Posts Tagged ‘Mass Effect’

Only 18% Of Mass Effect Players Play Female

The One True Shepard.

As if I needed any further proof that other people are wrong, BioWare have revealed to VG247 that only 18% of Mass Effect players pick the lady Shepard. With the obviously better choice finally getting recognised by the game’s marketing, that less than a fifth of gamers pick the Jennifer Hale-voiced heroine genuinely surprises me. Because, well, girls are best.

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Mass Exodus: Bioware Senior Dev Joins LoL

That's her on the right

We don’t tend to do too much in the way of ‘person x changes job’ stories here, which is primarily because the knowledge that disgusting organic creatures are responsible for our beautiful, clean, matter-free digital worlds is a horrifying truth we can’t accept, but also because… well, people do change jobs. This one stood out to me, however, due to both source and destination. The lead gameplay designer on Mass Effect 2 and 3, Christina Norman, has left Bioware – but to go where? Oh, that’s right, it says it in the headline. Yeah, League of Legends dev Riot Games.

So, from a console-straddling mainstream RPG/action developer that’s bigger than it’s ever been to the young home of devoutly hardcore multiplayer PC games.
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Mass Effect MMO Speculation Is Nebulous

Look, my gun is unwieldy!
Despite admitting that they’ve yet to figure out any kind of useful multiplayer for Mass Effect, Bioware’s Casey Hudson has said that the idea of an MMO in the universe “makes sense”. Speaking to world-bestriding super-magazine Game Informer, he said: “Part of what you’re trying to do is save the universe so you can live in it. That’s part of the promise, I think, for any great IP. It has to be a world worth saving… I think Mass Effect has that quality to it. If you get rid of the Reapers and win that, wouldn’t it be amazing to just live on the Citadel or just take a ship to Omega? That makes sense.”

I feel like any genuine space-life MMO would be pretty amazing, and perhaps Eve Online will manage that in the coming years. Or maybe Bioware will make a space MMO of some kind. Hmm. Thanks, VG247.

Mass Effect 3: Revenge Of The Spoilers

My arms ache if I stand like that. It's not natural, I tell you.

Spoilers! Get yer spoilers ‘ere! Only three quid a dozen! Howzabout that then ma’am, a punnet full of Mass Effect 3 details, yours for just a paaaaarnd.

Actually, I’m guessing these are not especially meaty ME3 spoilers, as rather than spoiling late-game plot stuff they document the status quo for Shepard and chums at the start of Bioware’s next galactic opus – but if you really do want to go in totally blind you should look away now.
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Lord, It’s Not My Shepard: A Mass Effect Movie

Will Martin Sheen play Martin Sheen?

I’m regularly taken aback by how quietly enormous Mass Effect is. While common conception is that EA’s getting its mega-corp bottom kicked by Activision, it’s got a breadth of franchises that it’s CoD’n’WoW-dependent rival does not – and Bioware’s sweeping space opera universe is one of the foremost of those. It’s really doing the Star Wars thing, I guess, as there was perhaps a vast sci-fi fandom void waiting to be filled in the wake of Lucas’ long-running exploitation/ruination of its galaxy far, far away.

So it makes perfect sense that Mass Effect would turn to other mediums – specifically, movies. Well, anime movies.
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The Mass-Effectification of Dragon Age 2


Why change a winning formula? That’s what I was left wondering after discovering that, on the one hand, Dragon Age sold better than any Bioware game ever as of November, and on the other, that the formula is changing dramatically for Dragon Age 2. It’s worth noting that the PC version isn’t changing as much as the console versions of the game. We will apparently retain “strategic combat”, which is a good news, while console chums will be “playing to their strengths” with more actiony combat mechanics. Conversation will also now be handled via Mass Effect’s wheel system. The biggest change, however, is that Dragon Age 2 will be getting its own equivalent of Shepard, with player character options reduced to the male of female versions of “Hawke” (pictured? I think). Bioware confirmed on their forums that you will have to play a human.

Hell, I enjoyed Mass Effect 2, but you have to wonder why Dragon Age was so successful in the first place. Not because it was copying its less successful sibling, that’s for sure. I enjoy almost all of Bioware’s work, but I think boiling one game down to another just makes gaming a less interesting place. Diversity is important.

Mass Effect 2 Savegame Scandal/Salvation

I tried to post this yesterday, but the blog’s back end mysteriously ate all my words so I gave up in a huff. I believe it to be the machinations of Loki, the Norse trickster god, and villain of children’s picturebook Thor #606, written by Karen Gillan and on sale now in all good Early Learning Centres. Anyway – like half the world I’ve been making first inroads into Mass Effect 2 this week. As I played the first game on -hisssss! – 360 rather than PC, I was resigned to not being able to import my old character. But Bioware mentioned there’d be a KOTOR 2-esque mechanic in which a few conversational choices established what I’d done in ME1 and made ME2’s status quo broadly reflect it.

They changed their minds. At the point where I’m pretty sure this conversation would have happened (an interview to check the [this word is spoiler-censored] Shepherd’s got all their marbles), I was instead simply told what had happened. It wasn’t what had happened. ME1 spoilers below, so skip right to the end if you’ve not finished that yet.
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Sequel, What Sequel? New Mass Effect DLC’n’Patch

Seems a little disingenuous to be releasing new content for Mass Effect 1 when Mass Effect 2 is due sometime within the next six months (incidentally, we hear tell that unlike the infuriatingly tardy first game, the PC version will be released at the same time as the 360 version. Huzzahs!), but shouldn’t grumble really. Now live on the EA digistoremacguffin is Pinnacle Station, which promises 2-3 hours of bonus space bimbling for $5/£4. Not extortionate by some DLC standards, though it does sound as the contents are all a bit shooty-bang-bang…
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Mass Effect Goes To The Movies

The One True Commander Shepherd.

According to Variety, BioWare’s most recent RPG, Mass Effect, is to definitely be a movie. There have been rumours floating around for a while, but Variety seem assured that the rights have been optioned by producer Avi Arad (responsible for every Marvel movie you can think of).

Of course, stuff gets optioned all the time, so this isn’t exactly the beginning of production. This is Mr Arad expressing an interest in getting a film off the ground. Although he must be a bit busy, with his own recently launched company, as well as producer/exec producer credits on thirteen forthcoming Marvel movies in the next five years. So there’s likely a bit of a wait before we find out which version of Commander Shephard will make it to the big screen. But if it’s not a she, with red hair and a pointed face, who survived a terrible attack, then I shall protest outside cinemas. (Thanks to Andrew for the tip).

Morality Tales – BioWare Versus The Issues

'And so should we kill the children to save the planet?'

I’ve been playing lots of Mass Effect recently, because as a leading games critic it’s essential I stay ahead of the curve and keep my finger on the pulse. A mere nine months after buying it on 360 and then never playing it, and then blagging a PC version only three months after its second release, I’m on the case.

It would probably be controversial to say that BioWare‘s three most recent RPGs, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect, are all exactly the same game in a different setting. Because Mass Effect’s setting is quite similar to KotOR’s. But what’s rather fortunate is that they change the combat style in each, so there’s always something unique to complain about on a forum. What’s also important to note is that they’re all three flipping ace, and I love them. They just… they just tend to do this one really silly thing.

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Mass Effect Brings Down The Sky

'Have you got your authentication number sir?'

Remember when we were all fussing about the copy protection on Mass Effect, and then there was that compromise where EA said you’d need to authenticate for downloadable content? Well, it’s time to put it all to the test, as the first lump of new content is available: Bring Down The Sky.

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Eurogamer: Mass Effect Review

Stop staring at me, you freak.
Embargo-a-go-go! My review of Bioware’s Mass Effect goes live over at Eurogamer. I start like this…

Given that Kristan wrote a three-page review of the Xbox 360 version back in November, and the PC version is basically identical, I’m left with a whole review to dwell on the important questions about Mass Effect. For instance, why did BioWare model its adorably rubbish Mako ground-attack truck on early-eighties toy Big Trak: the Fully Programmable Electronic Vehicle?

And then go on to actually talk about the game, like some kind of proper games writer guy. Well, a bit, anyway. By page 2 I’m well into crazed theorising about its resemblance to Total War and the fundamental flaws of free-exploration in plot-based RPGs and similar. Go readeth, Verily and stuff.

EA Backs Down From 10-Day Authentication

Now let's make them dance like a monkey.

Good news, loud, complaining denizens of the internet! Bioware have backed down on their draconian copy protection for Mass Effect.

Edit: And EA say the same goes for Spore.

Community Manager, Jay Watamaniuk, has posted to the Mass Effect forums saying,

“There has been a lot of discussion in the past few days on how the security requirements for Mass Effect for PC will work. BioWare, a division of EA, wants to let fans know that Mass Effect will not require 10- day periodic re-authentication.”

The reasons jumpward.

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EA Studio Showcase Audiostreams


VG247 has a bunch of audio recordings of the presentations from EA’s London studio showcase earlier today. The sound quality is a bit iffy, but the info is good. There’s also a bunch of new screens. Mm, rich, tasty info.

The lovely Ben Cousins on Battlefield Heroes. Both interview and presentation.

The alien sex-fancier Ray “Bioware” Muzyka on Mass Effect PC. Hot.

Talkomatic Paul Barnett on Warhammer Online.

Valve’s Mr Lombardi on Left4Dead. (Prefaced by plenty of presentation blather.)

Phew. Anyone for a beer?

Mass Effect: Slips, But Shows Off

Mass Effect has taken a slight slip. Joystiq helpfully noticed that BioWare community man, Chris Priestly, has informed the hungry masses that things will take three weeks longer. Originally set for what seemed an extremely prompt 6th May, it’s now due to be out in the US by the not unreasaonble 28th May, and over here in Europe by 6th June. This is due to BioWare’s “dedication to excellence”, we’re told, and will allow them some last-minute polish.

It's iconic.

But what’s this, one post higher, to raise our cheer once more? It’s the first images of the all-new PC GUI – one of the elements that proves Mass Effect PC is more than your average port. Click for the fullsize version. And there’s three more, found by Joystiq, below.

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SPACE PREVIEW: Mass Effect

Citizen of space, yesterday
Mass Effect is going to be out on PC on May 6th. I believe it was marketed as “action role-playing game” and that means running around murdering robots in the long pauses between dialogue. Sounds fun, eh? Well not only that, there’s a selection of blue ladies! Yeah, we gamers are all so hot for blue women. Must be something genetic.
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Mass Reflect: Matt Atwood on PC Mass Effect

I have a hat.

There’s clearly been a little PR burst as the good ship Mass Effect is dragged to the launch-pad for its imminent flight to the PC galaxy. Both Bit-tech and Eurogamer have talked to Matt Atwood, a Senior Manager. I don’t know what that means, but I figure it’s important, and it’s vaguely reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, who’s awesome. Rob Purchese does the EG interview, while apparently channelling the Polish Journalist…

Eurogamer: Has Mass Effect really got higher-resolution visuals on PC? We didn’t notice much difference.

Matt Atwood: Yes, absolutely. Not just because you have a better video card, but because they have upscaled textures and resolutions.

Eurogamer: You’ve said the loading times are much better, but I didn’t see much of a difference…

Matt Atwood: You will.

The rest here!
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Dating Agency: Mass Effect & Dead Space

A couple of significant release dates are reaching us, one that makes us smile, the other making us do a little bit of a frown.

No one faces the camera in the PC shots.

We knew BioWare were surprising everyone with a May release for the PC port of Mass Effect. The even better news, according to Videogamer, is that it’s very near the beginning of the month, May 6th (for N. America, at least – they predict the 9th for us olde worlders).

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Critical Mass (Effect On PC)

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.

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