Great stories deserve great conclusions, and it's seeming like fans of science fiction will be getting just that with Mass Effect 3. And although the game will undoubtedly be bringing the adventure of Commander Shepard to a close, that doesn't mean DLC isn't in store. BioWare's Casey Hudson recently opened up on the studio's plans for expanded content, and how it may not guarantee that Shepard will live to have another adventure at all.
Developing expansions and additional content is always tricky when trying to stay committed to telling the last chapter of a story, as the developers of Fallout 3 are well aware. That game's ending and took the ability to finish sidequests and objectives away from the player, much to the chagrin of completionists. So with BioWare touting Mass Effect 3 as the end of Shepard, there may have been some fans wondering how DLC would be handled.
The DLC offerings from Mass Effect 2 ranged from good to great, so it's nice to hear that the momentum isn't slowing any for Mass Effect 3. It seems that the same formula will be used as in the past, with the new missions and locations added into the main campaign and playable at any point.
That's according to Hudson, who told GameInformer that the development team is constantly looking to refine their mechanics and inspirations, with DLC for Mass Effect 3 being one way to do that:
"Even with our DLC, we look at what people are talking about, what people do fan art of, what people say they wish they could do. It gives us ideas about what some of the opportunities are that people would respond to.
"There’s some multiplayer stuff, but we’re also planning some DLC on the single-player side, because it did really good in Mass Effect 2. There’s a reason why we can add stories to what’s there. The adventure-type DLC will happen in the time frame of Mass Effect 3, within your Mass Effect 3 storyline. It’s similar to how with Mass Effect 2, if you had a saved game from anywhere inside the game, you could go on to the DLC. We have a pretty neat concept for how it’s going to work."
Exactly what Hudson means by the 'pretty neat concept' they have in mind for fitting DLC into the campaign isn't clear, but with all signs pointing to Shepard sacrificing his own life for humanity, it could mean anything. That may not be the case for everyone, but it's hard to think of any other outcome that would guarantee that Shepard is finished with the franchise.
With past DLC being of a more personal nature for Shepard and global warfare confined to the backdrop, taking time away from the main quest to indulge didn't stretch credibility. But with the stakes raised so high for Mass Effect 3, the possibilities for DLC are limitless.
What kind of DLC would you like to see if the game really is supposed to bring the series to a close? New allies to aid your success in defending Earth, or a romantic getaway with Ashley/Liara/Tali/Jack/Garrus/Jacob/Kaidan?
Mass Effect 3 will be released on March 6, for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
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