So I thought it would be fun to start a series discussing some of my favorite quests in video games. I’d love to hear if anybody else likes these too, or what some of your favorites would be!
First up is a mission from Mass Effect, because how could I start with any other series? You guys know I love Mass Effect like a bunny loves carrots. This particular mission, “Dossier: Archangel,” is a recruitment quest at the beginning of the second game. It whisks the crew of the Normandy to an asteroid called Omega to track down a potential ally. There are three reasons I love this mission so much: the setting, the combat set-up, and the big reveal of who this ally is.
As for the setting… Omega is an asteroid that likes to party. They have a crazy club inside, no official government, and a whole lot of mercenary groups vying for some semblance of control in the chaos. You have to be tough here. Its makeshift leader, Aria, is an asari with a flair for drama as she dismisses and threatens Shepard during their first meeting. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of Aria or the mercenary groups calling Omega home, but hey, they make this place more colorful. Omega is also the place to be if you want to party – Shepard can have as many drinks as she wants at the club Afterlife, getting tipsy enough for the world around her (or your screen) to tilt from side to side afterwards.
In the middle of this hot mess is a potential recruit for Shepard’s mission: a mysterious vigilante who goes by the name Archangel. He’s not after just one mercenary group – he’s made enemies of all three in his fight for good. And we want him on our team.
The combat here is a lot of fun, too. You join a band of fighters – contractors willing to die in this mess – who are making their way through enemies to take a shot at Archangel. Of course, you don’t want to actually shoot Archangel – you’re trying to team up with him, but this is the best way to locate him and get in close.
The mission is fun as you act tough to impress the people you’re joining up with. The recruiters seem excited to find mercs who actually wear armor and seem to know how to handle themselves; they even think you might survive this, unlike the others. You also meet a young man joining up, who you can either talk out of the mission (it’s too dangerous!) or encourage (you’re cool like me). I’ve found both options surprisingly fun and rewarding. Along the route to Archangel, you can also meet some of the mercenary group leaders — they may not have much to say, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
But the best part of the mission is when you finally get to the tower Archangel is holed up in, sniping the mercenaries coming at him from all directions – because when you get close, you realize this isn’t a new character, but Shepard’s old friend Garrus Vakarian. The whole unveiling is handled perfectly, with Garrus greeting you in his typical suave fashion, rifle in hand. Shepard can act surprised to see him, but their conversation quickly evolves into the banter they are known for – you can be sarcastic, tough, tease each other, it’s all fair game with this guy. I honestly feel like this whole mission made me fall for Garrus a little, and I couldn’t wait to romance him after being reunited with him in this way. Chicks do dig scars. As soon as you join Garrus, you switch from fighting your way toward him to fighting alongside him, shooting mercenaries from the tower and running to the ground to make sure they don’t reach Garrus. Your job is to save him.
It’s an awesome dossier mission that’s just plain fun from start to finish. And let’s be honest, getting Garrus back on my side is one of the best rewards I’ve gotten from any mission, ever.