|Platform 360, PS3, Win, Wii U||Publisher Electronic Arts||Developer BioWare||Release Date 2012-03-06|
By Arthur Gies on Mar 06, 2012 03.06.12
It seemed so simple six years ago when BioWare originally announced the series. Take the decisions from every game, make them matter, and make them carry over. The unspoken insinuation was that persistent consequences would lead to a fiction that resonated in ways that no game had really attempted before. BioWare wanted you to care about the things you did in each game, to consider them. And now, six years later, we have the conclusion to that grand experiment. That little thing, persistence, has become a balancing act for BioWare between following through on demands of the existing Mass Effect audience, and leaving the series accessible to new players. The question now is, has BioWare managed to take the game they hope is the most accessible yet while keeping the promise they...
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By Katherine Cross on Jul 29, 2014 07.29.14
"I got this message from a reader and it was pretty well-worded, and well thought-out … but what he was saying is, essentially, ‘well, Carolyn, you shouldn’t have given Gone Home such a high score because if game designers see games like Gone Home getting so much acclaim then we’re not going to have traditional games anymore!’" Time and again, this leitmotif of gamer-speak arises: the idea that someone, somewhere is going to take your games away. A "terror dream" that sees us reliving the paternalist past and lashing out at all criticism in hopes of keeping the grasping hands of the censor at bay. They’re not coming for you The writer and independent game designer Autumn Nicole Bradley helped develop this idea in conversation with me, as a way of uniting the whole of gamer history...
By Emily Gera on May 16, 2014 05.16.14
Sarah and Jack are among the most common names chosen for Commander Shepard based on player data analyzed from Mass Effect 3, BioWare revealed. While the most common name choices were the game's defaults, John and Jane, the top five player-dictated female Shephard names include Sarah, Kate, Alice, Jessica and Alex. The top five male Shephard names, on the other hand, are Jack, James, Chris, Alex and Michael. BioWare's data pull reveals that Italian, Spanish and Russian players were more likely to choose Alex as the name for their male Shephard. German and French gamers were more likely to choose Sarah as the name of their female Shephard, while Kate was the name of choice in Russia and Poland.
By Tracey Lien on Apr 09, 2014 04.09.14
Every line of dialog the player chooses to speak, every character the player romances, every character the player doesn't romance, every encounter they have, every encounter they don't have — these details are carefully noted so the game can respond to the player's actions accordingly. Players of the Mass Effect series will often refer to their avatar Commander Shepard as "My Shepard," a testament to the care the developers put into making players feel invested in their character. But it takes more than care to pull together an elaborate story that draws players into the game and keeps them there. Video games are often made by teams of writers, designers, programmers, artists and producers, but there's an important role that is often over-looked, forgotten and, in some studios,...
By Alexa Ray Corriea on Mar 03, 2014 03.03.14
BioWare developers have internally discussed the possibility of bringing the original Mass Effect trilogy to next-gen consoles with remastered editions, according to a tweet from Edmonton and Montreal studios' general manager Aaryn Flynn. Responding to a fan question on Twitter, Flynn said solid plans for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of 2007's Mass Effect, 2010's Mass Effect 2 and 2012 finale Mass Effect 3 have yet to form, but BioWare will share details when possible. "We have discussed that internally," Flynn wrote of a trilogy remastery. "If we can put solid plans together we'll share. Great to hear you're keen." Polygon has reached out to Flynn and BioWare for more details and will share them as they are received. The original Mass Effect was initially published...
By Alexa Ray Corriea on Oct 31, 2013 10.31.13
BioWare will once against host online multiplayer events for its annual Mass Effect N7 Day on Nov. 7, in addition to a charity auction and other events to foster Mass Effect fan pride, according to a post on the BioWare Blog. Throughout the day, fans playing Mass Effect 3 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Windows PC should look for BioWare banners in multiplayer lobbies for the chance to go head-to-head with the game's developers. The team has also dug up some concept art that pre-dates the original 2007 Mass Effect, which have been signed and donated to Child's Play Charity along with BioWare Store gear for auction. BioWare will share more details on this auction as N7 Day approaches. As part of their own in-house festivities, BioWare will share videos of their first hands-on time with...
By Jenna Pitcher on Sep 01, 2013 09.01.13
The first "Mash-up Pack" DLC for Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition features a theme based on the Mass Effect franchise and will be available on Sept. 4 for 320 Microsoft Points (approximately $3.99), Mojang, BioWare and Microsoft announced today. Developed by 4J Studios, the Mass Effect Mash-up Pack features the Mars Facility from Mass Effect 3 and 22 songs from the game's soundtrack. The DLC also includes Mass Effect-themed textures, items, menus, user interface and 36 character skins. It was announced during Microsoft's E3 2013 press conference that the open-world crafting game will launch on Microsoft's Xbox One as Minecraft Xbox One Edition. The game's developer 4J Studios is in discussion with Microsoft Studios to allow Xbox 360 save files to transfer to Xbox One consoles.
By Colin Campbell on Aug 13, 2013 08.13.13
"If you're sick of the gender imbalance in today's video games, here's your chance to flip the table." So begins Gender Bustin', a collective art project reacting, in part, to this telling statistic: only four percent of video games feature a female lead character. Overwhelmingly, games star males in lead, agency roles while females appear as secondary characters, often sexualized, usually offering little or no power. Gender Bustin' invites gamers to re-imagine their favorite game characters in alternative genders, mostly meaning as female instead of as the default male. Gender Bustin', along with other cultural touchstones like Tropes vs Women in Games, the Gender Bent Justice League and artist Shaylyn Hamm's female-versioned Team Fortress 2 characters reveal a growing community who...
By Dave Tach on Jul 02, 2013 07.02.13
Capsized, an indie platformer ported to Xbox 360 by Koolhaus Games, will arrive on Xbox Live July 5, and downloadable content for Borderlands 2, Dishonored, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and more will be discounted this month, according to Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb's roundup of content and sales set to hit Xbox Live Marketplace. The Xbox port of Capsized was originally slated for release in Dec. 2011 and will be available for 800 Microsoft Points ($10). Borderlands 2, Dishonored and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance discounts include: Borderlands 2 from July 2-8 Borderlands 2 Games on Demand (price varies by region) Captain Scarlett and her Pirate's Booty DLC 400 Microsoft Points ($5, 50 percent off) Creature Slaughterdome DLC 200 Microsoft Points ($2.50, 50 percent off) M...
By Emily Gera on Jun 20, 2013 06.20.13
Drew Karpyshyn, former BioWare developer and lead writer behind Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, revealed to games radio show Video Game Sophistry how the Mass Effect trilogy could have ended. Karpyshyn describes the early storyline as "something that wasn't super fleshed out," with a story arc that revolves around the spread of Dark Energy. This plotline is actually hinted at by a number of characters in Mass Effect 2 but never became a focal point for the story. "Dark Energy was something that only organics could access because of various techno-science magic reasons we hadn't decided on yet," he said to VGS in an interview transcribed by Eurogamer. "Maybe using this Dark Energy was having a ripple effect on the space-time continuum." "Maybe the Reapers kept wiping out organic life...
By Megan Farokhmanesh on Jun 05, 2013 06.05.13
The Mass Effect 3 Datapad app for iOS devices has been retired from the iTunes Store as of today, according to a post on Electronic Arts' website. The free app launched shortly after Mass Effect 3's release. It allowed users to increase their Galaxy at War readiness rating, review codex entries from all three games in the trilogy and receive messages from in-game characters. No reason was provided for the app's retirement. Players are encouraged to instead use N7HQ, which houses player profiles and multiplayer game data, to track their Galactic Readiness, challenges and more.