Mass Effect 3 is one of the greatest sci-fi games we’ve ever played. The world, the character development, NPC interaction, RPG elements and combat system (especially in the Mass Effect 2) all helped Mass Effect become THE sci-fi gaming experience that all Star Wars, Star Trek, FireFly and Stargate fans MUST play. Even if you only like just one of those movies/series you’ll thoroughly enjoy Mass Effect.

If like us, you’ve played through the first two games, you’ll no doubt be pumped for Mass Effect 3. But what will this battle bring and what adjustments will be made to the combat system, RPG elements and characters? We’ll focus on most of this in our up-and-coming Mass Effect 3 articles but for now, we want to focus on something that was bugging us once we’d finished the second game. You may have felt the same? We’re on about Mass Effect’s characters. More specifically…the character relationships.

SPOILER ALERT – The following will spoil minor story events and character relationships in Mass Effect 1 and 2 (however, if you want to get the most out of relationships…you may want to take a peek).

Mass Effect had one of the greatest character development and character interaction systems, ever seen in a sci-fi game. This made it incredibly easy to get sucked into the games relationship web. During the first game you had a small selection of characters to get to know better, but Mass Effect 2 gave an even greater selection for the player to choose from. With so many new characters and interactive options, the player can cheat on anyone they’re currently seeing, adding consequence to thoughtless and hasty choices. But what if you were honest, what if you only wanted your character to be with one companion throughout the entire Mass Effect adventure? Did BioWare think of this? Well…not really.

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Shepard's brief encounter with Ashley Williams in Mass Effect 2

Our play-through of the first game hit us with a choice. This choice would save either Ashley Williams or Kiadan Alenko. One would be saved and one would die. You couldn’t save both, just one of them. A perfect example of the major decisions you’ll be making throughout the world of Mass Effect. During our game, we were building on a relationship with Ashley. This meant we’d obviously choose her to save. In fact, this whole predicament told us that Ashley had to be a loyal companion and major character in Mass Effect, as we wouldn’t have had the option for a deeper relationship, right? How wrong were we…

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BioWare even provide you with a desk photo of Ashley...just to rub it in...

Staying loyal to Ashley throughout Mass Effect and beginning the second game with our previous save, we expected to continue our relationship with Ashely were it had left off…but we hardly ever saw her. Shepard only briefly bumped into the character a couple of times throughout the game and Shepard’s unintentional departure from the team (and Ashley) had given her reasons to doubt your relationship. Basically you were forced out of it. But the game kept giving false hints, false promises that all would be well with time. Guess what…we wish we’d either started a relationship with Liara, or left the slate clean on our journey into Mass Effect 2!

Mass Effect 2 gave us a superb story and believable characters. But we couldn’t help but feel short-changed with our choice of Ashley as a love interest. Did you select Ashley through Mass Effect and more importantly, did you stay loyal and wonder why the developers were holding her back?

Surly if Ashley Williams wasn’t seen as a consistent character in Mass Effect 2 (unlike the rest of the female cast) then why did BioWare make it possible to get involved with her? Was it a last minute decision by the developer to pull Ashley Williams out of the Mass Effect 2 story and more importantly…what part will Ashley Williams play in Mass Effect 3?

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Will BioWare make up for Ashley's departure? Will she be a major character in Mass Effect 3 and will she appear alongside Miranda Lawson or instead of?

We hope to see Ashley Williams in Mass Effect 3 but will this be too little too late with players? Have you all re-played your game and hooked-up with other characters or are you confident that BioWare will make-up for her departure by making Ashley Williams a major story point in Mass Effect 3? It would be no surprise that the new female character (Miranda Lawson) may have had something to do with Ashley’s departure in the second game, but will Miranda Lawson be MIA in Mass Effect 3 (making way for Ashley Williams) or will the player have even more choice?

Let us know your thoughts on your play-though of Mass Effect 2 and what you think Mass Effect 3 will offer?