ME3 PAX Panel: BioWare Offers Few Details, Lots of Speculation
At the BioWare Mass Effect 3 panel earlier this afternoon at PAX East, a team of BioWare’s best and brighest were on hand to answer a variety of questions about the game. That group, composed of community coordinator Chris Priestly, producer Mike Gamble, level combat designer Corey Gaspur, senior writer (and recent center of controversy) Patrick Weekes, and fellow senior writer John Dombrow, answered queries ranging from a discussion of some of Shepard’s more horrible renegade choices to the use of a stock photo for Tali’s face. But naturally a big chunk of the discussion concerned the just-announced Mass Effect 3: Extended Edition DLC. Alas, fans looking for more information than the vague statements made in the DLC’s official press release, or the unfortunate implications in their follow up on the BioWare forums that there won’t actually be any real changes made, should look elsewhere.
Kotaku was on the scene liveblogging the panel, but more importantly, our own Ben Richardson was on hand taking notes of his own. Based on what they’re reporting, BioWare are playing their cards very close to the vest. First and foremost, no specific details were provided, aside from a promise that more detail will be coming later. On that, the panelists said “our cinematics team…is on it as we speak.” Great — what does that mean? It means that BioWare plans to continue to talk about the DLC in a way that may further frustrate fans. Statements from the panel like “we wanted to answer the questions we’re seeing” don’t seem to jibe with the news that nothing is going to be fundamentally changed, including, it would seem, the numerous plot holes.
That they claim they’re actually paying attention to complaints, saying “we definitely look, we definitely put together a list,” or “We want to give you some more closure around the questions you have, fill in some of the unknowns” is promising, as is the statement that they “want to give players a sense of personalization with the endings.” Unfortunately, when asked outright if the new DLC would change the endings, they said again there would be no new endings, only “closure.” “When you see the ending of Mass Effect,” it was reportedly said, “you now have the information and the context to feel satisfied”
BioWare continues to stand by the ending they released, but the panelists insisted that fan feedback is valuable, and desired, even hinting for the millionth time that the indoctrination theory might be in play. “The indoctrination theory illustrates again how, um, committed the fanbase is…” one panelist said. “I don’t want to comment either way. Don’t want to be prescriptive — fans interpret their own way… We want the content to speak for itself, and we’ll let it do so”.
So how will it speak for itself? A couple of hints were dropped. The panel did add that “some of the choices” will affect the endings. They also added that the new scenes will be “more than just a few cinematic scenes, more than just a small coat of paint – it’s definitely a considerable amount.” Of course, that seems to be at odds with what BioWare has already said and not said (and possibly, contradicted themselves on). Take that how you will.
Game Front is on-site at PAX East all weekend (April 6-8), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!