BioWare’s Casey Hudson has a stark warning for you lot going to play Mass Effect 2: you decide the fate of Shepard and if Shepard goes down the one way road, there’s no way back. Simply put, if he dies, he stays dead.
When we say that Shepard can die in Mass Effect 2, it’s not something that happens at points in the middle of the game. Yes, you can “die” in gameplay as normal but that’s not what we’re talking about here. It’s not a “Game Over” screen. It’s not a gimmicky thing where you make a choice, “die”, and reload to continue to the “real” ending. When you get to the very end of the story in Mass Effect 2, you will get one of a wide variety of climactic and satisfying endings. Depending on how prepared you were, your ending may involve Shepard making the ultimate sacrifice to accomplish the mission.
Speaking in a brand new developer blog post, the project lead for ME2 also gave more infomation to the “suicide mission” been given to Shepard.
In Mass Effect 2, you (as Commander Shepard) are faced with what appears to be a suicide mission: taking a team into the heart of enemy territory where you shouldn’t have any chance of coming back alive. Your survival therefore is based on how well you’ve built a team – who you recruited, how well-equipped they are, and whether they’re loyal to you. Loyalty (and the things you’ll do to earn it) is a central part of the game, and it is critical to Shepard surviving the final mission.
Paragon / Renegade decisions affect a lot of things in the game – and will affect which how the game ends – but they are completely separate from your character’s readiness to survive the final mission.
Oh fucking snap. And he also answered probably the most asked, and most important, question of all. Alien sex?
As for whether there will be alien love in an elevator, you’ll have to play to find out.
The game’s out next year, early 2010, for Xbox 360.