I was working on a larger post about how Mass Effect 2 stacks up to my cherished dreams and suggestions, but one little digression started to snowball until I gave it its own blog post.
So, more generally about Mass Effect 2 later. One irritation I had with Mass Effect 2 early on was the seeming disappearance of my Commander Shepard’s love interest from ME1. This was addressed later on, and I am (mostly) appeased. However, let’s be clear: my extremely Paragon Commander Shepard puts the “fidelis” in Semper Fidelis. She is a one-fraternization officer. It does not matter what dizzying array of potential flirtations you put in her way, she is not interested.
And wow, does this game have a lot of potential flirtations. Just because I believe in human-alien cooperation, people, does not mean I am interested in that! It got so I was so relieved to chat with Grunt, say, or Miranda — just because I knew no inadvertent signals were being sent or received.
Of course, your in-character interactions in game are scripted, triggered by your choices in the conversation wheel, and there’s no way to tell the game “Please, stop having Shepard lean languorously at the beginning of conversations and lowering her inconsistently rendered eyelashes.” No way to preemptively tell all the potentially interested NPCs in the world that they can take a number if they want Shepard to save them from peril, but if they want Shepard’s number, they are out of luck. I understand, the system’s limited. How would they do that?
How could they implement a passive communication system by which everyone who makes Shepard’s acquaintance could learn basic information like whether or not she’s taken? One that operates on a simple system of checkboxes and information fields?
Yes, I propose SPACEBOOK.
In this as in so much else, your Shepard may vary. But this is my Shepard, and as such, you’ll note an important detail:
Many awkward situations could be thus avoided. Of course, Spacebook would be owned through shell corporations by the Shadow Broker, but who are you kidding? The Shadow Broker knows all that stuff about you anyway.