More Juicy Details About Mass Effect 3 Romance Options
Last week we brought news of a rather big change to Mass Effect romance options in Mass Effect 3; namely, the report that in an interview with the Official Xbox Magazine, BioWare seemed to have confirmed that no new romance options would be available in Mass Effect 3. Limiting your potential booty-calls to the people you’ve already met and/or romanced was a surprisingly limited decision for the series, and while most of us adopted a wait and see attitude, we can’t deny it sounded like a bad idea.
How fast things change in the gaming developmentverse. In a series of revealing tweets posted over the weekend, Bioware’s Casey Hudson clarified Mass Effect 3′s romances, and by ‘clarified’ I mean ‘brazenly contradicted what has been reported’ and ‘blew our minds’. First and foremost:
“no new LI’s” was an oversimplification of an answer I gave back in early Apr. And things always evolve in mid-production.
Hudson also implied in another tweet that the aforementioned interview happened much earlier in the development process, further adding that player feedback strongly influences development. This would seem to confirm that the decision to delay Mass Effect 3 until Q1 2012 was smart. The game is still very much in-development and much of what we think we know about it will almost certainly turn out not to be true.
However, news that there will be someone new to bang just before the final mission to defeat the Reapers isn’t the biggest about-face from BioWare. In another tweet, Casey dropped a bombshell guaranteed to make the average XBLA troglodyte retch, and countless slash fiction writers weep with joy:
Happy to confirm #ME3 supports wider options for love interests incl. same-sex for m&f chars, reactive to how you interact w/them in-game.
That is, to put it mildly, a stunning development. While BioWare has typically not shied away from same-sex relationships (the Dragon Age series features characters with extremely fluid sexual orientations), the official word has long been that the same sex options didn’t quite work in Mass Effect. That sounds kind of a dodge, especially so considering that dialogue hinting at the possibility is buried in the code for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. For whatever reason, BioWare initially considered, then quashed same sex relationships in the series. This reversal indicates the more likely possibility that an internal conflict within BioWare over gay-friendly themes has now been resolved decisively in favor of not pandering to the haters. (Further evidence: The lead writer for Dragon Age 2 delivering a delicious rebuke to homophobes on BioWare forums.)
But before we get too excited about the possibility of seeing Female Commander Shepherd hook it up with Miranda, or Jacob’s abs consoling Male Commander Shepherd before the final mission, bear in mind that at least for now, BioWare isn’t planning to change previously established characters too much. Other tweets from Hudson add a bit more to the picture:
Some game sites saying “previously straight chars now available for both m&f chars” not necessarily true. Will have some new LI’s in #ME3
Love interests won’t all necessarily be permanent squad members in #ME3 . Interesting new things happening in that area.
Our guess? The man to Shepherd’s right in the image above, James Vega, definitely asks and tells. Either way, this kind of blows away limitations we dreaded and we cannot wait to find out more at E3.