'Completely New' Transition System In Mass Effect 2 Is ... Loading Screens

The demise of the elevator waiting-rooms from Mass Effect 1 was confirmed a while ago. BioWare said in April they'd be replaced by something that "turns the loads themselves into part of the game experience." In other words, loading screens.

Here's what was said back in April, by BioWare's Ray Ray Muzyka:

We have a completely new system to handle transitions between areas that speeds the load times and turns the loads themselves into part of the game experience. It's one of many points of feedback we've heard and directly responded to in enhancing the gameplay in Mass Effect 2.

Now here's what was said on Friday, by BioWare's Thomas R. Roy:

The elevators were made in ME1 so we didn't have to show boring loading screens. However there were a lot of complaints, so we've gone back to loading screens and movies. We still have elevators in ME2, but you don't wait inside them. We'll cut to a loading screen instead. [emphasis added]

We've tried to make the loading screen more interesting this time by adding interesting visuals and information.

The elevator conversations had some funny moments, but hopefully people will enjoy this new system better than the old one!

BioWare's taken a lot of crap for the Mass Effect elevators - it's sort of their horse armour - and really, it's unreasonable to expect a game of this depth to not have loading screens. It'll be on two discs, after all. Maybe they have sped up the wait times. Provided loading times are not ridiculously long, loading screens are a minor and expected inconvenience of gaming, and really not worth outsmarting ourselves over it.

Of course, there still are people who are lovin' an elevator:

I (seriously) would like some old Mass Effect One type elevators in Mass Effect 2. Ya know, for that nastalgia feel. With out slow elevators the ME Universe won't seem the same to me.

Speak for yourself, bub. "Please insert Your 2nd Disc" and Say Goodbye To Elevators [The Save Points via Destructoid]


    I think I preferred the elevators to loading screens. The only criticism I can see for the elevators in the first one is that it was unrealistic. People whom complained that it took too long mustn't have understood that it was to cover up loading. I would rather be kept in the game and listen to some conversations/news than to break up the flow of the game by putting a loading screen up.

    And don't try and sell me on 'interesting visuals and information.' I believe every game with loading screens tries to do that; but you memorise them all in the first hour and they're no longer interesting.

    Colour me unimpressed. If a game like Uncharted 2 can have long, huge loading-screen-free levels then why can't ME2?

      Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 1 used a temp cache on the PS3 hard drive. So during game play, data was copied and deleted.

      For Mass Effect, as one of the Platforms is the 360, Bioware are still keeping to the idea that the lowest common denominator for 360 is the Arcade model that lacks a hard drive.

      Thankfully, there is an install to HDD option these days, but I still think that games should still have an option to keep a cache on the HDD.

    I didn't mind the elevators. I enjoyed listening to the banter thrown around whilst you were waiting in there. Though sometimes, the characters didn't say anything inside em, those moments I did not enjoy.

      Yeah, after a while I started to choose my favourite 2 characters every time and their dialogue during the elevators ran out pretty quickly.

    The problem with the elevators was just to do with that goddamn elevator in the Normandy!. I really doubt people would have complained so much if it weren't for the fact that the Normandy elevator is so insanely slow and pointless. It just left a bad first impression, but I think gamers got a bit worked up over nothing really; you can very easily rapid transit around the Citadel, and you don't run into that many elevators through the rest of the game either.

    I enjoyed the banter and news announcements in the Citadel and Noveria elevators as well. I got a good chuckle out of a many of those, like the Elcor rendition of Hamlet!

    Well god dam. I would have preffered the elevators to a stupid loading screen, are they kidding!?

    The problems with the elevators were they were just unrealistic. I mean in that age of technology, it shouldn't take 10mins to get from one level of your ship, to the next.

    All they needed to do was make them interesting, hell they could of just thrown a crappy space invaders game in the load screens and i'd be happy.

      I remember an old 3D fighting game on the PS1 that did just that....it may have been galaga or space invaders.

        i remember reading somewhere that someone has a patent on loading screen mini-games. that's why we don't really see them much.

    I don't know why the hell people complained. Obviously staying in the game was better than loading screens. You can even check out your characters and how cool they look when they weren't talking (though I expected the character banter to affect your game to some degree).
    This is what happens when idiots overrule people who actually understand why there is a wait.

    Am I the only one that enjoyed the elevators?

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