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Mass Effect Gazes to the Stars
01.28.2006

BRYAN BOULETTE
STAFF REPORTER


Mass Effect

The director of BioWare's upcoming Xbox 360 RPG, Mass Effect, recently conducted an interview in which he revealed some of his team's inspirations for the game. Additionally, director Casey Hudson revealed some of what the designers hope to achieve using the console hardware, and a few more story details for the science fiction epic.

While Hudson's team previously developed a game based on a movie, in the form of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, this time around they sought to do something more original. Hudson stated, "We... wanted to take on the challenge of creating a new intellectual property: a science fiction universe that would be designed for today's audience and would be structured to allow us to tell the biggest and most exciting stories possible." However, that didn't stop the group from gaining creative inspiration from other movies, such as Blade Runner, Alien, and Terminator 2. Hudson added, "With Mass Effect, we're applying many of the things that made those movies great. We started with a story that is based on a powerful concept and is told through intelligent dialogue and emotionally driven choices for the main character." He continued, "Other examples are things like generating sound effects from live recordings instead of a computer and placing an emphasis on photographic effects that give the experience a big-budget movie feel. The game as a whole is presented as a much tighter cinematic experience than we've ever been able to achieve before:"

In the interview, Hudson also made clear that BioWare intends to heavily utilize the Xbox 360's high definition capabilities for Mass Effect. The director noted, "With Mass Effect, we intend to create a premium experience for HD systems, where the visual and audio presentation achieves an incredible level of detail and realism. You'll see your character's brow wrinkle when he looks at someone suspiciously, and the tiniest details - such as chipped paint on your armor or even pores in your skin - are clearly visible. This means that we're able to draw players into the story with a set of tools that previously only live-action movie directors had access to."

Few additional story details were given, but there were a few new pieces. The elite unit that the main character of the game fights for is known as SPECTRE, and the threat which emerges to endanger the inter-galactic alliance is actually posed by a new race of extremely intelligent machines. In the conflict against the machines, the game's main character will lead the human race back into a position of prominence.

Mass Effect is currently in development exclusively for the Xbox 360. No release date is currently known, but RPGamer will continue to report on the title as it develops.



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