PC Gamer

Last year, Electronic Arts VP Patrick Soderlund told Game Informer that the company was focused on developing new properties, not remastering old ones like, say, Mass Effect. But times have changed, and in a new interview from Gamescom, Soderlund strongly hinted that a Mass Effect redo is likely to happen.

What's changed is that there is proof in the market that people want it, maybe more than there was when we spoke, he said, when asked about the possibility of a Mass Effect trilogy redo. There were some that did it before, but I think there is even more clear evidence that this is something that people really want. The honest answer is that we are absolutely actively looking at it. I can't announce anything today, but you can expect us most likely to follow our fellow partners in Activision and other companies that have done this successfully.

Activision, you'll recall, announced earlier this year that a remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be released in November alongside (but, sadly, not separate from) COD: Infinite Warfare. That news, I think, caused at least as much of a stir as the reveal of the brand-new game.

EA has to be careful about which brands it chooses to remake, and ensure that they're redone properly, so players feel that it's the same game but it feels so much better in this new shape and form, Soderlund said. There have been titles that have come out that have done it really well, and there have been others that maybe haven't done it so well. We just want to make sure that we stay in the 'done it really well' camp."

As hard as it is to believe, the original Mass Effect is pushing ten years old, which makes it a prime candidate for a fresh coat of paint and especially so with Mass Effect: Andromeda waiting in the wings. But there are plenty of other EA properties that could do with the same sort of treatment, like Black and White or Battlefield 2142; hell, I'd pay good money for a Command & Conquer: Renegade remake. I'm not going to hold my breath, though.

Speaking of Mass Effect, the "franchise" (although it's really just the first two parts, because of that whole thing with Origin) is on sale on Steam for 85 percent off until August 19.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Steven Messner)

Last week I wrote about how Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site] wasn’t chained by the choices you made at the end of Mass Effect 3, and how that left a lot of questions unanswered. Well, answers are coming next month in the first of four Mass Effect tie-in novels published by Titan Books that aim to bridge gaps between Andromeda and the events of our own Milky Way.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Steven Messner)

There is a lot of questions floating around the big black hole of Mass Effect: Andromeda [official site]. Who is the lead character, Ryder? How did they get to a whole other galaxy? Can I romance the Mako? But perhaps an equally important question is what kind of impact the final decision of Mass Effect 3 might have on the story. According to an interview with Eurogamer, the answer is not a whole lot.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Richard Cobbett)

Hello there. This week, I’m writing not just as an RPG columnist, but as president of the newly formed League Of Folks Who Don’t Really Play MOBAs But Are Bizarrely Hooked On All The Trappings. As far as I can tell, our membership is roughly a billion people and counting. That’s what happens when the likes of Blizzard and Riot spend literally tens> of dollars creating gorgeous videos to promote their worlds, yes, but it goes somewhat deeper than that. Have you ever watched a new character reveal for a game you know you’re never going to play? Then the sickness might have spread.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
Image via Esquire

Earlier today a Twitter user posted a fan-made campaign video for US Republican candidate Donald Trump. A vague riff on the Mass Effect universe, it was a fairly amateuristic piece of Trump worship that no one would have paid much attention to, had Trump not retweeted it himself.

That naturally lead to the video going viral and, eventually, staff at studio Bioware and publisher EA catching wind of it. Mass Effect 3 designer Manveer Heir was among the first to speak out about the video, claiming it was "gross as hell".  

"I love the idea that Trump may think he's the Illusive Man, who is verifiably the bad guy in the game," Heir added later.

EA eventually intervened, and the offending tweet from Trump was removed (though it remains available on the creator's account). In a statement sent to Game Informer, the publisher was curt. "The video was an unauthorized use of our IP," a rep told the website. "We do not support our assets being used in political campaigns."

It's well within EA's rights: the video heavily featured music from the series, as well as voice work contributed by Martin Sheen to Mass Effect 2. There's no proof that Trump or his people had any hand in the creation of the video either. Indeed, it's highly unlikely given its content.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

BioWare have been keeping a tight lid on Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s [official site] plot, but it seems some details have appeared in the form of a customer survey. Not the world’s most reliable format, as these tend to be, “How would you feel about a game that featured a race of evil melons as the main antagonists?” before asking you about your mobile phone usage, but likely indicative of the direction in which the game is heading. So if you want all your news about the game to be carefully spoon-fed to you via the appropriate PR departments, look away now.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

BioWare said earlier this week that N7 Day, its annual celebration of all things Mass Effect, would bring no "major" announcements about the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda. So far, it's holding true to that statement. But that doesn't mean it's got nothing.

The N7 Day 2015 video is a look back at humanity's first tentative steps into space, and an exhortation to carry on into the darkness. It's pure hype—but holy cow, that Commander Shepard sign-off really got me good. You'll have to excuse me, I think I've got something in my eye.

BioWare also posted a brief "Happy N7 Day" message on its blog, again more of a reminiscence than insight into the future of the series. "As we look back on the trilogy, we think of the many amazing things your enthusiasm has created," it says. "Your passion has formed friendships spanning the globe, brought people together, and inspired a new generation of gamers. It s the reason you can walk down an unfamiliar street in a strange city, share a knowing nod with someone in an N7 hoodie, and feel at home."

Mass Effect: Andromeda is slated to come out during the holiday season of 2016. Here's what we're hoping to see in it—How about you?

Update: Not too long I put up this post, Mass Effect Producer Michael Gamble said something interesting on Twitter.

Did you see anything?

PC Gamer
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Richard Cobbett)

Most RPGs ask you to save the world, but not all of them offer a world worth saving. Honestly, there’s been quite a few where given the choice I’d have joined the evil overlord just to beat up all the potion vendors who wouldn’t even give me a discount before the final battle, and for the mere chance of stabbing the guard in Act 1 who wouldn’t let me into The Town Where The Actual Bloody Game Starts.

This week though, I’m interested in the other side of that – the worlds that become more than just a place to grind for loot and XP. The places that feel real. Beloved worlds, which don’t necessarily correlate with beloved games. I really enjoyed Skyrim for instance, but Skyrim as a world largely leaves me cold for reasons that have nothing to do with the Frostfall mod. That’s not the same as saying it’s bad, or any real quality judgement at all, simply that for me it never became a second home, more than a playground. Fallout New Vegas meanwhile, despite its problems, ticked all of the boxes. It was a world I could believe in, get immersed by, and not want to leave, which given the current political climate around the world is quite probably for the best.

Here are some of the most special worlds for me. How about you? Note, we’re talking entire worlds, as in the settings for whole games, not specific places like, say, Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII or FFXIV. Those are cool too, but… another week!

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

California's Great America, a roller coaster-based amusement park in the San Francisco Bay Area, is launching a Mass Effect themed "4D holographic" movie show. Far from conventional understandings of four-dimensional Euclidean space or spacetime, 4D is the theme park term for crowd-facing special effects: wind and water effects and rumbling seats, perhaps. Though we don't know exactly what this show will entail.

"This exciting guest experience involves cutting edge technology customized for Great America and delivers 4D effects combined with a live performer and incredible special effects," the theme park wrote in a press release today. "Great America guests will be taken on a thrilling adventure across the galaxy where they will travel through awe-inspiring landscapes, face off against bigger than life adversaries and ultimately help save the day."

Having been to a few too many 4D shows in my time, I'd just as soon watch a Mass Effect movie without a nozzle shooting lukewarm water in my face and curious smells wafting by, or whatever they have planned. It might be worth putting up with for a big dose of new Mass Effect lore, though, so I'll be keeping my eye on the as-yet unnamed movie, coming in 2016.

...

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