The lights are on
Let me begin this news story by noting that there's some information in this post that some may consider to be a spoiler for Mass Effect 2. It's information that BioWare has been pretty open about, but nonetheless: You have been warned.
As anyone who's followed Mass Effect 2's pre-launch hype knows (or anyone who's played through the game since launch), it's possible for your game to end with main character Shepard (along with most or all of the Normandy crew) dying. Both BioWare and some loading screen text in the game have coyly hinted at what this means for Mass Effect 3, but we wanted to be certain.
Thankfully, producer Casey Hudson was willing to give us the clear facts on what happens to your save file if your Shepard dies in Mass Effect 2:
"Dead is dead. Mass Effect 3, as with the rest of the trilogy, is Shepard’s story. If you have a dead Shepard at the end of Mass Effect 2, that saved game won’t import into Mass Effect 3. You can play Mass Effect 3 if you died in Mass Effect 2 of course, but you’ll have to create a new Shepard. Harsh? Yes. But we wouldn’t be serious about the concept of a suicide mission if you couldn’t die and your death didn’t have serious consequences."
So there it is! Just in case you weren't 100 percent certain, now you know just how seriously you should take the end-game consequences in Mass Effect 2.
For more about Mass Effect 2 from Casey Hudson, be sure to check out our Afterwords on the game in the April issue.