There were quite a few alien races represented in the Mass Effect trilogy. Although they may have scales, blue skin, or might even look like roaches, they were basically humans with a palette swap. That’s disturbing, but considering how limited consoles were during this generation, that may have been a necessary step.
Apparently, BioWare thought the same, too, for they considered having non-humanoid squadmates in the games, but they discovered that it would have taken away from the rest of the game.
All the party members in the games were based on the humanoid skeleton because the development effort for non-humanoid playable aliens would have been great. Instead, the studio pushed to make a “larger, more polished game.” Also, all squadmates had to function like human characters in the sense that they’d have to be able to carry guns.
Honestly, I’d love to see the galaxy’s first Hanar spectre in the next Mass Effect game. Now, that would be freaking amazing! Also, I think next-gen consoles have more power and RAM that can be dedicated to render more than one type of “skeleton” in games.
Mass Effect 3, despite being critically acclaimed and liked by gamers, faced a severe backlash due to its ending. There was a lot of debate regarding the ending, but BioWare had eventually kneeled to the fans by releasing extended versions of the game’s three endings. This was an industry first, and it’s still seen as an intrusion into artistic license by many.
Keeping all this in mind, BioWare learned a lot of lessons, and they’re going to heed them for their future titles. Casey Hudson, the game’s executive producer, noted how they had “underestimated how attached people [had] become to the characters.” He adds that the excellent Citadel DLC was born out of the desire to respect this love.
“We’d never imagined that as we ended the trilogy, all people would want to do was spend more time with the characters, sort of bathing in the afterglow—getting closure and just having some time to live in the universe that they fought to save,” he said. “This, and many other learnings, will be built into our future games.”
This sentiment is echoed by producer Mike Gamble, who commented that fans’ feelings about the characters were “just as strong as [BioWare’s]”.
As it stands right now, BioWare has only hinted that the next installment in the series is in the works. The company has recently been gauging interest in various aspects like timeline and multiplayer, so it remains to be seen what the future holds for us.
With the upcoming release of Star Wars Episode VII, EA and Disney have signed a multi-year deal to publish Star Wars games made by DICE, BioWare, and Visceral Games. The agreement covers all “major platforms”. However, Disney still retains the rights to make social and casual games for mobile devices, tablets, and the web.
This is both exciting and horrifying at the same time. Imagine the possibilities of a Frostbite 3-powered game set in the famous universe. Imagine BioWare’s narrative and technical skills in a Star Wars game again. Imagine Visceral making a hack-and-slash or Dead Space-esque game set in this universe. The possibilities are, quite interestingly, endless. What’s horrifying is the fact that EA might put draconian DRM—Simcity, anyone?—in these games. How about endless waves of DLC?
Honestly, I’m excited at the prospect of more Star Wars games. The great thing is that all these studios are great at what they do—making good games. Excellent graphics, engaging gameplay, and good narratives are all that I can hope for at this point. I just hope EA doesn’t screw it up with their underhanded tactics.
LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy is similarly excited, noting that the company chose the publisher which could “consistently deliver great Star Wars games for years to come.” That’s for console platforms though; casual and social titles will be made by Disney Interactive itself.
No specific games were announced, though we can expect some announcements soon.
I can’t help but be excited about Citadel, the final piece of single-player DLC for Mass Effect 3. Conspiracies, hanging out with friends, and going on one last adventure with old friends and partners? Definitely the last hurrah for Shepard and crew. It comes out tomorrow.
Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer mode is getting another expansion on May 29. Dubbed “Rebellion”, the new DLC pack adds more gear, weapons, maps, and kits to the game’s online modes. Best of all is the fact that it’s free for everyone who redeemed their online pass.
The pack includes two maps (“Firebase Jade” and “Firebase Goddess”), three new weapons, and six new characters to the multiplayer roster. BioWare and EA recently released the “Resurgence” pack that added to multiplayer gameplay.
These two packs don’t add anything for single-player adventurers. No need to worry though, as BioWare is working on the “Extended Cut” DLC that adds new single-player content and expands the ending of the game. It will be free.
EDI and Admiral Hackett are two characters who have now been confirmed to appear in the upcoming “Extended Cut” DLC for Mass Effect 3. The content will expand upon the game’s ending, which was received negatively by gamers and critics.
Lance Henricksen and Tricia Helfer, who play Hackett and EDI, respectively, confirmed their appearances during a press junket for a new animated series called Tron: Uprising.
“I just did another session with [BioWare],” said Henricksen. “So we did a whole series of things to add to the end of the game, to live up to the quality they’ve been doing.”
EA sent out word that it’s shutting down Dragon Age Legends next month. No reason was given for the shutdown, though it should be noted that BioWare’s Ethan Levy said the browser game didn’t meet EA’s expectations.
The publisher stated that it will offer a free downloadable version of the game without multiplayer. It was originally released as a free-to-play, social RPG to coincide with the launch of Dragon Age 2.
EA has announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic currently has about 1.3 million active subscribers. It’s a sizable drop from 1.7 million reported back in February.
These numbers come from the publisher’s annual financial report, which saw it boast a net annual income of $76 million. They had lost $276 million this time last year.
It should be noted that the MMO got a 1.2 update only a month ago. It added lots of new content, which is a trend BioWare hopes to continue with “Allies”, its next content update. No further details are known about this update, other than the fact that it will be available in EA’s “Q1” time frame.
Could “Allies” be EA’s answer to reduced active users?
There’s a new video out for Mass Effect 3 that shows off the game’s multiplayer in action. It also showcases races and classes available as “Special Forces”.
The game is due out on March 6 and 9 in US and Europe, respectively, on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
PC gamers rejoice: BioWare’s Daniel Erickson has said Star Wars: The Old Republic is not coming to consoles, noting that the interface for PC is “made for games” and that the possibility had not been discussed.
“I have no idea if it’s possible,” Erickson said of a console version. “I’d have to ask our tech director.
“I can tell you that it’s not anything that we’ve even discussed. There is nobody anywhere in Bioware laying the groundwork for that because we have a very large complicated game to ship first.”
Finally, he notes that PC is the “natural place to be” and that any game at BioWare uses the PC as the lead platform.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is due for release next spring.