Mass Effect 3 was perhaps one of the biggest games developed in Canada in 2012. Despite all the fan backlash stemming from the game’s original ending, the game sold quite well and even won hundreds of awards including Best Console Game, Best Original Music and Best Writing at the Canadian Videogame Awards. All those things aside, the one thing that Mass Effect fans all agree with is that the trilogy has some of the best writing and the most memorable characters ever written.
I recently had a short chat with Mac Walters, the Lead Writer of the Mass Effect Trilogy at BioWare and the man responsible for creating Male and Female Shepard, one of the most influential game characters in the medium today. During our chat, Mac discussed fans reactions to pre-and-post Extended Cut and Citadel DLC’s, why people love and identify with Commander Shepard, and where the franchise could potentially go in the future.
Check out my full interview with Mac Walters after the break. Read the rest of this entry
You’ve never quite seen Mass Effect 3 action figures as detailed as these.
Over the last few months, we’ve been covering the various Play Arts Kai action figures released by Square-Enix. They’ve all featured incredibly detailed sculptures and articulation that allows for multiple poses; definitely high quality work and worth the premium price.
This time we’ll be looking at the newest additions to the Play Arts Kai line; all three figures coming from Mass Effect 3. Coming this September, Mass Effect fans will be able to pick up Commander Shepard, Garrus Vakarian, and Ashley Williams in their Mass Effect 3 costumes, as well as weapons preferred by each character. As well, each character will include two sets of hands that will allow them to the different weapons offered.
Check out the action figure specs and images after the break. Read the rest of this entry
Even the most rational of people can get cult-like when it comes to something they like. Passionate loyalty will strike in the most surprising of places. An unwitting mention of yogurt in my group of friends launches a sermon of jubilant fervor to the bacterial cultures.
As strong as my love for yogurt is, it pales in comparison to the sheer force of zealot-like will in the console/pc wars. Gamers aren’t a group known for restrained enthusiasm when it comes to the tools of their trade. As the sole pc reviewer on a site of console knuckle draggers, it was inevitable that article like this would pop up. In fact, I think it’s a legal requirement of all gaming blogs to address this issue. Read the rest of this entry
A short while ago, composer Sam Hulick (best known for his award winning work throughout the Mass Effect trilogy) was tapped to work with Overhaul Games on their highly anticipated (I want this as much as I do Diablo 3!) Extended Edition release of Baldur’s Gate.
By the way, for all you purists out there, the original soundtrack composed for Baldur’s Gate will remain in the new release. Sam’s stated on Twitter that he’ll be scoring for the new content, using the original content as inspiration.
Find out more about Sam Hulick and his work after the break. Read the rest of this entry
It’s interesting, at this point, to try and review a game like Mass Effect 3. It’s been through a huge change of public opinion in such a short time: incredible critical acclaim quickly gave way to overwhelming fan disappointment (based mostly on its ending). Despite some hesitation I happily brand myself a fan.
If you’re reading a Mass Effect 3 review, you probably know the deal with the series. Shepard – boy or girl – has been fighting the Reapers since Mass Effect. In that landmark game we learned the mysterious Reapers are a synthetic machine race bent on wiping out all organic life every 50,000 years. At the beginning of Mass Effect 3 the Reapers do something we’ve been long expecting: attack the galaxy in full force. And – you guessed it – it’s up to Shepard to bring ‘em down.
After two adored games does Mass Effect 3 live up to the hype? The answer is mostly yes, with a little no. It depends on what you bring to it. Read the rest of this entry
When did we get like this? When did we develop this sense of entitlement? Did something happen while I wasn’t paying attention that made video game fans believe they – not developers – should get to choose how art is made then given to them? Must have. Because since the release of Mass Effect 3 we have witnessed a very depressing and extremely regressive outcry from fans.
[While I won’t go into specific details about Mass Effect 3’s ending(s), I will be discussing its structure, so I issue the requisite SPOILER WARNING.]
You may have noticed that some people were a touch disappointed by the ending of Mass Effect 3. They felt, for a series famed for its promotion of individual player choice, the conclusion of the third entry was intolerably restrictive. As I said, I won’t spoil anything story-related, but the ending plays out like this: Shepard reaches the game’s climactic moment and is offered three choices (not so-subtly colored to indicate which is the Paragon, Neutral, or Renegade option), each of which will end the game differently. So, regardless of whether you have built your Shepard as a rebellious asshole or selfless hero since 2007’s Mass Effect, the ending you experience of Mass Effect 3 comes down to this. If you’re willing to play the last level three times, you can see each ending on one play through. Read the rest of this entry
So much ire has been targeted at BioWare and Mass Effect 3, despite overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, I feel I need to chime in on something the franchise, including — maybe especially — its latest installment does right: emotion.
You’ve done it a thousand times: take control control of the hero, arm him to the motherfucking teeth, and gun down countless, faceless men. Brutal mass murder can be morally excused as long as the hero shows remorse for A) an innocent, usually a child or helpless female, or B) one of the game’s villains, who becomes a cipher for the hero’s humanity. Human life has been reduced to nothing, or very little, in the context of today’s games.
If you’re a fan of BioWare games and have your fingers on the pulse of internet drama, you already know about the cyber-bullying of BioWare writer Jennifer Hepler.
Instead of running through the whole story here, take a read through The Mary Sue’s excellent recap.
If you’re a tl;dr sort of person, basically a couple of people chose to get offended at some comments Helper made in a 2006 interview about her job and a little game she was working on called Dragon Age: Origins. Their beef? Hepler publicly stated that she wasn’t much of a gamer and put forward that combat in games could be skipable just as cutscenes, puzzles and dialogue often are. Read the rest of this entry
Do you ever just not know — and I’m operating under the chauvinist and probably fair assumption that most of our readership is male — what to say to a girl? The answer is definitely yes. I think we’ve all been tongue-tied, brain-dead, and found ourselves verbally useless in the company of a pretty girl at some point in our otherwise serviceable lives; it’s because finding the right opening is the hardest part.
Never fear! Video games used to be the same way. Remember the perfunctory introductions of early NES games? (“The Princess has been kidnapped!”) They, however, in their infinite nerdiness, have improved themselves. Developers have built from this humble, duct taped launch pad veritable ion propulsion rockets that would immediately enthrall even the most jaded game hater. Read the rest of this entry