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Garrus Returns! And Other Secrets About Mass Effect 2

Some familiar faces are back in BioWare's sci-fi sequel, but plenty has changed, too. Read more!


 Garrus! Buddy! What's up dude!
I got to play some more Mass Effect 2 earlier this week. And guess which familiar face I discovered? That's right! Garrus mother-effing Vakarian! Everyone's favorite good-natured Turian will make at least a cameo appearance in this sequel, and it was good to hear his oddly soothing, gravelly tones as he picked off enemy mechs with a sniper rifle in a cutscene. Garrus is a smooth operator, you know.

BioWare has admitted several of your party members from the first Mass Effect will be back for part two, though some will have bigger roles than others. The only original character confirmed to be an active party member in Mass Effect 2 is Tali, the Darth Vader-masked engineer who for some reason I never, ever used. Hopefully other favorites like Garrus and (fingers crossed) Wrex will be able to join your space posse at some point.

The cutscene with Garrus afforded me a better look at the "dialogue interrupt" feature in Mass Effect 2's cinematics, which I've come to think of over the last few months as a violence option. It lets you hit the left trigger when an icon flashes onscreen that lets you speed up the proceedings, usually by pulling your weapon on someone or, say, throwing them out a window. In this case, Shepard trained his own sniper rifle on the mechs, and hitting the interrupt button made him pick one of these enemies off, meaning I had one fewer enemy to deal with once the combat actually started.

I get the impression that using the interrupt feature won't drastically change the outcome of a given situation, just tweak it a bit and bring it about a little faster. Some interrupts, however, will move your moral alignment one way or the other. Since you can't tell what your interrupt action will be and only have a few seconds to decide whether to use the option or not, BioWare says the final game will give you some kind of indication about whether the interrupt will generate Paragon or Renegade points. So if you're trying to do a full good-guy playthrough, for instance, you won't sully your record by unintentionally acting like a bad guy.

When I ran into Garrus, I was joined by the new playable Krogan party member Grunt (who ain't no Wrex, but gets the job done in combat) and Jacob, who was recently introduced in the Mass Effect Galaxy iPhone game. We were exploring Omega, a planet that's located outside of Citadel space and is thus outside the influence of the collective galactic government. BioWare says you'll be spending a good portion of Mass Effect 2 on these sorts of untamed border planets, which certainly opens up the potential for you to run into a lot of rough characters over the course of your mission.

 Strange things are afoot on Omega.
Speaking of that mission, I was surprised to get more background on the core storyline in Mass Effect 2. The reapers of the original game are pretty much out of the picture this time around, as are the spindly, sentient robots the Geth (though there will be at least one important Geth character featured in the storyline). The big menace this time is the Collectors, an insectoid race that's trying to eradicate humanity colony by colony. You can see more about the Collectors in the new trailer BioWare just released. I was surprised that Mass Effect 2 seems to be more of a "further adventures of Commander Shepard" sort of story rather than a direct continuation of the events of the first game, though the total number of ways in which this sequel ties back into the original Mass Effect remains to be seen.

BioWare has been touting the technical improvements it's made in this sequel, and in this demo I finally started becoming convinced the developer will follow through on its promises. Inconsistent frame rates, popping textures, and intolerably long space elevator load times were the biggest offenders in the original game, and I was able to see the first two have been pretty much eliminated in the demo I played. The game ran perfectly smoothly as I fought off mercs and mechs, and saw complex environments like the seedy Afterlife Club (replete with Asari strippers and lots of neon lighting).

It was in this club that I ran into a Batarian bartender who poisoned Shepard when he served him a drink. Batarians have a longstanding grudge against humanity, see. The four-eyed Batarians were featured prominently in the first Mass Effect prequel novel, but then failed to make much of an appearance in the original game. For the nerdier Mass Effect fans among you, those guys will be showing up a lot more often in Mass Effect 2's border planets, since they tend to operate off the grid and outside the Citadel's influence.

Mass Effect 2 is looking like simply an improved, refined version of Mass Effect. Since I thought the first game was a great RPG with a few rough edges, a new version of the same game with those edges smoothed out is perfectly fine by me. The game is due at the rapidly approaching end of January, so keep an eye out for more on this sequel in the near future. 
 
On a not-entirely-unrelated note, we also spoke with BioWare's Dr. Greg Zeschuk about Dragon Age: Origins hitting stores and the speed with which Mass Effect 2 is coming to shelves. Watch!  
  
Brad Shoemaker on Google+
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Posted by Brad

 Garrus! Buddy! What's up dude!
I got to play some more Mass Effect 2 earlier this week. And guess which familiar face I discovered? That's right! Garrus mother-effing Vakarian! Everyone's favorite good-natured Turian will make at least a cameo appearance in this sequel, and it was good to hear his oddly soothing, gravelly tones as he picked off enemy mechs with a sniper rifle in a cutscene. Garrus is a smooth operator, you know.

BioWare has admitted several of your party members from the first Mass Effect will be back for part two, though some will have bigger roles than others. The only original character confirmed to be an active party member in Mass Effect 2 is Tali, the Darth Vader-masked engineer who for some reason I never, ever used. Hopefully other favorites like Garrus and (fingers crossed) Wrex will be able to join your space posse at some point.

The cutscene with Garrus afforded me a better look at the "dialogue interrupt" feature in Mass Effect 2's cinematics, which I've come to think of over the last few months as a violence option. It lets you hit the left trigger when an icon flashes onscreen that lets you speed up the proceedings, usually by pulling your weapon on someone or, say, throwing them out a window. In this case, Shepard trained his own sniper rifle on the mechs, and hitting the interrupt button made him pick one of these enemies off, meaning I had one fewer enemy to deal with once the combat actually started.

I get the impression that using the interrupt feature won't drastically change the outcome of a given situation, just tweak it a bit and bring it about a little faster. Some interrupts, however, will move your moral alignment one way or the other. Since you can't tell what your interrupt action will be and only have a few seconds to decide whether to use the option or not, BioWare says the final game will give you some kind of indication about whether the interrupt will generate Paragon or Renegade points. So if you're trying to do a full good-guy playthrough, for instance, you won't sully your record by unintentionally acting like a bad guy.

When I ran into Garrus, I was joined by the new playable Krogan party member Grunt (who ain't no Wrex, but gets the job done in combat) and Jacob, who was recently introduced in the Mass Effect Galaxy iPhone game. We were exploring Omega, a planet that's located outside of Citadel space and is thus outside the influence of the collective galactic government. BioWare says you'll be spending a good portion of Mass Effect 2 on these sorts of untamed border planets, which certainly opens up the potential for you to run into a lot of rough characters over the course of your mission.

 Strange things are afoot on Omega.
Speaking of that mission, I was surprised to get more background on the core storyline in Mass Effect 2. The reapers of the original game are pretty much out of the picture this time around, as are the spindly, sentient robots the Geth (though there will be at least one important Geth character featured in the storyline). The big menace this time is the Collectors, an insectoid race that's trying to eradicate humanity colony by colony. You can see more about the Collectors in the new trailer BioWare just released. I was surprised that Mass Effect 2 seems to be more of a "further adventures of Commander Shepard" sort of story rather than a direct continuation of the events of the first game, though the total number of ways in which this sequel ties back into the original Mass Effect remains to be seen.

BioWare has been touting the technical improvements it's made in this sequel, and in this demo I finally started becoming convinced the developer will follow through on its promises. Inconsistent frame rates, popping textures, and intolerably long space elevator load times were the biggest offenders in the original game, and I was able to see the first two have been pretty much eliminated in the demo I played. The game ran perfectly smoothly as I fought off mercs and mechs, and saw complex environments like the seedy Afterlife Club (replete with Asari strippers and lots of neon lighting).

It was in this club that I ran into a Batarian bartender who poisoned Shepard when he served him a drink. Batarians have a longstanding grudge against humanity, see. The four-eyed Batarians were featured prominently in the first Mass Effect prequel novel, but then failed to make much of an appearance in the original game. For the nerdier Mass Effect fans among you, those guys will be showing up a lot more often in Mass Effect 2's border planets, since they tend to operate off the grid and outside the Citadel's influence.

Mass Effect 2 is looking like simply an improved, refined version of Mass Effect. Since I thought the first game was a great RPG with a few rough edges, a new version of the same game with those edges smoothed out is perfectly fine by me. The game is due at the rapidly approaching end of January, so keep an eye out for more on this sequel in the near future. 
 
On a not-entirely-unrelated note, we also spoke with BioWare's Dr. Greg Zeschuk about Dragon Age: Origins hitting stores and the speed with which Mass Effect 2 is coming to shelves. Watch!  
  
Posted by Double0hFor

OMFG I WANT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by TheLegendofLuke

Garrus ^_^ 
 
Pretty stoked, shame it's so far away :(

Posted by ToxicFruit

Yey Garrus. now I just need Wrex and my team is complete

Posted by TheHT

Garrus!! I remember for his side mission I first killed the guy hey was after myself and said he was too slow but felt bad and quickly reloaded a save, this time letting him get his revenge LOL.

Posted by GeekDown

I've never been as excited about a game as I am for Mass Effect 2!

Edited by Vendetta

I can't wait to play it.
 
But seriously Brad, not using Tali? Unless your character was a full-on Engineer (and in that case, wtf were you thinking spec'ing your character as an engineer?), Tali was a must-use for your party.

Posted by Hilikus

Oh Garrus, you were always my favorite.

Posted by Mooshu

I really never ever understood the attraction of Tali. I always used Wrex and Garrus.

Edited by Milkman
I love Mass Effect but I'll be the first to admit that game had ISSUES. But from the sound of it, they seem to be cleaning it up extremely nicely. STOKED!
 
@Vendetta said:
" I can't wait to play it.  But seriously Brad, not using Tali? Unless your character was a full-on Engineer (and in that case, wtf were you thinking spec'ing your character as an engineer?), Tali was a must-use for your party. "

I never used Tali either. She always seemed like she kinda sucked.
Edited by HallwayGiant
@Brad said:
The four-eyed Batarians were featured prominently in the first Mass Effect prequel novel,

but then failed to make much of an appearance in the original game


<nerdiness>Actually the Batarians were in the Bring Down the Sky DLC for Mass Effect 1</nerdiness>
Posted by Phetz

GARRUS!!!!!!
 
Ok I want this game immediately now.

Edited by MrKlorox

What? The story isn't being directly continued? Why the hell did I get so caught up into learning the details of the first ME then? That kinda sucks my excitement away right there.

Posted by HT101

Man, I always thought reapers were called reavers.  I wonder why.  Anyway, this is looking to be a great game and I can't wait to see more of it.

Edited by megalowho

I'm sure the reapers will be back at some point.  Sovereign was too good a villain form them not to.

Posted by Xeiphyer
@MrKlorox said:
" What? The story isn't being directly continued? Why the hell did I get so caught up into learning the details of the first ME then? That kinda sucks my excitement away right there. "
the reapers from the first game are involved in the second game? the story of the first game prettymuch ended. and this is the sequel? Its no different from any other sequel in that way.
 
Also thats just Jeff's speculation, so don't let it be the voice of god. The story is still continuing? New enemy shows up, they got advanced tech that the reapers had, good and bad guys from previous game return, unsolved problems arise again. It sounds like there is lots of stuff carrying over. It is Mass Effect 2 after all.
Edited by MrKlorox
@Xeiphyer said:

" @MrKlorox said:

" What? The story isn't being directly continued? Why the hell did I get so caught up into learning the details of the first ME then? That kinda sucks my excitement away right there. "
the reapers from the first game are involved in the second game? the story of the first game prettymuch ended. and this is the sequel? Its no different from any other sequel in that way.  Also thats just Jeff's speculation, so don't let it be the voice of god. The story is still continuing? New enemy shows up, they got advanced tech that the reapers had, good and bad guys from previous game return, unsolved problems arise again. It sounds like there is lots of stuff carrying over. It is Mass Effect 2 after all. "
It's not just a regular sequel dude. At least it wasn't supposed to be. Mass Effect touted itself as being this epic interwoven trilogy. At first glance it seems more like a regular old videogame sequel than the followup to an epic. I mean the Empire wasn't fully defeated after the original Star Wars ended and that's part of what made it an epic. Same for Lord of the Rings movies. 
 
I hope I am in fact reacting more than I need to and that there is a sufficient bridge between separate storylines.
 
Also it's Brad's article.
Posted by aurahack
@Mooshu said:
" I really never ever understood the attraction of Tali. I always used Wrex and Garrus. "

As did I. And everyone I've talked to about the first game.

Shepard.

That Garrus video is awesome. They really seemed to have reworked the shooting stuff. Looks smooth and... *gasp* fully functional.

Posted by natetodamax
@Brad said:

"

favorite good-natured Turian
   "
Uh, what? If I recall, Garrus told Shepard in Mass Effect 1 that it shouldn't matter how the job gets done as long as it's finished, suggesting that he'd be willing to sacrifice innocent lives to finish a task. That's not exactly good natured.
Posted by Valor

Man I want this now!!
Posted by RobbieMac

Wow this game looks like such an improvement from Mass Effect 1.  I can't wait!

Posted by Spacetrucking

Shepard.

Posted by Lind_L_Taylor

Fuckin shit.  Dragon Age is still fresh & we're already moving on to the next RPG? 
Who on Earth will have time?

Posted by AgentJ

Good to have him back

Edited by pureguava

Garrus was my right hand man the last half of the game - how can this be... he has JUST NOW been discovered that he will make a cameo in Mass Effect 2? Garrus is the mofuggin TURIAN.
 
edit: Oh and how can Wrex return? I offed him in part 1. There is some kind of "carry-over" feature with saved games right?

Posted by CrescentFresh

Garrus is one of my favorite characters in any game this generation. I don't know exactly why. Maybe its because he looks so cool....

Posted by MasterChiefLopez

I love Bioware!!  Best RPG makers on the planet!  Can't wait to pick up DAO (no haven't got it yet)  and ME2.  What sucks is my 360 HDD broke and I had to start all over on my game saves which includes Mass Effect 1 so sometime during this Xmas season I gotta beat ME1 again and make my character the way I want for ME2.  I'm sorta happy it got delayed.  Game looks great though.  It looks like a very legit shooter. 

Posted by ArbitraryWater

I only played through ME 1 once. The repetitive side quests, brain dead party AI, and semi-clunky combat all were a turn off for a second playthrough, which is sad. Hopefully ME 2 will fix this. 
 
Also, Garrus and Wrex were my favorite characters in Mass Effect. That's mostly because everyone else was kind of lame and spineless, but as characters they were also interesting.

Posted by sephirm87

Wrex will probably play a small role, if one at all, because a possible outcome is him being dead.
Posted by Gunharp

"Inconsistent frame rates, popping textures, and intolerably long space elevator load times were the biggest offenders in the original game"

You know you didn't have to wait for Mass Effect 2 for those improvements, I played Mass Effect on the PC and experienced only minor texture popping. I hope the Bioware community stuff is integrated into Mass Effect 2 in such a way that Dragon Age: Origins has done as well (on the PC). I also keep my fingers crossed for Wrex, I managed to keep him alive through the original game. My save file is so ready for Mass Effect 2!
Posted by borgmaster

apparently I'm the only person who used Tali in the first game.

Posted by Gamer_152

Always good to hear from people who've had the chance to play it that the technical issues from the first game have been smoothed out, but it's also a great bit of news to hear that some of the original Mass Effect party members will be making re-appearances. I'm still stoked for this game.

Moderator Online
Posted by Yummylee

Awesome, so hope Garrus will be available as a party member. Could possibily be a secret character thats attainable only through select choices you make, which would suit Garrus since he deserves to have to be rewarded rather than just given to you >8P. 
Him and Tali where my 2 party members of my first run through and since Tali's back i least hope i'll be able to create my original famed three the sequel.
Posted by DarkPredatorUK
@borgmaster said:
" apparently I'm the only person who used Tali in the first game. "
make it two of us! 
 
Tali really came in handy especially when combined with wrex.
Posted by fillmoejoe

Sure hope Garrus can join your party.

Posted by Jedted
@fillmoejoe said:
"Sure hope Garrus can join your party. "

Me too, i liked Garrus because you could turn him Paragon or Renegade in ME1. 
Posted by mracoon

Didn't actually read the article because I don't want anything spoiled but it's nice to see old characters returning.

Moderator
Posted by RHCPfan24

Great interview!! And the return of Garrus is pretty sweet, I will admit.

Posted by Buscemi

I find this, for what we know, lack of reapers disturbing. Kind of bummed me out a bit.

Posted by KingOfIceland

F*** YES, TALI'S BACK!! she and Wrex were my go-to strike team, and the most interresting party members.

Posted by SolidestChimp

nice spolier on the front page lol :/ was trying to aviod mass effect news

Posted by Bubahula

this is definetlythe game i am looking forward to most...can not wait!
Edited by Carlos1408

i can't wait for this game!!!!! 
Shepard!

Posted by Clinkz

Not a fan of Mass Effect 1 but at least I can tell they are making improvements to the Second.

Posted by Metroid545

heck yes garrus is back, who else is going to be sniping the hell out of the enemies before they can reach us?

Posted by Zanthox

Oh  man, Tali was my favorite party member from the first one. I'm glad she is confirmed.

Posted by Pedr07

i also only used wrex and garrus. but in my second play through im using the man human forgot his name.

Posted by MeatSim

I don't think I will be disappointed by this game like the first one since i haven't gotten all hyped up about it and it's coming out so soon.

Posted by Lydian_Sel

Now I just have to wait till January 26 without loosing my fucking miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind.

Posted by pandemic

Solid post, Brad.  Garrus was one of my favorite characters, so I'm glad to see him return.

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