Mass Effect 2 Inbound to PS3

So at Gamescom, BioWare announced that Mass Effect 2 would be arriving on the PlayStation 3 in January 2011. This is both good and bad. It's good that PS3 owners who haven't played the game on an Xbox 360 or PC can finally get in on the epic space opera that is Mass Effect. It's an amazing game with a great story and deserves to be enjoyed by more players. The bad is that these PS3 owners will be starting at Mass Effect 2 and not be able to import their saves from Mass Effect 1. There is so much of the story in ME2 that is dependant on the choices the player makes in the first game that these players will be missing out on a lot of the experience.

According to a VG247 interview with BioWare's boss Ray Muzyka, there will be a "seamless introduction" that will introduce new players to the world and what has happened up to the start of ME2. This is great and all, but there are so many things that may or may not happen and characters that may or may not die that no one can really say that this is the thing that happened. Is BioWare just going to force certain choices on the player from ME1 or will this introduction be like a choose-your-own-adventure type that will let the player make a choice at critical parts? A choose-your-own-adventure intro would be much better because at least the player could make the major choices, but even if this is the case they will still be missing out on many side missions and character interactions from the first game. In ME2 there are also character interactions and emails that depend on choices made on side missions from the first game. Will the players even receive any of these emails from or meet these minor characters in the PS3 version of ME2? Will these be cut out completely? Or will the player find out about them during the course of the game with BioWare basically determining what choices were made in the first game?

What BioWare/EA should do is release a Blu-ray that has both ME1 and ME2 on it or release it as a two-disc set containing both games. This won't be possible since ME1 was actually published by Microsoft, but it would give a chance for PS3-only players to play the complete story. The PS3 version will have extra content, but most, if not all of it, will be the DLC. No matter the kind of introduction BioWare has planned, PS3 players who haven't played the first game will still be missing out on 1/3 of the story because they didn't actually do it themselves (At this point I'm sure it's safe to assume that ME3 will also be on the PS3). As for myself, I'll probably go through it on PS3 again. It's such a great game and I'm curious as to how everything that is supposed to carry over from ME1 will be handled in the PS3 version. For you Trophy whores, I was able to obtain the 1000+ Achievement score on my first play-through on the Xbox 360, so if the PS3 version is set up the same way it will be possible to get a platinum on one play-through, too. I hate choosing one console over another, but for the Mass Effect series I'll tell you that if you can play it on an Xbox 360 or a PC, do it. ME2 on PS3 will still be an amazing game, but to get the full story and the full ramifications of the choices you make this is a series you'll want to play elsewhere. There are likely many people who didn't play the first game and jumped right into the second on the 360 or PC when it came out, but that's their own fault. With everything that carries over from the save file, I can't imagine playing the second game without playing the first and I kind of feel sorry for PS3 only players because they won't even have that option. Well, whatever your choices are, here's the debut trailer for ME2 on PS3.

- Shawn - 8/21/10