Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bioware's Mass Effect 3 Due in March

Mass Effect 3 won’t be out for another eight months, but people are already talking about it. Fans can’t wait for the next edition of Bioware’s famous space RPG series.

The tentative release date for Commander Shepard’s next adventure is March 6, 2012. The game will be available for the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 and the PC.

This week, Bioware marketing chief David Silverman gave out a few details about Mass Effect 3 during an interview with

"We're making Mass Effect 3 to be the best game we've ever made. That would make it one of the best games ever, and we're hoping to see sales that reflect that," he said.

Silverman described Mass Effect 3 as “HBO meets Star Wars.” He said that he would feel "a bit weird if five-year-olds were playing Mass Effect" because of the mature, HBO-like themes found within the game; however, there are many Star Wars-like elements tied into the game as well.

Silverman went on to say that even if gamers have never played the previous two Mass Effect titles, they will still be able to enjoy the new edition.

"What we're trying to do with Mass Effect 3 is that it's a new beginning for the series," he said, "given the fact this is the beginning of an all-out war with this ancient alien race. We've been foreshadowing this war with this race that's been dormant for 50,000 years. Well now they've finally woken up, launching their full-scale invasion and trying to wipe out all life as we know it. It's a natural point for people to jump in."

When questioned about whether or not this would be the only “prequel” title in the Mass Effect series, Silverman responded saying, "This series definitely doesn't end with Mass Effect 3."

Silverman also discussed Bioware’s strategy to cater to fans who like choose-your-own-adventure games, while also appealing to fans who crave the all-out action side of gaming.

"We want to make sure we're pleasing both audiences," he told "One of the things we have on the team is to make this an amazing entry point, but also to acknowledge our roots.”

"We don't want to totally dumb it down for the people who have played through the first two games three, four, five times. We've really struck a great balance. Obviously, if you've played the game before, you'll see things that apply to you."

Silverman was straightforward about how Mass Effect 3 should play for gamers. "[A] giant alien race launches all-out war, you have to rally the forces of the universe to counter and see if you can take them down," he said. "That's pretty clear. You don't need to be like: 'Well, what about when I had this love affair?' It's like, who cares? It's all-out war!"

Bioware should be careful not to downplay the RPG side of Mass Effect 3 too much though. With the sequel of Bioware’s Dragon Age, fans were incredibly angry about the downplay of RPG within the game. During the interview with, Silverman seemed to avoid any questions concerning the RPG side of the latest edition of Mass Effect.

"On the one hand, we don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole where Shepard starts rolling dice, but on the other hand we don't want to ignore that coolness—where people can customize parts of their character and making them feel that it's them in the adventure," he said.

"It's not, 'Let's make a game without story and a bunch of shooting.' It's not about that. People tell us we're amazing storytellers and we hope we are. We can't give you all-out galactic war by cheaping out on the action. It needs to feel like an epic war against insurmountable odds. That's what makes the story even more emotionally engaging.”

"I think the game's definitely set up for that. It's really going to strike a great balance."

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