Posted on March 14, 2008,

How Mass Effect 2 Will Improve Side Quests


I absolutely loved Mass Effect. If it weren’t for The Orange Box, it’d have been my 2007 Game of the Year, without a doubt. But while I loved it and did virtually everything there is in the game – I got the Completionist achievement without trying – I knew there were major problems with the side quests. Whether it was the boring driving segments that I would almost equate to grinding in an RPG or the cookie cutter quests once you got to where you were going, Mass Effect’s side quests were far from perfect.

Luckily, BioWare knows things weren’t really ideal and sees a lot of room for improvement with Mass Effect 2. BioWare general manager Greg Zeschuk spoke with MTV Multiplayer recently and explained how they might go about remedying this low point.

One of the things we’re looking at for sequels and some of our other games is better technical ways, smarter ways to auto-generate content, to create stuff that seems richer to the player. Another thing we’re looking at — again not specific to one game, but just generally — is a way of tying those additional moments back into the story: whether it’s having to gather certain things for those other planets, kind of making them more central to the story but making sure that they’re still the supporting cast. [We want to be sure] that there’s something really purposeful about them.

I think with “Mass” we just wanted to say, “Let’s make a whole bunch of planets for people to explore.” They all encapsulated, amongst themselves, some fun stories to do. Some kind of spanned among each other. But [next] we’re taking it to that next level of tying them into the central story as well.

Zeschuk admitted that side quests weren’t the number one priority in Mass Effect, and to simply get the game done in terms of technology was more of the focus. But like Baldur’s Gate and its sequel, he says BioWare is excited that they might be able to once again bring a sequel to a new level.

I’m dying to play Mass Effect 2, but I just hope that I don’t end up spending 10+ hours driving aimlessly and doing seemingly irrelevant tasks during the journey again.

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2 Comments on How Mass Effect 2 Will Improve Side Quests


On March 20, 2008 at 7:32 am

It’s not hard to improve it. They already had a blueprint, almost 5 years old now in Star Wars KOTOR. Unparalleled Storyline, great development of powers (much better than Mass Effect). Phenomenal support characters personality both good and evil (mmm Bastila). Much more complicated interactions in most cases. More humor too (HK-47 Assassin Droid!) In almost every way KOTOR was better than Mass Effect (except the stupid mini games).


On April 2, 2008 at 1:03 am

KOTOR is awesome and Mass Effect is freakin’ sweet too…
If I had to pick either one, I couldn’t do it.