Cheats and Walkthroughs
It's likely that many gamers who pick up Mass Effect 2 in January will have played the original Mass Effect and still have a save file on their hard drive. Some of them will choose to import that save, bringing their decisions (and consequences) from Mass Effect into the sequel -- but you don't have to. You can start fresh in Mass Effect 2. But how does the game determine what happened in Mass Effect, then? Some massively important choices were left to the player in the original game.
"There's a variety of ways we can make the decision of what happens in Mass Effect 2 if you've chosen not to import a save game from Mass Effect 1," explained BioWare co-founder and CEO Ray Muzyka during an interview with me at a Mass Effect 2 event in San Francisco this week.
During my hour spent with Mass Effect 2, I didn't have my hard drive with me, so I was forced to create a character from scratch, a Commander Shepard without a history. At one point, characters started asking me about events that occurred in Mass Effect. When it happened, I wondered if the game was giving me an opportunity to pick and choose how the original played out. Turns out, I was right.
"In some cases," said Muzyka, "you get asked a question -- 'What do you remember about that? What happened at this point in time?' -- and you get to decide on the fly. You actually do get a bit of a choice still. In other cases, we make assumptions based on what the majority of fans are going to find really compelling and what we think is the best artistic choice, the most emotionally engaging way to have the story unfold."
Essentially, you can pick and choose how certain parts of Mass Effect will affect the events and characters in Mass Effect 2, but that's not the case for every situation. In order to have a completely personalized experience, that means using a save file or tracking down a copy of Mass Effect.
"Ether way, it's a great experience," he concluded, "whether it's a personalized, customized experience reflecting your choices from the first game or whether it's one one where you start fresh in a new game in Mass Effect 2 right off the bat."
I didn't take the decisions in Mass Effect that seriously. I'm tempted to revisit Mass Effect to give those moments more pause, but I know I won't have time. Now, I need to decide if I use my save.