Things Of Mass Effect 2

First there was Mass Effect, and soon there will be two of it. And yet, to be quite honest, I’ve not really be tracking said sequel, despite quite enjoying the first part of Bioware’s big space adventure. With 2 being bumped back to continue in early in 2010 (no concrete date yet), I’ve lost ever more focus on it. However, I just spotted this dude shown (above) – who was apparently revealed a bit earlier in the year – and interest has once again glimmered. He’s a beautifully blank-faced alien assassin character, Thane, and I can see him being rather popular in my ME2 team, made up from “the galaxy’s most powerful mystics, geniuses, and convicts”, as we make adventures and deign to save the human race. Of course what has nudged me into looking into all this is some information from GamesCom, where those extraneous plot details and a grunt, called, er Grunt, have been revealed.

Oh, and there’s a trailer illustrating Mr Grunt too, straight from the convention and posted below. Game footage, a-lovely. But why does every possible future have an ’80s pole-dancing club?

Oh and a dev diary from a while back, since we’re catching up on all things Mass Effect 2:


  1. Metal_Circus says:

    I have a feeling that Mass Effect is going to be one of those games that gets better with each release – looking forward to this one.

  2. Funky Badger says:


    Thane looks pretty nifty. And shoulder-charging psycho-space-budgies never get old.

  3. jsutcliffe says:

    I’m hoping to make time for another playthrough of the first game before ME2 is released, so I can take advantage of the pseudo-persistence. I massively enjoyed the first one.

  4. Rinox says:

    Grunt is like an exact copy of my playing style in most RPG’s and shooters. Definitely gonna be on a squad with Jean-Luc Shipard and Wrex!

  5. cjlr says:

    The problem with a series getting better with each installment is that it makes it really tough to re-experience the originals when all the uncorrected flaws slap you in the face…

  6. Vinraith says:

    ME1 was decent, worth playing through once, but here’s hoping the sequel is a bit more open, a lot less repetitive, and significantly less buggy.

  7. Vinraith says:

    Oh, and for the love of god, in the next one put the autosave points AFTER the cinematics!

  8. Rinox says:

    @ Vinraith: I’m hoping for a ‘return of the Jedi’ effect for ME2. The first one was still hampered by the whole “what don’t you remember…” and “of course you know that…” banter. Nearly inevitable when presenting a new universe and its lore, especially when the protagonist doesn’t suffer from ‘memory loss’, but nevertheless annoying.

    With the universe laid out and the basics of the overarching storyline and a familiarity of the NPC’s in place, I think everything is set up to make Mass Effect 2 one of the best RPG’s in the past 5+ years. I hope. :-)

    Also expecting technical improvements over the original, like the crappy console inventory and poor team management. Add to all that the choices you make in 1 carrying through in ME2…should be good.

  9. Rinox says:

    Errrrrh I meant Empire Strikes Back – GOD I suck

  10. Tyshalle says:

    “But why does every possible future have an ’80s pole-dancing club?”

    Who would want to live in a future without one?

  11. Vinraith says:


    Yeah, me too. Honestly, I think there’s a lot of reason for optimism. I really do hope they stop making me rewatch cinematics every time I die in a boss fight, though. That drove me NUTS.

  12. Serph says:

    Hmm, the new race looks like a cross between a cobra and Abe Sapien. I’m saddened that they stuck the “needlessly violent proud warrior race” cliche onto the Krogan, but then again, FPS players could probably relate to the monologue.

  13. Funky Badger says:

    Serph: I actually liked what they did with the Klin… Krogan. Also like that the Assari were by far the deadliest creatures in the universe (well, in the lore, anyway).

  14. Serph says:

    I also dislike the fact that the Asari fall under the “green blue-skinned space babe” trope. Geez, enough with the progenitor race foolishness. Make the aliens look like actual aliens and add more HUMAN females if you want to balance it out >_>

  15. 1stGear says:

    Hm. Irrationally violent. Unpredictable. Big Krogan in big armor who likes fighting. Sounds an awful lot like Wrex, who may or may not have you know in ME1. Who else thinks that you’ll only get Grunt in your party if Wrex isn’t?

  16. jalf says:

    @Serph: Wasn’t that the entire point in the Krogan?
    Wrex was the exception, the one who tried to make a difference, and got stabbed in the back for it.

    I think it worked well. The Krogan were portrayed as violent and proud not simply because “that’s how they are”, but because they don’t really have anything to live for. They can’t breed and they’re not really organized enough to do anything to solve that problem… So they just live for themselves, and make a living as mercenaries.

    Grunt did seem a bit too singleminded though… :p

    And @Funky Badger: Except the reapers…

  17. DigitalSignalX says:

    oh please yes, I must have freed the Asari from the ancient forcefield then rode the long lift up to meet the deathsquad 20 times.

    Anywho.. probably my most eagerly rabid fanboy want want want game of 2010.

  18. DigitalSignalX says:

    doh – I meant to quote Vinraith re: checkpoints

  19. Vinraith says:


    That’s the exact moment I’m thinking about. I very nearly abandoned the game entirely at that point out of blind frustration and rage.

  20. bob arctor says:

    Looks like the Mechanist servants on Thief II.

  21. Funky Badger says:

    Reapers, schmeapers. I shit bigger than them.

    (Bit of an unfair comparison though, like saying Luke Skywalker’s harder than a Star Destroyer…)

  22. JKjoker says:

    i just hope they make an original story instead of cloning kotor … again

    and that the mako dies a painful death 5 minutes into the game, i hate that freaking thing

  23. KnightOfCydonia says:

    As long as this game has more sideboob, and more opportunities to go “Fuck you, I don’t have time for your snide insinuations!” *BAM*, I will be sold.
    Oh, and I hate the Krogans. They remind me of every generic “IMMA BLOW SHIT UP” character in RPGs ever. I want some character depth outside of the damn database, please. I dealt with Wrex in the harshest manner possible, and I’m going to do the same to Grunt.

  24. Persus-9 says:

    @ Vinraith & DigitalSignalX: Oh man that cutscene then to top it off putting dialogue options as well and then BANG straight into everyone shooting at you at close range from all different angles. The tenth time I sat through that comes in 2nd on my all time list of strongest urges to do violence to a games developer… right below the moment I realised I couldn’t go back and do any of the side missions.

    Yet this is still this is still probably a pre-order for me unless they decide to charge silly money for it.

  25. James G says:

    Ahh, @vinraith @DigitalSignalX, I actually dropped the difficulty level at that point so I wouldn’t have to sit through that damn cinematic again. Annoyingly it happened to be, for me, one of the toughest battles of the games.

    I really enjoyed Mass Effect, and an very much looking forward to the sequel. I’m trying to keep away from reading too much about it now though, deciding I want it to be a surprise.

  26. jalf says:

    @Vinraith: Wasn’t that more a problem with the sudden and insane difficulty spike? I mean, if that Krogan hadn’t been eight times as difficult as anything else you’d encountered before, the checkpoint wouldn’t have been so much of a problem.

  27. Vinraith says:


    Yes, the difficulty spike was also a problem, but I could have dealt with it more calmly if not for the placement of the checkpoint.

  28. JKjoker says:

    oh, yeah, the two cinematics in the Liara mission (when you approach the mine and suddenly get “cutscened” out of cover and when you leave with her) made me want to put my fist though the monitor, i believe there are a lot more but since i was more powerful after that i barelly got killed

    ME1 has this weird difficulty curve that starts high and then drops like a rock once you get your hands in V~VIII equipment and max a few skills

  29. Stabby says:

    everybody likes pole dancing. EVERYBODY

    Also, HAW HAW HAW. Grunt sounds like a psychopath.

  30. Animystic says:

    I think everyone might be forgetting just why this game has all these cliche characters. It’s entirely supposed to, it’s all of classic sci-fi rolled up into one awesome game. And at least they put a pretty awesome background behind why the Krogan are such jerks.

  31. Mashakosha says:

    Wouldn’t you be a jerk if your entire race lived to fight and had no chance of survivng through the next 100 years? Screw the world, make a few hits, make some money, hire a couple of Asari for a night and live as well as you can before your inevitable, untimely death.
    You will not be missed.

  32. Fenchurch says:


    I know! Everyone seems to want Iain M Banks: THE GAME. In a game with production values this high, there are huge restrictions on what is and what is not possible in terms of art direction and the fiction which drives it.

  33. BrokenSymmetry says:

    Oh yes, Fenchurch, give me a game with the Lazy Gun!

  34. Serondal says:

    I never felt the urge to play ME , not even a little bit :( I would much rather have had another KOTOR game.

  35. DarthInsinuate says:

    Ooh, wait, are those personality traits going to drive the characters’ AI in gameplay? I like the idea of having a team full of bad-asses who just charge around punching people.

  36. The Colonel says:

    Is it too much to ask for a bit of character depth in an RPG?

  37. Serph says:

    About the deathsquad – they were kind of tough, but I only had to reload once. I love having a shotgun and psychic powers.

    @Animystic: Classic sci-fi!? The game’s a total tease – it has all this realistic-looking technology, and even goes to lengths to explain everything, but when you get down to the actual characters, I found that the most interesting one was actually MYSELF, because I was being a total, hilarious asshole. As far as aliens go, the huge, lumbering four-legged ones on the Citadel really stuck out to me, because they could actually BE aliens. Imagine one of those guys fighting on your team…

  38. Animystic says:

    I didn’t mean the golden-age of scifi. I was thinking more of Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov, hell even things you’d seen in Star Trek and Star Wars. And yea, they did a great job with the main character. It’s the most freedom in a game that has full voice acting, at least that I can think of. And it’s still plausible that an alien race could evolve to look similar to humans.

  39. Andy says:

    One thing that annoys me about ME (and pretty much every other party based RPG) is why the hell can I only take 2 other people with me?
    “Alright troops, I’m going to head into an enemy stronghold where I’ll be outnumbered 500 to 1. You and you are coming with me, the rest of you can stay here and watch space-tv”

    It doesn’t even give a good logical explanation as to why you’re so limited.

  40. Tom says:

    Because poll dancing will never go out of fashion? At least I sincerely hope not. Christ, the galaxy will have been well and truely pussy whipped if that ever happens. Thane would be in the kitchen and Grunt would be neutered and in a kenel.

    Mass Effect 2 doesn’t need to make the slightest effort to keep my attention. Really looking forward to this one.

  41. Ybfelix says:

    I haven’t played Mass Effect yet (waiting it to arrive) so checked out the video. This grunt guy looks just like space dwarves (is Krogan his name? Korgan Bloodaxe!)..
    I wonder if the infamous blue skinned babe is some kind of space elf?
    Also, is there a collection of EA logos somewhere on web? I always find the style change to fit games interesting. Ubi is doing the same recently but IMO not as good as EA’s

  42. anotherman7 says:

    I didn’t really like the first game. It felt too sterile to me, and every planet was the same thing. Land, drive around, shoot stuff. I’ve gotten more fun out of replaying Baldur’s Gate. Maybe I’ll check this one out.

  43. Wooly says:

    @Serph: Wasn’t that the entire point in the Krogan?
    Wrex was the exception, the one who tried to make a difference, and got stabbed in the back for it.

    Exactly! Anyone who writes off Wrex as “angry warrior race guy” obviously didn’t take the time to find out about his backstory. The fact that he actually used to be really idealistic, and was NOT your typical proud warrior race guy made him a great character in my opinion. Hopefully this Grunt guy will be just as interesting.

    “Fenchurch says:


    I know! Everyone seems to want Iain M Banks: THE GAME. In a game with production values this high, there are huge restrictions on what is and what is not possible in terms of art direction and the fiction which drives it.”

    ^Exactly! This is a VIDEOGAME, people! You should *not* expect the same depth of story and character as is present in literature.

  44. Mitthrawn says:

    i absolutely loved Mass Effect- my favorite game of the last two or three years. Here’s hoping ME2’s just as great.

  45. sigma83 says:

    Hah! Space elf.

  46. Leeks! says:

    So you can have the most disaffected lapdance in human history, of course.

  47. Chemix says:

    Is it bad to want more out of video games than what they already give us? I mean, thinking that way we should all just play pong and buy pong 2 for the sake of… buying pong 2. That said I doubt anyone really expects an accomplishment of epic proportions of character realization, but it’d be nice, I mean Dreamfall and The Longest Journey tried it, they just failed at the whole game play thing.

    I don’t expect Grunt to be a complicated character though, he looks like an expendable merc, hence: grunt.

  48. sigma83 says:

    wooly: Not expecting it is somewhat related to not aspiring towards it, no?

  49. Adventurous Putty says:

    Perhaps he always had a dream of being a gardener, but when he realized that the plants on the Krogan homeworld had an unfortunate tendency to cannibalize offworlders, he decided to grudgingly follow his father’s advice and become a cold, heartless mercenary.

    In the end, all he really wanted was to plant a flower.

  50. Nerd Rage says:

    ” ‘But why does every possible future have an ’80s pole-dancing club?’

    Who would want to live in a future without one?”

    I echo this sentiment!

    Also I’d better damn well be able to have Wrex in my party for this one. I haven’t seen any mention of my other buddy either, where’s Garrus?

    ME original tips for the folks who discussed having trouble with the Krogan enemies. Use Ammo mods that apply toxic damage over time, it prevents health regeneration, which is the main reason those guys are so damn tough. You have to kill them several times over before they actually die. Poison fixes that. :D