BioWare Breaks Down Mass Effect 3 Game Modes

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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BioWare Breaks Down Mass Effect 3 Game Modes


BioWare's Casey Hudson explains the differences between the action, roleplaying and storymodes in Mass Effect 3.

You may already know that the upcoming Mass Effect 3 will offer gamers a choice of action, story and roleplaying modes before the action gets underway. But do you know what the differences are? Okay, the concepts may be fairly self-evident but just to be certain, Mass Effect 3 Director Casey Hudson broke it down for Game Informer [http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/01/10/mass1525-effect-3-cas5ey-fdsafdhudson-interviewae.aspx].

"We realized that it's not ideal that when someone starts the game, they don't know that much about it and we dump a huge options screen on them. Automatic squad powers and this and that - you're asking them to make too many decisions about stuff they haven't even played yet," Hudson explained.

BioWare has received feedback from players who love what they've seen of the Mass Effect setting but have avoided the games because they're terrible at shooter combat, he said, while still others think the story is fantastic but go nuts with stress and fear that they're somehow going to make the wrong decision and screw something up. Thus, different types of game modes for different types of players.

"All these settings do is that they set some of the options on the option screen before you've played it and know what those options mean. Once you get in and start playing, you can change things," he said. "The story mode is actually just a difficulty setting. The action mode is actually just about choosing 'automatic dialogue'."

It's still possible to die in story mode, it's just quicker and easier to blow through the combat and get back to the serious business of macking on Jack. "You get through it faster. You can mow through enemies," he added. "Generally, if you're trying, you're not going to die."

Action mode, meanwhile, puts players on a "default path" that blends Paragon and Renegade actions, but Hudson was quick to clarify that "default" does not mean canon. "We have a rule in our franchise that there is no canon. You as a player decide what your story is," he said. "But we choose a default path that gives you access to a lot of cool things. It's like how a character like Jack Bauer has to make some decisions where he feels empathy in one moment or feels particularly brutal in another moment. We weave you through a default path that switches between those."

Hudson didn't get into the details of the roleplaying mode but the safe assumption is that it will be the standard shooter/RPG blend of the previous games. That's where my flag will be planted; I want to shoot people and shoot the breeze, and I don't need any help with either. Mass Effect 3 [http://www.amazon.com/Mass-Effect-3-Collectors-Xbox-360/dp/B0050SYZS0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326313386&sr=8-1] comes out on March 6 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.


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Tireseas_v1legacy

Plop plop plop
Sep 28, 2009
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Well, I'm scrapping "action mode" right off the back. When someone important (or not, for that matter) dies in my games, I want to be the one plunging the knife into their gut.
 

Camoman

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Feb 12, 2009
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For those of you you who think that the different game modes are a bad idea, I have something to say to you.

Get over yourselves. Just play it in RPG mode like you always have and this will not be a problem.

I for one am happy the options exist. Example: My brother loved the combat mechanics in ME2 but could not be bothered to play through the game because he simply found that the long conversation sections just to boring. Now he can sit there and let the conversations play like cinematics, before resuming the ass-kicking.
 

blalien

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Jul 3, 2009
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Kids, this is why you should hold in the rage and hysteria until you actually know what you're getting mad about.
 

Ciler

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Nov 16, 2009
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"I'm Commander Shepard and I approve this message!"

(Seriously though, I just hope that there are no achievements related to starting & finishing the game in a particular mode.)
 

MisterShine

Him Diamond
Mar 9, 2010
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Andy Chalk said:
It's still possible to die in story mode, it's just quicker and easier to blow through the combat and get back to the serious business of macking on Jack.
I'm glad someone else understands what Mass Effect is really all about.

OT: Sounds cool. I might actually try the Action mode one playthrough just to see what Bioware thinks is an interesting way to play the game.
 

Paragon Fury

The Loud Shadow
Jan 23, 2009
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You don't decide what is canon Hudson?

Everyone who offed Leliana in the first Dragon Age would like to have a word with you.
 

Hyper-space

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Nov 25, 2008
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Raiyan 1.0 said:
Kids these days need even more hand holding?
What? Do you mean like little children or just teenagers new to video-games? Because when it comes to new players, a little hand-holding is necessary.

I mean really, we take it for granted our years (and in a lot of cases, decades) of experience with video-games and its evolution for granted. When we started playing games it was pretty straight-forward and simple, not much to learn besides the functions of like, 3 buttons or something. But that is not the case with new players, seeing as even "simple" games (nowadays) have more buttons than are in a car, which proves a bit too daunting for new players to get accustomed to. Things such as moving around in a 3-D space in a video-game isn't instinctual and require a bit of practice, we might find it easy seeing as we grew into it and have had years to get accustomed to it.

Its ridiculous to assume that ANYONE new to (or inexperienced with) video-games can just pick up a complex (sure, it may be simple to people who have been playing video-games for years) game such as Mass Effect and immediately learn everything they need. Its akin to trying to teach someone all the mechanics of a small plane in less than half an hour.

I applaud efforts like these that make it more accessible to new gamers without sacrificing content or complexity. This will allow new players to ease their way into the game, so maybe they start out in story or action mode, then go on to the RPG mode when they've learned the ins and outs. Its literally a win-win situation, and anyone who moans about this needs to take their head out of their ass.
 

Valanthe

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Sep 24, 2009
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Finally! this is the sort of post I can get behind, I was getting really bored of "here's some more screenshots of Shepard holding a gun, or here's a clip of Shepard killing some dudes."

I've been wondering about the three modes ever since I caught a glimpse of them in one of the Bioware Pulse episodes.

Damnit March, get here sooner...
 

Foxblade618

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Apr 27, 2011
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I think this is a fine idea, so long as the RPG mode also has the option to increase difficulty via their old system; I like control over my story and enjoy challenging combat scenarios. As far as the other modes, it is perfect for people that love the ME universe but find the combat a bit much - now everyone can enjoy that rich ass universe...I won't touch on the action mode, because I think that is a bit silly.
 

DuperMax

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Jun 4, 2011
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this is what he means by hand holding
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1ZtBCpo0eU

the big thread about someone whining that Fallout 1 was "too hard" is what he means by hand holding. I played FO2 (then FO1) when I was 10 or 11. Figuring out the bloody thing was half the fun.

This lowering to most common denominator is never good for anyone... 'cept executives' wallets.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Paragon Fury said:
You don't decide what is canon Hudson?

Everyone who offed Leliana in the first Dragon Age would like to have a word with you.
Hudson is the director of Mass Effect, not Dragon Age.
 

Still Life

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Sep 22, 2010
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Paragon Fury said:
You don't decide what is canon Hudson?

Everyone who offed Leliana in the first Dragon Age would like to have a word with you.
Hudson has no role in the development of the DA series; his project the last eight years has been Mass Effect.
 

Sucal

Dragonborn Ponyeater
Dec 23, 2009
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Allow me to make a more mass effect example

You don't decide what is canon Hudson?

Everyone who made Anderson join the council would like to have a word with you.
 

evilneko

Slava Ukraini
Jun 16, 2011
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I hope Roleplaying Mode is more like Mass Effect 1, using the ME1 infinite ammo/heat management system and Biotic/Tech mechanics, and adding back in stuff that was dropped in ME2, such as the greater variety of skills and weapon/armor mods and ammo.

I'll settle for the ME1 combat mechanics though.
 

GartarkMusik

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Jan 24, 2011
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Paragon Fury said:
You don't decide what is canon Hudson?

Everyone who offed Leliana in the first Dragon Age would like to have a word with you.
Wait a sec, Hudson didn't work on DA:O though, did he?