Mass Effect 2 “Prelude To E3” Trailer

Bioware are getting busying hyping up the major unveiling of Mass Effect 2 at E3, discussing the aim of “intensity” in the game, the amping up of combat, and the darker “Wild West” storyline. The trailer mostly focuses on the devs talking about what they’re excited about, but does include a fair bit of in-game footage. I’ve linked the to the Joystiq version of the video because there seems to be something funny going on with the main site.


  1. JKjoker says:

    i am a little hopeful they would fix they many many things they did wrong in ME1 (some posters said they wanted them to focus on the story rather than the action, i disagree, since the game is 90% action, for love of god let them focus on the action)
    but trailers of trailers of the developers openly masturbating on camera can go directly to the trash bin for all i care

  2. Jeremy says:

    This makes me think I should listen to my roommate and play ME1 one of these days…

  3. Dan says:

    I just found my ME1 save games! Woop!

    Though somehow, I’ve just realised that I’ve not got the ‘Complete the majority of the game’ achievement, even though I went to every one of the side quest planets and did those too. Am I missing something? Is there some massive side branch of the story that’s completely passed me by?

  4. Rudolfo says:

    ma22 effect !

  5. Mr Fossy says:

    @ JKjoker

    BioWare have refined on-camera dev masturbation to a fine art. I’m just glad none of them talked about the “pillars of storytelling”, or anything. Mind you, “digital actors” is pretty bad too…

    I found the ME1 combat to be consistently fun and challenging, but I’m not opposed to improvements, and BioWare should be able to come up with some nifty ones. Uh, but – what was it? – grabbing enemies’ limbs? Not terribly inspired.

    I just hope (and I know I will be disappointed) that they design hub environments that actually feel convincing, populated and alive. I just remember standing at that main part of the Citadel’s Wards district, overlooking the shimmering lights of the city, and thinking: Sheeeet! That’s where I want to be.

  6. BigJonno says:

    ME had a couple of great points where you could take paragon or renegade options on either side of a problem. There’s a side quest early on where a widower asks you to help get his late wife’s body back from the military. You can either get it back or convince him that the tests they’re running on the corpse are necessary. Either way, you can do it by being persuasive and charming, or being a threatening arsehole.

  7. Azhrarn says:

    “Dan: Am I missing something? Is there some massive side branch of the story that’s completely passed me by?”

    To get that achievement you need to do 75% of the content in a single game. (not session mind you)
    Well, how often did you go back to the citadel? Did you do all of the Cerberus stuff for instance? (with admiral Kahoku near the council) There’s easily half a dozen planets that won’t even show up unless you do that simple quest, lots of branching off from that too. There’s also a “starship troopers” holdout scenario that ties back in with that, however it won’t exist unless you do the cerberus missions. I suggest you look up a guide on for instance GameBanshee and see if you missed anything.

    The special quests for your companions also count, so speak with them after each major story world to progress the arcs and eventually get side-missions for them too.

  8. Pijama says:

    No Hawaii 5-0 theme? :””(

    oh wait, wrong trailer.

    Let’s see how it turns out. I am actually thinking of reinstalling Mass Effect (only did ONE playthrough), IF THAT DAMNED MEMORY BUG GETS FIXED SOMEDAY. It’s so bloody annoying.

  9. Adventurous Putty says:


  10. Fenchurch says:

    @Adventurous Putty:


  11. tekDragon says:

    I loved ME but the game was deeply flawed. The main story is what kept me playing but the sidequests were terrible. It’s like they had great plans and then were forced to drop them and rush the game out.

    Seriously, once it became apparent that there were only 3 bunker layouts and that the only difference was how the crates were scattered, that the enemies were level-scaled, and the loot was random and level scaled, I completely lost interest.

    That and the fiddly-stupid buggy. I dont know why game designers think that interspersing mandatory crappy vehicle elements is good game design.

    Still loved the main arc though and will watch what comes out for a sequel closely.

    tl;dr: First rate main story, laughable side questing, and FFS lose the random scaling loot if you want people to care about exploring.

  12. Bhazor says:

    Mass Effect left me completely cold. The only parts I really remember were the bisexual female lead (which is probably more an excuse not to redo some scenes like the strip club) which had great potential as a character, the stand off with the hairy chap about what to do with the cure and not hesitating for a single second in sacrificing Mr Memorable.

    In comparison I could draw you maps of Waukeens Promenade and the Troll invested castle from Baldurs Gate 2. Furthermore gentlemen, I propose that given three action figures I could re-enact the Lost in Space cut scene from Anachranox.

    That said the fact I finished Mass Effect shows a) I enjoyed it at the time b) it was pretty short and c) it lacked meaningful side missions. Actually looking back the biggest annoyance was the inventory and auto loot which you’d have to wade through dozens of identical guns with funny names after every few battles. Also once on a space station I actually fell through a wall (force pushed while in a corner) and tumbled lifelessly through space for about five minutes before the game declared me dead. Which was neat if unintentional.

  13. Heliocentric says:

    Teo, you can take the brodeo out of the internet, but you can’t take the brodeo out of the soul.

  14. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    I didn’t finish ME because I don’t have stamina for these kinds of games and they killed the big alien dude. He was one of my favorite characters! Him and Ashley…

  15. Azhrarn says:

    Wrex can survive, just requires that you’re either VERY persuasive, or extremely bad-ass, but he can be convinced to not get himself shot. Same for Ashley, you can also sacrifice Kaidan, just a matter of choices.

    The catch there is that you need a fair amount of the side-quests done to get the lvl needed to pull it off. (Or the Paragon/Renegade points to get the same effect) Namely maxed Persuasion or Intimidate.

  16. Taill4f4r says:

    Best part of Mass Effect were the gun sound effects. They were most satisfying.

  17. theleif says:

    Did i just watch a trailer for a trailer? I feel cheated.

  18. Gap Gen says:

    “dont they mean m2ss 2ff2ct tw2”

    No, that’s Maths Effect 2.

  19. DSX says:

    This should be good. As stated, I agree the developers are on the right page with where the story/action is evolving, but EA could still fuck it up hugely with draconian DRM, release delays for PC etc.

    Also looking forward to E3’s new bits on “I am Alive” They promise gameplay footage and new trailer too.

  20. Tim says:

    God I hate promotional videos like that. I can’t listen two 5 different developers repeat each other. They could do the whole thing in a couple of tweets.

  21. Chemix says:

    Combat in Mass Effect came in three flavors

    Shoot them before they get to you (and in the case of krogan, they simply rape you with unstoppable melee doom)

    Duck, shoot, duck, shoot, use a power, dey is dead

    Shoot, try to balance applying meds with realigning aim, rinse and repeat for five minutes (the faster jumpy enemy types)

    While it may not seem that bad when you look at it in retrospect, it feels really repetitive while you’re playing, because it goes almost in precisely those orders. The combat is very shallow and all guns act on the exact same principles, it’s just whether you get a scope or mid range or short range, they all shoot within a firing cone and go in roughly a straight line. Melee comes down to bumping enemies off of you, or trying, as they ridiculously maul you by shear proximity. Outside of close quarters with krogan, the fights had very little challenge as long as you didn’t run up to your enemies, which means firefights are slow, often annoying exercises in pressing keys in a specific order.

    I liked the story, I would have liked a better sense of humor, but that’s a running problem with most games now days (Fallout 3, I’m looking, no I’m glaring, at you!).

    Oh, and please, no more elevator sequences, and did anyone find the airlock a tad redundant to be followed by a loading screen, however short it may have been, that could have all been dun during the excessively long scanning process.

  22. cjlr says:

    I don’t really get people complaining as much as they do about the repetitiveness of the sidequests and unexplored worlds. It shows that they were pushed out before a final polish, sure, but none are mandatory and there is some variety. If you mix them up with the main quest missions you get a nice flow of gameplay – but you have to trade off plot pacing in a huge way to do so.

    I could do without the whole ‘darker and edgier’, but rampaging through the Terminus systems (which I can only assume, plotwise, is what is going on) could be interesting if it’s not just a new trio of bases to fight through over and over again.

    God help them, though, if ‘darker and edgier’ leads to a Shepard who smolders with generic rage…

  23. Mr Fossy says:

    @ cjlr

    Well said; a ‘darker, edgier’ approach might simply lead BioWare to bland art design, as well as predictable plot twists and characters. Mass Effect was a commercially successful game – I don’t think BioWare need to enforce a Prince of Persia 2 style tonal shift in order to broaden the appeal.

    And, if the intention isn’t to broaden the apeal, then a darker (if I hear the word “gritty”…) mood won’t do much to distinguish ME2 from the throng of other Sci-fi action games either.

  24. tmp says:

    And, if the intention isn’t to broaden the apeal

    I’d guess the intention is basic storytelling. Much like in certain other space opera franchise which started as 3-parter, in the middle part things get relatively bleak before they can get better in triumphant finale.

    It’s the ESB of Mass Effect. Except apparently minus the cliffhanger, according to dev interviews.

  25. Vinraith says:

    Three things I’d like to see in ME2: Less clunky, less repetitive, and less linear. Hit those three notes and keep the good from the original game (and drop the nonsense DRM) and I’m there on day 1.

  26. TCM says:

    Mass Effect was my favorite Bioware game since KoTOR. Which isn’t saying much, and KoTOR was still better.

    The universe was very nice though, reminds me of what you first like about Star Wars before you realize “oh my god there’s a whole expanded universe now i have to care about this crap”. Or something. I dunno, I’m trying to communicate a certain feeling I have at 2 AM, it’s impossible.

  27. Mr Fossy says:

    I’d guess the intention is basic storytelling.

    Basic storytelling doesn’t dictate the need to darken the tone of a franchise – not in games, at least. BioWare would be wise to focus on the specific areas many here have mentioned, and less on the things that will shape the ME universe into an epic trilogy of a space-opera type thing.

    Mind you, it’ll still be a great game, I’m sure. And I’ll play it and everyone here will play it and adore it in some way. I loved the decidedly non-epic parts of the ME narrative; the little chats with your companions, particular tense moments in the story. I couldn’t care less about ME as a franchise – show me some more trailers with freaky alien encounters!

  28. tmp says:

    Basic storytelling doesn’t dictate the need to darken the tone of a franchise.

    Certainly, but it is a very common –pretty much classic– way to set up the structure of overall story. And the devs make it clear in the interviews so far they’re also “focusing on the areas many have mentioned” so there’s really no need imo to throw hissy fits that they also keep in mind the flow of overall plot and address that.

  29. Rath says:

    If the second novel, Ascension, was anything to go by then the bitotic powers of human characters should be raised quite a bit in terms of effect and spectacle. Possibly hinted towards at least one major new threatening race and highlighted a pretty interesting location that sounds like it fits right in with the “wild west” storyline suggested in the opening statement up there.

  30. Shad says:

    Ohh Hound Eyes from Half-Life. Severed bodies crawling towards you, like from Half-Life 2.

    The weakest point in ME1 was the same old bases used when you chose to explore a bit. Nice terrain, but they always led to samey prefabs that were no joy to traverse.

    I thought the mix of story and cut scenes where ok.

    Yet, as with all RPG type games, your riches for being good or bad are not well balanced. Or rather they are known to the player. It forces a player to make a choice that may not be as grey as the writers want. If I get a message that flashes up and says “Paragon +2” and I look at my stats and it tells me how good or evil I am, I tend to want to choose choices that make my character lean toward one or the other. I would like this mechanic to be hidden. Because it leads to wanting to be fed this type of input, rather than making the choice that I want to use given the situation.

    I’d rather I made my choices and had no feedback. The consequences I see are small, culminating in endings that you would not receive if you tried playing really good or really evil.

    That would make a game far more replayable since it would not be obvious where in the game you went good or evil.

  31. Solario says:

    I really liked ME, even through all its faults. I’m excited.

    And was it just me or were a lot of the alien races politcal allegories?

  32. Samona says:

    I am so looking forward to this game. I loved the first part and what I have seen of the sequel makes me so anxious for it.

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