Secret Service, Mass Effect 3, Russian leaks; these are just a few of the details surrounding the latest information that has surfaced on BioWare's previously teased secret game project. To call the brief seconds of cinematic footage a 'tease' might be too generous, but recent events seem to suggest that BioWare has more than one secret cooking.
BioWare has taken to leaving cryptic barcodes on their Facebook page, which have already gotten fans and sleuths in a frenzy. The first binary code that BioWare posted represented the number 55.845, which you science nuts out there will immediately recognize is the atomic weight of iron. The second code translated as -128.5Ëš Fahrenheit, which just happens to be the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth. As far as hints go, these certainly don't reveal too much.
Now BioWare has posted another code, and this one ceratinly carries more weight. After translating the code, savvy detectives found that it led to the URL for the British Secret Intelligence Service- known to their friends as MI6. How does this fit with the brief glimpse of a futuristic soldier in seemingly war-torn city? Your guess is as good as ours. But the rumors don't end there.
The Russian Twitter page of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe had a very interesting message posted recently. According to RipTen's translation, the Russian message roughly reads:
"The company Bioware for premium VGA showed a teaser in which we can see the first shots of Mass Effect 3."
It's unclear whether this is indeed a confirmation that the teaser is referring to Mass Effect 3, or a confirmation that the game will see a release on the PS3, or both. BioWare has already announced that Mass Effect 2 will be coming to the PS3 in January, and bringing some extra goodies with it when it does. Perhaps the tweet is accurate, and a Sony employee unwittingly revealed that PS3 owners won't have to wait so long for a chance to play ME3. That's an idea that EA would likely find appealing, rather than dividing the console audiences for a third time.
While others may immediately accept that the announcement will be just that, we're not so convinced. It seems strange to announce that Mass Effect 3 will be coming to the PS3 a month ahead of the previous installment in the series being released for the same platform. It certainly is possible that BioWare will take the opportunity to announce the third in the trilogy at the VGAs, but the truth is that would be somewhat underwhelming.
BioWare is hard at work on The Old Republic and Dragon Age 2, so it wouldn't make much sense for their 'secret announcement' to be the release of a game that the entire world already knows is coming. It wouldn't be the first time an 'exclusive' announcement at the show was somewhat underwhelming, so it may still happen.
As for the link to MI6, all bets are off. Could they be announcing a game that has to do with espionage, secret agents, or future wars based in the United Kingdom? Or does the link, combined with the previous hints point to some bigger picture? We still have yet to see what handheld game the team is working on, so perhaps this is it after all.
We'll keep you posted on any more hints or secrets that are revealed in the coming weeks, so feel free to let us know what theories you've come up with. Could this finally be the office-based RPG that the working world has longed for? Only time will tell.
One thing is clear: BioWare is up to something. And that is almost always a good thing.