Mass Effect 2 Preview

Microsoft unveiled an extended trailer of the highly anticipated Mass Effect 2 at their E3 2009 Press Conference. The trailer is embedded below, but a warning to Mass Effect fans is necessary, as there are some story spoilers in the trailer. Those who want to go into the sequel without knowing story details beforehand may want to avoid the trailer.

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The trailer reveals several gameplay improvements in Mass Effect 2, including new heavy weapons used by the game’s protagonist. Weapons similar to a grenade launcher and a guided missile launcher are shown, as well as a weapon that launches what appears to be a small nuclear device. The futuristic metropolis seen in the trailer appears to be an entirely new planet, one not seen in the original Mass Effect.

Bioware has also announced an unprecedented feature for Mass Effect 2, in story continuation from the first game. Major decisions made by the player in the first Mass Effect will have significant consequences in the second game, as save games from the original game will be carried on to its sequel. If a player decided to let a important character, or several, die throughout the course of Mass Effect, they will then of course not be present in the sequel. The opposite is also true; if the player made an effort to keep certain characters alive, they will be returning in the sequel. This holds true even for the final, most important decision in Mass Effect, which significantly alters the galaxy in the second game.


Mass Effect 2’s developer, Bioware, also confirmed that they are planning a framerate of a consistent 30 frames per second for Mass Effect 2, a great improvement over the inconsistent framerate of the original. They hope to remove texture pop-in and long loading times, two other issues that plagued the original Mass Effect.

In the released screenshots, Commander Shepard can be seen using one of the newly implemented explosive weapons and fighting husks, one of the enemies in the original game that returns in Mass Effect 2. The husks were a zombie like creature created by the Geth, the most common enemies in the original Mass Effect. The Geth were artificial intelligences, who had a variety of different robotic bodies. They were decimated by the Citadel fleet at the end of the first Mass Effect, but apparently return in the sequel, judging by the presence of the husks.


Bioware is focusing on making the combat more seamless and intense than it was in the first Mass Effect. The player can now use biotic and other combat based powers in real time, without having to pause the game first as they did in the original. Targeting various parts of the enemies will also have an effect, as headshots will do more damage while shots to the leg or arm may blow those limbs off and immobilize or slow down enemies.

Mass Effect 2 is currently scheduled to release in early 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PC.

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