Tag Archives: companions

Team members in Mass Effect 2 are more like check marks

Over the weekend, I made a brown dwarf-size dent in Mass Effect 2, and now all I want to do is play Dragon Age: Origins all over again. Or maybe redo some cases in L.A. Noire. Or go through The Blackwell Deception one more time in commentary mode. I’m closing in on the “suicide mission” part, and all I want to do is walk away. It has nothing to do with fear. Rather, disappointment. Who cares about surviving a suicide mission if you don’t care about anyone by your side? Let me explain.

Mass Effect 2 is all about building a team. The Illusive Man hands over a number of dossiers to Commander Shepard, which show you the who and where to go parts, and then you’re off to recruit this person deemed vital for your team’s survival in taking on the Collectors. Fine, I’m cool with that. After all, I got every 108 Stars of Destiny in Suikoden and Suikoden II (missed a few in Suikoden V), so I know all about getting people to join one’s cause, no matter how insane it sounds. Recruiting a team member for Mission Impossible generally requires a quest where you go down a hallway through a series of similar-looking rooms, hide behind stuff, shoot enemies, and then chat for a bit with your target. I kid, but only slightly. A few have mixed things up like avoiding sunlight or toxic gas while going down those hallways and rooms. After that, you’ll more or less repeat this process to earn said team member’s loyalty.

I think I’ve already said this, but if I haven’t, well, here it is again: I dislike the shooting aspect of Mass Effect 2. The game’s appeal has and always will be from its lore and characters and the way these alien races interact with one another. And these characters, these people I’ve gone out of my way to get on my team, they do little when actually on a mission besides a side-handed comment here or there, unless they are pivotal to the mission at hand. See, in Dragon Age: Origins, companions talked all the time, about the world at large and how the Chantry sucks and thoughts on dwarven history or the Taint and so on. When you made Big Boy decisions, everyone around you made sure you knew how they felt, which only served to enhance their personalities and my desire to see them happy (or unhappy). The same does not apply in Mass Effect 2; there is no sense of “we’re all quite different, but we have to stick together.”

So far, nobody has reacted in a big enough way to some of Shepard’s choices, most which were along the Paragon path, but I did slip a Renegade action in there once or twice. On each mission, whether it is a recruiting one or just a side quest, I switch out one of my party members constantly, keeping Miranda always for her Warp and Heavy Overload skills. Grunt, Jack, Jacob, Mordin–I’ve tried each one at Shepard’s side. And I’ve come to the realization that I could’ve swapped out any team member for a paper bag, and nothing would’ve changed–so long as that paper bag shot a gun and had a few abilities to select. Harsh, maybe. But I expected more.

Case in point: the Ghost Ship. Oh, and there be spoilers starting in the next sentence. Basically, the Illusive Man backstabs the team and sends them into a trap, but the only people vocal about it are Joker and the ship’s AI. You’d think that, given her relationship to Cerberus, that Miranda would have some strong words–more than a handful–but no, not really.


Ghost Ship (25G): Complete the investigation of a derelict alien vessel

I don’t know. Commander Shepard has now been prompted that we can go through the Omega 4 relay, but I said something along the stupid lines of “gotta build up the team some more.” Just because I want to get everybody for the sake of being a completionist. Given all the hype and worriment that a suicide mission carries, I have to say that I am really not invested in most of my side-mates. And I’ve tried. I talk to them between missions, exhaust dialogue choices, and so on. I try, dang it. But they don’t want to represent themselves as more than check marks–the warrior, the thief, the techie, the cheerleader–and so they seem artificial in nature, and inanimate objects can’t die because they never were alive to begin with.

Recruiting all companions in Fallout: New Vegas only took three playthroughs

Man, I have to imagine that if you’re not a fan of Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas and that you’re still following my blog day in, day out, you must be sick of me blathering about these games by now. I know I am. No, not really. Never ever evah. They are great for musing. There’s way too much to this franchise to explore–both good and bad–and considering I still have at least two more playthroughs left (for a sickening lump sum of five playthroughs) before Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes over…well, expect more Fallout-based posts. Sorry, haters. Congrats, lovers.

But yeah, check this baby out:


The Whole Gang’s Here (25G): Recruited all companions.

Got it last night. Only took three playthroughs, and I’ll explain why, as it’s actually a simple Achievement to get, but requires the Courier to do things in a certain order or to grow a cold shoulder. There are eight companions to recruit during one’s time in the Mojave Wasteland, and they are are: Arcade Gannon, Craig Boone, ED-E, Lily Bowen, Raul Alfonso Tejada, Rex, Rose of Sharon Cassidy, and Veronica Santangelo.

During my first playthrough, I collected all of them, but I only managed to pick up Veronica after a certain incident, the kind of happening that’s unforgivable, the kind that involved me wiping out everything she ever knew. Once she was “recruited” she quickly realized who I was and what I had done, and that was it. She left, never to join my forces again. I’m guessing the game didn’t consider that one to two minutes she was on Team Jareth enough for this Achievement. Oh well.

During my second playthrough, the same thing happened without me realizing. I murdered all her BoS friends before recruiting her and didn’t even bother attempting to track her down. Besides, my second playthrough character was Samantha, a fiery redhead, and there wasn’t room for competition.

Now, my third and most recent Courier, that creepy Kapture, he went after Veronica as soon as he could. Well, right after getting Boone and ED-E, of course, but long before the main quest got in the way. And then he still murdered all of her friends. Only this time, we kept our distance. Sent her off to Lucky 38, never spoke to her again. Harsh, right? Nah. Saved her a lot of pain and trouble, I suspect. After that, it was just a matter of time and getting a high enough Speech skill for Arcade, after which…ping. Achievement unlocked!

This Achievement is notorious for being buggy. Glad to know that during playthrough #4 or #5, I won’t have to worry about getting everyone and keeping all neat and happy. Also, no more Lily. She freaks me out. It’s mainly always going to be ED-E and either Boone or Rose.

So yeah, three playthroughs and nearly a year later. Closing in all finishing up all the Achievements for Fallout: New Vegas, but I know a few more come out tomorrow with the next DLC, Gun Runners’ Arsenal. Mmm…guns.

Don’t forget to ::make beeping noise::, ED-E

It is with great frustration and disappointment that I make this announcement: I’ve dropped ED-E as a companion in Fallout: New Vegas. Not that I wanted to; the blasted thing worked hard as heck to make me hate it, and hate it in a way not like the opposite of love it, because I do love it, especially the sounds it oozes during battle, but it has to stay with me long enough to find battle, and that became a frequent problem after awhile. I hate ED-E because it is constantly getting “lost.” What does that mean? Well…

When you take on a companion in Fallout: New Vegas, you gain a special perk. ED-E’s gives you a longer range for spotting enemies, as well as targeting Nightkin in V.A.T.S. It’s a good one, especially when tag-teamed with a sniper like Boone. Anyways, ED-E likes to trail behind and alert me to dangers, but sometimes–and by sometimes I mean nine times out of ten–ED-E gets stuck on a piece of landscape or ends up unmovable. I’ve tried to talk to it, get it motivated, but alas…nothing. And then I’ll fast travel, and only Boone will come along. Yet ED-E’s perk is still activated. It’s frustraging, especially during the last few quests in which I was relying on it to help kill a hive of cazadors. Finding ED-E again is a guessing game; I’ve found it inside Lucky 38′s casino once, another time I had to go back to Primm, and another it just randomly came back to the party after several fast travels.

So, the little flying bot that couldn’t…is gone. And Rex, the cyber-dog, is in. Not a huge fan of the dog (as it’s not a huge fan of Jareth and his hat collection), but we’ll see how him and Boone work together as I close in on the…whatever the end battle thing is gonna be.

Hopefully, all above problems (and more) will be fixed with the upcoming patch, which has hopes of doing a number of good things. Such as:

  • Companions now show up as waypoints on the map
  • Companions will always fast travel with you, unless told to wait or sent away
  • Fix: DLC error/save corruption
  • Fix: Entering the strip after Debt Collector causes crash and autosave corruption
  • Fix: Using Mojave Express dropbox can cause DLC warnings
  • Crafting menu now filters valid (bright) recipes to the top of the list
  • Weathered pistol no longer glitches when applying mods

Map waypoints for companions is going to be super sweet. So long as it works, naturally.

Meet your helpful companions from Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas creeps a bit closer to its release date, and more information about the game is being revealed. A lot, actually. This is a good thing. I just want to devour it all, and I can’t believe it’s coming out during my honeymoon. Tara is gonna get so sick of my “Fallout this, Fallout out” mumbling as we traipse about Disney World and Hogwarts. Good thing she loves me, right? Plus, the game will still be there when I get back. I already have the money for it put aside.

Moving on, just like Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas plays home to companions to help aid the main character during his/her quest. Some humanoid, some not. You can check out them all by clicking this very sentence. Click it! CLICK IT.

To be honest, I never used a companion in Fallout 3 unless the mission demanded it; I’ve played through the game twice now, and have yet to even search out Dogmeat. I’m just a solo adventuring kind of dude, I guess. Plus, I’m a big fan of stealth, and having a noisy friend with me only makes that problematic. However, the companions in Fallout: New Vegas come with their own special perks, many of which are cool enough to get me to change my mind about how I feel on this aspect. Here’s my top pick:

  • Full Name: Lillian Marie Bowen
  • Sex: Super Mutant
  • Race: Nightkin Super Mutant
  • Age: 203
  • Ethnicity: African
  • Profession: Farmer, Jacobstown
  • Perk: Stealth Girl – While Lily is a companion, the duration of Stealth Boys is increased by 200% and all Sneak Attack Critical Hits do an additional 10% damage.
  • Description: Though she now lives a peaceful life tending to Bighorners in the community of Jacobstown, Lily was once a Nightkin in The Master’s army. Before that, she was an elderly grandmother enjoying a simple life in Vault 17. Heavily medicated, Lily struggles with her dangerous schizophrenia and distant memories of her old life.
  • Hellooooo, Lily.

    There’s one or two others that interest me, particularly the Eyebot. I really want to try to play outside of my normal style for Fallout: New Vegas, but I know that’s just gonna be hard to do. Hopefully some of these companions–and weapon-specific Achievements–will help break my mold.