Mass Effect 3 Official Game Guide Strategy Guides and Books
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Mass Effect 3 Official Game Guide Product Details
Released on 09-Mar-2012
• Multiple tactical approaches: Choose your own strategy from varied tactical approaches across all missions
• Custom multiplayer maps: Learn the terrain, master objectives, acquire medals, and attain multiplayer War Assets using detailed custom maps
• Exhaustive squad chapter: Learn everything you need to know about your squad members from power trees with rank by rank analysis to keys on how to romance them
• Detailed arsenal chapter: Prepare for combat properly by comparing all weapons and armour
• Galaxy at War revealed: Attain the greatest advantage using the Galaxy at War chapter, and find out how to get the ending you want
Although EA and Bioware have yet to offer an official line on the next chapter in the Dragon Age saga, its existence has been heavily suggested through job listings at the Canadian developer, and a very public engagement with fans to see what they'd like from a third entry in the series.
Now lead writer Jennifer Hepler has offered a fresh nugget of information, in an interview posted on the official Bioware blog. While discussing her average working day, she says: "At the moment, we are at the end of pre-production and beginning of production, so I am bouncing between outlining new stories and starting to write dialogue for the larger plots that are already developed."
Bioware boss man Ray Muzyka hinted in December last year that the legendary RPG studio was playing close attention to hits like Skyrim, saying that while Dragon Age III will combine the best elements of the first two games,"it's also gonna have a lot of things I think players are gonna find compelling from some of the games that are out now that are doing really well with more of an open world feel."
BioWare details Mass Effect 3 collector's edition
BioWare has spilled the beans on the full array of content that will be included in the special N7 Collector's Edition version of Mass Effect 3.
The limited edition package for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC sci-fi epic will come in a premium metal case that features artwork of both the male and female versions of the heroic Commander Shepard.
Packed into the box will be a hardback 70-page art book, a Dark Horse comic book, a lithographic print of the Normandy spacecraft and a premium N7 fabric patch.
Meanwhile, in-game content includes a variety of alternative costumes and weapons, a robotic dog sidekick for Shepard and a top-secret extra downloadable mission and character.
A digital soundtrack, bonus Xbox 360 Avatar items and various social badges complete the deluxe package, which will hit stores alongside the standard release next March.
Mass Effect 3 is the final instalment in the acclaimed role-playing trilogy and will introduce new features such as a multiplayer mode and Kinect voice commands.
Completists and people who love to make the best use of their shelf space will be pleased to learn that a Mass Effect Trilogy boxset is due for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in November.
As the name cleverly suggests, it'll contain all three games from Bioware's blockbusting sci-fi RPG saga. This is particularly noteworthy for PlayStation 3 owners, as only the last two games in the series have been released for that console. The first game, which debuted back in 2007, was published by Microsoft and was exclusive to Xbox 360. A PC version eventually followed, and PlayStation 3 owners got to join in from Mass Effect 2 onwards, once EA took over the publishing rights.
The exact contents of the trilogy set have yet to be announced, so it's unclear whether the set will also include all the bonus missions and material previously available as downloadable content.
What we do know is that FemShep, the female version of series hero Commander Shepard, won't be on the front cover. The first two games showcased only the default male version of the character on their cover art, and for the third instalment Bioware offered a reversible sleeve so players could choose. When fans reacted with disappointment that FemShep would be left out again, Bioware tweeted: "Well, we've got a little something special planned for FemShep coming, so keep that chin up. Not with the cover art. We're doing something separate."
Mass Effect Trilogy is due for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in November.
Role-playing fans are used to risking everything on the roll of the dice, but those gambles are usually reserved for the fictional fantasy tales unfolding on kitchen tables and in college dorm rooms. In 1995, doctors Greg Zeschuk, Ray Muzyka and Augustine Yip rolled the dice in real life when they turned their back on lucrative medical careers and decided to devote their time to making computer games instead. They called their company Bioware, and you only have to look at the games bearing that name today to see if their gambit paid off.
This Christmas week sees Bioware release its first online multiplayer RPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, while next year brings the third (and final?) instalment in their epic sci-fi saga, Mass Effect 3.
So how did the Canadian code factory reach the top of the RPG tree? Surprisingly, the first game from the newly formed studio wasn't a role-playing game at all, but a 3D action title about combat mechs. Shattered Steel was the title, and by taking advantage of the power of new PC video graphics cards it offered destruction and 3D scope that was beyond the capability of older hardware. Titles like Quake and Half Life were yet to redefine PC gaming, so Shattered Steel's technology earned the fledgling developer a lot of attention.
That attention wasn't enough to stop Dr Yip from returning to life in a white coat, but Zeschuk and Muzyka weren't about to let go of their dream. They wanted to make games inspired by the lengthy Dungeons & Dragons sessions that had seen them through medical school. And they already had the game in mind - Battleground: Infinity.
Don't be surprised if you've never heard of it. By the time the game arrived on shelves it had been taken on by Interplay. The publisher held the video game rights to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons brand, and so almost overnight Bioware went from developing games inspired by the role-playing classic to making an official Dungeons & Dragons game.
Baldur's Gate was the result, and it was an immediate smash. The RPG genre was in rude health in 1998, with The Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Diablo all well established, but Bioware's relative inexperience was balanced with a deep understanding of what made role-playing fun.
Dungeons & Dragons remained the company's bread and butter for many years after, with expansion packs for Baldur's Gate leading into the sequel, Shadows of Amn, following in 2000. Neverwinter Nights continued the studio's D&D heritage in 2002, reviving the classic AOL online role-player for a more savvy internet audience.
While these titles were critically acclaimed and embraced by RPG fans worldwide, they were still very much niche games. Few outside of role-playing fandom were aware of the Bioware name. That changed in 2003, when the company launched its first console game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. At a time when Star Wars fans were torn by misgivings over the prequel movies, and punchdrunk from a slew of half-baked spin-off games, it was Bioware's narrative nous that saved the Jedi. Epic in scale, and with the freedom to explore the galaxy far, far away, it fulfilled the dreams of many Star Wars fans and earned Bioware a promotion to the ranks of legendary game developers.
Buoyed by this success, the company turned its attention to something new, the first original Bioware title since Shattered Steel, in fact. Jade Empire was the game, and it took the RPG framework and applied it to a tale of rival martial arts masters in feudal China. Kung fu combat added a surprising wrinkle to the familiar cloth, but critics noted that the story was a virtual retread of Knights of the Old Republic, with open-palm strikes replacing lightsabers.
Only a few years later, and with a new console generation to play with, Bioware silenced any doubters with the 2007 smash hit Mass Effect. A slick, thrilling space saga with the pace of an action game and the depth of an RPG, it heralded a new era for the developer. Super-publisher EA swooped in to buy the company, and so began a period of blockbuster genre-hopping that is still in full swing.
Blood-soaked fantasy epic Dragon Age found the company recasting the swords and monster tropes of the D&D years in its own style. Mass Effect 2 reached new heights of cinematic sizzle, showcasing an elastic storyline that allowed any of the characters to pop their clogs during the climactic suicide mission. And Bioware even found time to dabble in less obvious areas, creating a Mass Effect spin-off game for mobile phones and developing Sonic Chronicles for the DS, the first RPG to star Sega's blue spiky mascot.
Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka are still at the head of the company they found over fifteen years ago, and their passion for role-playing is still tempered by a desire to innovate and stretch the boundaries of what can be done with the genre. With its ties to the developer's first breakout smash hit, and its desire to shake up the world of MMORPG gameplay, Star Wars: The Old Republic is perhaps the quintessential Bioware experience. Enormous in scale, complex in intent yet an absolute joy to play.
Let the dice roll.
The dust has barely settled on Mass Effect 3's controversial ending, but Bioware is already thinking ahead to what will come next. "We're in early stages of designing a completely new Mass Effect game," tweeted Casey Hudson, the man in charge of the series. "What would you want to see in it?"
One thing is for sure: the game won't feature Commander Shepard, whose story was wrapped up in the first three Mass Effect games. If you missed out on that, don't panic - the Mass Effect Trilogy boxset compiles all three games, plus bonus content, into one bumper volume from December 7th.
That marks the first time that the original 2007 game will be available on PlayStation 3. The game was originally published by Microsoft as an Xbox 360 exclusive.
Bioware has always said it plans to continue exploring the sci-fi universe of the series beyond the original trilogy. There have already been four novels and four comic book mini-series based around the saga, as well as a couple of mobile games. Where will the developer take the series next? Bioware specialises in role-playing games, but the potential is huge. A Mass Effect first-person shooter? Real-time strategy game? What would you like to see? Bioware wants to know!
Although EA and Bioware have yet to offer an official line on the next chapter in the Dragon Age saga, its existence has been heavily suggested through job listings at the Canadian developer, and a ve…
BioWare details Mass Effect 3 collect… (23/11/2011)
BioWare has spilled the beans on the full array of content that will be included in the special N7 Collector's Edition version of Mass Effect 3.…
Mass Effect Trilogy boxset brings ori… (27/09/2012)
Completists and people who love to make the best use of their shelf space will be pleased to learn that a Mass Effect Trilogy boxset is due for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in November.…
Rolling The Dice: The History of Bioware (22/12/2011)
This Christmas week sees Bioware release its first online multiplayer RPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, while next year brings the third (and final?) instalment in their epic sci-fi saga, Mass Effect …
New Mass Effect game already in devel… (09/11/2012)
The dust has barely settled on Mass Effect 3's controversial ending, but Bioware is already thinking ahead to what will come next. "We're in early stages of designing a completely new Mass Effect game…
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