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Mass Effect 2 – hands-on

Meet the new guys

Thane
Biggest killer since heart disease

Representing and introducing a new race – the Drell – to the Mass Effect canon, Thane is a master assassin – a stealthy, devious sort with a cool retro-robo tenor to his voice. You’ll first meet him as he completes a mission, when your own objective is to prevent the assassination from ever taking place. He’s an intelligent fish-thing, and recognizes that he and Shepard, despite having conflicting objectives, are highly skilled at what they do. And as a gun for hire, he’ll gladly join your squad.


Grunt
Your new Krogan companion

A significant portion of players will be starting Mass Effect 2 having finishing Mass Effect without Wrex, the toad-faced thug with a heart of a gold. Grunt, another Krogan, will go some way towards replacing Wrex, and what he lacks in thoughtfulness he apparently makes up for in psychopathy. He doesn’t care what he’s doing, as long as he gets to inflict pain and horror on other living creatures, and tooled up in his power armour means he doesn’t have to try too hard to get what he wants.


Mass Effect 2 also introduces Renegade and Paragon actions, dialogue choices that appear fleetingly in conversation to interrupt the other guy mid-sentence. As such you’ll have no time to consider consequences, which is appropriate when these actions are intended to be Shepard’s impulse reaction (guided by his moral compass) to what’s happening around him.

At its least intrusive, Shepard will rudely cut somebody off with a smart-arse remark. In the demo we played, however, Shepard punched somebody through a window in the middle of a sentence. And while it’s hard to think of a similar snap decision being made on the good side of the moral fence (maybe handing over impromptu birthday cakes), it lends a hefty dollop of unpredictability and insanity to Shepard’s chats.

 

So to recap, Shepard’s not dead. But he probably will be by the time the end credits roll. Our theory is that he’ll re-emerge as a sort of Geth-enhanced Robocop character, maybe without him realising that he’d ever croaked his smokes in the first place. We’re eager to continue the adventure all the same. Alive or dead.

Oct 23, 2009

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21 comments

  • themooninites - December 17, 2009 3:05 p.m.

    Gasm...
  • lovinmyps3 - November 8, 2009 8:58 p.m.

    I loved the first one. That and Left 4 Dead are the reasons I bought a 360. Can't wait!!
  • THEBIGJ3 - October 26, 2009 7:15 p.m.

    This. Will. Rule!
  • Doctalen - October 26, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    Awesome, kinda hope that if you saved Wrex in the first game that he dies so you can meet Grunt.
  • pinoklin - October 25, 2009 4:41 a.m.

    this is gonna be so freaking leet....i finished up just as i wanted lol every1 but kaidan alive and i was a badass vanguard....and how could i lose wrexx? he and garrus are static members in my party lol.
  • thecakeisapie - October 25, 2009 1:25 a.m.

    this is gonna be awesome, its coming out like 2 weeks before my b-day
  • boeckmana1 - October 24, 2009 10:58 p.m.

    The first was awesome so this one should be too.
  • bnazario - October 24, 2009 10:03 p.m.

    Can't wait for this game to come out
  • Sebastian16 - October 24, 2009 5:35 a.m.

    LOLsmallberry
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - October 24, 2009 5:15 a.m.

    Gamings only space opera? Till now I've finished Mass effect 5 times making sure everyone I want doesn't die,suck a bomb Kaiden!
  • smallberry - October 24, 2009 3:16 a.m.

    I should be starting my 4th run through of Mass Effect 1 this weekend. I have to ensure that the story plays out exactly as I want for ME2. Good lord I need a girlfriend....
  • Brutus - October 24, 2009 2:09 a.m.

    Can't freaking wait!! *pops in mass effect 1*
  • Yeager1122 - October 24, 2009 2:05 a.m.

    Can not wait for this game LOVED the first one.
  • Spybreak8 - October 24, 2009 1:38 a.m.

    Awesome, I soooo can't wait.
  • TestDDs - October 24, 2009 12:44 a.m.

    I think i am speaking for very one hear so this is what i got to say... IS WREX, THE BIG ALIEN DUDE, GONING TO BE IN THIS GAME AND CAN YOU BLOW SHIT UP LIKE CHUCK NORRIS AND KICK ASS LIKE BRUCE LEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • number1hitjam - October 23, 2009 10:46 p.m.

    I think he's MIA and everyone thinks he's dead but he really isn't. It's like 24!
  • jar-head - October 23, 2009 10:21 p.m.

    I hope it doesnt trail off the Main story...Sovereign was one of Many, awaiting arrival...But, trying to unite the galaxy is trouble enough without Corruption, in which "The Blitz" was the perfect example of Shadow opas running around with their own schedule
  • Daedazrael - October 23, 2009 9:09 p.m.

    One of the interesting things about Thane that was not in the article is the fact that he is one of the repentant killer characters, guilty enough to hate what he does but too skilled to not do it. I can't wait to see what dialogue options he has.
  • cart00n - October 23, 2009 8:56 p.m.

    Oh, well... reCaptcha: honeydew 24
  • cart00n - October 23, 2009 8:53 p.m.

    Hmm... So what happens if, like in my case, Wrex ISN'T dead at the end of ME1? Will I still meet Grunt? Will I have to choose which one I want in my party? Can I have both? And may I be the FIRST (heh) to ask about that bald, biotic chick? She's conspicuously lacking any mention in your report...

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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