Old Consoles Allow ‘Mass Effect 3′ to Focus on Gameplay & Storytelling

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 3:25 pm,

Mass Effect 3 to focus on story, gameplay

While it’s not the end of the Mass Effect franchise, Mass Effect 3 will bring a conclusion to the Shepard story arc, an story that has been completely fantastic and engrossing for many Mass Effect fans.

Fans familiar with the game understand and appreciate the depth and gravity of the universe, and for newcomers, the Mass Effect universe presents a story that has drawn parallels to Star Wars, not so much in terms of mimicking the adventures verbatim, but from a sense of how the hero’s story is told. Mass Effect, like Star Wars, is more space opera than science fiction and for it, story is everything.

Epic Games leading game designer Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War 3) has spoken out on several occasions in regards to the Mass Effect franchise. Speaking with Gamasutra in May 2010, he put it in perspective with his own experience working on Gears.

“It’s like well, here’s something that’s like Gears, but even has more depth, and a different setting. It’s (Mass Effect) Star Wars for this new generation, right?”

Earlier this week, Bleszinski also spoke with Maxim magazine and showered even more love on the Mass Effect series. “One cannot help but love the world BioWare has crafted,” said Bleszinski. “I love this universe more than Star Wars, and that’s saying something.”

ME3 London

This segues into BioWare’s most recent discussions on Mass Effect 3: fans of the franchise will be excited to hear that due to the maxed out technology on both the PS3 and the Xbox 360, the final installment of the Shepard trilogy focuses even more on story-telling and gameplay. Without having that little voice constantly nagging them to push the technology envelope, BioWare can focus all of the development on providing a rich story with outstanding gameplay mechanics.

BioWare Edmonton GM Aaryn Flynn stated that both consoles are “pretty maxed out” as it would be hard to find anything left to improve upon.

“That said though, I think what is nice is what that gives you is an incredibly stable platform that lets you iterate on things like gameplay and iterate on things like story and things you can do that way now because you’re not worrying about the underlying technology changing from under you. That’s been one of the nice things for us in Mass Effect 3. Relying on that stable hardware that you know and have learned very well for the past five or seven years.”

That BioWare is focusing on gameplay, and more importantly story-mechanics for the final installment is a huge step in the right direction as Mass Effect 3 approaches its completion date next March. As a deeply devoted fan to the Mass Effect franchise, and someone who has loved every minute of the story told so far, I can tell that by reading between the lines, Bioware is going to deliver a story that will make the tremendous stories from ME1 and ME2 pale by comparison to Mass Effect 3. All the recent talk of MMO’s and multiplayer sometimes seem to detract from the true purpose of what Mass Effect 3 will bring: an epic conclusion to both Commander Shepard and the reaper story.

Mass Effect fans, as ironic as it seems, does the limitations on console tech have you excited that Bioware is focusing solely on story and gameplay? How do you hope Shepard’s story ends?

Mass Effect 3 will be released for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 March 6, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @mattrowland1

Source: Now Gamer

TAGS: BioWare, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3, PC, PS3

  • Perry de Havilland

    Meh. This is just worthless Bioware PR fluff. They also said they were going to ‘concentrate on the story’ with Dragon Age 2, which turned out to be a steaming pile.

  • DOC

    Oh my god. Now even the developers themselves are comparing ME3 with Gears Of War.
    Since when is copying-that-other-game-that-has-nothing-to-do-with-anything-bioware-ever-made actually a good thing?

    If I want to play gears I play gears! Stop betraying your fanbase Bioware!

    • http://gamerant.com Matt Rowland


      How is Bioware betraying its fanbase because of what Cliff Bleszinski – who works for Epic Games – stated as his opinion?


      • Perry de Havilland

        I agree with Doc. Bioware is now in the ‘action game’ business, not the RPG business, and the proof of that is not what Bleszinski said (although he was right to draw the parallel with Gears), it is that Bioware are turning RPG franchises into shooters/action slashers in the name of ‘accessibility’… they added MP shooter play to ME3 fer Christ’s sake.

        I have nothing against Gears but if I want a dumb shooter (and I sometimes do) I will play Gears. But I will not buy ME3 for a Gears-like experience, I want a ME2-like story driven RPG experience or I think I will spend my money elsewhere this time.

        Bioware ain’t the company it used to be.

        • http://gamerant.com Matt Rowland

          Respect your opinions, I really do. I’m really having a hard time understanding how you’re coming to the conclusion that Bioware has turned ME3 into a “dumb shooter” like Gears. You state “I will not buy ME3 for a Gears-like experience.” All signs point to the opposite, that ME3 will not be like the experience you dread.

          I have another piece on the co-op/multiplayer for ME3 coming out shortly; should be posted within the hour. I have trepidation over it (maybe not as much as you!) :) but I have to take Casey Hudson at his word when he says it’s 100% optional and will not impact the single player experience.


        • Rad

          Quoting Perry de Havilland:

          “…I want a ME1-like story driven RPG experience…”

          There, fixed it for you 😉

          • Perry de Havilland

            Yeah a lot of people seem to think ME1 was more story driven than ME2… but I am not one of them. I liked ME2 just fine 😉

        • Danijel

          Well you can’t really compare Mass Effect and Gears of War franchise. Both series are great in the genres they’re representing. I wouldn’t worrying too much about Mass Effect 3, it will surely be an engaging experience as the 2nd entry in the franchise was. As for Dragon Age 2, they released it in less than 18 months after Origins, there was no time to polish everything and that’s why it didn’t turn out as well as the first one, but I liked it though. I’m not worried for the final act of Shepard’s story, it will definitely be game of the year for 2012! 😀

  • Perry de Havilland

    “All signs point to the opposite, that ME3 will not be like the experience you dread.”

    Well not really. They added multi-player to what was ostensibly an RPG, so actually the evidence is that they are indeed looking to drift ME3 into a more Gears-like ‘action’ game. Moreover they have form for turning RPGs into ‘action games’ (Dragon Age:O -> Dragon Age 2).

    And after the way the spun the Dragon Age fallout, I tend to not to put much stock on what they say any more :-)

    But truly, truly, I do hope I am wrong.

  • dgrfdgfg
  • Elcobydos

    I don’t understand all the doubt and negativity coming from the fan base lately. They gave us Mass Effect 1 and 2. Do people really think they will screw up the last game?

    • Perry de Havilland

      In a word… yes, it is distinctly possible.

      It is clear that The Higher Ups at Bioware (meaning EAgames, who own them)have decided the former Bioware RPG approach needs to become more “accessible”, which is to say, they want to stop making RPGs per se and instead make ‘Action Games’ with a bit of dialogue thrown in… oh and ‘accessible’ is an industry code-word for “less thoughtful”. Some would say “dumbed down” but I am not sure that is quite right and it is too pejorative for my taste.

      No, “less thoughtful”, sorry, make that “more accessible” means it caters to players who (in essence) ‘just want to blow stuff up’. Now that does not mean a game is ‘bad’ for catering to that (gawd knows I also like games in which I just blow stuff up), but it does mean there is (debatably, very debatably) a larger market for the game, because story-driven RPGs, which may also feature a great deal of ‘blowing stuff up’, also features all that “thoughtful” stuff that makes the game less “accessible” to the Action Game Player who may see Story and Cut-Scene as an unwanted interruption to blowing stuff up

      The evidence for the Prosecution that Bioware may indeed snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with the Mass Effect franchise, M’lud, is Exhibit A… Dragon Age: Origins, a profitable and highly regarded critical success with RPG players … and Exhibit B, Dragon Age 2, the supposed sequel which turned out to be an ‘action game’ with hugely speeded up animation and a threadbare story about uninteresting toons who were little more than collision box markers.

      If the player wanted a faster action game than DA:O, then for them DA2 rocked. If they wanted a DA:O-like RPG but better, it was a steaming pile of… disappointment.

      The addition of multiplayer to ME3 in order to make it more @lets just blow stuff up’ Gears-of-War-like does not prove conclusively that the same decision-making will be the main driver behind ME3 as it was with the critical failure that was DA2 (and by critical failure I mean the flood of hostile player reviews, not the ‘professional’ reviews).

      All that said… I hope as much as anyone my concerns prove completely groundless and ME3 is in fact a total triumph.

      Well we will see soon enough. But no way am I going to pre-order.