Shepherd? Shepherd? – Mass Effect 2 Teaser

By John Walker on February 21st, 2009 at 5:56 pm.

Erm, I slightly changed your logo, Bioware. I hope you don't mind.

Rather out of nowhere, along with two artwork desktops, Bioware have posted the first teaser trailer for Mass Effect 2. As you might expect for a barely announced game, there’s no gameplay footage here, but instead a rather worrying implication. Well, it’s an interesting surprise so I’ll not spoil it. It’s below.

Early art. Click for the full-size version.

Oddly the Bioware site says the embed code won’t be available until the 24th Feb. But then has links to download the .wmv and the .mov of the file, so of course it’s already on YouTube in lovely HD.

Oh noes! What can it mean? And when will we see more? We’ll try and find out details as soon as possible.

Early art. Click for the full-size version.

Enormous thanks to Jack for alerting us to this.

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107 Comments »

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  1. Funky Badger says:

    WANT!

  2. DigitalSignalX says:

    I think it means d0g from HL2 will be in this one. And that Bioware is going to make a killing on the “must have” game of 2010. 2010…feels sort of odd writing, like it’s science fiction itself, not just a year away. Anywho, till we see a taped sign on a cat, lets all speculate madly!

  3. KwizatzHaderack says:

    WANT 2!

  4. Jeremy says:

    I really should play the original Mass Effect. I’ve heard a number of people say it was awesome and other’s say it was just average. So now I come to you guys for some advice.

    Should I buy this game? I’ve liked all of BioWare’s games, BG 1 and 2, KotoR and NWN, and am overall a big fan of their stories, so is this worth some time in it?

  5. Jack says:

    Hey, I didn’t notice the artworks! Guess that’s what RPS is for. In other news, I just discovered Zero Punctuation. Oh dear me.

  6. Jack says:

    Yup, you should, Jeremy. It has a truly epic story, and provided you can wade through some long (but interesting) dialogue, it’s worth it.

  7. the probe says:

    You definitely should buy Mass Effect, but don’t expect massive replay value. The main quest is epic if you just sit back and enjoy it; the sidequests get extremely repetitive.

  8. Larington says:

    Definite room for improvements in the original, I dearly hope to see these improvements make an appearence in the sequel, certainly, as one of the few unreal engine 3 games thats actually managed to entertain me somewhat, I’ll be interested to see what they do with it.

  9. Über Nerd says:

    I can’t wait for more elevator rides! But they should remove Fedex quests inbetween, they distract from the elevator rides.

  10. Larington says:

    Also, wouldn’t be surprised if Shephard is listed dead officially so that no one could moan about waste of tax payers money when he/she goes flying off to hunt for signs of the machines returning.

  11. Jonas says:

    That second bit of artwork with the beach looks absolutely gorgeous.

    As for the twist: If BioWare pulls an “insomnia = back to level 1″ stunt in ME2, I will write them a very angry letter! Perhaps I will go so far as to post an angry blog post on the Internet!

    Consider yourselves warned, BioWare!

  12. Kadayi says:

    @Jeremy

    It follows in the footsteps of KoToR in terms of how it plays, so if you liked that, then you’ll enjoy it. I found it entertaining enough to play through the once, but couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to play through it a second time.

    Interesting to see where they are going with it, if the teaser is to be taken at face value, but kind of lame as well given the earlier promises. Still a long way off yet, so one can’t really call it.

    More than anything else I’m hoping to see a bit more variety in the look of people (long hair for the ladies perhaps?) as well some general activity in terms of the NPCs moving around rather than standing about like chess pieces waiting for you to wander up and talk to them.

    Nice CA though.

  13. John Walker says:

    Jeremy – no question, if you’ve liked their other games. I’ve been replaying KotOR recently (see Eurogamer tomorrow), and ME doesn’t go as deep. But it’s still very great.

  14. nabeel says:

    Hray \o/

  15. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Obviously you guys have missed the point of the trailer entirely. Sheperd has died, but they managed to put it’s(or his/her’s if you prefer) into the body of a Geth, with the task of infiltrating their ranks. Mass Effect 2 is going to be the undercover, Point Break equivalent of a Space Opera. It’ll be great

  16. Philip says:

    What the hell.

    How can they do this to us.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    I think the original was one of the many recent games that showed great potential but just missed the boat and became merely average. The side quests were exceptionally bland, and with the exception of the Citidal it was very linear. There was a simplistic black and white morality to it which was completely transparent. None of the quests offered the tough decisions that were present in KOTOR (the droid that ran away from its owner, playing judge, lying about a wookie’s death to his brother,) and using the charm dialogue options worked without fail, even against religious zealots. The inventory was horrific, taking ages to sort through once you had a big pile of useless equipment.

    And yet I still enjoyed playing the game. The combat was far more intuitive than the majority of RPGs. The story was, although cliched, engaging and the world had some interesting (albeit, again, obvious) cultures and people.

    If the problems persist I may not enjoy it a second time around, but hopefully they can learn from the mistakes and create the great game Mass Effect could have been.

  18. weegosan says:

    If watching the appallingness that is CSI Miami has taught us anything it’s that lead characters dying is a great way to get them into deep cover.

  19. Pags says:

    Man, Sheperd deserved/didn’t deserve to die, he/she was such a saint/amoral character, I for one am glad/pissed off that Bioware would reward/screw us like this.

  20. Aubrey says:

    I bet shepard dies, but his mind is uploaded into a robot, and that way they can make the robo man do text to speech stuff, which gives the affordance of believable robotic voicing (like Glados in Portal), and also allows you to be much more generative about the things you can say… give you a proper toy-language to play with, where you can talk about all the inworld nouns and verbs and the system can actually understand the sentances you construct (a bit like how orders are constructed in End War). Walk up to a guy and say stuff like “Grnejunask said he dislikes you, and gave Bjarskintizzle a plasma rifle to murdusk in return for an assassination on your head.”, except you’d actually be constructing a lie, and at that point the dude you were talking to, he’d be on the war path against Grnejunask, even though Grnejunask is a nice guy.

    That’s what I wish they’d do, anyhow. Someone’s got to do it eventually, right?

  21. jalf says:

    Yep, ME is definitely worth playing. I bought it a month or so ago (in the few hours when Steam screwed up and accidentally gave europeans access to the US prices, making it a reasonable purchase)

    It’s got a lot in common with KOTOR (a good thing), and I really like the story/setting. Driving around on uncharted planets collecting rocks gets a bit repetitive, but luckily, that’s only a side quest.

    Of course, you might want to keep in mind your options DRM-wise. The retail versions only allows 5 installations, and doesn’t have a deactivate tool to free up installations (yet. There’s no official word on whether such a tool will be released, but given that they have at least one more patch on the way, it’s not impossible).
    The Steam version allows as many installations as you like.
    On the other hand, at least in Europe, the Steam version is currently going for an absurd €45 (compared to $20 for US customers)

    About the ME2 trailer, am I the only one who is *not* shocked by it in any way?

    I mean, it shows a Geth, and something with ‘N7′ on it (which was plastered all over the Normandy).
    We see a bit of text saying “killed in action”, but we *do not* see any signs of actual dead bodies.

    And we know that your savegames from ME1 can be imported to the sequel. I also believe they’ve stated that they wanted the entire trilogy to revolve around Shepard.

    So isn’t the obvious interpretation something like this:
    Shepard (in the Normandy) gets pwned by Geth, the Normandy crash lands, or is otherwise captured/destroyed by Geth (hence the Geth in the trailer with the N7 insignia). Without the ship, Shepard is obviously unable to contact the Alliance, who logically assume that he/she is killed in action.

    Of course, he/she is simply taken captive or fighting his/her way out of a heavily fortified Geth fortress or something, killing hundreds of Geth and generally being a hero.

    Seems a pretty straightforward way to state that “yes, Shepard is alive, you’ll keep playing him/her, and the Geth are going to get pretty close to killing you”.
    None of which should come as a big surprise, of course…
    It might even serve as a way to “reboot” your character. You already had the most advanced ship in the galaxy, and most likely you’d maxed out your bank account and your inventory was crammed full of high-quality weapons.
    Now you get taken prisoner by the Geth, they destroy your ship and take your guns. Back to square 1.

  22. Funky Badger says:

    Hopefully s/he has the option to fashion a rudimentary lathe to assist his/her escape and subsequent ressurection/return.

  23. Joseph says:

    I have to side with Aubrey on this one.

  24. CrashT says:

    Get ready for hot Geth on blue alien chick action.

    And Jalf has probably just described the entire first hour of Mass Effect 2.

  25. Taillefer says:

    I never worked out how to use the force power things during combat, so in an impressive demonstration of stubbornness, I played through the whole game without using any.

    Also:
    “‘N7′ is a vocational code in the Systems Alliance military. The ‘N’ designates special forces, the 7 refers to the highest level of proficiency. It applies to marines who have graduated from an elite training programme. Both David Anderson and Commander Shepard are classified as N7; Anderson was one of the first graduates.” – From ME Wiki.

  26. John Walker says:

    Pags is King of the Thread.

  27. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Wonder when they are going to patch the ME’s GPF bug that prevents me from playing :(

  28. dadioflex says:

    I didn’t enjoy Mass Effect. FOR ME it was a short game because I concentrated on the main quest and ignored the side quests.

    Why did I ignore the side quests? Because they didn’t matter. At all.

    SPOILERS AHOY!
    If you just played the game as it was handed to you.
    Battle.
    City slog.
    Battle.
    Battle.
    City Slog.
    Battle.
    Battle.
    City Slog
    City Slog
    Battle.
    Win.

    Ish.

    I’m marvellously out of step with industry gaming, apparently. Far Cry 2 was dire. Little more than an 80’s arcade game. Fallout was bland, compared to a BG, PS:T or Gothic. World of Goo was fine for half an hour then I realised I had to perform like a trained rat level after level.

    Of the above I’d credit World Of Goo with at least trying something different, even if it didn’t work for me, personally. I’m still baffled how Far Cry 2, Fallout 3 and Mass Effect (to pluck a game from the last 12 months at random, um despite the title of this entry) managed to become industry favourites. Surely we’ve seen these before and better.

    The professionals will tell me that these games represent the best of what we have now, or something similar. But that just tells me that things haven’t moved on, and in fact have gotten worse.

    Mass Effect annoyed me, which triggered this rant. To my mind it’s a shoddy game. Barely a game at all, in fact. Little more than a diversion, akin to staring out a window at falling snow. But colder.

    I don’t like Mass Effect.

    Now, get me started on Jade Empire. That was a real POS.

  29. dadioflex says:

    Oh and if you enjoyed Mass Effect’s story you should check out the latest writing by up and coming author Fred Saberhagen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Saberhagen

  30. jalf says:

    I agree about the main storyline of ME being ridiculously short. I still had fun in the game though, but yes, you had what, 4 missions to go through before you’d completed the game? (not counting the tutorial-esque Eden Prime)

  31. Unrein says:

    The city artwork is so deliciously, deliciously cyberpunk.

  32. BarkingDog says:

    Clearly Shepard isn’t dead. Who’d want to harm her gorgeous, pixie-like visage? With red hair, green eyes and pointy chin. (The One True Shepard)
    I quite liked how they set up those optional exploratory missions almost as soon as you enter the citadel, though actual exploration in the brick on wheels was a bit crap.
    and the abortion quest! Alright, it wasn’t actually abortion, but still… prenatal treatment is probably the same to those damn pro-lifers.

  33. MisterBritish says:

    So… this is to let you to make a new character, I suppose. Shepard will likely pop back up as a NPC; if you still have you ME1 saves he/she will probably look fairly familiar.

  34. Heliocentric says:

    You don’t have to like “the new hotness” and it doesn’t make you wrong. I haven’t gotten far in mass effect. Shelved mainly due to wanting to experience it in a week long rampage rather than breaking it up.

    Been enjoying the rpg meets brothers in arms combat. But again i’m still at the begining so if that doesn’t fit with the game you played its me not you.

    Playing as the sniper+engineer and… I’ve not even finished the first combat area.

  35. Janto says:

    Nah, it’s just a bit of Baldur’s Gate 2, ‘innit guv’nor? Lawks, ‘ave we gone and got ourselves in a bit ov bovver? Lots your ship, mate? One or more of your companions pickled in a jar before the game begins? Shockin’ care on you space cadets get up to, I must say.

    Certainly the new game stripping gear is a good thing. Having played through twice on the Xbox with the same character, my assault rifle was immune to overheat and could just be used with the trigger constantly depressed. And my sniper-rifle could one-shot almost anything. Medi-gel was rarely useful due to armour regen, etc.

    I am interested in seeing how they handle powerhouse characters capable of launching someone into orbit, though. Presumably they are going to go down the BGII: Shadows of Amn route and simply add to the level cap, but it begs the question: I was able to talk someone to death in the game – how much more persuasive can I be?

  36. Pags says:

    I was able to talk someone to death in the game – how much more persuasive can I be?

    Talk them back to life again?

  37. garreth says:

    “And we know that your savegames from ME1 can be imported to the sequel.” What? No amnesia? This is blasphemy!

  38. Deuteronomy says:

    For me Mass Effect is one of the best games of all time not because of the story, or the actiony sequences, or the rpg elements. It’s because of the atmosphere the game manages to pull off. As far as I’m concerned it simply doesn’t have all the features an RPG should, therefore it’s merely an RPG in the sense Deus Ex was an RPG. But as an interactive cinematic experience I don’t think any other game ever made has come close.

  39. Larington says:

    Heh, I remember the save-game importing for BG2, theres an exploit where if you time a pause just right at the beginning of the game you could drop equipment on the floor and pick it back up after the game has tried to ‘steal’ from your main characters inventory. Guess my characters were able to hide more up their butt than just a hamster.

  40. qrter says:

    Well, it’s an interesting surprise so I’ll not spoil it.

    Mmyeah, you already did that with the post’s title, really.

    Not that it really is a spoiler. Or that I care. ;)

  41. Kua says:

    “Pags is King of the Thread.”

    King of the Internets more like. Well for an evening at least.

  42. Heliocentric says:

    The bg2 exploit was useless the room next door had all your best stuff in it. Some of it hidden mind. Only things worth keeping were the drizzt sword and the pantaloons. Bg2 gear out classed everything else.

  43. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Pags brought a smile to my face.

  44. Subject 706 says:

    @dadioflex
    Couldn’t agree more with you. Except for World Of Goo. That one was actually really fun.

  45. Heliocentric says:

    I need to try the gothics off gog. The only thing i tried was the gothic 3 demo where i fell into the ground and died after landing on nothing.

  46. Tinkergirl says:

    I wonder why they didn’t just use the more easily remembered name “Shepherd” than the name that they do use: “Shepard”. Odd, and I bet it messes up their googleability.

  47. Kadayi says:

    @dadioflex

    So basically all modern gaming sucks and things were much much better in the good old days?

  48. Joseph says:

    Who the hell is searching for Mass Effect by typing in Shepherd/Shepard anyway? I mean, erm.. That’s what I want to know. Because… they should be shot. …idiots.

  49. Nick says:

    Oh good, the geth weren’t a terribly dull enemy or anything.

    *sigh*

  50. Dozer says:

    Mass Effect is shelved until I get a PC which can consistenly run it at more than 10fps. :-(