Illusive Men: New Mass Effect 2 Footage

People in real life should get tattoos like these.

When I look deep into your eyes I can see your greatest desires. Don’t be afraid. Ah yes, I see it now. You want three more trailers with in-game content for next year’s Mass Effect 2. Well, hold my hand and join me beneath the jump where I have a little surprise for you.

Here’s a sneaky peak from what must be the opening, revealing that Shepard has been sleeping for quite a while. Also, the “Elusive Man” (really?) seems to be voiced by the lovechild of Martin Sheen and Casey Kasem (“I have a letter from a man in Austin, Texas, and here’s what he writes: Dear Mr President…”):

Then there’s a bunch of combat, showing off some really cool moves, and I think making it very clear how much it’s changed since the first game:

And this third video shows off a conversation, which doesn’t really reveal a great deal. But I do wonder why they don’t have any videos featuring the female Shepard.


  1. jti says:

    There still seems to be that “running past you in queue shooting and looking stupid” AI there in the firefights. I wonder if they do it all the time, like in the past…

    • bill says:

      lol.. i haven’t played ME1, but the first thing i thought of when i saw that combat video was the shooting galleries in zelda games.

  2. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    The conspicuous lack of female Shepard disturbs all ME fans. Well, those who aren’t hard of hearing anyway.

    • Jon says:

      So true :(

    • Carra says:

      A red haired one!

    • John Walker says:

      That’s clearly who Shepard is. A red-haired women with a slight over-bite. And anything else is HERESY.

    • mrmud says:

      From what I remember there were no female Shepards in the trailers for ME(1) either.
      I dont think there is any reason to fear.

    • Dante says:

      Yeah, generic male Shepherd was the only one to appear in the trailers for ME1.

    • Funky Badger says:

      Presumably they want to keep it consistent for the less nerdy viewers, e.g. those that haven’t constructed shrines to the Red-Headed Goddess of Destruction and Slighty Tedious Driving Side Quests…

      Also, good that G-Man’s got a new gig…

  3. jti says:

    Maybe she had a sex change because only men can be real heroes? ;o)

  4. EDGEGTF™ says:

    I don’t see what was in the first trailer that needed an age rating. I don’t think even the most zealous anti-gaming lobbiers in Australia or Germany would rate a man sat in a chair as 18+ material.

    Combat is looking nice, after Dragon Age I’m looking forward to playing an in-depth game that doesn’t require constant pausing and a mute player avatar.

    • Seniath says:


      Won’t someone think of the children, etc.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      Oh the horrors! A man sitting in a chair smoking cigs!

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      So the Cigarette Smoking Man is in Mass Effect 2? I wonder what Mulder would have to say about that.

    • po says:

      Well today my date of birth was 1/1/1923, and tomorrow it will be 1/1/. It’s not going to stop anyone viewing, and just pisses people off who are over 18. A bit like DRM.

    • EGTF says:

      Well, I know one conversation with a mysterious smoking man I’d like to see in Mass Effect 2 – link to

    • Shalrath says:

      Is “Cigarette Smoking Man” an American thing? We (in Canada) all called him Cancer Man. I’m trying to figure out how Cigarette Smoking Man is a good, short nickname, haha.

  5. kikito says:

    Gosh Half Life’s G-Man’s shadow is large.

  6. Alexander Norris says:

    mShep makes a perfectly fine Paragon, you know. All this talk of his VA being rubbish is exaggerated. He just voices most of the neutral dialogue in a monotone “I am a professional soldier” drone which sounds fine when you’re zooming around being a Paragon (makes you sound like you’ve got everything under control because you’re just that good), but breaks down as soon as you switch from “hello I am Shepard” to “WHERE IS THE BOMB I WILL KILL YOU AND NOW I AM MAKING AN ANGRYFACE” Renegade options.

    Jennifer Hale just makes a great angry soldier woman, is all.

    • Stew says:

      I played on mute with subtitles. That way, my mShep was voiced by Avery Brooks and my Garrus by Rene Auberjonois. Suited my playthrough style remarkably well.

    • Damien Stark says:

      Agreed, and that’s exactly how I’ve played it. My first play-through was with Paragon m-Shepard, and he just seemed like serious boy scout. Not bad at all though, and still above the voice acting standards of most games. I was impressed with the dialog and voices all around. I’m replaying it now as a Renegade f-Shepard, and I’m even more impressed.

      Like others have said, it makes sense that they’re focusing on box-cover-guy for the promos, but it’d be crazy to take away female Shepard as an option – especially if they’re talking about continuing with your existing saved characters.

    • Dante says:

      By an astonishing co-incidence, my Shepard looked exactly like Avery Brooks.

      Anyway, I don’t get all this “female Shepard is the only Shepard” stuff, both voice overs were excellent. Some people just like playing as women and seem to be going out of their way to justify that.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      I tried a female Shepard, but her physique is more underfed model than heroic soldier. I couldn’t really get behind that.

      My Shepard looks somewhat like an early-30s J K Simmons.

    • Funky Badger says:

      jsutclife: Jebus, I’m getting the fear now. Shillinger….. Innnnnnnnn….. Spaaaaaaaaaaaace!

  7. ExplosiveCoot says:

    Male Shepherd’s Canadian accent definitely detracted from my enjoyment of the first game, it’s unfortunate to see it re-appear in Mass Effect 2.

    Also, did the combat video remind anyone else of Deus Ex: Invisible War a little bit? The models in ME2 seem to have an “uncanny-valley” quality that I didn’t pick up on in the first game. Then again it might just be the console-y FoV or something.

    Despite that, I did quite like the look of the “charging-through-the-terrain” power, and I don’t see anything here to change ME2 from a day-one purchase in my book.

    • Pantsman says:

      He sounds perfectly normal to me, but then I’m Canadian.

  8. Andy says:

    Are we sure ‘Illusive Man’ isn’t voiced by Martin Sheen? It should one hell of a lot like him.
    Also, is it confirmed that the female Shepherd isn’t available in this? She was a phenomenal character.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Last I’d heard, Martin Sheen was indeed voicing the Elusive/Illusive/whatever Cerberus Dude Who Hides In The Shadows.

      Also, I don’t see why femShep and Jennifer Hale wouldn’t be in this, they just haven’t shown any of her stuff yet. There’d be little point to letting you continue your save from the first game if they didn’t let you play with one of the two characters.

    • dancingcrab says:

      Oh, Kaiden (from ME)!! I know he played another character. IMDb doesn’t help us though, so who knows.

  9. against says:

    I’m nervous about the apparent lack of hot chicks in fetishistic space armour.

    • Ybfelix says:

      It seems that the sequel has significantly improved on “civilian” fashion lines, first Thane’s zipper and Subject Zero’s non-clothing, now this.

  10. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    But I do wonder why they don’t have any videos featuring the female Shepard.

    Bioware only use the ‘iconic’ male Shepherd for publicity stuffs, so I wouldn’t read too much into it.

    Looking good overall, and it’s nice to see the hybrid classes getting some unique talents (or at least I presume that’s the case from watching the Vanguard video).

  11. maykael says:

    I think it’s Elusive Man, but still…. really?! No better name? “Mr. G” has a better ring to it:)

  12. Speedwaystar says:

    Surely he’s more the Smoking Man, from the X-Files?

  13. aap says:

    shemale feppard

    (yes it is very boring at work)

    • Lilliput King says:

      Feppard would lack credibility as an interstellar agent.

  14. Corporate Dog says:

    I also suspect that female Shepherd isn’t “canon” Shepherd, just like my blonde-haired-and-goateed male Shepherd who looks like a buff, action-hero version of me, isn’t “canon” Shepherd.

    “Canon” Shepherd is the guy who’s on the box cover, and thus, in all the promotional materials.

  15. skizelo says:

    I admire a writer who can just say “ah to hell with it” and give a character as generic a name as he deserves. Professor Morton Soulless is another good one.
    Any bets on what the “ripped from the headlines” one-act side-quest will be? I think it’ll be on Space-Bankers and their Space-Bonuses.

  16. Clovis says:

    ME was the first RPG I have played with a somewhat detailed physical character creation system where my creation felt like the REAL Sheppard. I’ve always thought my characters were obviously just some mess that I created myself. If someone walked in and saw my character they would assume I made it, but if they saw my version of Sheppard they would assume he just came with the game. Others here seem to have had a similar response to the system.

    I’ll definitely be creating a new character for ME2 though, and it will be a girl. I don’t know why I have been playing games with male avatars for so long. No big deal if it is first person, but if I’m going to be staring at their backside for 40+ hours….

    (Female protaganist for GTAV please!)

  17. Rath says:

    I’m wondering why the fabulous looking Collectors’ Edition hasn’t appeared on the UK version of Amazon yet.

  18. dancingcrab says:

    He sounds like the same dude that voiced Carth (from KotOR) and, um, some other BioWare character. Putting on a Sheen voice, of course.

  19. Kenny says:

    Combat looks a little Meh to me, too much running around in the open getting shot and not dieing, unlike the first ME were use of cover was important.

    Hopefully the enemies in the gameplay vid are just lower level mooks

  20. Mordarke says:

    Looks alright for the most part but then i’ve never been a fan of pew-pew lasers and spaceships. I remember the first Mass Effect being a good few days worth of timesink, even if it was not totally memorable.

  21. bill says:

    Elusive Man???!?!

    Is it me, or is the sheppard voice actor much more wooden than the others? Actually, i’m not sure if it’s all him… some of the lines he has to deliver must be pretty impossible.

    “George, you can write this shit, but you can’t say it.”

  22. Steve the Imperial Guardsmen says:

    Have they said whether or not the boring, height-mapped worlds will be getting a revamp? While I admit I did enjoy a good romp in the Mako whilst blasting pirates and geth from a great distance, the boring and often times ugly non-story worlds turned me off of ME at times. Especially that god forsaken moon with the derange biotic cultists. I mean you couldn’t throw in some trees or lakes? They all just seemed like different colors of the same ugly, mountainous terrain.

    Well, anyway I loved the original ME, and ME2 only looks to be better than it’s predecessor. Granted the name “elusive man” is a little on the lame side, but Martin Sheen immediately makes up for that. Although I’m not so sure how I feel about the removal of the medi-gel in favor of a regenerative health scheme, granted you could obtain armor mods that did the same thing in ME, but having it straight from the get go seems kinda like another appeal to the casual gamers who have a hard time taking cover and playing slowly. Sort of like the new heat sink ejection system, god forbid you fire in bursts and not like a wild chimp.

    Regardless it looks very promising, and those new abilities and animations looks spectacular.

    • Steve the Imperial Guardsmen says:

      Oh and one last thing that did bother me about ME was that every time I tried to make a custom character, he always ended up looking Asian, any attempts to make him appear Caucasian ended up with him looking like an elderly Asian gentlemen who managed to survive a horrific bleaching accident.

    • Kester says:

      They’ve said they’re putting more effort into the sidequests this time, so hopefully that means less worlds that look procedurally generated and more realistic ones. Combat changes don’t bother me one way or the other; I’m one of the few who actually enjoyed combat in the original (even if the stupidity of your squadmates sometimes grated) but I don’t think the changes will ruin it. The only thing that concerns me is the X-TREME vibe I’m getting from the marketing, but I’m putting that down to advertisers and assuming the game will come through.

      Oh, and on the Asian Shepherd, I gave him a full beard and it solved that problem :D

    • Dante says:

      Surely regenerating health encourages you to take cover and play slowly? So you can, you know, regenerate.

      Anyway, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with regenerating health, in fact it’s superior to medpacks in nearly every way.

    • Steve the Imperial Guardsmen says:

      I suppose you have a point, I guess what it comes down is that I’m worried it would make the game easier than it already is for certain classes. *cough*Adept*cough*

    • kromagg says:

      It’s supposed to be easier for Adepts? I think I might be, ahem, doing something wrong then. (found soldier lots easier, but then maybe it’s my many years of FPS trainage)

  23. 1stGear says:

    They’ve claimed that the side-quest worlds have been revamped and will now be much more interesting and unique, not just the same wasteland landscape leading into the same base/cave/mine with different enemies.

  24. TeeJay says:

    I am really trying to get into ME but the interminable cut-scenes, screeds of pointless text to read and occasional clunky combat is sending me to sleep (and the consol styliings set my teeth on edge). I can’t yet find any actual *game* underneath the very pretty interactive made for-TV sci-fi. How far through does it turn into an actual game?

    • Clovis says:

      You should give up. Besides combat, those were my favorite parts. The combat was ok. I really did play it as an interactive Sci-Fi movie where I could control the amount of exposition. I went heavy on that myself since I found the alien races and world pretty interesting. But as a pure “game” I guess it was pretty “meh”. As a whole entertainment product it really has been one of my favorite games. Can’t wait for ME2.

    • Vinraith says:

      “How far through does it turn into an actual game?”

      It basically doesn’t. It opens up a bit and lets you choose where to go and what to do to a limited extent, but in reality it’s still entirely comprised of cut-scenes, expository dialogue, and combat. There’s nothing else there. I thought it was alright for one play through, but can’t imagine going through all that again.

  25. westyfield says:

    There’s a male Shepard?

  26. Dante says:

    For the people speculating, yes it is Martin Sheen:–martin-sheen

    Honestly, it’s going to be hard not to answer everything he says with “I serve at the pleasure of the President”

  27. Dante says:

    Oh, and one final comment, I’m totally not worried about the Mass Effect 2 marketing any more, since Dragon Age’s proved to be so misleading.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, even the Dragon Age stuff that was just snippets of gameplay, like the character introduction videos were still horribly misleading, as they crammed way too much of the wrong stuff into one quick burst of promotional material.

      The ‘Meet Zevran’ video they released a couple of weeks before release was cringeworthy. Zevran in-game? Hilarious. So if they’ve managed to screw things up equally badly for the Mass Effect 2 advertising, then we might well have a gem on our hands.

      I had quite a few gripes about Mass Effect 1, but Dragon Age showed me that Bioware haven’t lost their old touch. If they can do that again with ME2, I’ll be buying it pretty close to launch.

  28. Poltergeist says:

    Glad NPC’s are now able to walk and do stuff during conversations, instead of saying a sentence, performing an action during an odd pause and then continuing to talk. And I really love the fast talking aliens.

  29. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Looks like a nice game to me, just recently bought the first game, so its all still fresh for me.

    I love that last video, that was funny :D.

  30. monkeybreadman says:

    Why dont they release a video walkthrough of the entire game then we dont have to buy it.

    I dont like loads of videos of singleplayer games, i want some surprises to be left for when i actually play it. Not ‘oh i remember this bit from the vids i kill this lot then a big robot comes and i have to kill that’.

    Theyve already got my money because of the first game, and the fact that they all live in bungalows now

    • Funky Badger says:

      Dude – why are you reading a thread about Mass Effect videos?

  31. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Oooh, looks sweet. I’m totally looking forward to Mass Effect 2. Any chance to sex up those alien ladies…

  32. Quests says:

    The combat is indecent.
    But i guess that’s the console retards side of the game.

  33. DSX says:

    You’re a dwarf, yet your name is Shepard? How can this be…