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What would it be like if Dragon Age’s Morrigan and Mass Effect’s Liara T’Soni met? I fed that question into the RPS supercomputer and it spat out the above image. I don’t think it was trying very hard. Anyway as of yesterday both ladies have received their very own DLC, with DA’s Witch Hunt and ME2′s Lair of the Shadow Broker both available for download RIGHT NOW. Witch Hunt costs $7 and adds about an hour of play time (according to the Dragon Age wiki), while Lair of the Shadow Broker costs $10, lasts about two and a half hours and lets you have sex with Liara. One of these packs is a better deal than the other, I feel.
Okay, so wrap your head around this. IGN have done a short feature where they talk to Bioware Executive Producer Casey Hudson about the studio’s stat harvesting in Mass Effect 2. For their part, Bioware have revealed some of those stats, and some of them are genuinely mad. More people chose the Soldier class for Shepherd than all the other classes combined. Players skipped an average of 15% of the game’s dialogue. Two PC owners finished their copies of the game 28 times.
Click through for the full list of stats, including some interesting differences between 360 and PC gamers. (more…)
Catching up with the gaming news from my latest bout of travelling too much, I discover from VG247 that Bioware have released a trailer for the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC out on September 7th. It’s basically continuing Asari Liara’s adventures involving that most shadowy of brokers, the Shadow Broker. It also promises to allow you to continue a relationship with her, which probably means do her. It costs 800 Bioware points, which translates as some money. And here’s the trailer! (more…)
Why change a winning formula? That’s what I was left wondering after discovering that, on the one hand, Dragon Age sold better than any Bioware game
ever as of November, and on the other, that the formula is changing dramatically for Dragon Age 2. It’s worth noting that the PC version isn’t> changing as much as the console versions of the game. We will apparently retain “strategic combat”, which is a good news, while console chums will be “playing to their strengths” with more actiony combat mechanics. Conversation will also now be handled via Mass Effect’s wheel system. The biggest change, however, is that Dragon Age 2 will be getting its own equivalent of Shepard, with player character options reduced to the male of female versions of “Hawke” (pictured? I think). Bioware confirmed on their forums that you will have to play a human.
Hell, I enjoyed Mass Effect 2, but you have to wonder why Dragon Age was so successful in the first place. Not because it was copying its less successful sibling, that’s for sure. I enjoy almost all of Bioware’s work, but I think boiling one game down to another just makes gaming a less interesting place. Diversity is important.
Mass Effect 2 is a game that some people thought was okay. If you haven’t played it – and you might not have done, what with all that stuff you were doing – then it’s a good time to play the demo. Demo? Yes. Here’s what the digital mouth of EA/Bioware say about that “demo”: “In the demo, players step into the role of Commander Shepard and must escape from a Cerberus space station under siege. Players can jump ahead to a later mission where they must rescue Subject Zero, a hardened, dangerous criminal from a heavily guarded prison ship. Once they play the demo, players will be able to create a save and carry over their character along with the experience points, story decisions, achievements and weapons earned into the full version of the game – picking up right where they left off.” It’s right here. It is 1.87gb.
So that’s that. There’s also some new DLC out tomorrow, and that’s called Overlord, and that apparently has “five levels set across one story on one planet”. I’m going to pick it up, and maybe, maybe finish playing through Mass Effect 2. No, really, I’m still on that. What can I say? There’s all this stuff I’ve been doing.
I left Mass Effect 2 in a similar mood to the way I left Dragon Age. I admired the craft, enjoyed it a lot but found myself dwelling on the question of “what next for Bioware?”. There’s ribs of the old Bioware skeleton sticking out, but some of the changes in format feel – to me – like transitional ones, on the way to something else. This is about thinking about the something else. (more…)