BioWare explains how Mass Effect saves play into the sequel

Friday, 24th July 2009 15:07 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


BioWare’s Casey Hudson has sat down and explained to PC World how players’ Mass Effect saves come into play with Mass Effect 2.

Apparently, the firm has taken every possible ending and integrated it into the sequel so that the experience can be as flawless as possible.

“[Mass Effect 2] is completely different from anything you’ve played before, because it’s literally, potentially threaded into everything that happens,” he explained. “When you’re playing the first game, everything that you do is setting a variable so that as the story progresses we know that you did a certain thing on a certain planet, and then internal to the game, we can reference those things. Your Mass Effect save game contains all of that information.

“When you import it into Mass Effect 2, now we can continue mining all that information. And it’s not just what your ending was, or a couple of the big choices, you know, where we could have stuck a conversation at the beginning and asked you what you did and moved on. This is literally hundreds of things.

“Anytime we have a plot or a character or situation in Mass Effect 2, we think about what you did, potentially, in the first game that might affect said plot or character or situation in the second. We can look at each variable and dynamically change what happens in the moment. It ranges from small things like, by way of example, Conrad Verner was a fan of Commander Shepard’s that you met in the first game, and it’s like you meet this guy in an alley and you can be nice to him or you can be a jerk to him, and at the time you might have been thinking of it as just a trite role-playing convention, good-guy bad-guy, and that’s that.

“Jump forward two years. Now you’re playing Mass Effect 2, and oh my god, who’s this, it’s Conrad Verner! And based on what you’ve done, you realize that while the moment in the first game maybe seemed throwaway, now Conrad’s back and involved in another plot in a game you’re playing two years later…and what you did two years ago is meaningfully affecting what’s happening.

“That’s a small example.”

More through the link.



  1. ChrisPilote

    Blimey, I think I just wet my pants.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Michael O'Connor

    This is certainly sounding cool. Sometimes I wonder why direct sequels don’t do this more often, especially those with branching stories like Mass Effect.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Blerk

    I think I was nice to Conrad. He looked like he might go psycho and kill someone.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    @Michael Because Bioware is the only company that does it right

    I am surprised Casey didn’t drop some more spoilers….

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Michael O'Connor

    “@Michael Because Bioware is the only company that does it right”

    Sad thing is, that’s really not too far from the truth.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. MushroomStamp

    I finished the first one.. but I don’t remember squat about the story or if I was a good/bad guy.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. joshua nash

    so they way i read this is that all our choices for every thing are taken into account, ummmmm…. i think i’m going to have to go back a play the game so i can make sure that my choices don’t wind up biting shepard in the ass

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    I have 3 character the game is so good that I tried to take as much of advantage of this as I can. Have a Paragon Sentinel pro alien and then Renegade Vanguard anti-alien and a Infiltrator Paragon with no alien companions…

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Goliath

    I think I’m going to replay Mass Effect in the coming months and really build a Commander Shepherd, I’d like to progress into Mass Effect 2. Many of the choice I made, seem insignificant then but now I’m wondering if they may come back to bite me in the ass.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. fearmonkey

    My question is how does my stats work when I import my old character? Does my returning character start with her/his prior stat choices? or are those blanked out, and how would the game explain that i have to start over?

    If the game includes new abilities, will I get to expand my old character to use them, while keeping the stats on my old abilities?

    #10 6 years ago
  11. satsugai

    Too bad I uninstalled Mass Effect when I finished it and don’t have my saves anymore. :(

    #11 6 years ago
  12. frostquake

    If you insist on using saves from a previous games, then BioWare should store the saves on their own servers. My Hard Drive died from a corrupted save from Halo 3, and it ate through all the other saves like a worm, so I had to buy a new 120 Hard Drive..When I tried to use the Transfer Cable, a screen popped up and said my Hard Drive was corrupted and nothing would transfer…so No Go for me!

    #12 6 years ago

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