is insane, but makes complete sense. It actually added priority and importance to the situation.
For those wondering how far I am in the game, I retrieved the Reaper IFF and did just about every loyalty and recruitment mission. After I help out Tali, the plot will progress much faster, I hope. Anyway, I should also mention my frustrations with the game. Jack hates me. She feels like I am catering to Miranda. I wish Jack would just grow up and stop holding a grudge. I did her loyalty mission, and still I get no respect. Whatever, I hope she dies.
Also, I would like to point out my favorite loyalty missions, since they were generally hit-and-miss. I loved Grunt’s. The Rite of Passage, I believe it was called. The arena-like gameplay is pretty uncommon for Mass Effect’s firefights. Also, this boss fight felt far more traditional then most that the series provides. Mordin’s loyalty mission was also fun, and I enjoyed the moral twist given at the end. Jack’s was creepy, but entertaining. It developed her backstory fantastically though. Miranda’s was pretty weak, but that went unnoticed because it was the first one I did. Jacob’s was boring, in my opinion. There was too much going on. Samara’s mission was one of the two that I failed. Regardless, it was a change of pace, which is always appreciated. Thane’s was interesting, but roaming the Citadel wasn’t too exciting.
Overall, I can’t complain too much because they are optional, and strongly develop the character’s motives and backstories. BioWare accomplished quite the impossible. Most games suffer from a cast of cut-out supporting characters. Besides Jacob, everyone onboard felt like a struggling being. With over 15 hours packed into this game, I truly feel that the more you put into the experience, the more you will get out of it. I finished the first Mass Effect game in under 15 hours, but taking that extra time to understand and aid my crew has made Mass Effect 2 one of my favorite games I have ever played. Hopefully the last portion of the game won’t disappoint.