Mass Effect 2 puts Shepard and the player in a compromise position. As players, we were confused by Shepard’s death at the beginning of the game. Presumably, Shepard was in a similar position when entering and exiting consciousness/void. When waking up-too early, people may notice-both the player and Shepard are pushed into a life-and-death situation. In this case, cooperation with the extreme human-centered organization Cerberus is not negotiable. of. Through this framework, Mass Effect 2 makes your final partnership with Cerberus look like a necessary evil, but in reality, by working with Cerberus, Shepard provides them with what they need to bring further damage and suffering to the galaxy legality.
We spent most of our time in Mass Effect 2 cleverly running errands for the Illusive man, whether it was saving lost sensitive data or hiring mercenaries to retrieve goods that Cerberus was interested in. Interestingly, all these tasks are marked as “N7” tasks, not Cerberus’s, as if no one wants the association’s records…
To be fair, as far as that data is concerned, you can send it to the league instead of Cerberus, but this is indeed the first (and only) you will fight back against Cerberus before the end of the game. This explains why Shepard is with them. Although this alliance between Shepard and Cerberus is considered a necessary evil, the people you meet on the journey make it clear that this is a suspicious team at best. Even the notorious “space racist” Ashley Williams, if she appeared on the horizon alive, would call on Shepard to w ithdraw from cooperation. If a person known for dislike/distrust of aliens feels that your pro-human group is too extreme, then it may be time to look at your loyalty again.
“Mass Effect 2” has convinced you time and time again that working with Cerberus is the only way to stop the Reaper. After all, the castle council refuses to take threats seriously, and the alliance is strangely impossible, even though Anderson and Hackett are by your side (and asking for your help) all the time. After all, you have to do something for the greater good, right?
Incorrect. This mentality destroyed politics at least in the United States. From Contras to Al Qaeda, the United States is very well versed in the support groups that come back to bite our ass. By providing these groups with resources, training them, and using this support as part of the “greater good” narrative (and often anti-communist), the United States has created conflict and destruction around the world.
The relat ionship between Shepard and Cerberus is ultimately no different. Although they may not be a complete government, their Spectre status is almost as good as theirs. Just as the United States had a lasting impact on most of the Middle East through its intervention in Afghanistan and its complacency in the Palestinian conflict during the Cold War, the Shepard-Cerberus deal triggered terrible events.
Of course, the main argument against this is that Shepard is just doing what they must do to save the galaxy from unimaginable threats. But apart from a speech to Parliament under the banner of Cerberus, Shepard didn’t really try to gather other allies or troops-even if they regained their ghost status. At the same time, they did enough work to enhance Cerberus’s capabilities, while telling everyone they met that the organization was actually not that bad.
In doing so, Shepard laid the foundation for the content in Mass Effect 3 through Cerberus’ human transformation and other annoying experiments—Illusive Man went to great lengths to assure Shepard that the program was not interested. To further reflect our own reality, Cerberus even tried to launch the Citadel coup, using them instead of Shepard as their literal and metaphorical pioneer.
When it comes to Cerberus and any similar real-life groups, writing is always on the wall. The history of abuse, violence, cruelty or fascism will not disappear because we call their perpetrators “good people” or because of greater threats on deck. If so, we may have solved climate change and pandemics. By trusting and helping these types of organizations, we can only prepare for future failures and long-term pain.
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