It's likely that many gamers who pick up Mass Effect 2 in January will have played the original Mass Effect and still have a save file on their hard drive. Some of them will choose to import that save, bringing their decisions (and consequences) from Mass Effect into the sequel -- but you don't have to. You can start fresh in Mass Effect 2. But how does the game determine what happened in Mass Effect, then? Some massively important choices were left to the player in the original game.
"There's a variety of ways we can make the decision of what happens in Mass Effect 2 if you've chosen not to import a save game from Mass Effect 1," explained BioWare co-founder and CEO Ray Muzyka during an interview with me at a Mass Effect 2 event in San Francisco this week.