Mass Effect 2 & 3 To Be Bridged By DLC

By Jim Rossignol on May 21st, 2010 at 12:24 pm.


Bioware producer Casey Hudson, speaking to Videogamer, has revealed that the current line of DLC being produced for Mass Effect 2 will eventually bridge the gap between that game and its sequel.

“So, for the time being there’s going to be a continued stream of DLC for people. We’ll start to have packs that’ll tell the story between Mass Effect 2 and 3. But beyond that we kind of have to see how people are responding to what we have and go from there.”

Interesting angle, I think. But it does kind of mean that the best time to play Mass Effect 2 is… when the sequel comes out? The next major piece of DLC is due in June. It’s called Overlord, and sees the Space-Chums Funtime Gang battle an evil AI in five levels set across a single planet.

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68 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    Grumble, grumble grumble, they better bundle the plot-relevant DLC with ME3 grumble, grumble.
    I mean – they’ll have monetised the DLC as much as it could be already, so it will be a ‘free’ way to incentivise the sequel launch. Or some such PR babble like that.

  2. Cherokke Jack says:

    Considered me interested enough. Most DLC feels criminally overpriced, but if the missions are as fun as Kasumi’s I won’t hate myself for buying it.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Kasumi’s mission WAS fun, wasn’t it? (I just picked it up a few days ago)

      It struck me as very Gibson-esque.

    • Roguemonkey says:

      Well shit, that’s basically the one-thing you could tell me to make me buy it. My wallet hates you.

    • bleeters says:

      Provided you can overlook little curiosities, like the fact nobody in the society party down the hall is hearing me exchange gunfire with Eclipse mercenaries. Presumably their mingling and small-talk drowns it out.

      For the record, I could overlook that. Still found it amusing though.

  3. Garg says:

    Very bad news, going by the quality of Bioware’s Dragon Age DLC. I really don’t want plot critical stuff told if it’s done as badly as some of their past DLC stuff.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      It could be good.

      Time will tell if it’s a Return to Ostigar or a Wardens Keep. Ostigar “bridged the gap” between two events in the plot of the game and was a shallow exercise that lasted perhaps an hour or two. Not worth the 5 dollar price imho. Wardens keep however, for 7 bucks, I felt was a great add on. It was many hours of game play, new characters, some development of old ones, and felt like a true expansion.

      I played both, but only paid for one. That’s the only way in my mind I can fight the trend of crappy DLC, by being a “retroactive consumer.”

  4. Feste says:

    It’s a bit concerning. A major reason to play ME2/3 is the story and given Bioware’s talent, or lack therefof, with DLC I’m a little concerned about the quality of this bridge.

  5. teo says:

    Why god, why?

    This makes me sad; the DLC doesn’t reproduce the experience of playing the game because it’s out of context and also they haven’t really produced quality content. I don’t want bite sized crap, I want a full game! Make an expansion but not fucking DLC!

    • archonsod says:

      It’s not meant to reproduce playing the original game. It’s meant to give you another reason to keep playing the original game.

  6. Jacques says:

    Urgh. What a bunch of *****.

    I don’t want to have to buy extra DLC to be able to understand what goes on between two games.

  7. Jimbo says:

    I bet they aren’t selling enough of this DLC to justify basing ME3 heavily on any of it. It might “fill in the gap”, but it just won’t be important at all. A bit like watching Jack Bauer driving to his destination for 20 minutes, and maybe pulling a guy over for speeding on the way.

  8. toni says:

    this is no good news. this confirms what I always feared: I won’t be able to buy any new videogames anymore since I will have to wait for the DLCedition of the game to have any clue what’s going on when they release the next part. They wanna go TV with ME in the future and they wanna test how stupid their playerbase is. which they don’t have to test out, DLCs from other games like MW2 or their own ME DLC showed them: you can sell them any shit. and that’s what they are gonna do. sell shit in small chunks that look like they are reasonably priced. That’s why they use “fake” currency in their DLC store – it makes ppl think that they are not actually paying money for something. Just like the appstore on apple and soon on Android 2.2. you click and download and play. the “WTF I just payed 10 bucks for that shit” is taken out of the equation. In a time where Valve are considered saints and EA suddenly looks less evil it’s best to not think about it and just vote with your money by NOT buying it. DragonAge, it’s “PAY HERE TO PLAY” NPCs, ME2 with its – although for free – DLCs of absymal quality cured me of any illusions DLC could be something worthwhile.

    FO3′s DLC were 50% hit and miss but at least those made the impression of actual expansions, not just random stuff thrown out each time the management needs more coke.

    • Teachable Moment says:

      Yup. This isn’t “optional DLC”, this is “shit that should be the main game(s)”.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Hang on there, I’ll get you a tin foil hat

  9. qrter says:

    I’d say that “bridging DLC”, or any post-endgame DLC, is the only kind of DLC that makes sense for ‘epic’ games like Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins.

    I can’t stand it when BioWare keeps releasing pre-endgame DLC months after their main game has been released. I don’t want to play your huge game again, just to see a couple of hours of new content. I want it all available when I play the game the first time.

  10. westyfield says:

    This is simultaneously interesting and worrying. Interesting because I’m curious to see how they’ll integrate this into ME3 without alienating people who didn’t buy the DLC. Worrying because, well, they might not.

    It’s nice to see them finally realise that if you’re buying DLC by this point, you’ve probably finished the game, so getting new squad members to help you on your already-completed mission is totally pointless.

    “But it does kind of mean that the best time to play Mass Effect 2 is… when the sequel comes out?”
    Well, I plan on playing through ME1 and 2 in the month before 3 comes out anyway, so I’m not concerned in that regard.

  11. kyrieee says:

    What I would like to see (if they insist on putting out DLC) is Sheppard’s origin story.
    Maybe they could frame it in the context of Sheppard retelling it to Kelly or someone so it makes more sense.

  12. Maxheadroom says:

    I’ve never really been a fan of DLC for story driven games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age. To me it seems like paying for the deleted scenes you get as extras on dvds and then never watch. .

  13. pistolhamster says:

    DLC is getting to be annoyed. I bought FO3, and then they hit us with extra DLC after that short campaign. It is a virus and it just puts me off buying games at launch.

    Instead I have to endure a painful long wait for the game with an enlarged prostrate gland to finish pissing forever. Is he done yet? Drat no, another DLC. Sigh. More waiting.

    A Mission Pack after a while, sure. Fine. But Horse Armor? Skin Packs? IT makes so little sense.

    Problem is, the world is full of gullible fools who buy it, otherwise they wouldn’t keep on doing it.

    • archonsod says:

      Yup, because I’m completely gullible and don’t think an hour worth of entertainment is worth a fiver.

  14. Ocid says:

    He’s also confirmed the news everyone was hoping for [url=http://www.strategyinformer.com/news/8073/mass-effect-3-will-keep-the-mining-mini-game-it-serves-a-purpose]ME3 keeping mining mini-game[/url]

  15. Ocid says:

    huh well that failed.

  16. Jonas says:

    You must spawn more Overlord.

  17. Heliocentric says:

    Evil ai? Just because it doesn’t want to be ruled by meatbags? So racist.

    • Tei says:

      Captain Pickard would try to communicate, and stablise a pact with the AI (like he tried with the Crystal Entity).

      Is Mass Effect for fratboys?

    • Mr_Day says:

      @Tei

      Picard would have tried to establish a peace accord with the Galactic Empire, though. There they’d be, Enterprise and Star Destroyer, both discussing how they like to put new planets under the auspice of a single government they have no say in.

      Imperial – “Would you like to discuss this over some tea?”

      Picard – “Earl Grey?”

      Both – “Hot!”

    • Corporate Dog says:

      @Tei: The keg-stand mini-game, and Shepherd’s instance that everyone call him “Commander Brougham” didn’t clue you in?

    • MajorManiac says:

      Kirk would just catch a ‘virus’

  18. Langman says:

    Like others have mentioned, the main plot-critical stuff had better be kept for ME3 – side-stories and minor missions, fine, release them at will – I care not.

    But if it turns out that the main ME3 story will be improved for those who paid for the extra DLC portions of it beforehand, I’ll simply vote with my wallet and turn my back on the series.

    I’ve yet to find DLC that IMO justifies the cost, like a lot of gamers. I think DLC pricing is an issue that still hasn’t been properly rectified. Until it is, no dice.

  19. Wizlah says:

    I’m really not fussed if they want to try this route. I’ll read the reviews, and if enough of it sounds good, I’ll buy it. If not, I won’t.

    I don’t think they’ll take the radical step of having ME3 being significantly worse off if you don’t buy the DLC. They’re using the DLC to keep people playing the franchise. Setting it up so ME3 isn’t worth a look unless you’ve played ME1 and ME2 won’t get more new people coming to the game. Instead, they’ve tried to leverege the game play experience heavily towards replaying (things like completing the game then going back to the start with your level 30 dude).

    Everyone’s noted that the episodic content doesn’t fit the narrative structure and the style of writing. They are making it hard for themselves. But I don’t think they’re going to cut the nuts off the loyal customer base.

  20. Hippo says:

    Damn, I wanted a proper expansion pack like we got with Awakening for Dragon Age.

    • NickS says:

      This, even Valve’s realised you can’t tell a good story with only an hours worth of gameplay, so what Bioware should aim for is ME2 DLC that is similar to Awakenings in it’s length.

      And a rouge VI + geth? Sheesh, and here was me thinking we’d come to an agreement with them after re-programming those following the reapers…

  21. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    I enjoyed Mass Effect 1 and have still yet to invest in the second one, but all this nickel and diming with the DLC and project $10 etc, is starting to put me off wanting to bother with the other two games. DLC should be an “optional” extra, not an “essential” extra.

  22. teo says:

    Which level is the title picture from? I can’t recall seeing it before

    • westyfield says:

      Nor do I – I can’t remember fighting geth in a location like that.

      Although I have no idea who the guy with the gun is either.

  23. bleeters says:

    Well, I’m looking forward to these at least. If they organise it akin to an episodic series, each dlc tying into the next and continuing one overall backstory, it should be quite interesting. Far more than several hour-or-so adventures that bear no resemblence to each other anyway.

  24. Stephen says:

    You really just mean buy don’t you? As in exchanging money for goods and services.

    People using invest just because it sounds better than “I will go into a shop (or online) and buy it” is a pet peeve of mine.

  25. Karthik says:

    I think the screenshot above is from the new DLC.

    Anyway, Bioware just don’t seem to get that many gamers don’t care for their out-of-context snips of game.
    (Clearly, the DLC must be selling well if they plan to keep it up)

    I played the Firewalker DLC; it felt like a mod, pretty much. No voice acting, and no connection to anything else in the game.

    As long as the DLC is:
    i) High-quality, like the Kasumi mission
    ii) Post endgame
    iii) in context, as in advancing the story a bit, involving interaction with characters new and old

    I’ll spring for it.

  26. adds says:

    Finally someone made our wishes come true – DLC as the real ending.

    No and fuck you, bioware.

    • Teachable Moment says:

      Arguably it already happened with Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider Underworld – and neither of those titles’ DLCs came to the PC.

      There oughta be a law.

  27. HairCute says:

    AndrewC in this thread:

    I don’t want to judge you but I will anyway! I mean, I really don’t want to offend you but you appear to have poor taste!

    That is what you were saying, right, AndrewC? How about this for next time: if you think it might offend some body or you don’t want to appear to be judgmental then DON’T SAY THE THING THAT WILL MAKE PEOPLE SAY THAT. It is a really simple concept and one that people are often taught growing up. Maybe you missed that lesson? Oh, that felt good.

  28. bleeters says:

    I’m not really convinced any of this will be “mandatory dlc”, necessary to understand the events of ME3. This isn’t the first time they’ve pumped out something to fill in the gaps between games, the only difference is it’s not a comic book this time, and it’s not like you needed to read those to get to grips with what’s happening in ME2. Hell, you didn’t even need to have played ME1 especially.

  29. TheSombreroKid says:

    they neglect to say the gap will be bridged by bad expensive dlc.

  30. Adventurous Putty says:

    This was, btw, the original plan for the ME1 DLC. That they didn’t go through with it was (for me) one of the biggest disappointments of that game.

  31. Rob2984 says:

    I do so hope that this DLC doesn’t expect to slot into the already existing game somewhere… Something that you can just fire up from the menu as an seperate entity would be good, something that in order to make sense in the narrative requires a new play though is bad.

    Remember expansion packs? Pretty sure they used to do this kind of thing properly once.

  32. Alez says:

    So there is no point buying the game when it comes out, when it’s priced at 50 euros. You now buy it when it’s 10 euros and it has 40 euros worth of dlc out?
    When a game comes out it’s kinda like…an open beta by today’s standards because so much more dlcrap has to be added in.

    This kinda reminds me of free to play games with their clever micro transactions that in the end cost you way more than you’d imagine after you add them all up. Problem is that singleplayer games are not….muliplayer games. After i finish the campaign i will stop playing, there is nothing left to do. I remove the game and then i’d have to waste half an hour to install it again just for 20 minutes more of gameplay once a month maybe. Fuck that, give me an expansion or fuck off Bioware!

  33. jalf says:

    They can do two things to make me buy it:

    Either make it so goddamn essential that ME3 is virtually unplayable without first having played this DLC, or… give it a low price **AND** allow me to pay real money for it.

    There is no way on Earth I’m going to buy into Bioware’s Monopoly money scheme, any more than I’ve bought into Microsoft’s or anyone else’s. I don’t want to buy money, I want to buy DLC.

  34. the wiseass says:

    I neither have the time, will nor the nerve to follow all this DLC stuff. There are so many other things to do, play and waste my time on, that I’ve hardly ever felt compelled to buy DLC and fire up the game again. I tend to revisit the games that I like every few years though, but that’s more out of nostalgia and the want to relive the game than the urge to experience the DLC.

    I didn’t purchase DLC for Borderlands, Fallout 3 or GTA IV. All this episodic content is forcing me to wait for complete packages, where all the DLC is already included with that added advantage that these packages are a lot cheaper too. So If you’re a patient gamer, you get more bang for your buck which only contributes to more and more people not buying games on day one anymore.

    On a side note, that’s the same reason why I hardly follow any TV series, except for maybe Dr. Who. I prefer movies as a whole single experience. If ever a series piques my interest, I just wait until the final season and watch it all in one go. Can’t really be arsed to follow it along over months and years, there is simply so much else to do.

  35. Tom OBedlam says:

    I’m all for this. If it is interim story stuff, odds are it won’t fit in a main game. To try and find an analogy, its like bonus tracks on an album. Those are there because, y’know… they just didn’t fit with the vibe of the album. If this is an episode between Shepherd destroying the human reaper and wherever the story takes us next, then that’s cool by me because after the climax of ME2 anymoe story wouldn’t make sense, narrative doesn’t work like that. Equally, ME3 will have a proper story it wants to tell and it may be that the interim adventure isn’t a suitable beginning for the story. Wouldn’t it feel disjointed and weird if this DLC was tacked on to the beginning of ME3 and then said “5 years later” and what happened next had no relation?

    Think of it like the first episode of BSG series four, completely separate from the rest of the series, serving only to warn about Kara. If series four was a film that interlude would be disjointed from the main plot, but as an episode it works grand alone.

  36. Samuel Bas§ says:

    [Peevish rant]

    God, the amount of whinging in this thread…if I could roll my eyes via some form of emoticon, I’d actively consider it.

    I mean, how dare those developers support their game with additional content?

    How dare they sell it to you for the price of a burger and a beer?

    When Fallout 3′s DLC came out, I thought “sweet, more Fallout 3.” I didn’t see it as some kind of ludicrous conspiracy, I didn’t see it as content that had been obviously held back from the main game or whatever other idiocy was going around forums at the time. I was just glad to be able to spend more time in a world I’d enjoyed enough to spend 60+ hours exploring.

    Why is that such a terrible thing?

    I loved ME2, and miss spending time with my Fugitive-era Tommy Lee Jones-esqe Shephard and his dodgy crew. As such, being given a chance to have more adventures with them seems like a good thing. They’re not all going to be spiffing, sure, but that’s why I read reviews (and, yes, people moaning on Forums).

    Seriously, people, why all the whining?

    I just don’t get it.
    [/Peevish Rant]

  37. geldonyetich says:

    I’m not too much against the idea, really. If it look at it as content-that-should-have-been-included-in-the-original-box then it’s annoying. However, if I look at ti as episodic-expansions-that-allow-me-to-play-more-Mass-Effect-prior-to-waiting-for-a-sequel.. hey, it worked for Half Life 2 so well that they could apparently put off making the third Episode entirely.

    • Herring says:

      If Bioware was cunning, they’d release this ‘bridging’ DLC as a reward for pre-ordering the new game and to build anticipation. Two months before release of ME3, ME2 players that pre-order get to hear the drums of war.

  38. Hmm.-Hmm. says:

    Um. This may seem odd, but why not bridge it by.. content in the actual games themselves? Oh, yes, I know! That doesn’t bring in as much revenue!

    I’m starting to dislike Bioware, even though I’d like to like them..