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I am about to start the first game and would like to know how much Mass Effect 2 relies on choices made in the first game.

Is the story rather set in stone and just little things are influenced, or can the story across the first two games change drastically depending on your choices?

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Welcome to Gaming! Questions about future releases are off-topic here due to the fact that they can't be answered definitively, so I've changed your question to refer only to the first two games. Once ME3 has been released, please feel free to edit the question again so it covers all three games - at that point, we should know how ME1 and ME2 decisions affect ME3 playthroughs. –  Dave DuPlantis Feb 2 '12 at 19:34
    
Hi Dave, thanks! I actually only meant to ask about the sequel, but was thinking about all of them when I worded the question. My bad! –  m3tron0me Feb 2 '12 at 20:13
    
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4 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

There are many small carry over effects from ME1->ME2, but here are the major ones:

  1. Depending on who you save on Virmire, that person will make an appearance in ME2 and be a squad member in ME3 (Your love interest may carry over as well, assuming you didn't cheat on them in ME2).
  2. If Wrex dies in ME1, then the state of the Krogans will be different in ME2.
  3. Depending on whether or not you saved the council, the rest of the races in galaxy may be bitter towards the humans.

Since ME3 is not out yet, there's no way to know what decisions from ME1 and ME2 affect the story in ME3.

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I might put the list in a spoiler section. –  Ktash Feb 2 '12 at 19:44
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well, its pretty obvious this question is going to contain spoilers –  z - Feb 2 '12 at 19:45
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Also note that though there are these carryovers, they only pertain when using a pre-existing save. If you want, you can start a new game in #2 and have the choices different than you played in #1. –  APrough Feb 2 '12 at 20:32
    
Yes, or you can visit this site and download a save file with the choices you want (if you are on the PC). –  z - Feb 2 '12 at 20:32
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You forgot my favorite part! (see comment here) –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Feb 3 '12 at 0:20
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The Mass Effect Wiki has a nice page about what transfers.. A lot of the decisions that transfer happen at the end of the game and are very obvious they transfer.

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Links to useful information is good, but it's better practice to copy the most important here, as the linked page may not always exist. Granted, the Mass Effect wiki will probably be around for a while, but not all linked sites will! :) –  Alex Feb 2 '12 at 20:07
    
@Alex Yes, ordinarily I would do that, but I was trying to avoid posting spoilers on this page directly. But, as yx. pointed out, this is an inherently spoiler filled question, so it probably didn't matter. –  Ktash Feb 2 '12 at 20:10
    
That, but also that's what the spoiler markup is for - to hide information that is part of the answer but may want to be avoided by some. –  Alex Feb 2 '12 at 20:12
    
@Alex I'm new(-ish) to Gaming.SE (and the spoiler markup) so I'd planned on editing it in, but yx. beat me to a better answer, so I upvoted his instead. –  Ktash Feb 2 '12 at 20:14
    
That's cool, just providing some advice, no personal affront intended :) –  Alex Feb 2 '12 at 20:16
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It's very difficult to answer this without spoilers. It's also difficult to answer about choice impact on ME3, as the game isn't out yet!

In ME1:

  • There's a few choices that affect whether/which teammates survive.
  • There's a major choice at the end which affects the Citadel's political power structure.
  • There's a choice or two that affects potential allies/enemies available in future games.

None of the choices have an effect on teammates available in ME2. In fact, most of the ME1 choice outcomes feel like: "Remember when you made that choice? Here's how it's going now". Those outcomes probably will come to bear in ME3.

In ME2:

  • Any or all of your teammates may die.
  • There's a major choice at the end that affects Shepard.
  • There's some choices that might affect the status of Krogan, Quarian, and Geth societies.
  • There's some choices that might affect the Omega station's political power structure.

can the story across the first two games change drastically depending on your choices?

No, your choices do not change the first two games much. Mainly: if you make a choice that causes someone to die in ME1, then in ME2 you'll either not talk to them or some replacement character will be found for their dialog (with perhaps slightly different options).

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I'd say the potential outcomes of the Geth/Quarian war count as a drastically changed outcome. –  Shadur May 25 '12 at 11:35
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I don't want to ruin anything for you, but lets just say that multiple choices in Mass Effect will greatly affect the sequels. So make your choices wisely... they may come back to haunt you lol

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