Producer Michael Gamble said that the studio made two approaches when it came to choices, one that eases newcomers into the fiction, and the other that could see players "pay the price" for their decisions.
"So to directly answer the question [about whether past decisions would be amplified]: yes, the stakes that have happened in the past do have a direct and real implication on how Mass Effect turns out," he told Digital Spy.
"But, at the same time, for new players and players that maybe aren't happy with the choices they made in the past, we didn't want to punish.
"There's another way of playing where if you don't import a save or are new to the franchise, you can essentially gleen and understand additional back-story items from different dialogue options, because it's changed on whether you've imported something or not.
"If you haven't, things are a bit more explanatory, things are a bit more general."
Gamble added: "But if you have, then of course, you will pay the price for the decisions that you've made, or you'll benefit from the decisions you've made."
BioWare recently hinted that users should keep their Mass Effect 3 saves, suggesting future games in the series.
A demo for Mass Effect 3 is scheduled for February 14, which will grant temporary access to Xbox Live Gold and in-game items for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.
Mass Effect 3 will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC from March 6 in North America and March 9 in Europe.
> Read our full Mass Effect 3 interview with BioWare
> Mass Effect 3 preview: Hands-on with the opening 90 minutes
Watch the voice talent trailer for Mass Effect 3 below: