Mass Effect 2 Carried Over 700 Plot "Hooks" From Original Game Saves

Players of the original Mass Effect had a big impact on the story of the second, if they imported their character save from the first game. BioWare imported some 700 player choices and associated plot points into Mass Effect 2.

BioWare lead cinematic designer Armando Troisi said during today's Mass Effect 2 Game Developers Conference session that it was "the small things" that mattered when carrying over player data from the original Xbox 360 and PC sci-fi role-playing game.

Troisi illustrated this to the development crowd by showcasing a scene from Mass Effect 2 set near a holographic kiosk that played a trailer for a movie based on the events of the original Mass Effect. This particular plot hook involved two choices, one based on Commander Shepard's gender, the other based on a late game choice involving the Council. That meant four Mass Effect 2 design choices impacted by the first game.

With the third game in the Mass Effect trilogy supporting the same save file transfer system, BioWare has their work cut out for them if they plan on supporting another 700 plot points.


    It was good, but not as much of an impact as i would hope. I hope the impact of your decisions is more pronounced in ME3.

    I loved it but, i will always want more :)

      I dunno, I get the feeling we'll see 'long term' effects in ME3. Specter status, Rachni involvement, The Councils survival etc etc. Possibly even 'the obsessed fan' and your treatment of him and all that, come full circle in part 3... I think they've masterfully done it. I liked all the little nods to part 1.

        I doubt the obsessed fan will back seeing how easy it was to accidentally cause him to be hit by a bus.
        I lol'd.

    I remember there being a kiosk in Mass effect 1 on the citadel some guy was complaining about not having a receipt to return a product in game and the guy said he couldnt return it without one despite seeing him buy it
    I heard this same guy later on at the citadel in number 2 saying it took him over two years to get the receipt but he finally had it etc
    It was really amazing how they took small things like that and implemented them

      I hope that guy gets his refund in the next game. I'm going to be looking for him.

    I can't wait to see what they do. I loved all the references to what I'd done in the past - my favourite was seeing the couple with the baby, who I convinced to let the mother have her way and avoid genetic treatment, shopping for their son. Made me feel like stopping to help them really made a difference in the world.

    I'm hoping to come across the quarian trader I helped get off Omega in ME3. I've done everything to help the quarians, and I really want it to pay off in ME3.

    The council survival impact was pretty pathetic in ME2. I did not expect much impact from all the little decisions but the council one I expected to be pretty epic and instead its practically a cutscene.

      I agree, there are a lot of small things that carried over that I really liked. However the council one was one I expected to really make the game different, like there would be 2 definitive experience, one for each outcome. However it really did come down to just a single cutscene and a few remarks here and there. I really hope that the choice at the end of ME2 doesn't go the same way.

    I think the impact was more small things rather than big things. I saved the Rachni queen in #1 but all that was referenced was some Asari sending a message.

    Like an above comment said, hopefully it all pans out for the finale in Mass Effect 3. I felt that the choices in ME2 weren't as large as ME1. Their was the queen, choosing which team mate survived, the council among others aswell that were pretty big decisions and really made me think for a good 5 or 10 minutes and even sometimes on other Playthrough's "googling" what others did to make my decision.

    I didn't feel that - i felt the largest decision was the suicide mission and who survived. And at times you couldn't really decide cause one team member could suddenly die without you intentionally letting them.

    Obviously the council weren't going to play a major role in ME2 but i agree that their cutscene was such a let down. I hope the Citadel returns to proper size in ME3 - they let you explore the main part in ME1 plus ME2. Same with the planets you explored in ME1 and hopefully Earth is featured to some degree - I have no doubt it will though.

    I suspect ME3 will ship with three discs next time around - I pray it does if it means a larger game!!!!

    hmm i wonder if mass effect 3 will carry over more than 700, technically it should since 700 are just from me1, but i doubt theyll get 1400 carrying over.

    I absolutely love the small references here and there. Brings everything to a whole new level of immersion and really makes the character transition from ME1 to ME2 that much better.

    I thought it was a great feature of the game and helped in defining the game. It felt like the same 'world' as it did in ME1 because of the subtle references scattered around the story. The only decision I wish had more impact was the council decision. I know they have to keep the main story following down the same path for all users but I think more could of been done with this.

    Saying that I think many of the decisions from ME1 will have a big impact in ME3. Got a feeling ME3 will be sort of like Dragon Age, organising and recruiting all the species governments to form a fleet against the Reapers. So how you treated all the races throughout ME1 and 2 will alter the recruiting process, makeup of the allied fleet and outcome. For example saving the council members may make it easier for the Asari, Salarian and Turian races to fall in behind Shepard, or saving the Rachni Queen means there will be a fleet of Rachni to assist etc. Just thinking out loud. :P

    I think the major choices you made in 1 (like the council, rachni queen, Ash/kaiden etc...) while not having any real impact at all in Mass 2 i think will have a massive effect on the story of ME 3. I think the reason why it didn't have such a big impact in ME2 is because they still have to import the save from ME2 into ME3 and they don't want too many "threads" (different endings/pathways Shepard took in ME2) when importing into ME3.

    Because ME3 is going to the last in the trilogy concerning the reapers/shepard they said they are going to go crazy and i think quite literally there could be thousands of "threads" and different pathways and endings. From the major decisions like if you saved the Rachni Queen, will she send the Rachni fleets to help you in the final battle against the reapers? To the small decisions like if you sent on the files from the Cerberus base after Admiral Kaohku's death in ME1 to the shadow broker and how that might effect Liara's quest in ME3.

    I suspect most of the payoff is in ME3. A lot of the choices were referenced but didn't actually show up much on screen. ME2's downside was that the story was definitely a middle, and the fact that any character can die shows that they aren't planning for the ME2 cast to be more than unimportant cameos in ME3.

    There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the plot of ME3 is Gondor Calls For Aid: how many people and organisations are you going to be able to answer Shepherd's call to fight the Reapers under his command? That's where so many decisions from ME1 and ME2 seem to point.

    (Incidentally, why do so many people complain about deaths in the suicide mission? If you don't do people's loyalty missions, which require no exploration or anything and are pretty fun, and skip straight to the end, this is your fault. If you are unable to make the extremely easy correct choices, especially since all of them have 2 or 3 answers which will work...)

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