Mass Effect 2 screenshot
Mass Effect 2 screenshot How do your relationships with your party members change following dialogue decisions?

CH: This is a game that's about the characters. Part of the idea of preparing your team for a suicide mission is it's all about recruiting the characters you want to take with you, making them loyal, making sure they have everything they need to be equipped and ready to go into battle with you, building up your ship. So it's all of these things that tie into the main storyline, but it comes back to those characters that you're getting. You end up doing missions to go out and recruit them. First you have to talk with them once you have them and find out what makes them tick and understand them. Then you'll figure out what mission you need to do to make them loyal. You have an ongoing relationship with each character. But loyalty is a huge factor in the overall concept of the game, and then that's how it ties in with your relationships.

Maybe in previous games you would talk to characters and there's a relationship there, but again, it might not tie back into the main storyline. Here, the reason you end up talking to your characters, outside of the fact that it's interesting and there's a relationship there, is that you can figure out what it is that's going to make them loyal to you. And then you go and do a mission where you learn a lot about their back story. It unfolds in a way you can learn about and appreciate that character. So you're developing their loyalty, you're developing their relationship, and then we also have a number of romance options in this game where if you develop a relationship over the course of the game, some of them will become love interests. Whereas in Mass Effect 1 there was a love interest for male or female, and then Liara was another option, in this one, male and female characters each have several love interests.

It adds a further degree of conflict, actually, because you're thinking about who's more interesting as a love interest, but also it's interesting that the loyalty system and the love interest aspect both involve conflict. You might make someone loyal to you and then you make someone else loyal to you, the next time you come back to the ship, they might be fighting. You go down to find out what's going on, and now you have to decide or talk them down or come up with a way to try and keep them both loyal to you. And then likewise with the love interests, you might find yourself conflicted about who you find more interesting, and then if you pursue one, then that can block your ability to progress with the others. So there's a lot more sophistication there. And there's more character, too. There are ten characters you can get as part of your total team to draw from, versus the six in the original Mass Effect.

Mass Effect 2 screenshot What did you do to make sub-quest-based exploration more fun and varied?

CH: That was a part of Mass Effect that we had interesting feedback on. At one point we were even wondering if we should keep it because it was probably the part people wanted improved the most. So one way you can interpret that is, well, maybe it's just not an important enough part of the experience, like we don't need it. But actually when we thought about it, it was clear part of the reason people wanted us to improve that aspect was because they love the idea that you can take your ship wherever you want in the galaxy, and you can go out, fly to the some planet on the edge of the galaxy and find something weird and wonderful there, and explore it however you want. It was the richness and the variety people wanted more of. So that's what we did.

We made a few changes to the way you navigate the Normandy so you get a better sense of exploration, you actually move the position of the Normandy versus moving a crosshair for where you want to go. You have fuel and space probes you burn to explore deeper into space. And then we also added a mini-game that is a new way to get resources off of a planet. So instead of having to drive around on a planet in the vehicle as a mission, where you're just really picking up rocks and having to jump out and do that kind of stuff, now it's part of a really cool planet exploration mini-game where you're spinning the planet around underneath you, you can feel with the controller rumbling, you can hear the sound of anomalies and resources being picked up by your sensors and close in on them and send space probes. So that part is a lot more interesting. Running around and getting resources is now in a cool mini-game instead of you doing it on foot.

But now, also when you are doing this mini-game you can find locations. We call them N7 missions. You find things that only Commander Shepard can investigate. When you find one of those, that's an N7 mission. Our approach with N7 missions is that really every N7 mission has to provide you something amazing and different in terms of the gameplay or what you get to do, than you would be able to do anywhere else in the game. Now when you find missions out there in the uncharted worlds, there are always missions where something special happens, and you get really good handcrafted gameplay and art that you can't see elsewhere in the game. I think people will find them to be really rewarding, really rich, because there's something different around every corner.

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User Comments

IndoorHeroes's Avatar


Yes. Also, buy Mass 1. It's brilliant even now.
Posted 10:43 on 10 December 2009
SexyJams's Avatar


Wow, I'd hate to type this up.
I never had Mass Effect 1;
Should I be looking forward to Mass Effect 2?
Posted 21:32 on 07 December 2009
player66's Avatar


I simply can't wait for this game to come out. ME1 was a slow burn, but when it finally got it's hooks into me, I replayed it twice without a second thought. I just hope they haven't gone overboard and skimped on the polish. That was one thing ME1 did wrong.
Posted 21:14 on 02 December 2009
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


Sweet lord, that just sounds immense. Most anticipated game of the generation for me now. 31st of January is going to be exquisite.
Posted 16:37 on 02 December 2009
Mark_S's Avatar



All I need is a coffee and this is my entire evening sorted.
Posted 15:39 on 02 December 2009

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 29/01/2010
Developer: Bioware
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: RPG
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 151 11
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