Bioware teases new Mass Effect DLC

Bioware have been pretty open about the fact they’re making more DLC since the release of the Omega adventure. I loved that content; you got to play with Aria, got to meet a female Turian – all pretty cool stuff. Now, series producer, Mike Gamble, and executive producer, Casey Hudson, have both tweeted a single image of what we might expect for Shepard’s latest adventure.

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‘Looks like a nice place for some R&R’ – Hudson

'Does not look like a guy you'd want to mess with' - Gamble

‘Does not look like a guy you’d want to mess with’ – Gamble

Meanwhile, I also discovered that Casey Hudson asked his twitter fans whether they wanted a prequel or sequel for the Mass Effect series. If you’ve read my ‘What’s in store for Mass Effect 4‘ post, then you might agree that a sequel is probably a bad direction to take. I hope, for everyone’s sake, they decide upon a prequel and save themselves against a backlash of fans.

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What’s in store for Mass Effect 4

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Okay, it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with the Mass Effect trilogy – in my eyes, they’re one of the most successful science fiction creations of all time. I’m currently re-playing Mass Effect 3 for the third time as I managed to miss loads of people and areas from the first play-through’s as I was so desperate to get to the finish and progress the story. Kelly got shot in the head, Grissom Academy was destroyed, I never even saw Thane or Kasumi, and I balls’d up and accidentally rejected Kaiden from joining my crew.

With the trilogy over, I was desperate to know about the future of this galactic series. There have been rumours of a movie, comics and books have already launched, I’m waiting to get my Tali’Zorah vas Normandy figure (I have Garrus). Bioware have revealed that Mass Effect 4 is happening, but have been quick to dismiss speculation that it’ll appear on the gaming shelves in 2014. In my personal opinion, this does seem a little too soon to be bringing out the next ME game, even if it was released in the last quarter. So I think we should be expecting an early 2015 release to allow the team to create the best possible game.

But, what can we expect?

Timeline

The Bioware team have an interesting decision to make when it comes to timeline. Whilst Mass Effect 4 will be a sequel to the original trilogy, I can’t see it occurring after the reaper invasion. The choice you make in the finale ultimately changes the galaxy one way or another. This means that a standardised galaxy couldn’t be created AFTER the reaper invasion as it’d only incorporate one choice, annoying a multitude of fans who had chosen a different option. Therefore, will it take place during the invasion, preceding the invasion or far earlier when reapers haven’t even yet been heard of?

Reappearance of Old Friends

Going off the basis that ME4 is likely, in my opinion, to occur before the reaper invasion, could we see some old faces? Bioware have already said that Shepard will no longer appear in subsequent Mass Effect games, and that his/her story is over. This is not to say that old acquaintances from the game won’t appear, even if’s simply a news report heard on the Citadel relating to specific Cerberus agents or a slightly mad Salarian scientist.

No Shepard, No Soldier

Though Bioware have been sketchy with the details, one thing is clear; there will be no Shepard and the story of a soldier saving the universe has been told. The possibilities are endless and there’s no point in guessing what Bioware has up their sleeve. A peacekeeper? An archaeologist? A scientist searching the galaxy for answers? Who knows, but we can expect the military format to be way down the list of possibilities.

Do we need another Mass Effect?

Personally, I think we do need more from Mass Effect. It would be a huge disappointment to waste the incredible galaxy that the Bioware team have created. And it’s vast, with so many tales that could be told, from so many perspectives. Of course, any story needs to be told well, and there are sceptics who believe that Bioware haven’t got time for ME4 because they’re trying to breathe life back into Star Wars: The Old Republic and resuscitate their Dragon Age series. However, for someone who’s invested a staggering amount of time into the ME universe, I believe there’s more to be told, and I can’t wait to see it.

Mass Effect – Retake Omega

I know, I know, I’m already late to this party. I have justification, however, mostly in that my computer got wiped and so I’ve been playing Mass Effect from the start to level up two characters through games one and two before replaying Mass Effect 3 for the second time. I didn’t even have the extended cut the first time around, and I haven’t yet played with the Leviathan DLC either.

Even though Retake Omega hit on November 27th, this is the first time I’ve managed to get around to watching the trailer. I’m excited. In some ways, I’m kinda of glad I’m about to play through again anyway because it means that the DLC can seamlessly slot into gaming without having to reach ME3’s definitive ending and have to start over anyway.

I’m not entirely sure that comparing Aria to the Illusive Man quite holds up. Okay, Aria’s a bitch and a warlord, but she’s not just taken over the universe Illusive Man stylee. However, it looks as if Shepherd gets to play alongside Aria, and, is that a female Turian I spy?!

Let’s be honest, any Mass Effect DLC means more killing, fighting and rampaging, so there’s not a lot to be sad about. It’ll fill the gap until the next Mass Effect game is released. 😉

Multiplayer for Mass Effect

It has been revealed in Australia’s gaming magazine PC PowerPlay that Mass Effect 3 is to get multiplayer features. It’s quite a dramatic revelation for a game which, for both it’s first and second titles, steered fervently away from the traps of putting too much time into multiplay games rather than the main title itself. Whilst players around the globe get into a flap about the new direction for this award winning and top selling game, I’ll be none too affected – I don’t allow myself a console because my life would cease as I became married to the couch and fast food – and playing via PC networking really isn’t worth the hassle. But, with the highly anticipated revelation made, I wonder whether Mass Effect even needs this multiplayer option.

In the same way that I continue to hope that Tali’s face will not be shown because it is sure to be a devastating let down, I hope that the multiplayer options coming to Mass Effect will also not disappoint. There is already a staggering variety of story options within the title, with replayability an obvious option to discover just how your different interactions and important decisions will affect later gameplay. As seen with some of the DLC’s that have come later, especially for ME2, playability was poor for a couple with Shepherds actions really not having any meaning in the greater aspect of the game.

As long as Bioware and Electronic Arts keep up the full throttle with the main title, and don’t become side tracked with online multiplayer quests so that both pieces come out feeling rather lack lustre, I’ll be happy. And let’s be honest, sod my friends and multiplay options, I just wanna head back to my crew and get onto the battlefield with Liara, Garrus and Tali when the game breaks on March 6th, 2012.

More Mass Effect After Fight for Earth

It’s that time of year, and if you’ve being paying any attention to Gamescom you’ll know of the hype that’s been surrounding next year’s Mass Effect 3 release. With Shepherd back on Earth facing trial against the murder of 300,000 Bactarians, the scene is set for the Reaper invasion, with gameplay taking place in London and New York scenario’s at a minimum.

The Reapers are coming to London

A plethora of information has been unveiled, including details of our much loved characters. Tali and Kal’Reeger are both making returns, and there’s been hints that Quarians will finally be seen without their masks. However, as much as I’m eager to see her face, I actually hope BioWare choose not to reveal Tali to the masses. Whatever they do and however she looks, it’s sure to be a disappointment – like meeting up on a first date only to realise that the pics you were sent were several years old. Minor, yet hugely loved character Kelly Chambers will be back as long as you didn’t let the Collectors turn her to a bloody sludge in the horrific suicide mission through the Omega 4 relay. Meanwhile, with Miranda, Legion, and all previous characters (as long as they’re alive that is) making an appearance somewhere, the cast for Mass Effect 3 looks to be pretty stunning and extensive.

But, along with all the Mass Effect 3 details comes the news from Bioware marketing chief David Silverman which I’d barely hope to think about. With Mass Effect 3 concluding this epic triology for survival, the game was almost up. And as much as I can’t wait for the third title to arrive, once it does, then that is that….or is it? Questioned over the possibility of prequels to the series, Silverman revealed “This series definitely doesn’t end with Mass Effect 3,” giving hope to the hundreds of thousands of fans around the globe. There was little embellishment on this expanded universe other than it wasn’t the end. Can we look forward to the invasion of the Reapers against the Protheans? Or perhaps the first council led species arriving at the Citadel? Or a story arc more personal to players hearts with current characters appearing in alternate prequels somehow? Whatever Bioware comes up with this is by far the best news coming out of Gamescom, giving hope that all the hours invested into these beloved characters and amazing universe will be able to live for a little bit longer.

However, for now, we must revel in the glory that is to be Mass Effect 3, and with new video and image content, 2012 seems too far away to believe.

Mass Effect 3 and KINECT

This is why I await E3 with an amount of trepidation every year. The expo of the gaming world not only prepares to blow my mind, but also my budget. And with Bioware revealing that they are to integrate KINECT into Mass Effect 3 I may be about to lose my life to a console system. I’m a PC boy through and through, and for gaming its largely because if I had a gleaming box sitting next to my flatscreen TV I literally would not move from the couch, ever.

Along with voice interaction coming to Mass Effect 3, allowing you to not only negotiate conversations by just saying Shepard’s option but also providing a seamless way to tell squadmates which powers to deploy, a release date has also been confirmed – June 3rd, 2012. Of course, I’m both bitterly disappointed and excited; it’s A YEAR away, but that also means that my favourite gaming trilogy of all time won’t be over for at least another year and two days! With a few details trickling through, including a Krogan princess who is set to reunite the warring factions on Tuchanka and stablise the genophage, I can’t wait to see what’s around Mass Effect’s mind blowing corner.

Gay Play for Mass Effect 3

I’m a ridiculously obsessed Mass Effect fan. Having dithered, should I buy? should I not buy?, I ended up parting with £20, buying Mass Effect 1 and being enveloped by a futuristic universe where humans had ventured out of the solar system, met a fantastical array of alien races and were forging their new existence albeit at the bottom of the galactic pack. This awesome shooter come role-play game hooks you immediately from the start and before you know it you’re blowing up geth, building relationships with your squad mates, and exploring a brand new universe.

It’s now been revealed that Mass Effect 3, the final chapter of the series, is going to offer players the ability to indulge in gay relationships. Having only played through Mass Effect 1 once with the female lead Commander Shepard I’d taken the heterosexual route, with her first bedding Kaiden and then cheating on him in Mass Effect 2 and hotting it up with the immensely fine Jacob. The latter choice was really me just desperately wanting to see how he looked without his clothes on….and worryingly, even in pixels, I’d happily get some of that action. However, having only had this one female play through, I hadn’t realised that actually there were some gay options available, with female Commander Shepherd able to romance both Liara T’soni or Chief Ashley Williams.

Liara T'Soni can be romanced by both male and female Shepard's

Whilst gay possibilities existed for women, the gaming world seemed reluctant to allow the very attractive and macho male Commander Shepard to get his own man on man action….that is until now. Whilst I could only dream of Shepard getting it on with Jacob, or even indulging in some slightly wrong man on alien action with Thane or Garrus it has been confirmed that Mass Effect 3 will allow gay relationships for both men and women.

With ME2 hotties like Jacob I'm looking forward to male same sex romance options in ME3

This is a major leap forward for the gaming industry, especially for titles including both shooter and role play action. But what I like especially in Mass Effect is that you decide. It’s a futuristic world where, of course, there are going to be gay characters. But the franchise doesn’t force anyone to play either way. You want to play it straight? You can. You want Shepherd to look for a little same sex romance as the world around him is destroyed by Reapers? You can do that too. So, in the same way as The Sims franchise made an open platform for players to do what they wished, so too has Mass Effect taken down that last macho man boundary. I applause you Mass Effect, and I urge you to put the hottest possible male romance options in Mass Effect 3 for me to enjoy, whilst I’m saving the Earth from the Repears and taking shelter from raining bullets and hostile bio weapon damage of course. It’s all just a day’s work for Shepard.