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In Mass Effect 2, you are given control of Joker for a brief period. However, this time is very focused towards achieving certain tasks. It's strongly implied that to stray from those tasks would mean certain doom for Joker and/or the Normandy. Besides this, players who have been paying attention won't want to over-exert him anyway due to his bone condition. So, during my first (and so far only) play-through of this scene I stuck to the objectives. I did keep my eyes open for anything that might look "interesting", but didn't see any.

Is there ever any variation in this scene, or any point in doing anything with this time other than just completing the basic mission? Otherwise, it seems like the scene may as well have been done as just a non-interactive cut-scene. I understand there's a certain value in allowing the player to remain immersed in the story through control of certain characters. However, this is the first time in the series (at least, following the paths I've taken) that the player is given direct control of any character other than Shepard and it seems so little is done with it that there's really no point.

I'd like to explore this scene more myself, but would like to know ahead of time whether or not there will be any point to it. This is primarily because I have horrible saving habits (or, rather, a lack thereof) and so I do not have an easy way to jump back to the start of the scene any more. If I'm going to bother wandering around in this scene, it will be on another play-through - but I don't want to bother with it if there's no real reason to.

So I'd like answers to the following questions, without spoilers (or with spoilers appropriately hidden) if possible:

  1. Is the player's control of Joker effectively limited to only that which is necessary to complete the task at hand, or is there more that can be done?
    • A simple yes or no, and a very general direction of where to look will suffice. Please put any further details, if included, in a spoiler block.
  2. Are there any decisions Shepard can make in either of the first two Mass Effect games, which will influence the player's experience while they control Joker?
    • A simple yes or no, and a list of decision points, would be appreciated. If an answer includes the actual choices to make and/or details of their consequences, please put that information in a spoiler block.
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1 Answer 1

up vote 12 down vote accepted

1) Yes. In fact, doing anything other than lurch along the task at hand is likely to get you killed.

2) No.

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@Iszi - Unshackling an AI is a big deal - if they go rampant, well...it's bad. It's one thing for the player to watch a character saying "I have to do this incredibly dangerous thing or else I'll die", but it's more immersive to force the player to do the incredibly dangerous thing or die. –  Steve V. Jan 11 '13 at 3:16
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I'll agree it helped to immerse the player in the story, but initially I'd say it actually broke immersion for me to be suddenly dropped in control of an NPC - especially since, throughout all of ME1 and 99.9% of ME2, the player only normally controls Shepard. It seemed like a really odd choice. Not necessarily a bad one, but I'd like to at least have seen a little bit more done with it. –  Iszi Jan 11 '13 at 6:59
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@iszi That is your opinion though, –  deutschZuid Jan 11 '13 at 7:44
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The strongest point of the whole ME serie is the full immersion with each one of the characters. Why the love affairs? Why all the useless talking you can do each time you get back into the Normandy? Why the talking with people in places? Also, Joker is a key character, one of those that keep Shep pushing forward and fighting. That's the success of ME :) You fight and live and feel the game like Shep does. The second chapter is the best example: suicide mission, the joker part, the recruiting stories... –  Samuele Mattiuzzo Jan 11 '13 at 9:20
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@SamueleMattiuzzo With the Joker scene, all of that is stripped away. All of the depth of the game that you've come to be familiar with, and love, is not there in that scene. You're controlling a character that is not your own. You're completely railroaded into a single path. If you want to progress further in the game, there's only one possible result in the conclusion of the scene. There's no ability to dig deeper into the story or find hidden gems. It's a total departure from the way Mass Effect normally plays and, while there's some value in it, it can be very uncomfortable. –  Iszi Jan 11 '13 at 15:27

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