I came across an old magazine pile and I found the May 2011 issue of Game Informer. The cover is a m-Shepard standing in a heroic pose with a burning Earth behind him and nothing else. A very dynamic cover when compared to other covers that have article previews and titles all across them. I decided to look at the year old article and see what we were expecting due to this article and I found several things that changed some time between interview and release, some big and some small. I will share these, and my thoughts on them, below.
1. James Vega was going to be James Sanders.
- And before you say "That's the guy in the trailer," as the article clearly states "Sanders is not the character we saw in the initial trailer." It's also pretty clear that that was Major Coats.
- So why the name change? Was this not James Vega? Or did they decide James wasn't going to be related to Kahlee Sanders? Either way, this isn't a major concern.
2. "Shepard can shoot pieces off of certain enemies to slow them down or reduce their combat effectiveness."
- This may have been an assumption after seeing a Guardian lose his shield in a demo or something.
- Now this could be applied to Phantom (who can have their sword "broken," something I haven't seen) and Atlas (who can be "hacked") but I would have loved to have shot off an Engineer's control system, rendering a turret unable to differentiate friends from foes, or knock armor and helmets off.
3. "When an enemy falls, Shepard will be able to pick up and use dropped weapons"
- Well this was totally shot, and I'm not really sure where it could have come from. The weapons you picked up were always off to the side, from a store, or on bodies of corpses from characters who had been long dead when I got there.
- I've seen several things dropped by enemies that I've wanted to pick up, like the Guardian shield. I know the description said they need special suits to carry them, but why can't my krogan at least lift it in multiplayer?
- I guess looting bodies would seem too RPG-ish, and it's not like they were aiming for that...oh wait.
4. Return of the RPG
- A section of the article in its own panel had the above title. It spoke of the new ability branch system (which I did like more than its predecessors), but also stated that "choices also applies to weapons, which now have multiple forms of customization." It goes on to further explain this as you "obtaining different barrels, scopes, and materials" and that they will give "tangible combat benefits, but they'll also change the physical appearance of your guns."
- I guess this was me getting hopeful, but I was hoping for more than a different color case, stock, or a colored LED light on the side. I did enjoy the mass amount of weapon options available, but there were times when I looked at the Spectre weapons and think, "Now why can't I sell these guns I never use to get those?"
5. A ME MMO?
- In a sub-article, entitled Beyond The Trilogy, it's mentioned that BioWare doesn't wanna leave the ME universe behind either. "After building such an intricate setting, the developer would like to see it branch out into other genres and even other media."
"A lot of people say that they want to see an MMO," says Casey Hudson, "I think that kind of makes sense for this universe...part of what you're trying to do is save that universe so you can live in it...If you get rid of the Reapers and win that, wouldn't it be amazing to just live on the Citadel or just take a ship to Omega? That makes sense."
- Yeah Casey, that does make sense, except we can't get to Omega now can we? In fact we can't really go anywhere past Pluto, if it even exists anymore.
6. "Integrating choices from the first two Mass Effect titles is part of the payoff fans are expecting."
- That's exactly what we were hoping for and what Casey Hudson, and his crew, have "been looking forward to the whole trilogy." Casey Hudson says in an interview when asked if players will have to work harder to get the "good" endings, that they are "developing a way that the granularity of your success is there in a similar way. We do have more of an analog set of endings, similar to how it worked in Mass Effect 2, but it will probably be a lot more so. Because this is our big ending."
- There seem to be two ways to look at the ending of ME3. Either it was a rushed last minute thing slapped on, or maybe this ending was made years ago, which may be why it's so bad.
- If it was made before your favorite characters even existed (explaining why they weren't in it), before sides were taken, and back when the battle was organics v. synthetics (if you remember, the first enemies were solely geth and later, the Reapers), then why not adjust it?
- All we know, is a year ago we were told we "won't just find some long-lost Reaper "off" button," according to Joe Juba, Game Informer Associated Editor...How can we blame him though? I mean, we should have seen it coming with closing remarks like "the result is an explosive finale with plenty of stunning moments and unexpected twists." Hmm...that's pretty much our unforeseeable ending in a nutshell...Maybe Juba did know what was coming.