Mass Effect 2 Details, Shakycam Footage

Bioware have released a bunch more information about Mass Effect 2 while talking to GameTrailers. Apparently, importing your saved game from the original Mass Effect will have some profound consequences for your experience. ““The first moment will be different,” claims project director Casey Hudson. That sounds intriguing. Perhaps even more intriguing is that Mr Casey says the team intends to have space combat “in the trilogy” but there’s none in Mass Effect 2. Sounds like the third time is the charm for spaceship shooting. That shakycam footage – which is developmental work-in-progress stuff from GDC – is after the jump.


  1. Morberis says:

    Hmm I don’t see their typical Shepard model, I wonder if they did that intentionally or whether they just used a random face someone had made.

  2. Tei says:

    Mass Effect is a good game, Is darker than the Star Wars universe able. There are some horror elements. And the KOTOR games lacked that.. maybe was implied, but never really show. And Is “new IP” and for that, is originally.
    Not much, of course, it follows all the pseudo-science fiction cannons about space ships, metal walls… etc… much like any other Space Opera with generic space marines.
    Where are the Tree-ships of the books of Dan Simmons?
    This type of games are not really sciencie fiction. But generic fantasy with a generic future theme.
    We need more, maybe some, science fiction on the videogames world. We have enough fantasy, the medieval one, or the future themed one. A bit of nice real science fiction will be a awesome change.

  3. simonkaye says:

    Tei’s absolutely right. That said, I really did enjoy Mass Effect. Had more… urgency to it than many other recent RPGs. The combination of simple, arcadey third-person action and role-playing trope worked a charm.

    But yes. More HARD sci-fi, please.

  4. SirKicksalot says:

    Remember the vertical scrolling shooter in Jade Empire? That’s what we need in Mass Effect :D

  5. Xercies says:

    Hmm Hard sci-fi is a bit of a turn off for me, it seems only really to do with the technology and putting detail on imaginary things that could happen in the future and doesn’t really have that much story to it.

    I like Space Opera and the like, its actually understandable.

  6. unique_identifier says:

    xercies: mmm, perhaps some hard sci fi is like that, but there are also enough authors that manage to weave those crazy ideas together with interesting characters and narrative, so it’s not like you can’t have both.

  7. BarkingDog says:

    Xercies- I guess you haven’t played Mass Effect then. ;)

  8. BarkingDog says:

    wait, i’ve totally missed the point and cannot delete my first post. just woke up, sorry….
    Seems to me that most “hard” sci-fi is quite old? Like Asimov’s stuff, Simmons, Starship Troopers- more and more today seem to follow Iain M Banks’ Culture model (which I personally find more enjoyable).

  9. Andy`` says:

    Tei: Just because it uses familiar elements and it’s not trying to be 100% scientifically/technically accurate doesn’t make it not scifi, even if you dont want it to be scifi (and Mass Effect, unlike anything falling under the science fantasy banner, tried to appear “realistic” in alot of its future tech, and drew off real world examples and extrapolation of those ideas.

    I think what would be more interesting than ‘more “real” scifi” or “more hard scifi” would be more scifi that doesn’t involve space, spaceships, or aliens. And there is (Portal) a bit around (Deus Ex) or upcoming (Achron) but for the most part it’s not really easy to notice (Bioshock), is more identifiable with another genre (Uplink), or involves mutants instead of aliens (Sin), but it begs the question – does anyone really care?

    Because what a single person will commonly think of as scifi isn’t usually the entire definition of scifi.

  10. James G says:

    There are some contemporary hard Scifi Writers, like Greg Egan, Greg Bear. I find hard scifi nice in small amounts, but occasionally it can get a bit ‘too much.’

    Also, I’m not entirely sure I’d class Asimov as purely hard sci-fi. He also wrote a few stories which were more space-opera in style, particularly later in his career.

    I agree that we are lacking hard sci-fi in gaming though. Possibly because gaming has taken more inspiration from film in respect to plot and setting, which itself does sci-fantasy better than sci-fi. (Thanks largely I think to Star Wars)

    Oddly though the relationship is very much one-sided, with even hard sci-fi beeing very much inspired by gaming. I mentioned Greg Egan earlier, but it was hard not to think of second-life while reading Diaspora. (Although second-life actually post dates Diaspora, the ideas explored already existed elsewhere.)

  11. Tei says:

    @Andy: True.

  12. Ozzie says:

    I guess the Gateway trilogy is “hard” science fiction and yet has great stories and well-developed characters. I think the fate of the protagonists in the first book grabbed me more than the mystery about the Hitschi civilization.
    Also, the vision of the future still seems probable, even thirty years later.

  13. the probe says:

    I couldn’t hear a damn word he said.

  14. JKjoker says:

    im always interested in scifi rpgs because im sooooo tired of medieval with magic styled ones
    Mass effect 1 was ok, but anything other than the main story (which was so-bad-its-good as long as you walked the collar grabbing renegade path) sucked ass, one of the reasons i like Square games is that you can always count on side quests for several dozen hours of extra content (the last remnant has a loooot of side content), stupid cloned planets and badge gathering minigames blow so much ass, they really need to fix this, oh yeah and i really freaking hated the achievements system that made an easy game even easier and i freaking hate to be forced to play on normal to unlock the hard difficulty when the game is designed mentally challenged subnewbies (how about they make the combat at least a *little* challenging, you know, for gamers who are not completely retards ? how about difficulty options that mean a little more than hp upgrades ? also maybe they should check what a difficulty curve means, its supposed to grow not to look like one of those wall street charts of the last 2 month, dropping catastrophically)

  15. bleh says:

    I also couldn’t hear a damn word he said.

  16. JKjoker says:

    i could barely see anything he did either, it looks like the improved the cover system, added destructible environments and i think he reloaded at one point

  17. cjlr says:

    I loved Mass Effect.
    I’m not going to pretend it was the most brilliant game ever. It’s not. It was very good, mind you, but it certainly had its flaws. It’s just, who could resist the allure of the Grand Ol’ Space Opera?

    And not hard sci-fi? Well, I suppose some of it (er, most of it) was pretty generic. But eezo? Electrochemically manipulating the graviton permeability of objects in macroscopic space? Damn, that was cool. Except there were about a billion other uses for biotics that never got mentioned. Flashy combat my ass. You could do anything with that stuff.
    Also consider this

  18. Andy`` says:

    I think the HUD improvements are the biggest thing tbh – it’s just the HUD, sure, but the changes they’ve made seem to support that “more shootier” direction they were going for. Crosshair looks easier to aim with, health’s easier to glance at, and yeah, there’s reloading and the overheat bar’s gone and replaced with an ammo bar. Not that I’m sure that’s a good thing – the overheating system had some nice nuances to it, even though ammo systems are probably a bit more comfortable to use (reloading also looks to be faster than ME1’s cooling, which makes for more BAMBAMBAM!). But then the old crosshairs also had some nice traits of their own, yet the new crosshair looks clearer. So clarity’s probably the point.

    If it all makes the shooter portion more solid at the end of the day though, I’m ok with it, as long as it doesn’t make it boring in the process. Interesting environments to fight in are a must though – most of it wasn’t the same few repeated rooms, but those are some of the easiest to remember because they happened so often, and the most lovely looking environments simply couldn’t have firefights in them because they were already having trouble keeping a good framerate in them :( Shame really

  19. Sapper Gopher says:

    “The first moment will be different.” Reminds me of Oblivion when the first character comments on your race. You just know it’s a sop, and after that it’ll never come up again.

  20. Meatloaf says:

    To be honest, I’d rather have them include space combat in this one, and then get it right in the next one.

  21. OJ287 says:

    Is he a ginger hair?

  22. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, Mass Effect was about the same hardness as Star Trek, I guess. It was fun, but I stopped playing when Empire came out and haven’t gone back to it yet.

    Part of the problem of hard SF is that future warfare would be so much more complex and difficult for humans to comprehend once we start using smart robotic soldiers, or ships that can blow you up from thousands of miles away. I’m all for it (in particular, the end of Iain M Banks’ Matter strikes me as like Crysis, but awesome) but you’d have to handle it a little differently than Mass Effect.

  23. littlewilly91 says:

    day of the triffids the game? War of the worlds the game? Once they can, ahem, toss us, freeform into a massive nonlinear world and let you set your character to autolive with a few preferences until something that really eats up his/her frontal lobe comes up, these hard sci-fi will start to work.

  24. Alex says:

    I’d prefer a game set in The Algebraist’s universe, myself.

  25. Janto says:

    Hard Sci-Fi chisels away – fairly big, fairly recent folks no-one’s mentioned thus far would be Kim Stanley Robinson, especially the Mars books, Stephen Baxter and Aleister Reynolds – who’s ideas of genocidal AIs are actually close enough to Mass Effects Reapers but with a better reason for existing. But it’s not what the kids like by all accounts.

  26. DK says:

    This looks exactly like Mass Effect 1. Back when Bioware was a good developer this would have been an expansion, but they obviously want to charge full price out of greed, so it’s a “sequel”.

    • TheBlackBandit says:

      Well, I wonder what our opinion is on this comment now, then?

  27. Binho says:

    Actually, if you read the codex entries on space combat, Mass Effect actually comes off fairly ‘hard’.

    The guys who wrote the codex entries clearly did their research. They talk about decks on the larger spacecraft being aligned perpendicular to the engines. They identify that the biggest problem in space is radiating heat, and even incorporate droplet radiator’s! Other stuff they mention is how lasers get weaker over distance, massive engagement ranges, and craft backing off before they overheat.

    I’m 90% certain they read the Atomic Rockets website (link to Unfortunately, I’m 100% certain that when they do include space combat in the game, they’ll throw all the ‘hard’ bits out and do WWII dogfights in space, like everyone else.

    I do agree some more ‘hard’ sci fi is needed. Or at least sci-fi that incorporates some realistic physics, even if it’s just for once respecting newton’s 3rd law.

    I mean, doing space right is something that CAN be done on the computer, but never in Hollywood or TV. We can do zero-g without sending people on the vomit comet, or onto the ISS.

    So why in every space game, do space ships have to have artificial gravity? Dead Space had zero-g levels, and all the reviewers loved it!

  28. Kieron Gillen says:

    DK: Because BG and BG2 looked totally different.


  29. Gap Gen says:

    Binho: That said, I remember listening to the chief engineer on the Normandy yak away and thinking “what utter bollocks”. Can’t remember what he said, though.

  30. Erlam (Shalrath) says:

    “It was very good, mind you, but it certainly had its flaws. It’s just, who could resist the allure of the Grand Ol’ Space Opera?”

    Was I the only one who knew exactly what would happen in Mass Effect because I’d played Star Control 3 (the ‘worst’ of the SC’s)? I won’t give anything away for those who’ve not completed Mass Effect, but lets just say any ‘surprises’ were pretty easy guesses due to that.

  31. DK says:

    “DK: Because BG and BG2 looked totally different.”
    While visually, they were quite similar, there were huge changes in underlying system. Mass Effect 1 and 2 looks more like a BG2/Throne of Baal situation.

  32. DK says:

    for lack of edit: I’d also add that BG 1 was an actually concluded story. Mass Effect is yet another of the announced-as-trilogy-lacking-proper-ending fad.
    Although I’d give a kidney to get the Advent Rising trilogy finished.

  33. Brandon says:

    Someone way up there said that they believe video games take a larger hint from movies than literature, but I believe just the opposite. I think, because of their nature, video games are much more like a novel. For example- Half-Life 2. Your character, similar to the main character in War of the Worlds- has very little to no personal input on the story- his roll, as is Gordon Freemans, is to take the reader/player through the story and describe the environments. Video games often use this method of storytelling, as opposed to movies, which often focus too much on their annoying, overblown, complainy main characters (Although, maybe J-RPGs take a big hint from this). Just my two cents.

  34. Heliocentric says:

    Source medium of influence varies from game to game. Splunky is influenced by games almost to the exception of anything else. Where a game like diablo 3 is clearly influenced by muppet’s treasure island. I kid i kid!

  35. Brandon says:

    Pffft, everyone knows Muppet’s Treasure Island has had the largest influence on video games to date! At least- on Diablo’s new art style -_-.

  36. kr8 says:

    I did just play through mass effect about a month ago. (on PC) I thought it was great apart from all the bugs (greatest port ever? yeah right). I don’t think it lacked a proper ending. Actually, I thought they could’ve ended the series right there and I wouldn’t have minded. Sure, there’s still dangerous things out there and stuff, but you don’t necessarily need to smite them all for your closure. Contrast it with the second matrix film. Now that’s what I call a lack of proper ending.

    I did find it sad that I missed out on some context in the end because when the story started to really develop I felt like I had to go out and save the universe instead of dick around and explore all those little planets. I also noticed there’s a “power gamer” achievement that’s exactly the opposite of being a power gamer, as power gamers steam through content as fast as they can. At least in my experience.

    Anyway, that’s all personal, I just like playing story based games, and all the sandbox stuff doesn’t generally interest me much. I’m just hoping ME2 won’t be super duper millions of endings, huge immersive environments, etc. That’ll just want me to explore _all_ of it and suck the fun out of their game.