GameBanshee links to a pair of lengthy articles at OXM which break down numerous details about the enemies you’ll face in Mass Effect 3 and the alien races you’ll be trying to save during the course of the game.
OXM are also featuring a list of eight things to try in the upcoming Mass Effect 3 demo, and some information about the Normandy (your ship and home base in the game). The also have features looking at the game’s “insanity mode” setting, the various companions that will appear in-game, and level design in the game. (Evidently, they decided that this particular eyesore would work perfectly as an example of the harsh architectural style of the Krogan people.)
Oh, and…here’s something about the game’s achievements system.
Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider took to the BioWare blog to offer some tips and pointers to prospective fan fiction writers. He also, unfortunately, took some heat on Twitter from various hyper-sensitive sorts about his choice of imagery in this paragraph:
DO pay attention to flow. In creative writing, flow is more important than language. Some writers will abuse a thesaurus so badly you half-expect to find it wandering dazed alongside the highway, dress in tatters and lipstick smeared across its face. They laden their prose with words they fancy because they think it makes their writing more poetic. It doesn?t. It makes your prose heavy, and while there might be some readers who appreciate that, it won?t make you a better writer. Be sparing with your language, and realize there isn?t a sentence so clever it shouldn?t be cut if it doesn?t assist your purpose? which is telling a story. Cut out all your extra that?s and but?s and adjectives and adverbs (I often need this advice, myself). Slaughter your word-babies mercilessly, for that pain will put you in the habit of not over-populating your prose to begin with.
Evidently, some people felt that the imagery of rape was…inappropriate for him to use. The baby-slaughtering imagery passed without comment, however. Oh, Twitter…so selective are you in your outrage!
That’s a pretty impressive number, given that the game only launched…what? Two months ago, give or take? That might even make it the fastest-growing subscription MMORPG in history.
I think EA’s projections for the game had pegged the 500,000 subscriber mark as the point at which the game would turn profitable, so it would appear that BioWare’s trust in the Force was reasonably well-placed.
SWTOR has also evidently sold 2 million copies. Make of the discrepancy — between that number and the subscriber base — what you will.
Well, some of it, anyway:
Worthplaying seems to think so:
The content and timing of PR plans for top-tier games involve similar, if not longer, timelines and are typically decided months in advance. This is done to ensure maximum exposure for the game in question, with little tidbits of news hitting at regular intervals. Whether it’s the announcement of the voice cast, information about a demo or simply a batch of screenshots, the news is rarely accidental. It’s carefully managed.
Knowing all this and knowing that EA has an extremely polished PR team, it is surprising that it would have even allowed Chobot to preview the game as a member of the press. The team had to have known Chobot had worked on the game when she walked into the demo suite with a G4 TV camera crew. While they may have wanted to keep the news of her involvement under wraps until the designated time, allowing G4 TV to film makes it look like EA’s PR team had no issue with presenting someone who worked on Mass Effect 3 as an unbiased journalist reporting on the game.
This just screams “conflict of interest.”
If I might point out two flaws with Worthplaying’s argument, nobody has ever accused G4 of engaging in anything resembling “journalism”, let alone journalism of the increasingly rare “unbiased” variety.
Though I do agree that the optics of this aren’t good. Is it an actual ethics issue? Doubtful. But it doesn’t pass the sniff test either.
Apparently, testing out the ME3 demo for Xbox will temporarily bump you from Silver to Gold subscriber status, so you can take full advantage of the multiplayer features in the game.
Of course, they’ve also told us that Mass Effect 3 will be the end of “Shepard’s story”, so they’re probably saying this to leave open the possibility that future games in the Mass Effect franchise can draw upon player choices made in the first trilogy to define the general shape of the universe and game setting.
Their arguments about Dragon Age, in particular, make a good deal of sense; it’s been rather disappointing how that series has so far handled player choices and the consequences thereof, with a couple of very glaring incidences where those choices were more or less entirely discarded in the service of an overarching narrative.
The same could be said of Mass Effect 2, although BioWare made it a bit more obvious that the middle part of that trilogy wasn’t supposed to have a wild amount of variance based on choices players made in the original Mass Effect. It became apparent fairly quickly that they were saving up the major choice/consequence payoffs for Mass Effect 3.
Now…can they deliver on that? There’s the question.
It’s been long-rumoured, but it seems to be moving into the realm of reality now: release is slated for some time this spring.
I pretty much hate anime, just for the record.
Let’s face it…in the run-up to a big game’s release, key people who worked on (and are working on) the thing will be in the press, possibly quite often. BioWare is not exempt from this trend, and several of its staff have been all over the gaming press in the last week.
Here’s the game’s lead cinematic animator and art director talking about various changes that have been made to how characters in the game are modeled, how they move, and how they “speak”. And here’s a Q&A session with the game’s executive producer about…lots of things. (Here is is again, actually, talking about what Mass Effect 3 brings back to the series that was missing in Mass Effect 2.)
Mass Effect 3: Mission Command is a just-launched Facebook app that…well…I’m not quite sure what it does. I guess it ties in with your Xbox Live account, if you have one, and involves performing missions that will net you bonus DLC for Mass Effect 3…and possibly some other stuff as well.
Here’s a sample mission concept, apparently: choose whether to agree to continue your romance with Liara T’Soni, or reject her outright. Another mission, detailed in the original article, involves looking for an Easter Egg somewhere on Bing.
I…you know what? I’mma just play the game.
This was the trailer for the game that was played at E3 last year. This version is just that much better, I think.
If you can get their site to load, they’ve actually highlighted some interesting commentary from a half-dozen different sources. Most of the commentary seems to focus on the game’s now-well-documented first hour, and it sounds like all that we’ve come to expect from Mass Effect is present therein.
Personally, I think that re-issuing a “corrected” version of the latest Mass Effect novel, Deception, is the wrong move. But since some irate BioWare fans were evidently burning their copies of the novel in protest over various errors it makes in regard to established canon, BioWare has evidently decided to work with the book publisher to release a new version of the book with some strategic corrections made to it.
I’m of two minds about this. On one hand, it’s BioWare’s canon to write, keep, and/or mangle as they see fit; the fans don’t own the canon, and shouldn’t presume to dictate it to the studio and the writers that do.
On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder if not burning our copies of Ultima 8 in the street was a failed policy decision on the part of Ultima fans.
Just a helpful little video to get you started in SWTOR; it details character creation and the first mission on the origin planet.
You can thank Infinitron Dragon for bringing this one to my attention. Do not click that link if you hate spoilers and have been studiously avoiding them where Mass Effect 3 is concerned.
If, on the other hand, you’re like me and love poring over every leak and rumour, click on through and feast your eyes on a couple of companion design choices that BioWare has made. One of them will, I think, be very cool (and please tell me I’m not the only one who is reminded of Farscape, just a little bit?). The other…well…
The First Age of Update: The link works now.