In particular ThÃ©berge went over the iOS accompanying games (Data Pad, and Iron Monkey's Mass Effect 3: Infiltrator) as well as the four player co-op mode and how they feed into the all-out galaxy-at-war system triggered by the Reaper's invasion of Earth. Only Commander Shepard is equipped to save us.
We have deepened RPG systems with even more customisation options for things such as weapons, power and armour, but the key is still the story, in Mass Effect you are experiencing the beginning, middle and end of all out galactic war
Having spent some time playing through the opening Earth and Mars levels of Mass Effect 3 we were keen to see just how indicative of the entire game that would be. For us it felt like we never really got out of the tutorial stage, and perhaps this was due to BioWare's intended aim of reaching out for new players with ME 3
'Always at the beginning of a game you need to set the premise of the story,' explains ThÃ©berge 'so especially in the first hour you need to set the storyline in motion, so of course it is a little cinematic off the top. There is always cinematics in BioWare games, we have a really talented cinematic team. There is some throughout [the game] but comparatively not as many as what you would have seen during that prologue'
And these cinematics really tug at the heat-strings, showing children in peril and other innocent and defenceless humans on a desperate run from the rampaging Reaper invasion. The Council can do nothing, Earth's forces wiped out systematically by the all-powerful alien force as it descends upon the familiar geography of our planet.
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Mass Effect 3 can be played in three distinct ways; Action mode puts more emphasis on the combat and automatically answers dialogue options, whilst Story mode lessens the difficulty of combat and provides extended dialogue trees. RPG mode is more along the lines of how experienced Mass Effect fans would be used to playing the game. Was this idea aimed at expanding the experience for fans, or paving the way for new players to choose their play experience?
'It's a bit of both,' explains ThÃ©berge 'in Mass Effect 3 it's the break-out of the war, as you depart the Reapers have just arrived, the Council has finally lined-up on with you on what's going on. So it is a good point for new players, and the story essentially rewrites itself to add context for the new players to the series. But it is also about branching out for our fans and allowing to tailor the experience further and customise it for the kind of role playing game they want it to be.'
Were these modes relatively easy to implement? Was it just a matter of adjusting the conversation trees more than anything else?
'Yeah, and the AI, the artificial intelligence and combat itself, it is more difficult in the Action experience than it is in the Story experience and so it was just testing of different variations of the game. It does get kind of complicated in making sure that all the right decisions are being made and the right options are being presented to the player at the right time, and there are some nooks and crannies in there that do pose some hiccups, but it definitely adds a lot of value to the experience.' Says ThÃ©berge.
How has the enemy AI been altered?
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So are they so smart and dangerous that Commander Shepard gets overwhelmed and perishes?
'Nice try.' ThÃ©berge finishes off with.