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Category Archives: Mass Effect

Take Back The Earth In Mass Effect 3

Update: BioWare has released the extended cut of the trailer.  Its even better!

During The Walking Dead there was a new commercial released for Mass Effect 3.  I will say this much, it proves that Commander Shepard is a certifiable badass.

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Mass Effect 3 Voice Cast

BioWare has been releasing some pretty cool video documentaries leading up to the release of Mass Effect 3.  The latest video features the voice cast of the upcoming game.  Is anyone else as surprised as I am that they got so many Hollywood names to participate in the game?  Check out the video below, it seems to be spoiler free to me.

 

 

Mass Effect 3 E3 Trailer

It’s no secret that I am a fan of BioWare’s Mass Effect trilogy.  As many times as I’ve played Mass Effect 2 it would be safe to say my addiction to BioWare RPGs remains firmly in place.  BioWare and Microsoft made it a point to showcase the game at E3 this year and while there was a lot of news that came out, it’s overshadowed by the trailer.  The trailer showcases the Reapers attack on Earth as well as the more refined combat that has been introduced in the 3rd game of the trilogy.  Also, Shepard gets some pretty badass energy blades.

Very good trailer, it looks like it’s designed to try to bring some shooter fans in as well.  And I have no problem with that.  March 6, 2012 cannot get here soon enough for me to play this game.

I’m planning on putting together a more comprehensive listing of Mass Effect news from E3 but until then I did want to provide a link to an article by IGN.  The author was lucky enough to receive a chance to play a demo Mass Effect 3.  Their reaction just continues to prove that BioWare gets it.  By that I mean they know that an overarching in-depth story that gets you invested in characters and situations can really resonate with you.  There are some minor spoilers for the beginning of the game, but I encourage you to read Mass Effect 3 Made Me Cry: And you would have too on IGN.

Update: Just saw that BioWare has put together a live action trailer to tease Mass Effect 3. It reminds me a lot of the live action Halo trailers that were released for Halo 3.  That being said, its pretty cool to see a live action husk.

More Details on Mass Effect 3

It’s amazing to me how much information has been released on Mass Effect 3 before E3 has even taken place.  I’m not complaining about the information, just wondering how much news about this game will be released at E3 now.

To begin with Casey Hudson, the executive producer for the Mass Effect series, announced on BioWare’s message boards that Mass Effect 3 has been delayed.  BioWare is now targeting an early 2012 release date.  Specifically, the first 3 months of 2012.  Personally, I have no issue with this.  BioWare is taking steps to ensure the game is released at their usual level, i.e. high quality.  If it takes a few extra months to get Mass Effect 3 and that causes it to be better I’m good with it.

There’s some additional bits of information coming out.  Firstly, BioWare is cutting down on the number of squad-mates that Shepard can have.  In Mass Effect 2 there were 12 squad-mates which is probably too many.  There were members of my team that I never used and I didn’t struggle either.  I think it’s a smart call by BioWare to cut down the squad-mates to a manageable number. Mass Effect 3 director Casey Hudson provided a little more information regarding the characters in the game:

“We’re not going to have twelve again but we are going to do more with the characters on your squad including Liara, and Kaidan or Ashley. And we’re bringing everyone back – every main character is in Mass Effect 3 somewhere.”

Provided Tali survived the playthough of Mass Effect 2 she will be back as a playable character in the sequel.  No news on other fan favorites like Wrex or Garrus.  Note that Hudson didn’t say all the returning characters were all playable though.  But at least they are coming back.  It should be very cool to see some of the characters again.

One Possible Team

Continuing on the character development side of things, Hudson gave some details regarding character romances.  There will be no new romance options in the game.  Meaning there are no new characters for your Shepard to woo.  Additionally he stated that about 70% of Mass Effect players were unfaithful to their love interests from the first game.  This is supposedly a choice that will come back to haunt Shepard in Mass Effect 3.  I’m curious to see how they work this in, but I’m not concerned about the consequences despite my Shepard being unfaithful to Ashley.

As has been mentioned previously, the combat mechanics are being tweaked for Mass Effect 3.  No longer will a player be able to hide behind cover and pick off all enemies.  Hudson provided a good deal of information about the new combat mechanics and level design and how that effect his female Shepard.

“[Shepard is] more agile than ever before — you’re falling, climbing, jumping, rolling between cover, SWAT turning, you can melee and grab enemies over cover objects… there’s a new heavy melee attack for every class. You could always tell when a fight was coming [in Mass Effect 2]. You would walk into a room filled with low cover and before we could get dramatic about it, you already knew a fight was coming. So now we’re building environments that don’t have crates and sandbags and that kind of cover; we have environments that have natural opportunities to take cover.”

It is a very good point, you could tell when fights were coming in Mass Effect 2.  The improvements in Mass Effect 3 should allow for a lot more surprise when it comes to battles against Shepard’s enemies.  Also, the enemy AI has been enhanced to make enemies smarter and able to set traps for Shepard.  With the improved combat mechanics comes new locations to travel to.  These include Turian and Quarian homeworlds of Palaven and Rannoch early in the game, as well as a return to Tuchanka, a mining base on a Martian crater and the game’s main showpiece locations, cities on Earth.  These levels will be designed to cater to the new combat mechanics.  All in all, it should be a great combination.

Finally, BioWare has set things up so that character weapons can be customized to your heart’s content.  According to Hudson, “Every weapon is modular and can be customized with up to five modifications; scopes increase a rifle’s zoom factor, new barrels increase accuracy or damage.  Sling your gun on a workbench and it can be customised for a job at hand.”  To me this reads that you can tailor your weapons to each mission.  Sometimes you might want a more powerful weapon at the cost of accuracy but other missions might call for a highly accurate weapon that might not be as powerful as others in the arsenal.  Players will have to make decisions like this before every mission.

It really looks like Mass Effect 3 is shaping up to be an incredible game.  To be honest, that’s what I expect from BioWare.  All of the BioWare games I’ve played have sucked me into the world and been incredibly entertaining.  There’s no reason to think that Mass Effect 3 won’t live up to BioWare’s stellar reputation.

Epic Nerd Swag – Normandy SR2

If you’re a fan of the Mass Effect series you are bound to be familiar with Shepard’s ship the Normandy.  One of my favorite collectibles to obtain are scale models of SciFi ships.  I’ve got models/statues/toys of a variety of ships on top of my DVD/Blu-ray shelfs.  Some of those iconic vessels are the USS Enterprise A, USS Enterprise D, Battlestar Galactica, Battlestar Pegasus, and a variety of Viper starfighters.  Really they are just fun things to put out and add to the nerd decor of my home.

As a collector of ships I was incredibly excited to hear that Dark Horse is releasing a scale model of the SSV Normandy SR2 from Mass Effect.  The ship has always been pretty cool looking and I had always wanted a model of it.  One of the rumors circulating about Mass Effect 3 is that the ultimate collector’s edition would be packaged with a scale model of the Normandy.  I would have bought that version of the game in a heartbeat.

Now that Dark Horse has made a scale model of the Normandy I have already put in my pre-order.  The appearance of the ship itself is slight spoiler.  If you pay attention the Cerberus paint scheme is gone and has been replaced with the colors associated with the Earth Alliance.  The Normandy is available for preorder now and will run about 35 bucks.  For 35 dollars you get a 6 inch scale model of the ship from BioWare’s Mass Effect trilogy.  The ship, pictured below, is currently set to be released on October 26, so get your orders in while you can!

Mass Effect 3 Details Emerge

BioWare has been letting a lot of details about the final part of the Mass Effect trilogy hit the internet via the fine Game Informer folks.  As a Mass Effect fanboy I am very excited to see how everything is shaping up for the final game.

If you haven’t played the Mass Effect 2 DLC Arrival you might want to skim this article.  I’m going to talk about the story from Arrival and it might spoil you.  Like many of us thought, Arrival is basically the bridge between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3.

Here is what we have learned so far about Mass Effect 3.  I’m just going to list things out and then delve into detail on a few.

  • The game begins on Earth.  Shepard is  on trial following the events of the Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2 where he was responsible for the death of many Batarians.   The Reapers will launch their assault on the planet during the trial, leading Shepard to flee to the Normandy.  From that point Shepard will look to gather new allies to combat the Reapers.
  • There are a variety of teammates returning as members of Shepard’s team.  This includes
    • Garrus Vakarian (Assuming he didn’t die in ME2)
    • Liara T’Soni
    • Ashley Williams or Kaiden Alenko (This is dependant on your choice on Virmire in ME 1)
    • James Sanders (the character shown in the teaser trailer I assume)
  • Some of your old teammates will be showing up, but not as playable characters.  This also assumes that they were not killed in the suicide mission that ended ME2  Confirmed so far are:
    • Mordin Solus
    • Legion
    • Urdnot Wrex (assuming he was not killed in ME1)
    • Admiral/Councillor Anderson
  • The Reapers are attacking many different planets throughout the galaxy.  As such Shepard will fight Husks created from a variety of species.
  • Shepard will have to fight against the Illusive Man and Cerberus.  Depending on your ending in ME2 this could greatly change how much Cerberus attempts to derail Shepard.  Cerberus will make use of a variety of mechs, assault units, and ‘ninja-style shock troops.’
  • A variety of new locations are being considered for Shepard to explore.  Some possibilities are New York, London, the Salarian homeworld, Mars, and a Quarian moon.
  • Combat will be changed to allow for dynamic damage.  This means if I shoot a mech in the arm I can blow its arm off and presumably disarm it.  This could be a very interesting dynamic for classes that make use of melee attacks.  Disable and then beat the crap out of enemies.
  • The planetary scanning for ore is being overhauled.  I know I’m not alone when I say thank goodness for that.  The scanning was tedious in ME 2.
  • The RPG elements of the game have been expanded.  It won’t be as in-depth as ME 1 but not nearly as bare-bones as seen in ME2.  It’s best to think of the RPG elements hitting a middle ground between the first two games.  In ME3 skill trees will be larger, and powers will evolve several times instead of just once.
  • The weapon system is undergoing an overhaul as well.  Much like in ME1 weapons will be customizable again.  The changes are cosmetic but will affect the behavior of the weapon.
  • Shepard will be more maneuverable now.  New abilities include rolling, jumping, and diving into cover.
  • Classes will now be able to wield all weapon types.  The only class that can carry them all at once will be the Soldier class.
  • There is a new class that will be available in ME 3.  This is the Heavy Melee class.  It will include a variety of kicks and punches and what had been deemed a ‘SWAT move.’
  • In typical Mass Effect fashion, the game will have numerous endings, some good, some bad, and who you have in your squad and which allies you recruit can have a dramatic effect on which endings are available. Sounds like there could be a lot of different endings to try to get. Thank goodness for YouTube where I can view all the endings once they are uploaded by gamers with far more time than me!
  • If you’re new to the game and want to start playing at Mass Effect 3 there will be a motion comic that allows you to see the plot so far and make decisions that will affect the outcome of the game.
  • BioWare has also squashed all rumors that ME 3 will contain multiplayer components.  It won’t happen with this game but they are exploring it for future projects.

As you can see there’s a lot of news and updates about the game.  It’s almost too much to digest.  One thing is certain, with BioWare at the helm it will be awesome.  I still have a few questions though.  Where is the rest of the team from ME 2?  We spent a whole game recruiting them and there is little to no news about them.  I really do hope to see some of the old crew come back.  I do hope Miranda is back since her combo of overload and warp was incredibly useful on my squad.

BioWare has made it their trademark to combine great storytelling with fantastic gameplay and I have no reason to think this won’t continue with Mass Effect 3.  We only have to wait until the end of the year (I hope) for this game.  Keep your fingers crossed that there are no delays!

Via: Joystiq and Game Informer

Mass Effect 3 VGA Trailer

Last year there were some big video game announcements that came from Spike TV’s Video Game Awards.  In fact I wrote a post last year referencing the games I was most excited about.  This year’s VGA show is still sitting on my DVR but I did catch parts of it tonight.  The biggest news is that BioWare released a trailer for Mass Effect 3.  But even bigger news is that Mass Effect 3 is slated for a Holiday Season 2011 release.  A year from now we’ll be playing Mass Effect 3!

Here’s the new trailer for Mass Effect 3, make sure you check it out.  Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go change my pants now.  haha

Another Reason To Play Mass Effect 2

If the huge storyline wasn’t enough to get you hooked, take a look at some of the characters providing the vocal talents to the game.  Its a pretty strong lineup!  If you’re a Chuck fan, two of the voice actors should be quite recognizable.

Mass Effect 2

I just recently finished my first playthrough of Mass Effect 2, and I can tell you this might just be BioWare’s best game to date.  The game was a blast and it was incredible to see how minor choices in the first game came into play in the sequel.  I fully intend to write a review, but until then I’m going to leave you with the opening cinematic of Mass Effect 2.  It might just be enough to get you interested in playing!

Mass Effect 2 Launch Trailer

How badass is this trailer?  I cannot wait until Tuesday to pick up my copy!  Some really kickass hints at the plot and an incredible score makes for a great trailer.

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