Critical Mass (Effect On PC)

By John Walker on February 12th, 2008 at 3:18 pm.

We knew it was going to happen. What we didn’t know was when or how. But huzzah, it’s official, Mass Effect is coming out on PC. Soon? And how! May, we tell you.

No, I'm just really embarrassed.

CVG report that the game isn’t receiving a simple port-dump, but rather some PC-specific optimisation, and new controls.

“The studio’s talking about “Run & Gun Control” (“Players can assign biotic powers or skills to ‘hot keys’ allowing them to play Mass Effect with a heavier focus on action”), a new decryption mini-game and a revamped inventory system and user interface.”

In fact, there are more details we’re brazenly cut and pasting from CVG below.

mass2

The full list of PC details are:

* Optimized controls designed specifically for the PC.
* High resolution visuals – Mass Effect for the PC features highly detailed textures, characters and environments.
* Fully customizable controls – PC gamers can re-map the control scheme any way they like.
* Run & Gun Control – Players can assign biotic powers or skills to ‘hot keys’ allowing them to play Mass Effect with a heavier focus on action.
* New decryption mini-game.
* New inventory screen GUI and functionality – The enhanced inventory system makes it easier for players to equip and modify their weapons and armor.

Publication has shifted over the EA now, after Microsoft had taken care of things for the 360.

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58 Comments »

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  1. Chris Evans says:

    Now to see the full ‘Sex-Box’ scandal with my own eyes!

    Must say it is good to see it coming so soon to the PC….as long as they don’t pull an Assassin’s Creed ‘PC Killing’ Cut :@

  2. Alex says:

    May 2008? That’s much sooner than I expected.

    Nice.

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    That’s a terrible headline.

  4. derFeef says:

    Oh please dont use this pic of “old sheppard” :)
    Anyway, its great news for the PC gamers, I cant wait to play this fantastic game again, with better controls, sweet highres textures and no “texture popping”

  5. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    That’s good news with the regards to implementing hot-keys. Having to bring up the screen-filling weapon/skill selection menus every few seconds does tend to break the flow of combat (although understandable given the limitations of the joypad).

    The inventory and store systems are desparately in need of revamps too, so it’s good to hear they’re getting some attention. Although just adding some filters for your equipment (a la KotOR) would have solved many of the issues I had with them.

    Also, I’d be interested to know whether the upcoming 360 DLC will be included from the start or offered as DLC on the PC as well, anyone know?

  6. Stick says:

    Hooray!

    … wait, it’s not April 1 or something?

    Cautious repeat: Hooray!

  7. Jonathan says:

    Yay!

    Lets see what are PC modders can come up with vis a vis journo baiting alien porn.

  8. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    Now remember kiddies, don’t forget to level up.

  9. Meat Circus says:

    If only Mass Effect had no combat in it.

    It’s the atrocious shooting in this that turned a great game with a brilliant story into a rather more mediocre one.

    Why did the combat have to be so lame?

    If ever a game illustrated Vince D. Weller’s point it was this sadly-missed opportunity.

  10. Flint says:

    It always pleases my heart when a console to PC port is done intelligently (aka the porters realise that keyboard and mouse are not a pad).

    Hopefully there’s a demo too. But even without one I might get this, ME is one of the few 360 games that interest me.

  11. Mike says:

    Fully customizable controls – PC gamers can re-map the control scheme any way they like.

    wow.

  12. Optimaximal says:

    I thought Microsoft weren’t releasing the rights to Mass Effect to EA?

    Still, did anyone honestly expect EA to NOT do this? After all, their PC division has money to make up after Crysis failed to go mega-multi-platinum.

    Fully customizable controls – PC gamers can re-map the control scheme any way they like.

    wow.

    I wonder if they’ll let us bind every single command to a single key…. if I want too!

  13. Larington says:

    Especially glad to read about the interface/GUI being looked at, especially considering how much Deus Ex 2 suffered due to an oversimplified UI (thanks to it being made for a console as well as PC).

  14. RenK says:

    This is good news. Can’t wait to get a chance to play this game.

    Now to see how long it takes the modding community to dissect the “sex box” Just to add more fuel to the fire for the anti video game folks <_<

  15. Pidesco says:

    Nowadays the tag “Bioware” on a game leaves me wary of what’s ahead but, here’s hoping the game is an improvement over their previous efforts.

  16. Kismet says:

    Funny as I read *somewhere* today a news mentioning a Microsoft rep saying on MTV (!) that the franchise would have been a 360 exclusive, but probably he was referring to console platforms only (so “exclusive” for what regards the platform “that matters” I guess).

    I’m glad for those who were hoping the game would have reached the PC shores. Personally I’m looking ahead more to Mysteries of Westgate and Dragon Age, probably the last commercial “classic PC RPG” we’ll ever see (Obsidian is apparently working on a console project).

    EDIT: *Somewhere* being Bit-Tech and Kotaku.

  17. Lu-Tze says:

    At least they are changing the god awful Simple Simon encryption thing. Open a Door? Decrypt some files? Open a crate? Interact with anything in the environment? It was horrible, and the “game” you played made even less sense than Bioshocks Pipe Dreams.

  18. Volrath says:

    “I’m glad for those who were hoping the game would have reached the PC shores. Personally I’m looking ahead more to Mysteries of Westgate and Dragon Age, probably the last commercial “classic PC RPG” we’ll ever see (Obsidian is apparently working on a console project).”

    I think you’re being naieve if you truly think that Dragon Age won’t be multiplatform. EA will never allow that to happen.

  19. Lou says:

    “Nowadays the tag “Bioware” on a game leaves me wary of what’s ahead but, here’s hoping the game is an improvement over their previous efforts.”

    Yeah, same here. I didn’t really like anything Bioware did since (including) NWN 1, actively dislike Knights of the Republic, and didn’t care much about Jade Empire. Obsidian (not to mention Troika) have or had better writers in the last few years, a more elgant approach to character introduction and dialogues in general, etc. etc.

    Nonetheless, really looking forward to Mass Effect, not the least because I love the art style.

  20. DigitalSignalX says:

    Please dear baby Jesus do not make this a lazy developer console port with horrible controls. Please please please look at the pile of crap the much hyped Gears of War turned into on the PC and make it worthy of the versatile platform on our desks.

  21. Kismet says:

    I think you’re being naieve if you truly think that Dragon Age won’t be multiplatform. EA will never allow that to happen.

    You’re probably right about Dragon Age ending up being a multiplatform title, but personally I don’t care much about which platform the game is going to be released on, but more about which core audience it’s designed for, and it should be something that fans of the Bioware classic PC RPG genre can appreciate. But maybe it’s just something I’m convinced of because the game is in development since ages. We’ll see next year I guess, when it should be released.

  22. Acosta says:

    At the end, it doesn´t matter if Dragon Age is multi or not, the important thing is not seeing core compromises for being multiplatform. Take Spore or The Sims as examples, the core games are PC games and are exclusively focused on that platform, after the launch EA will assign teams to develop different spin offs in other platform.

    About Mass Effect, I played, completed and reviewed the game and I think it´s extremely good (and I enjoyed the combat too, even with its flaws). The game at some parts is even revolutionary for its step forward more credible virtual actors (there is a long way to go yet, but Mass Effect is a clear step in the right direction). Too bad they had to cut their ideas for more dynamic conversation, the actual system is just a little improvement over the classical Bioware dialogue system.

  23. SwiftRanger says:

    At least DA looks like it’s being developed for PC first and later on perhaps ported over to other platforms, something which usually has its advantages.

    On-topic: well, KotOR and JE on PC supposedly also had these trinkets and special attention to the interface needs but that still didn’t stop them from being dumbed down cRPG’s in most terms as well as having an outright limited and flawed interface. Bioware could barely hide the console influences.

    Anyway, the ME dialogue system alone makes you turn your back on it if you like to think before you give an answer to something.

  24. sigma83 says:

    I find it highly amusing that ‘fully customizable controls’ and ‘hotkeys’ were even in the features list. Isn’t that expected on ANY pc title, port or no?

  25. kuddles says:

    Why do people keep calling Gears of War crap? It was easily the best and most optimized console port I have seen in a decade, including fluid keyboard controls and high res textures. If people aren’t happy with the way that turned out then they’ll never be satisfied. At least it was better then the majority of what Ubisoft or Eidos seems to put out.

    Anyways, I’m happy about this. Being a BioWare fanboy, I was on the brink of purchasing this game because I couldn’t stand the wait for the PC version which I assumed would be another year.

  26. UncleLou says:

    Don’t understand that either, Gears of War is easily one of the best console to PC ports I’ve ever seen. Looks terrific, runs ultra-smooth, great controls, and there’s even additional content. There’s nothing there that would tell you it’s a port at all, if you didn’t know it. Maybe he just didn’t like the game as such.

  27. born2expire says:

    GOW was just a bad game, perhaps the port was a good port, but a good port of a shit game is still a shit game.

    the control still felt wrong and dont even get me started on the aiming, console games (and 3rd person shooters) should stay on consoles where the “feel” is more forgivining.
    condemned was the only port worth playing IMHO and it looks like im going to have to blow the dust off my 360 come march 11th.

    I for one have no interest in Mass Effect, it just simply does not apeal to me, plain and simple.

  28. Rook says:

    I think Gears suffers quite a lot from the Live! inclusion, which meant the Live update kept crashing your game, you can’t save it without being signed in, no dedicated servers or text chat in game and a DX10 mode that turned out to be a 40% performance drop for no improvement. It didn’t help anything that this heavily praised shooter turned out to be Whack-a-mole with swearing.

  29. UncleLou says:

    “GOW was just a bad game, perhaps the port was a good port, but a good port of a shit game is still a shit game.

    the control still felt wrong and dont even get me started on the aiming, console games (and 3rd person shooters) should stay on consoles where the “feel” is more forgivining.”

    Try as I might, I am really not sure what you mean what was wrong with the aiming. I thought the mouse/kb controls in GoW were absolutely superb – extremely fluid and intuitive to an extent where the I managed to get “into the zone” with the game after a short while.

    Might have helped that I liked the game as well. Basic mecahnics that, however, just worked, and the rather weak weapons and tough enemies together with the cover system meant that it had a unique feel. Enjoyed it a lot.

  30. Pidesco says:

    Gears of War is one of the most repetitive and easiest games I’ve ever played. It took the expression “corridor shooter” to new heights. Also, the process of fighting gray enemies against a gray background while “helped” by gray allies is not particularly conducive to a fun experience.

    Walkthrough to Gears of War:
    Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Run. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Run. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Run. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Run. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Run. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Run. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Run. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Run. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Shoot. Cover. Run.

    I think I’m going to put this up on gamefaqs.

  31. OS says:

    Now it will finally be possible to see porn with my PC also? YAY!

  32. Chis says:

    Remember: only a few seconds of bare ass. So your mass isn’t likely to erect.

    (Thanks Yahtzee.)

    (Oh, and I’ll definitely be trying this if there’s a demo.)

  33. Yhancik says:

    In other EA related news, Spore release date has been officially announced too… Septembre 7, 2008

  34. kuddles says:

    I have no problem with people not liking Gears, but I don’t like how people keep referring to it as a crappy port. Clearly a lot of effort was put into transitioning it properly and if people dismiss it as a lazy port, than that’s just encouraging publishers who really do bad ports not to put forth any more effort because it won’t be appreciated.

    It also helps that I didn’t buy into the hype in the first place so the gameplay didn’t dissapoint me.

  35. The Fanciest Of Pants says:

    Please god don’t be vista-exclusive. D:

  36. UncleLou says:

    Exactly. I demand anyone who thinks Gears of War is a bad port plays any Capcom game on the PC, or any recent EA multiplatform game or demo. :)

  37. Nick says:

    @Pidesco: You can do a walkthrough like that for pretty much any game you care to mention.

  38. rb_lestr says:

    Us console people better f**cking get the re-vamped UI aswell, i’m f**king sick of the PC crowd getting better sh*t just because they didn’t buy the game when it came out for 360.

    Happens everytime.

  39. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    PC screenies. Unsuprisingly it looks identical to the 360 version but with a hot-key bar in the top left.

  40. dhex says:

    the gears of war port seems ok under xp (no idea with vista) and seemed to have been optimized pretty well. i got stuck with that deaf thing that busts down walls and kills you in one shot, though, and never went back.

    is mass effect more to the kotor side of things? because that’s what it seems like from reviews and the like.

  41. Ryan says:

    Please god don’t be vista-exclusive. D:

    Probably unlikely- MS isn’t publishing it for the PC, and to date all Vista-exclusive titles have been MS product (as far as I can recall, anyway- Halo 2, Shadowrun, Alan Wake).

  42. Pidesco says:

    @Nick: With only three words? I don’t think so. Gears of War is like a dumbed down cross between Bubble Bobble and Jumping Jack.

  43. Stick says:

    Heh. I had a dooooom moment re: Vista as well, so I ran off to ME forums on Bioware site.

    “I can confirm that MEPC will NOT be Vista exclusive.” – Chris Priestly

    And there was much rejoicing.

  44. WCAYPAHWAT says:

    Well, being that kotor was pretty much neverwinter nights in space, mass effect seems to pretty much be kotor in…..well, more space.

    I’d say It’d be worth picking up, just for some RPG’ish goodness to tide me over. also, picked up gears of war for the pc the other day, and im enjoying it immensely.

  45. Stick says:

    I think it’s more along the lines of ME = KotOR without imposed limitations of SW universe. Like Dragon Age is BG/NWN without the Forgotten Realms straightjacket backdrop.

    (I like saving the world with shiny swords and mystic mojo as much as the next complete nerd, but those two settings come with more redundant bric-a-brac than the bleeding Marvel universe…)

  46. malkav11 says:

    Hah. I knew it!

    I don’t actually have a 360, so it didn’t really take any determination or fortitude not to buy the 360 version, but still, I am vindicated in not buying a 360 for the game. :P

  47. sigma83 says:

    ‘Us console people better f**cking get the re-vamped UI aswell, i’m f**king sick of the PC crowd getting better sh*t just because they didn’t buy the game when it came out for 360.

    Happens everytime.’

    Given limitations on what a controller can do (my single biggest obstacle to buying a console, besides price) compared to PC controls, it’s almost a shoe-in that any PC port should have better controls than their console counterparts (emphasis on should)

    Not buying the 360 version means waiting a very long time (more than six months in this case) to play what by all respects seems to be an excellent title. I know personally that playing Gears of War on the PC after the enormous wait (apart from the inherent shittiness of LIVE!) felt like… victory.

    I also wanna mention that I thought Gears was superb iteration of a highly quality formula. It wasn’t Half Life by any means, but it was darn fun shootin’.

    What made Gears truly great for me was that simple fact that you play a Space Marine. Powered armor, huge assault rifle, aliens to shoot, Space Marine! It tapped into this sort of primeval urge for a StarCraft FPS, or somesuch. It was awesome.

  48. Nick says:

    @Pidesco Yes. Watch:

    Half Life 2: Run, Shoot, Wait.

    Thief: Crouch, Hide, Sneak.

    Mario: Run, Jump, Eat Mushrooms.

    etc.

  49. sigma83 says:

    Bioshock: Hack, shoot, harvest
    Sins of a Solar Empire: Resource, Fight, Infrastructure
    Chess: Move, Capture, Think
    Go: Black, White, Surround