the weapon upgrades are working a little bit differently now, I
noticed. Can we go over how the upgrades are working?
All the weapons that are created are accessible to all classes. You
find little mods and upgrades throughout the galaxy in various places.
You might get a mission, you might buy them, and things like that.
Basically, you put your weapon on the weapon bench, attach different
mods to it to affect different stats so you could affect the type of
shot, put scopes on, put extended clips on, things to kind of customize
them. For example, with the SMG that I just talked about, if you really
liked the SMG and you want to kind of take a hit in the stopping power,
but you really want an extended clip, you put the extended clip in. So
you can kind of do that for pretty much all the weapons that
we have and make them your own.
TTH: You do that at a
weapons mod station now too?
TTH: Stations are readily
Yes, throughout the levels. Obviously, we want to make sure that you
can balance it with being accessible in the level. All the sudden,
there’s different enemy types and you need to change out your weaponry,
you can change them out at the station.
TTH: What about the paths
of Renegade and Paragon? That's still a big part of ME3?
Contextually, it didn’t make sense to have one of those choices in the
gamescom demo, but, yeah, there are a lot of renegade and paragon
choices throughout the game.
TTH: Which ties in to
what we noticed in terms of the choices being made. During the demo, we
saw what seemed to be the right choice made with a child involved, and,
at the end, the kid ended up getting killed anyway. How often
does that sort of thing happen? Are you going to start saying, "the
choices are arbitrary. I should just choose whatever?”
I get the direction for that. But the problem of making choice
available all the time is that we don’t want it to be a one-to-one
correlation all the time in terms of predictability because then
there’s no emotional up to it. You choose this and you’re going to get
this. In real life, you make choices all the time and things don’t
always happen the way you want. Now with the Reapers and the galaxy at
war, you can make a choice. You also have to know that there’s an
underlying layer of sacrifice that’s going to happen, an underlying
layer of unpredictability. In Mass
, you make choices and your outcomes come out of
them, but how the outcomes come, there might be some
repercussions. Never assume that everything is going to be
TTH: Can we talk
a bit about the new abilities? You mentioned that you’ve split them off
to six instead of two choices. Are they similar to what we saw in the
previous two games?
You have three choices that you take at the beginning that you level up
to make better. Once you hit a certain point, you basically run through
a half-tree and you have six possible choices, and you choose three of
those. That basically gives you six evolution choices for each power.
Now, across all powers, you can do that, so what happens is: I have an
engineer Shepard, and engineer Shepard gets access to this subset of
skills. First of all, you have to make a choice. I can customize only
six of these ten because I only have enough points over the entire game
to focus on these six instead of ten. Within each of these six, how am
I going to customize it? Am I going to do heavy damage? Am I going to
do damage over time? Am I going to do a slower recharge rate? Things
like that. You can make them all completely yours. At the end of the
game, you have a very different Shepard than your buddy, who also
played a soldier, but he decided to play a little more defensive or
that kind of stuff. It takes time and it takes a lot of progression,
but it’s worth it.
TTH: And what about DLC?
Do you have any DLC plans?
We are starting to do DLC. Mass
DLC was amazing. Overlord, Shadowbroker, Rival,
all those patches were really hard hitting packs, and people
appreciated it. Because of that, because people appreciated it and will
come back to Mass
, we think it’s a good idea to do it. But at the
same time, we haven’t shipped the game yet. Obviously, all our
attention is going into shipping the game and making as much content as
we can and stuffing it all on the disc before we ship. Once we ship,
then we’ll talk about DLC.
TTH: Mass Effect seems to
really be shifting more towards an action game. It’s evolving: the
second was more actiony than the first, and the third looks to have
even more action. Particularly when we saw Shepard going back to Earth.
There was a war going on, ships crashing into buildings, and all that
kind of stuff. It had an incredible environmental feel to it. The
question becomes how long can you maintain that? Are you putting that
much effort and emphasis into all the side quests and everything?
I’ll use a movie as an analogy. You watch a movie and if it’s hard
hitting, crazy, turn it up to 11 every moment of the movie, it dulls
your senses and you don’t really appreciate the moments. Just like any
movie, a game is like that, especially Mass Effect 3
have your critical moments where decisions are important and big set
pieces are absolutely critical to telling the story. Then you have your
other moments where it’s more along the lines of you go to other worlds
and you do things that aren’t necessarily inspired by huge set pieces.
It’s not about always turning it up and always making it action-packed,
because without the downtime, the other part of it, you don’t see the
effect the war is having upon the galaxy. You don’t actually appreciate
it as much the moments when you’re up and close and personal to the