I’ve spent well over 160 hours into the Mass Effect series on the 360. I’m eagerly chewing my way through the books and there’s more than a tingle of excitement in my spine about the series coming to PS3. Actually, it’s more than a little tingle. This is a little more personal but back in March, I was burgled and my 360 HDD was taken. It meant I’m going to have to complete Mass Effect 1 and 2 all over again. I wish for the day when cloud gaming comes to console, Steam coming to PS3 via Portal 2 seems exciting. At the prospect of having Mass Effect 2 on the PS3, I concluded that there’s a chance that I won’t have to delve deep into the first title for the eighth time in a row. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid title and I prefer it (plot-wise) to the sequel. But the sequel is a character driven epic that outshines its predecessor in everything but the plot department. To make up with it we have completely new friends to bond with.
So, since Mass Effect 1 was published by Microsoft Game Studios; it is literally impossible to publish it on the PS3. The second one was published by EA, there’s a lot of creative distribution whacky whacky googlies that stop Bioware pumping out the first one on the PS3. So, how can they bring new players up to speed with the lore of Mass Effect while not alienating the cross-platform players or those wanting to experience a different platform?
- Player choice – Depending on your actions in Mass Effect 2, plot elements from the first game will arise. If you talk to Cerberus like a jerk; they’ll mention about you destroying their bases in the previous game. If you lean towards paragon – the rachni queen moment will spring up and Wrex will live. If you lean towards renegade – Wrex won’t appear at all and the rachni queen won’t appear. On the fly emergent decisions that effect the course of the story, and I don’t really see the need for explanations about certain things. Wrex is Wrex and the rachni queen already says “Cheers for saving us.”
- New beginnings – At the start of a new Mass Effect 2 save, without importing, you can decide whether Captain Anderson or Udina became the council guy for the humans. I’m not sure what else you can decide, but they could perhaps expand this to just a simple check list for experienced players to tick and mark.
- Interactive graphic novel – I’ve heard this being thrown around a lot and it seems like a great idea. The whole plot of Mass Effect 1 would be told through an interactive graphic novel at the start of the game; allowing the player to make select choices about Wrex, the council and all that good stuff.
- Wrex – Just give us Wrex. Please. Disregard everything else, get rid of all the crew members and just have Kelly Chambers and Wrex strolling around the place. I want Wrex to survive to Mass Effect 3; he is one of the best friends of all time. Of all time. I really hope he appears in Mass Effect 3.
- Bioware network – A good idea would be to link all the Cerberus networks into a cross-platform thing available on the Bioware website. It would allow you to upload your choices and ‘favourite’ crewmates and so forth. Not only is there a social dynamic to this, but you can link it up to any of the platforms you play Mass Effect 2 or 3 on and import that save data/choice sheet from the network. It effectively means you can play Mass Effect 1 on the 360, Mass Effect 2 on the PS3 and the third title on the PC.
- Don’t mess up – Please, just do one of the above suggestions or at least give us some form of choice. It is a sequel, but I expect to still be able to have characters and plot developments from the first game intact. Leaving a character out, who I would otherwise save their life, without my interaction is almost barbaric. Yes, I’m talking about Wrex.