Back in 2007 an awesome game was released on Xbox 360. Despite having several key features removed from it, Mass Effect was a landmark game for me. On top of the twenty straight hours of story was another twenty to thirty hours of sidequests, including several dozen planets to scan and explore. It was a great way to build the game up as well as enhance the feel of the sci-fi universe the game portrayed, and even inspired a story from me based on the events on one of the uncharted worlds. Of course, I thought the story was quite good when I wrote it (I wouldn't have put it up here if I didn't) but, having read it recently in preparation for this post, I've come to realise it's tosh. You know those bland blog posts that are all "I did this and then I did that and it was good." and don't make any attempt to make the writing entertaining? It reads like one of those, just in space. Anyway I've included the link to my Trebin vacation story for anyone still interested, but that's not what this post is about.
On Friday we should receive a copy of Mass Effect 2, and the reviews linked on the right seem to think we'll get our money's worth. Two and a half years after first playing the original (which I still pick up and play occasionally) the sequel is out. Now this isn't like any regular sequel. It's not just the continuation of a story, it's the continuation of multiple stories and decisions made in the first game. Conceived as a trilogy, one of Mass Effect's defining features is that your actions in one game will be transferred to the next games in the series by importing game saves. This sort of thing has been done before with the ability to take levelled up characters into new games, but never on this level before. Every decision has the potential to change the world you'll be playing in come the next game. And it's that continuation of Shepard's decisions which has got me most excited about this game release.
I'll finally find out if I gave too much info away in a live interview. I'll see if my crazed fan went off the deep end when I shoved a gun in his face and told him to go live his life and stop concentrating on mine. I'll see if my decision to deny releasing the corpse of someone killed by a new weapon to their family so the techies could study it and come up with new armour was a good one. The woman who I advised to have gene therapy on her unborn baby (the baby has a chance of suffering a genetic disease, but also a chance of dying from the therapy) by her deceased husband will hopefully play a role as I'm most interested in the ramifications of that decision. These and dozens of other decisions I made will play some part in the new game and the one that follows it, as well as this game presenting new scenarios to make choices about. I know enough about the game to know I'll be allied with the shady Cerberus crime organisation this time, a group who I insulted and stole from last time, so I'm a little worried about how that will turn out. I also know I'll be running into the characters who were in my party the last time. As three of the six members had a chance to die in the last game, with me deciding between two of them to rescue and barely being able to stop another from killing us by killing him or talking him round, it'll be interesting to see what role they play in the game.
So yeah, new game tomorrow, so I may not be on much for a while. Maybe I'll have a better story when I come back.