NYCC 2012

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    Mass Effect: Omega / Bioware Interview

    17 October 2012 | Written by Maxxum

    I didn't expect to see a booth for 'Mass Effect: Omega" at NYCC. I'm not an ardent gamer, nor do I follow every story on gaming. 'Mass Effect 3' was the last of the franchise, right? Nope, there's room for more. I was skeptical, but a talk with a friendly Canadian named "Evil" Chris Priestly put Bioware's take on this side sequel into perspective.

    When did Bioware start penning ME:O?

    The concept of what was gonna be done would have been in the works before the launch of ME3.

    So, we're talking 2010?

    Oh, yeah... well, the end of 2011.

    Then did Bioware already know how they were going to end ME3, so that when they had the new DLC available, that continuity would be in place? If I recall, there were seven different endings?

    Well, it's interesting - when fans got upset that there were only three endings to the game, there's actually 126 different varieties of ending. It's just that some are minor.

    126?!

    ... The team certainly had the endings that we launched with, that was the ending - then, the uproar came around at the end of the game, and we realized we didn't do a good enough job winding up for fans. We're very happy with how it's ended; it's how we wanted to end the game, but we didn't understand the love that a lot of the fans had for Mass Effect, so we wanted to do a better job which is why went with the ME DLC.

    Stepping out for a sec... too often do we get the happy ending. The drama needs to survive, and sometimes that means getting an ending we don't want.

    And, I think that you're right. People were either expecting Sheppard to die in the glorious "No, no... you go, I'll sacrifice myself for you", or the beautiful walk off into the sunset and everything would be happy lovely. A lot of fans wanted that, and there's nothing wrong with wanting it, but it wasn't the vision that the team had.

    So, when they realized that we didn't do a good enough job meeting the expectation of the fans, they wanted to provide more clarity - because a lot of it wasn't so much that the endings were bad, it was that they didn't understand what happened to their favorite character, or after the Normandy crash landed on the planet, or whatever it might be ... that's what the team wanted, they wanted to provide clarity and solve the confusion.

    I actually had one personal question, when I was playing ME3... it was in the last battle sequence when you're trying to get to the teleport to get onto the Citadel... you get through, and then where did the rest of the people go? Did they all die?

    Before the free DLC expansion, if as you were walking you took the time to rotate the camera, depending your Galactic Readiness Level, your partners could have been killed and their bodies were on the ground, but almost nobody did - they walked into the light because they wanted to see what came next.

    Journalist Comments:

    Mass Effect 3: Omega (Single-player DLC) will be coming November 27th to PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 for $14.99. If you happen to see the ME:O booth at a convention in your area, check out the concept art, and while you're at it, talk with Chris Priestly. On his business card it has "Evil" in quotes before his name, but this is clearly an ironic nickname as he's quite easily the kind of friendly guy who would share a drink and good conversation with you.