Mass Effect 2 Interview

Game producer Adrien Cho on BioWare boozing, pushing Unreal Engine 3 to its limits, comparisons with Star Wars: The Old Republic and a “holistic” approach to development.

By Adam Doree, December 5, 2009

VGD: But it’s mostly an internal BioWare project.

Cho: Yeah – it’s not so much EA Montreal out there as BioWare Montreal. And we shared a lot of resources with EA Montreal but it was a brand new team we brought into Montreal made up of a lot of people from BioWare.

The turians are as grumpy as ever.

The turians are as grumpy as ever.

VGD: You guys are among the foremost interactive storytellers out there, and characters are obviously key to a good story. Can you tell me how the characters and gameplay interact in Mass Effect 2?

Cho: That’s a really lovely question! [laughs]

VGD: I try.

Cho: Mass Effect 2 is kind of the dark second chapter of the trilogy. Like the good sequels – Empire Strikes Back, Terminator 2, Star Trek: Wrath of Khan…

VGD: Back to the Future? I’m a fan of number two.

Cho: Sure.

VGD: You going to give me another one?

Cho: Even Lethal Weapon 2! And we’re going to ignore all the bad ones, like Matrix 2. There’s tons of bad sequels. But yeah, it’s a lot darker in tone. The premise is that you as Shepherd have to fend off the threat from the Collective, this new enemy, and you’re basically going on a suicide mission. You kind of know you’re not going to make it out. But you’re going to recruit this badass team of commandos to increase the chances of success of the mission. Not necessarily survival, the objective is to complete the mission.

So in doing so you’re really getting this band of assorted characters throughout the galaxy who all have different strengths, unique abilities that will really pan out how the final game will play out. And I can’t spoil too much, but you really want to make sure you have the right person to so that all aspects of your mission are covered. It’s kind of like a Special Ops team, and if you can go in there without your sniper or your recon guy, the chance of the team succeeding will fall.

Mass Effect 2's cover system is being billed as a real step forward from that of the first.

Mass Effect 2's cover system is being billed as a real step forward from that of the first.

So a lot of the game is involved with tracking down these rogue characters, convincing them to join your mission. Sometimes they’re not interested, because they have their own drives so you have to somehow get them to join your cause. Sometimes you have to do something out of your way, because you need that person for the end goal. In Mass 1, there was a lot of grey area, it wasn’t always “good versus bad” – for the greater good, you had to do some bad stuff, you might have to kill some people.

VGD: Sounds like being a games critic sometimes.

Cho: I prefer to think of Jack Baeur. Making those difficult decisions…

VGD: Chuck an FBI agent in a ditch to save LA, right?

Cho: Right, so there’s a lot of really cool gameplay elements that come out, but I can’t – I’d love to tell you about some of the things that happen! But you will be pleasantly surprised. The player who wants to be the bare minimalist, just wants to plough through the core, they’re going to have a very different game to the person who took a lot of time and discovered how deep it is. And I’m just going to say one person’s going to come out with a different ending to the other person…

Posted in Interviews, Previews, Spotlight, and tagged with , , .

3 Responses to “Mass Effect 2 Interview”

  1. Van says:

    Niceeeeee.. i always love reading your interviews.
    This site is kickass. there was a time when this site went all quiet and i had to go back to ign which seems like it is now run by a bunch of egotistic unfunny teenagers these days. Its good to have kikizo back to get my daily hit of video game news. not sure if you guys have a new staff and that. but i still enjoy reading your reviews, previews and interviews. still seems just like the old kikizo.

    • Hey there dude, thanks for the thumbs up! Kikizo’s basically been rebuilt from scratch over the past six months, which is why we haven’t had many updates. And yes, we do have new staff – you’re talking to one of ‘em! (Though come to think of it I’ve been around over a year now, probably lost my greenhorn status.)

      Everything’s still a little wobbly, as we’re trying out what sort of content works best on the new sites, but yes you can expect a more robust output from now onwards :) Coming up next on the interview front, a chat with the makers of Singularity…

      • DR Jam says:

        I’m glad to see you guys kicking again. I also took a long break from this site, due to the slow phase.

        Please, track down Itagaki San for me, and bring those epic interviews with industry luminaries.

        Nice interview, and I like the idea that Mass Effect (the series) should include a few shorts to tell the story of certain locales, races, and characters. Something like a flashback with high production values. But it’s important that they should NOT be longer than 5 mins, seriously. I love MGS but, I wouldn’t like to see other games taking the same route with 30+mins-long cut scenes.


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