The Internet as a whole agrees on very few things: basically, Nazis are bad (and often invoked), SOPA/PIPA was bad, and man, the Mass Effect 3 ending was bad.* Showing that Hell has no wrath like an e-horde scorned, Bioware announced today that it would be releasing a new, totally free "Extended Cut" DLC this summer that adds new cinematic ending sequences and scenes to give disgruntled ME3 fans "deeper insights into how their personal journey concludes."
Speaking of PC gaming, a much-anticipated little title happened to have dropped today: Mass Effect 3. Perhaps you've heard of it? If you've been following the exploits of Commander Shepard and his rag-tag Normandy crew, it goes without saying that you pretty much HAVE to pick up the game. Don't dig silence? Our sister mag PCGamer has an in-depth review of Mass Effect 3.
Oh man, is it March 6th yet? BioWare teased us with a taste of old friends on Valentine's Day -- Krogans and Turians and Reapers, oh my! -- but the official launch of Mass Effect 3 is still weeks away. At least we'll have some cool ME3 peripherals to gaze at between now and then, thanks to the newly unveiled Mass Effect 3 gear lineup by the folks over at Razer. They do more than just look pretty, too: Razer promises each piece of hardware will unlock an "exclusive in-game bonus."
Note: This week's entry contains major Bastion spoilers. If you haven't played Bastion, I recommend that you skip to the third page. Also, while we're at it, warning: This week's entry is three pages long. I may have gotten a bit carried away. If you hate words, I recommend that you skip to the part where you buy Bastion.
Bastion is about moving forward. With every step you take, tiles of all shapes and sizes rise up to meet your footfalls. What lies ahead may be uncertain, but one way or another, you'll make it. Occasionally, you'll encounter former citizens of Caelondia – now frozen in ash, dead to the world in all but appearance. THOCK. The Kid's hammer reduces them to powder in an instant. The Kid presses on – without remorse, as though his old friends and neighbors were no more important than a random crate, shrub, or similarly minor impediment. Meanwhile, Rucks – the narrator – doesn't bat an eyelash, instead opting to list off a factoid or two about the deceased-turned-dust-clouds before dispassionately sweeping the whole incident under the rug. It's all in the past now, and the past only gets in the way.
Those of you who ever wanted to piece together your very own replica of Mass Effect's M8 Avenger assault rifle should send Harrison Krix a 'Thank You' card. This 28-year-old self-proclaimed "dork working in Graphic Design" went and posted a detailed work log on how to build a very cool looking knock-off of the in-game weapon.
"I've been a huge Mass Effect fan for awhile now, and with the release of the second game I knew I wanted to take a crack at building some of the weaponry from the ME universe," Krix explains. "As a bit of a personal challenge to myself, I decided to construct this gun from as much of my existing materials as possible. That is to say, 95 percent of what you see here is scrap I had in my shop from other builds. In the end, the entire piece cost me $28 in raw materials."
Krix walks readers through the blueprints stage and on through every last step, the end-result being a fantastic battery powered replica that lights up and even simulates the muzzle flash.
BioWare recently released some spankin’ new Mass Effect DLC, but, uh, it seems like they forgot to tell everyone. Titled “Pinnacle Station,” the Mass Effect DLC made a minimal impact upon landing, mostly because there was little-to-no pre-release hype associated with its launch. Oh sure, there were some hints – a wink, a nudge, and even a leak – but not a(n official) word from Microsoft or BioWare.
You’d think it’d be in your best interest to promote a new addition to your two year-old game, seeing as how most people have probably shelved it at this point. But then, we’re not marketing experts, so what do we know?
Anyway, the DLC costs five Washingtons – or one Lincoln – and gets Shepard and co. back in shape for Mass Effect 2 with 13 brand new combat missions.
The original Mass Effect may still be priming the DLC buffet for one or two more bites, but that isn’t stopping BioWare from slipping gamers a small dose of its sequel.
The trailer in question can be seen here, and – for those who are deathly afraid of even the remote possibility of a Rickroll and would rather not click that link – not-so-vaguely suggests that Commander Shepard (your main guy or gal in Mass Effect) suffered a quick and clean off-screen death. And a permanent one at that – not simply due to bad camera angles.
But, to be honest, we’re thinking the rumors of Shepard’s death have been greatly exaggerated, mostly because the only other tidbit BioWare’s dropped concerning 2Mass2Furious involves reusing save files from Mass Effect – probably for stat boosts, character profiles, and other such pieces of space bling. Otherwise, BioWare could’ve tossed in a few “So, how about that one guy who saved the universe that one time?” questions, ala Knights of the Old Republic 2, and called it a day.
“Let’s see… I’ll take one copy of Spore – hold the SecuROM DRM, please.”
“Oh, er, sorry. Your order’s already slathered in DRM and, well, we can’t remove it. If you come back in a couple weeks, though, we might be able to scrape off a bit of it. Sound good?”
Has something like this ever happened to you? A pleasant Sunday afternoon installation spoiled by SecuROM’s goon squad? Well, no more. At least, if you ride under Steam’s banner.
“EA is one of the industry’s largest publishers,” said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. “The EA titles coming to Steam this holiday include some this year’s top PC titles.”
He’s not kidding, either. Titles like Spore, Warhammer: Age of Reckoning, Mass Effect, Need for Speed Undercover, and FIFA Manager 2009 are already available, with Mirror’s Edge, Red Alert 3, and Dead Space moving in with the Freeman family in the “coming weeks.” And, of course, these games will conform to Steam’s standards; in other words, no SecuROM whatsoever.
So, does this mean we can all finally kiss and make up with EA, and notice that it’s released some damn good games over the past year? C’mon now; it’s Christmas.
Fans of Star Wars and Star Trek finally have a role-playing game that’s worthy of their love. Mass Effect takes the most compelling themes and ideas of both franchises and mind-melds them into one of the best science fiction games we’ve ever played.
The full review of this stellar science-fiction epic is after the jump!
Earlier this week, Tom, Will, and Dave had hands-on time with a load of upcoming PC titles. Unfortunately, Andy did not, so we clue him--and you--in on what games should be making a splash this year. As part of our gaming coverage, we also interview BioWare cofounder Ray Muzyka and get his thoughts on both PC gaming and how to handle software piracy.