Though our E3 preview, trailers, and first hands-on experience with the game had us thinking we had Mass Effect 3 pretty pinned down, Associate Producer Michael Gamble has come out to drop a few tidbits to make us realize we were all wrong. Talking about everything from upcoming DLC, weapon mods, and the game’s morality system, Gamble lets some juicy details fly — juicy details that make us much more excited for this game.
Among the details Gamble lets loose to Ten Ton Hammer is the revelation that the choices in Mass Effect 3, though sometimes thought to be cut-and-dry, might lead to serious repercussions. As part of our E3 preview we saw one of the decisions mentioned by Gamble — where Commander Shepard opts to let a little boy go on — which resulted in an event that was surprising, yet intriguing.
Intriguing because what was initially thought to be the “Paragon” choice resulted in a less than favorable outcome, and surprising because it revealed the gut-wrenching nature of Mass Effect 3’s narrative.
As revealed by Gamble, choices in Mass Effect 3 are less about what is right and what is wrong, but about how they will affect the player and the world.
“In real life, you make choices all the time and things don’t always happen the way you want. Now with the Reapers and the galaxy at war, you can make a choice. You also have to know that there’s an underlying layer of sacrifice that’s going to happen, an underlying layer of unpredictability. In Mass Effect 3, you make choices and your outcomes come out of them, but how the outcomes come, there might be some repercussions. Never assume that everything is going to be straightforward.”
There’s still the Renegade and Paragon path, don’t get too worried about that, but choices in Mass Effect 3 will be less black-and-white — something fans of the series have been asking for since the beginning.
Adding to that point, Gamble explained that the action in Mass Effect 3 wouldn’t always be about large set pieces. Sure there will be those moments that take players’ breath away, but there also needs to be more subtle character moments to make those larger action sequences much more poignant.
You have your critical moments where decisions are important and big set pieces are absolutely critical to telling the story. Then you have your other moments where it’s more along the lines of you go to other worlds and you do things that aren’t necessarily inspired by huge set pieces. It’s not about always turning it up and always making it action-packed, because without the downtime, the other part of it, you don’t see the effect the war is having upon the galaxy. You don’t actually appreciate it as much the moments when you’re up and close and personal to the Reapers.
Finally, and probably most importantly, Gamble reveals that the team at BioWare is hard at work on DLC for Mass Effect 3. They recognize the popularity of Lair of the Shadow Broker and Overlord, and want to continue that tradition. Gamble didn’t speak on what the team has cooking, but he says once the game ships then they’ll talk DLC.
It’s great to see that, even in this third iteration, BioWare isn’t afraid to evolve the experience that, arguably, was very popular from the get go. Taking choices and making them less cut-and-dry, making tweaks to weapon customization (now done through the game’s futuristic “work benches”), and keeping the game from getting away from its RPG roots and moving into shooter territory all show that this is the Mass Effect game we’ve been waiting for.
What do you think of BioWare’s approach to choices in Mass Effect 3? Were you a fan of the Renegade and Paragon path despite them being obvious? Which do you favor: the RPG-ness or action-packed shooter-ness of Mass Effect 3?
Mass Effect 3 launches March 6, 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Source: Ten Ton Hammer