Intro - Mass Effect 2
Get to Miranda
Once the next cut scene showing Shepard on the operating table has finished playing, you will find yourself in the same medical facility (actually a ship) that is under attack by an unknown force. When in control, walk straight forward and press the action button (A on Xbox 360) to interact with the locker – there is a Pistol inside but it's lacking ammunition. You also should have moved up your first level by now, and will receive Renegade and Paragon points based on your original Mass Effect 2 character.
Practice going into cover where indicated with the orange marker.
Get used to the controls in this safe area
Pick up the ammunition for your Pistol which is located just by the door to exit the medical room.
TIP: All ammunition works in all weapons in Mass Effect 2, and it is particularly scarce. You must be careful to conserve your ammo and make your shots count.
In the next room enter cover at the barrier and then push forwards and the cover button (A on Xbox 360) to vault over the obstacle. An enemy mech will activate on the stairs to the right – try to take it out before it can get any shots away. Collect the ammo and proceed up the stairs and through the door.
When Miranda comes over the communicator warning you about incoming enemies, take cover by the glass. Pop out and dispatch the mech that comes from the door straight ahead, and do the same to the pair incoming from the left.
Deal with your first few enemies
Collect the ammo from the downed enemies to the left, before returning to the main room and heading straight up the stairs. Follow the path past the corpses and into the door marked with a green light (green lights indicate the door can be opened without problems).
The body on the floor inside this next room has dropped a grenade launcher, so pick it up. Select it from your weapon inventory (using LB on Xbox 360, then A to confirm) and some more mechs will come out of the door below your high position. One direct hit should deal with the four enemies who enter. Get in the lift and take it to the lower floor. Pick up the ammo of the dead as your sprint through the fire (hold A on Xbox 360).
As you pass through the next couple of rooms Miranda will come on the radio and is evidently in trouble. You will come to an office with two mechs crawling along the floor. Take them out and hack the Wall Safe in this room (see Hacking section of this guide) for plenty of credits. Scavenge to two computers in the room for some Data Logs too. Turn left outside this room and move up the stairs. You'll see a human getting pulverised by a mech, but there's nothing you can do, so get through the door into an open area. Here you will meet your first ally, Jacob. Join him in cover on the edge of the gangway and help him to deal with the mechs.
Meet up with Jacob and give him a hand
A cut scene will then play out and you can casually ask Jacob some questions. You can either find lots out about him now, or get on with the mission and deal with that stuff later (there will be adequate opportunity for this).
Party Member Acquired: Jacob
Jacob's speciality is biotics. He can, at this early stage, pull enemies towards him, lifting them off the ground just like in Star Wars. With stronger enemies you can then finish them off in mid-air, while weaker ones will be killed by the initial attack. To use a team mate's attack, activate the proper menu (RB on Xbox 360) and push A on the desired ability while looking at the enemy target. It works much the same as the weapon menu.
Make use of Jacob's Pull ability
Now that the coast is clear you can finish with your questions, or proceed to get off the medical station. The Chief Medical Officer will radio in requesting help. With Miranda's inexplicable absence, he becomes the priority.
Locate Chief Medival Officer Wilson
Proceed through the door and down the corridor into the red-lit room. Deal with the enemies inside, using the door or the pipework inside for cover. Follow the hallways until you come across a room with bodies in – Wilson will update you on his precarious position en route – but you now should be able to see him crouched just inside the door.
Party Member Acquired: Wilson
Before he can answer your questions you need to sort out his injuries. Pick up the Medi Gel from the dispenser on the wall. You can then use your Unity ability, which is suitable for reviving downed party members. It is shown by a group of silhouetted figures in the Power Wheel.
Once he's back on his feet, pursue your desired conversation trees. The main decision here is whether you think it's worth looking for Miranda. Agreeing with Jacob, to search for her will earn you Paragon (good) points, while agreeing with Wilson will get you Renegade (bad points). Either way the result is the same, but it's your attitude that is important here.
TIP: More so than the first game, it is possible to hit a middle ground throughout the game with Paragon and Renegade points – don't feel that you have to be one or the other, but it will unlock more conversation options in the future if you do.
Once the conversation is over, aim at the mechs that enter the room. You should now use Jacob's Overload ability on the barrels they are hiding behind to clear a path.
Take note of the conversation that takes place now about the shady Cerberus organisation and their interest in you. When you're done, go into the corridor that the mechs came from. Interact with the Datapad by a corpse on the floor to start a second Hacking mini-game (see the Hacking section of this guide). This one is different to the former, requiring you to match Target Code Segments. Doing so successfully will earn you some credits.
Follow the route down the steps and through the door until you enter a large cargo-bay type room. Destroy the mechs on the lower level before moving up and doing the same to those upstairs. As you are attacking, more will come through the door at the far end. Hack the Datapad and Wall Safe in the room these mechs came from for more credits, and view the personal logs on the computer.
Fill in some of the blanks about your recent past using the computer's logs
Double back on yourself and go straight across the gangway to the door on the other side. Open the door inside the next room (it will open despite being red) to find Miranda by the shuttle. Allow the cut scene to play out and find out anything you wish to know about this new character.
NOTE: You obviously no longer have Wilson as a party member.
During this journey you set out a few decisions that people importing their characters from the first Mass Effect will already have made. They may not mean much to you, but allow you to create a different story each time you play at this stage. If you have imported a character, you will get a recap on some of the major events in the last game.
Party Member Acquired: Miranda
Talk to the Illusive Man:
Once you gain control at the Cerberus base, head down the stairs. You can't talk to Jacob or Miranda just yet. In the next room is the so-called Illusive Man.
Find out everything you need to know from this mysterious character
The basic crux of the meeting that goes on here is that human colonies have been disappearing from the outer reaches and that Cerberus believe the Reapers are responsible. As the only human to have killed a Reaper, there seemed to be only choice for the job, and hence Shepard was resurrected. You are to be sent to one of the most recent colonies to go off the radar, Freedom's Progress.
Investigate Armour Locker
After this humbling conversation, head back up the stairs. You should reach Level 3 at this stage, so assign yourself some skill points. At the top of the stairs on the right you have the ability to interact with the Armour Locker, allowing you to customise your character's armour, helmet and casual clothes.
Talk to Miranda and Jacob
You don't have to do this, but a key part of Mass Effect 2 is conversation with your party members and characters in the game. You can forge positive or negative relationships with them, so take this opportunity to get to know your first two recruits. What you say will also have an effect on your Paragon/Renegade rating – the same applies to any conversation in the game. When ready, head for the door by the stairs to depart on your first mission for Cerberus.