SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t completed Mass Effect 2 it’s advised that you skip past this article. Otherwise enjoy and feel free to leave your comments below.
When Mass Effect 2 finally surfaced last month, fans around the world where treated to a phenomenal experience crafted exclusively by the infamous RPG studio, BioWare. Now that you have had a chance to playthrough the story in its entirety, I decided to point out some key story plots that may be explored in the final chapter of the trilogy. Feel free to express your thoughts on the matter and let us know if your team survived the suicide mission.
One of the most questionable characters in the game comes in the form of the controversial Illusive Man. While actor Martin Sheen provided an excellent soundtrack as the advisor, his motives are unconventional and sinister at best. If you recall the mission where you investigate an abandoned Collector Ship base, the whole scenario plays out to be nothing more then a cleverly planned ambush attack. This could have been used as a measuring stick to determine if Shepard and his team are truly up to par for the battle that’s ahead of them.
Once you beat the game though, further suspicions are cast upon this significant character. If you chose to save the Collector technology to aid you in defeating the Reapers, then the last shot you’ll see is of the Illusive Man sporting a sadistic grin on his face shortly after dismissing you from the mission debriefing. At the same time you also have an option to detach yourself from working with him by simply telling him to screw off. Regardless of which decision you choose, it’s clear that this will greatly affect you in Mass Effect 3. BioWare succeeds in keeping the suspense going within their stories which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if Illusive Man ends up becoming a villain down the road.
Another aspect that will be further emphasized in the next chapter will be a commitment to maintain team chemistry throughout the most challenging of missions. There are glimpses of this system already implemented in the sense that each individual crew member has a side mission that you have to complete to gain their allegiance. This becomes vital as you get deeper into the game because if a team member isn’t fully focused on the mission at hand, then they will not be prepared to follow you to the depths of hell and back. Furthermore the way BioWare goes about showing the consequences of your actions is the main reason why this game is in a class of it’s own.
A fight that arises between Jack and Miranda forces you to side with one or the other which ultimately becomes the difference maker in determining which one you end up having sex with later in the game. Luckily, not every conflict has to be cut and dry though as demonstrated by you being able to successfully breakup a fight between Tali and Legion. Looking ahead to Mass Effect 3, further conversations with crew members after the suicide mission reveal many things including whether or not they agree with the way you handled the final mission. One very interesting conversation with Grunt unveils his revelation that he doesn’t like Turians and suggests a future rift between him and Garrus. This all but assures the next game will continue to challenge your decisions while giving you several different personalities to balance at the same time.
When the first cinematic trailer of Mass Effect 2 dropped I took a personal liking to the stealthy assassin, Thane. Imagine my surprise when I found out what the delicate nature of his story was and the amount of emotions that can come from one character. As a dying hero who has just rekindled his relationship with his son, you can’t help but feel that Thane may meet his eventual demise in the next chapter. I recall saying that the genius of these characters is that BioWare could easily provide spinoffs for each story long after Mass Effect 3 is done.
However considering that the next game will be the definitive end to Shepard’s story, I would imagine that unexpected deaths of squad mates will be a part of the formula. This rule of thumb may not be accurate if any of your teammates died during the last mission. Even more intriguing is that some characters have children who may eventually replace their parents in those roles. If the strategy to introduce these characters only to have them be reborn later is the goal of the creative team then I highly applaud their efforts for continuing to craft characters you care about.
Since the beginning of the Mass Effect saga, Commander Shepard has been notorious for being a badass hero with a desire to smash both human and alien females. While Fox News fought the tame sex scenes in an effort to claim the game as video game porn, many fans saw them as brief encounters in the background of an epic story. Mass Effect 2 provided several avenues for you to choose from for female companionship by creating a relationship dynamic that grows over time. You aren’t able to physically have sex until the beginning of the suicide mission, which further emphasizes that there could be bigger repercussions later.
If you are daring enough to spend your time with Tali, she warns of potential health risks but is still willing to go the distance with you. What if this could translate into an offspring with both human and alien abilities? Remember that while Mass Effect is only a trilogy there are no rules for creating another game in the genre with Shepard’s child as the main protagonist. There is also a slight chance that Shepard could be headed for a rather uncomfortable meeting between a current and past lover. Not only would this setup a classic Jerry Springer moment but it would also add a balance of comedy to an otherwise intensely dark storyline. I’m not suggesting they add any baby mama drama to the equation but the idea off adding far reaching effects to this story can only further improve it’s stock value over time.
The dramatic scale of Mass Effect 2’s story is a classic that will be remembered for several years to come. The idea of the bar being raised in the next chapter is one I’m highly confident BioWare can surpass. The final encounter with the Reapers needs to be heavily defined and far more superior then the Collectors. If you recall, the end of the game delivers a message that Harbinger is coming and there is a focus on a partnership between the Collectors and The Reapers.
The final encounter with The Human Reaper (A Terminator Clone) isn’t challenging enough and I fully anticipate new adversaries the next time around. When you decide to destroy the Collector Base there are hints that you may not be prepared for what’s ahead as a result. The effects of your choices were beautifully illustrated in how you choose to give orders during the final mission. Mass Effect 3 should exceed this and make you feel like the experience really is a life or death type of situation.