What happens when Canada’s greatest RPG developers sell out to America’s video game devil? You get the makings of an honest trailer for Mass Effect. If you’re a fan of Mass Effect, you can probably guess all the jokes that are made before you hear them but it doesn’t make this honest trailer any less awesome.
If you’ve ever wondered why so many gaming developers and publishers have studios in Canada, it’s because of various forms of government support given to these companies to create jobs. Various levels of government have provided funding to companies in the forms of loans, grants and tax breaks.
One province that just put some more skin in the game to promote gaming and similar digital industries has just gotten right out of it. The recently elected government of Alberta has announced that their upcoming provincial budget will eliminate the province’s Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit which might leave some current and future plans for developers in the province in question.
The Mass Effect 3 Omega DLC was an interesting topic of discussion before its release. While most Mass Effect fans loved Aria T’Loak, the overlord of the Omega space station, would doing a mission with her as a squadmate be worth the $15 that BioWare was charging? When it was released Lair of the Shadow Broker was the most expensive piece of Mass Effect 2 DLC but Omega set a new record price for BioWare DLC. That forced the comparison with Shadow Broker in terms of quality and value whether that was BioWare’s intention or not. Could ME3: Omega live up to the legacy of LotSB? Read the rest of this entry
Two months after they released the Extended Cut DLC, BioWare released their second single-player DLC mission for Mass Effect 3. The Leviathan DLC promised to look at the history of the Reapers. The new mission takes the game for a dark and eerie turn over its three-hour play time for the price of $10. Those numbers put it right in line with Mass Effect 2’s Lair of the Shadow Broker but can ME3’s first post-launch single-player DLC stand up to the epic Shadow Broker DLC? Read the rest of this entry
The immediate aftermath of the release of Mass Effect 3 was an absolute PR disaster for BioWare and EA. The original ending to Mass Effect 3 caused a massive sh*tstorm of unprecedented proportions among gamers. Many gamers put hundreds of hours into one Commander Shepard and some had thousands of hours and well over $200 invested in the series overall and were given an inconclusive ending that left gamers confused rather than feeling anything else. In order to save face, BioWare spent the next three months scrambling together an alternate ending, called Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, to fix the problems people had with the final twenty minutes of ME3.
Today, I examine the new scenes that BioWare has added to Mass Effect 3 in the Extended Cut to determine if they have solved the problems most had with the original ending. Read the rest of this entry
The summer vacation (though I’m not actually on summer vacation) series of game reviews ends with Mass Effect 3. Going into this game four years ago, my expectations were sky-high. I absolutely loved the first two-thirds of the trilogy and there could be no way that BioWare would screw it up, right? Oh, how naive I was. I’m sure we all know about the controversies about Mass Effect 3 by now. The ending did take away from the game but not as much as some would have you believe.
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Three years after the launch of Mass Effect on Xbox 360, the team at BioWare certainly underwent some changes. As Mass Effect was released, Electronic Arts finalized its purchase of BioWare. Coinciding with BioWare’s move from being an independent studio to a branch of EA was a decided change in the design philosophy of Mass Effect 2. While there certainly was far more money put into the game’s production values with vastly improved visuals, the introduction of more orchestral music and a number of big name actors added to the voice cast, the gameplay philosophy was overhauled to make the game less of a classic BioWare RPG and more of a standard third-person shooter.
While Mass Effect 2 was a near complete overhaul of what we played in the original Mass Effect, that doesn’t change the game entirely. It was still Mass Effect but it had a really nice new coat of paint.
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If there’s one topic that that comes up on this blog at every available opportunity, it’s Mass Effect. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If I didn’t discover this game after university, I probably wouldn’t still be a gamer today. For some, that would be a good thing since I wouldn’t be pontificating on modern gaming, the business of video games and the quality of games journalism.
Out of university, I played Mass Effect 1 on my laptop and immediately carried straight into Mass Effect 2. I loved this game so much that I played through each game three times for well over 200 hours in total before I started Mass Effect 3. That might even be on the low-end for people who love this franchise. What made me love this game so much that I devoted literally hundred of hours of my life to playing and writing about the franchise. Well, let’s start with the first one. Read the rest of this entry
About six months ago, Electronic Arts was caught in a controversy over homosexual characters in The Sims 4 which saw the game get an adults only rating in Russia.
This week, EA is having another fight with regulators over the content of its games. One day ahead of the launch of Dragon Age: Inquisition, EA was forced to cancel the release of the DA:I in India because the game would have violated Indian laws because of the inclusion of a prominent homosexual character.
It’s starting to seem as though all we do around here is cover major departures from developers but this is a fairly significant one. Long-time BioWare employee and director of the Mass Effect trilogy, Casey Hudson, announced his departure from the company after 16 years.