Posts Tagged ‘Mass Effect’

The RPG Scrollbars: Sacred Worlds

Most RPGs ask you to save the world, but not all of them offer a world worth saving. Honestly, there’s been quite a few where given the choice I’d have joined the evil overlord just to beat up all the potion vendors who wouldn’t even give me a discount before the final battle, and for the mere chance of stabbing the guard in Act 1 who wouldn’t let me into The Town Where The Actual Bloody Game Starts.

This week though, I’m interested in the other side of that – the worlds that become more than just a place to grind for loot and XP. The places that feel real. Beloved worlds, which don’t necessarily correlate with beloved games. I really enjoyed Skyrim for instance, but Skyrim as a world largely leaves me cold for reasons that have nothing to do with the Frostfall mod. That’s not the same as saying it’s bad, or any real quality judgement at all, simply that for me it never became a second home, more than a playground. Fallout New Vegas meanwhile, despite its problems, ticked all of the boxes. It was a world I could believe in, get immersed by, and not want to leave, which given the current political climate around the world is quite probably for the best.

Here are some of the most special worlds for me. How about you? Note, we’re talking entire worlds, as in the settings for whole games, not specific places like, say, Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII or FFXIV. Those are cool too, but… another week!

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Have You Played… Mass Effect?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The original Mass Effect was one of my entry-points to RPGs, a genre I’d bounced-off-of throughout the 90s. But Mass Effect’s sci-fi, Star Trek and 2001 trappings held my interest even as the indifferent combat and dull planet-exploration did their best to convince me that I should call it quits.
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ME3-ish Combat But No Old Friends In Next Mass Effect

I have no flupping idea what to expect from Mass Effect Not-4, aka Andromeda [official site], given all signs point to it being a clean break from the Shepard saga. But the reveal that combat will be similar to Mass Effect 3’s frantic shooty fare does start to make it a solid thing in my brain, rather than an entirely abstract concept with a few twinkly stars in it.
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S.EXE: Seven Stories About Love

The first time I ever wrote anything about games, it was because I was still brokenhearted about a relationship that had dissolved years ago. PC Gamer edited the 4000 word essay into a six pager about Dota in 2012 and it is still one of the best things I have ever written. But wherever I go, whatever I do, games participate in a meaningful way in many of the relationships I see. Welcome to a special edition of S.EXE: the love letters edition. Brace yourself, you are in for chop. Here are seven stories about falling in love next to a loading screen.

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Jennifer Hale Interview: From Metal Gear To Mass Effect

The many faces that aren't the faces of Jennifer Hale.

Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history to pull out one of the the best moments from the archive. This week, John’s interview with voice actress Jennifer Hale. This post was originally published July 27, 2011.

Jennifer Hale has appeared in a great many more games than you probably realise. The person behind the voice of the female Shepard in all three Mass Effect games is also responsible for Metal Gear’s Naomi Hunter, SOCOM’s HQ, the spookily good British accent of KotOR’s Bastilla, and even the grunts and groans of Metroid Prime’s Samus, among literally hundreds of others in gaming, TV and film. We caught up with Jennifer as she drove through LA, to ask how she came to provide so many of gaming’s iconic voices, the combination of anonymity and fame, and which of the Commander Shepards she’s voting for to appear on Mass Effect’s cover.

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BioWare Blathering: Mass Effect And Something Brand New

Hey, you, get out of here! We're done with you.

BioWare have spoken openly about making another Mass Effect game for over a year now (not that it was ever in doubt). They’ve told us that Shepard’s story is over, that it’s time for someone new, and that it’s not called Mass Effect 4, but that’s about all. Surely, one might think, that by E3 2014 they’d be ready to say something solid about the game. Perhaps a cinematic teaser trailer. A few plot hints. A name, at the very least. They named it, didn’t they? Well, no. But BioWare have shown off a few seconds of “conceptual prototype” footage and some model renders.

They’ve also announced they’re working on something entirely new and no, they don’t have much to say about that either.

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Ex-BioWare Devs Fuse Tribes And An Open World In Epoch

I hope they add a stretch goal that lets us vote for a better name than Epoch: Return

As long as this planet continues to spin, there will be a new Intriguing Kickstarter From Folks Who Used To Work On Major Triple-A Franchise X Of The Day. In this case, that Kickstarter is one for Epoch: Return, and the games that once – at least, in pieces, like so many tinker toys scattering from a bucket – emerged from developer Innate’s collective brain are Mass Effect and Dragon Age. But to be perfectly honest, Epoch doesn’t really bear much family resemblance to its distant BioWarian cousins. It takes place on a colossal, open planet that’s ripe for exploring, and you traverse it by way of high-flying momentum-based leaps that strike me as a midpoint between Mirror’s Edge and Tribes 2. It still looks rather floaty, insubstantial, and, well, early, but I definitely like the idea. Watch below.

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Rise & Shine: Games Drawn As Children’s Book Covers

I don't have kids, but I do have a house full of kid's books.

Consider this your daily dose of nice. Artist Joey Spiotto, aka Joebot, draws films and videogames as the covers of children’s books. His game work includes imagined covers for Half-Life 2 (above, in part), Skyrim, BioShock, Portal, Mass Effect and more.
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No One Mention The “Mass Effect 4″

See – because it rhymes with “war”, and that’s a reference to a thing a man said in a TV show 37 years ago. The ever-watchful eye-turrets of Eurogamer spotted that BioWare community manager Chris Priestly took to the studio’s forums to declare calling Mass Effect 4 “Mass Effect 4″ is “doing it a disservice”. It’s a game that “does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side.” Meanwhile, BioWare Montreal’s head Yanick Roy has explained that Mass Effect 4 could take place after Mass Effect 3.

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BioWare Laughs Off BLOPS2/Mass Effect 2 Mix-Up

There are a few different ways BioWare could have reacted to their game, Mass Effect 2, being accidentally shipped in boxes of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2. It’s looking like they’ve picked the best possible one. Rather than getting upset, the studio is seeing it as splendid marketing, a promotional opportunity, and explaining to those who’ve received a copy of their game that “the universe thinks you should be playing Mass Effect right now.” They’ve gone so far as to create a competition for those with the wrong disc.

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