A lot of people have stuck with the Mass Effect series for quite some time. Stories were forged, decisions were made, and romances were started with crew mates.
The lush space opera trilogy will come to an end with Mass Effect 3. The 2012 release date seems so far away, but luckily, executive producer for the Mass Effect trilogy, Casey Hudson, is sharing some interesting details about the game.
When the first Mass Effect 3 gameplay was shown to the public at E3 2011, a lot of obvious changes have been implemented for the title – but nothing more dramatic than the changes to combat and gun play we’ve already seen in the series. However, what about the decisions you, as Commander Shepard, made throughout Mass Effect 1 and 2? What of the Dirty Dozen-type team you put together during Mass Effect 2? In an interview with Xbox World 360, Hudson does his best to answer some of those questions.
Before we get to those details, engorge your eyes on this live-action Mass Effect 3 trailer, giving you some insight on what it could look like should Reapers ever invade Earth FOR REAL.
Certainly does add a more personal touch seeing the storyline acted out, rather than rendered.
Hudson’s interview may include news that could upset a few action-focused fans of the franchise. While saving the Earth and galaxy from the Reaper threat is probably the most important thing in the game, finding out about the relationships Shepard has developed traversing the galaxy can be seen as equally high priority. However, with the talk of Mass Effect 3 utilizing a smaller team (when comparison to its predecessor), not everyone players may have grown to love will make a return to the Normandy. Hudson reveals some insight into the squad players have grown accustomed to.
“Every main character is in there somewhere, kind of doing the thing that is right for that character. Zaeed for example is a very simple character and what he’s up to is different to, say, Liara, who is very pivotal.”
Unfortunately for fans of the Firefly-inspired mercenary, just because he was alive at the end of ME2 might not mean he will be joining Shepard to be a hero again. Understandably, the focus on a smaller team can create a much more personal stake in the mission to save the galaxy. Growing close to teammates while fighting against even crazier odds than before can really create some interesting themes and relationships among Shepard and his crew.
Improvements to the RPG aspects and how they impact combat – is also something the team at BioWare is trying to address. Due to the shooter gamplay, stats had a very minimal, nearly unnoticeable, appearance in the titles. However, rather than most fantasy based RPGs (where stats can be king), Mass Effect 3 will be applying the RPG moniker in different ways, Hudson explains:
“To us, the RPG experience isn’t necessarily about stats and loot. It’s about exploration and combat and making a good character-driven story and good progression.
“We had progression in Mass Effect 2 in armor and weapon choices but that activity chain was too simple. That whole activity chain I think was a button we weren’t really pushing in ME2 and specifically were trying to hit for ME3.”
While RPG fans love their stats, the lack of a system in place for ME2 didn’t take away from the actual gameplay too much. Although, the lack of customization in armor was something that fans of ME1 were very disappointed with. Luckily, the armor and weapons will be able to be specialized to suit every player’s needs – adding a bit more personality to each individual Shepard.
ME players who chose to pursue a romance with the Quarian engineer, Tali’Zorah nar Rayya, might finally be getting a look at her face in Mass Effect 3. Perhaps one of the more interesting races of the ME universe, Quarians live their lives in sustainable exo-suits due to a very poor immune system. The Tali romance scene in ME2 concluded with Shepard removing her mask – but, sadly, Tali’s face was not visible.
BioWare has also taken to the fan community and asked fans whether or not they would like to see Tali’s face. The answer has a very high probability of being “yes”, but even if that were the case, artists haven’t reached a decision on what she would look like. Unfortunately, fans sound like they might not be pleased either way, according to Hudson:
“A lot of people want to have her face revealed and obviously people are going to be pissed off either way.
“Like “I thought she was going to look beautiful!” or “I thought she was going to be the most hideous thing ever!” So we’ve had a lot of debate over Tali’s face, but that’s the one we kind of dread a lot. We’re always “well, let’s talk about something else for a while!” That’s something we’re going to have to decide.”
Tali’s voice does stay the same after she removes her visor, eliminating any kind of voice modulation in the suit. Could Quarians be part machine? That would make for some pretty interesting pillow talk.
Unfortunately, new romances will not be possible during Mass Effect 3, probably owing to the impending galactic doom thing. But, if Shepard has been loyal to his first romance in Mass Effect 1, something good may be coming out of your patience and commitment. However, consequences will be present should you have decided to be a bit more daring and romanced different individuals throughout Shepard’s life.
Whatever decisions go into the final product, Mass Effect 3 will sure to be a satisfying conclusion to one of the best RPG series in a long, long time.
Mass Effect 3 releases March 6, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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Source: Xbox World 360 [via CVG]