Alan Smithee

Mass Effect 2: Shepard Gets “Metroided”

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Mass Effect – (noun) A sci-fi game where you spend the whole game powering up your character by earning experience and money so that you can pass more difficult challenges.

Metroid – (noun) A sci-fi game where you spend the whole game powering up your character with items found throughout the world to help you access new areas.

Metroided – (verb) When a sequel comes out for a game that you spent an inordinate amount of time powering up your character, only to have the developer shrug off all the hard work you put into your character by reducing your stats and equipment to neophyte levels.

This is exactly what I feared when they talked about bringing your character over from the first Mass Effect. They’re going to strip all of your abilities and awesome gear at the very beginning of Mass Effect 2, only you get a little bit of story as to why Commander Shepard isn’t the Geth pwning badass he was on your saved game.

In an interview with Computer World, Casey Hudson (one of BioWare’s finest) explains the best he can, why they’re going this route:

casey hudson

“There’s something that’s happening with the story that explains what happens with your abilities. It’s something we can’t go into detail about for obvious reasons, but it actually happens the other way around. Our goal with the story, in terms of getting the game started quickly and players into really compelling story situations…that dictated and allowed us to do certain things including changing the way that your abilities work and the way you develop your character.

Part of it, too, is the fact that we’ve gone in and improved literally every system in the game, your powers, the controls, aiming, the way that your character stats work and how you build a character, the inventory system, weapons, and so on. All of those things have been dramatically improved, so there’s no direct way to map the stuff you had in Mass Effect over to Mass Effect 2 anyway.

That said, we’re taking into account all of your accomplishments in terms of building a character from the first game. So things you’d expect to be acknowledged, like if you were a level 60 character, or you were highly Renegade and don’t want to start out at the middle again. If you import your save game from Mass Effect, these kinds of things will be acknowledged in ways that map across to the new system.

You will feel, even in terms of the character that you build, that you are continuing as that character.”

Well, I’m saddened that all my hard work is essentially all for naught in the three playthroughs I had in the first game, but I will still pick up ME2, only because I love the storyline and universe so much. Let’s not also forget the gorgeous graphics, interesting gameplay, and excellent voice acting. It’s still a must have, but just a little less ‘must’ for me now.

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