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

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

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