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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

I hope they add a stretch goal that lets us vote for a better name than Epoch: Return

As long as this planet continues to spin, there will be a new Intriguing Kickstarter From Folks Who Used To Work On Major Triple-A Franchise X Of The Day. In this case, that Kickstarter is one for Epoch: Return, and the games that once – at least, in pieces, like so many tinker toys scattering from a bucket – emerged from developer Innate’s collective brain are Mass Effect and Dragon Age. But to be perfectly honest, Epoch doesn’t really bear much family resemblance to its distant BioWarian cousins. It takes place on a colossal, open planet that’s ripe for exploring, and you traverse it by way of high-flying momentum-based leaps that strike me as a midpoint between Mirror’s Edge and Tribes 2. It still looks rather floaty, insubstantial, and, well, early, but I definitely like the idea. Watch below.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mass Effect 4 development images have mostly been obscured by Mass Effect 4 developers">Mass Effect dev teaser







As a jerk, I'm tempted to shout "HEY EVERYBODY, LOOK AT THIS IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT THE NEXT MASS EFFECT." If you want that, though, you're going to need to leave this website, get into a time machine, and travel a year or so into the future. What we have here is good ol', entirely inconsequential teasers. A series of pictures were tweeted over November 7th (or "N7 Day" as BioWare so desperately want people to rechristen it), showing Mass Effect developers working on a Mass Effect game. If you really, really squint, you might even see a tiny bit of some new Mass Effect.



In order of tweeting, then.







"The next chapter of Mass Effect is upon us!!" Upon them? Yes. Upon us? Not so much.







"...with new characters to fall in love with..." the tweet-fest continues, showing us concept art of a new character who is growing an artist out the left side of his body.







"...new enemies to encounter..." is a pretty mean way to refer to one of your staff members, guys.







...and new worlds to explore!"



And that is all the Mass Effect news we're likely to get for a while.



Thanks, IGN.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

I don't have kids, but I do have a house full of kid's books.

Consider this your daily dose of nice. Artist Joey Spiotto, aka Joebot, draws films and videogames as the covers of children’s books. His game work includes imagined covers for Half-Life 2 (above, in part), Skyrim, BioShock, Portal, Mass Effect and more. (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mass Effect 4 may not relate to Shepard’s story “whatsoever”">Mass Effect 3







Were you hoping for Commander Shepard to make a triumphant reappearance in the next Mass Effect, after that thing happened at the end of ME3 that a lot of people got quite upset about? (I seem to recall that he/she turned the island off and on again, and then it turned out everyone was dead all along.) Well consider your hopes dashed: Mass Effect 3 lead writer Mac Walters has explained to Complex that BioWare want to move the series on. "The idea is that we have agreed to tell a story that doesn't relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever".



"That's what we've been deciding for a while," Walters continued. "But throughout it all, one of the key things is that it has to be Mass Effect. It can't just feel like a spin-off. It has to feel like a Mass Effect game at its heart, at its core. Just without the Shepard character or the Shepard specific companions." Mordin, we hardly knew ye.



Walters went on to talk about Mass Effect 3's controversial ending.



"It's been 18-19 months since it came out and my thoughts on it are that we addressed it the best we could in the Extended Cut. We're obviously not going to be changing anything now. We're only going forward.



"To be fair, I get people, especially at the conventions, who will say, 'I loved it. It was heart-wrenching, but I felt it was right for my Shepard.' And to me, that's why it was the right path. But because there was no choice, it was going to be right for some people, and for others, in the middle, and other people were obviously very upset about it. In hindsight, I don't think there was anything we would have changed about that, but it is a really good lesson learned."



What else do we know about the next Mass Effect so far? Pretty much zip, other than that it will share its "core systems" with Dragon Age: Inquistion.



Thanks, Eurogamer.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mass Effect 3: series’ former lead writer reveals original ending ideas">Mass Effect 3







The ultimate ending to the Mass Effect trilogy was famously... divisive. Now, Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 lead writer Drew Karpyshyn has openly discussed his original plan for the trilogy's conclusion. He also uses the phrase "techno-science magic reasons", which I am 100% a fan of.



Talking to VGS, Karpyshyn details the ending, which he admits wasn't "super fleshed out". The plot would have revolved around Dark Energy: something that was mentioned in Mass Effect 2, but never expanded upon.



"Dark Energy was something that only organics could access because of various techno-science magic reasons we hadn't decided on yet," Karpyshyn said. "Maybe using this Dark Energy was having a ripple effect on the space-time continuum.



"Maybe the Reapers kept wiping out organic life because organics keep evolving to the state where they would use biotics and dark energy and that caused an entropic effect that would hasten the end of the universe. Being immortal beings, that's something they wouldn't want to see.



"Then we thought, let's take it to the next level. Maybe the Reapers are looking at a way to stop this. Maybe there's an inevitable descent into the opposite of the Big Bang (the Big Crunch) and the Reapers realise that the only way they can stop it is by using biotics, but since they can't use biotics they have to keep rebuilding society - as they try and find the perfect group to use biotics for this purpose. The Asari were close but they weren't quite right, the Protheans were close as well.



"Again it's very vague and not fleshed out, it was something we considered but we ended up going in a different direction."



Karpyshyn left BioWare shortly before the conclusion of Mass Effect 2, with Mac Walters taking over as lead writer for Mass Effect 3. Even so, Karpyshyn defended series' real ending, pointing out that his planned version was just as likely to disappoint.



"I find it funny that fans end up hearing a couple things they like about it and in their minds they add in all the details they specifically want. It's like vapourware - vapourware is always perfect, anytime someone talks about the new greatest game. It's perfect until it comes out. I'm a little weary about going into too much detail because, whatever we came up with, it probably wouldn't be what people want it to be."



If all that "techno-science magic" seems far-fetchced, the ideas got even weirder:



"Some of the ideas were a little bit wacky and a little bit crazy. At one point we thought that maybe Shepard could be an alien but didn't know it. But we then thought that might be a little too close to Revan."



Thanks, Eurogamer.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Mass Effect 4′s design doc completed; shares systems in Dragon Age 3">Mass Effect 3







BioWare's biggest sci-fi franchise will be taking a cue from its biggest fantasy franchise, with BioWare studio director Yanick Roy revealing that Mass Effect 4 will share "core systems" with Dragon Age 3.



Following Roy's tweeting yesterday of a fat binder—which he said made up the "first pass" of the Mass Effect 4 design document—he answered a few fans' curious questions, revealing some of the things we can expect from next game in the series. Of course, our biggest question is "How soon are we going to see ME4, anyway?" While the document's only in its first iteration, Roy revealed that development will be sped up by the fact that they'll be using the Frostbite 3 engine, the same engine that will power the currently-in-development Dragon Age: Inquisition.



"Yes, since we share engine, we can start from some of DA3's core systems instead of from scratch," he tweeted to a fan.



Does this mean that Mass Effect 4 will be sharing some of that open world and broader customization goodness that BioWare has been promising for DA3?



Maybe. While the studio's been fairly chatty about the fact that ME4 is a thing, we're still very scant on basic details such as plot, protagonist, and setting, meaning that any revelations we may have about the mechanics are likely to be a long way off.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to E3 2014: Predicions and wild, feral speculation">Video 4 featured _







We used the only viable fuel source with the world's only time machine to visit E3 2014, and bring back the gaming news of the future for you, our loyal readers. The haters will say we could have done something more beneficial for humanity with this singular opportunity, but we usually just ban people like that. What new boxes will you be able to plug into your TV? Will everyone own a Rift? Do your emotional scars from Game of Thrones Season 3 ever heal? We have the 100 percent accurate, non-speculative answers to all this and more.



Be sure to stay tuned to PC Gamer all week for our coverage of this year's E3. It's not as cool as time travel, but we still think it's pretty nifty.
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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Watch Dogs developers consult with internet security firm for more realistic hacking">Watch Dogs







Ubisoft Montreal is making an effort to present players of the upcoming Watch Dogs with a more realistic depiction of hacking than usual. The studio behind Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed is recruiting help from internet security firm Kaspersky Lab to flesh out the “sexed-up” depiction of hacking found in, oh, every Hollywood movie ever.



“ really hardcore experts there on hacking. We send them some of our designs and we ask them feedback on it, and it's interesting to see what gets back. Sometimes they say, 'Yeah, that's possible, but change that word,' or, 'That's not the way it works,'" Watch Dogs Senior Producer Dominic Gray told Joystiq.



I'm overjoyed that the dreaded hacking minigame will be a restrained animal in Watch Dog’s futuristic Chicago setting. Unlike other games, hacking won’t be a word puzzle or a series of tubes that unlocks a secret room or a treasure chest full of gold. Hacking is Watch Dogs protagonist Aiden Pearce’s bread and butter, his main weapon in daily life. The challenge for players won’t be successfully beating a Frogger emulator, but in shooting a guard while they jump into an alley and hacked traffic lights stop traffic long enough for their explosives to go off.



"It's not about the minigame that will let me open the door, it's the fact that I'm making a plan,” Gray said. “I'm making a plan of how I'm going to chain hacking, shooting, traveling the city and driving to achieve an objective."



As someone who is routinely terrible at hacking minigames, this news could not be more welcome. A 100% true depiction of hacking, of course, probably wouldn’t make for a fun game, so I expect there to be plenty of liberties taken. Anything that keeps us out of Swordfish territory, though, can only make for a better game in the end.



Watch Dogs will be released this November. Check out our full preview here.
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