The first Mass Effect is one of the most replayable games in recent memory. A variety of choices, from moral dilemmas to romantic interests, ensure that every time through the game players are provided with something new. In addition to seeing how different situations resolve depending on your decisions, Mass Effect also has another powerful incentive to entice gamers into replaying the adventure: New Game Plus.
The term popularized by Chrono Trigger on SNES refers to beginning a new playthrough after beating the game. However, instead of starting at square one, the players begin with the stats, abilities, and equipment their characters had at the end of the previous playthrough. In other words, you start over with an end-game character, complete with all of the powers and advantages that affords.
New Game Plus is the perfect option for players who want to re-experience the story without being robbed of the effort they invested into maxing out their characters. Unfortunately, according to a post on BioWare’s Mass Effect 2 forums, the second entry in the series will no longer support this feature. Responding to post asking whether New Game Plus will be in Mass Effect 2, lead designer Preston Watamaniuk responded:
“The short answer is no.
“The reason is progression. We have been working very hard to make sure we design the abilities system to offer smooth progression into ME3 from ME2. Allowing double progression on characters makes that almost impossible. We have to have reasonable knowledge about where a character could end up finishing all content on a playthrough. We also want to offer choice of character build within specific classes.
“We replaced that feature with playing after you were done because it preserves progression and allows for smoother downloading of PRC post-release content.”