Mass Effect 3 to allow more consequential player choices

Monday, 25th July 2011 07:40 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Mass Effect 3 will adress a frequent criticism of the series so far, by providing more numerous and weightier player choices, accoridng to BioWare.

“With the first one, we’re kind of launching everything, and we’re kind of throwing up these huge threads to the later stories,” producer Casey Hudson told Destructoid.

“And then with the second one, we’re kind of in between. It’s actually the toughest one to make, because it has to work with previous stuff and still tie in with other stuff a little bit later.

“But with Mass Effect 3, this is really the opportunity to do whatever we want with the reminder of the story – which means players can do whatever they want with the remainder of the story. Your decision can have much bigger consequences, things that you’ve done earlier can have much bigger consequences.

“So we can really throw around a lot of big impacts from your decisions, from prior games and from decision you’ll make in Mass Effect 3.

“It’s really astronomical. The number of different ways that you can play it, the combinations of different decisions that you can make, and then all the different ways that the story can end up depending on what you’re doing.”

Mass Effect 3 launches for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2012. See the full interview below.



  1. Erthazus

    Mass Effect 1-2 were very poor in terms of consequences execution.

    Mass Effect 2 had probably 2 dialog options were you need to choose something that was a serious decision and thats just poor execution.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. viralshag

    I didn’t really have a problem with any of the decision making or consequences. Fable III went down the path of every decision having a black or white outcome and for me, it just wasn’t the same and didn’t quite cut it.

    Sheperd, despite being the modern day version of Flash Gorden, saving every one of us (ahhhh), is just a man and I think it makes more sense to have a lot of smaller choices along the path that will (hopefully) have rippled into big waves for the third game.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. endgame

    to new players though (if there r still any) I advise to buy and play the 2 previous games as well. they r way too awesome to miss.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    They’ve been doing this all wrong for a while now. Everything becomes extremely black and white and we’re constantly forced to slot ourselves into either extreme. Bethesda and Obsidian do the same thing with their Fallouts.

    I prefer subtlety and intelligence over constantly having to choose whether I’m a huge asshole or a genuine saint.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Maximum Payne

    @4 Agree 24 show explained consequential choices :)
    Weird no one want to make potentially good milking franchise.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight

    @4 No game has done that nor will they ever because it is a designers nightmare to have all those variables while testing out the actual game play and making sure every choice through the game is tracked and changes game play one way or another. That is a nightmare to do, You would need a lot of money to pull it off and have the same caliber as ME, Fallout, Witcher. If companies had infinite resources and didn’t care about profit, sure, than it would be possible. But right now its unrealistic.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    @6 I’m not saying there shouldn’t be decisions, I’m just saying they don’t have to be boneheaded ones.

    In the Witcher everybody had more or less reprehensible agendas, so you really weren’t taking the moral highground, or the opposite. Even more so in the original one (which was otherwise horrible) where you could actually choose to do nothing at all and get a third result.

    I think that suits a roleplaying game very well, since you aren’t neccesarily looking for a Hollywood reality where it’s all white hats and black. At least for me it makes it a lot more interesting when we move beyond fairytale ethics.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    @7 When Bioware was doing the original Mass Effect they had tested out the third option, neutral. They found that the playtesters rarely went that route so they removed it. Its really hard to capture, another reason why they may have removed it in Witcher 2.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Gekidami

    ^ Its understandable, being neutral effectively means not taking part. And that isnt very interesting.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DSB

    I don’t doubt it. The whole idea of apathy is much more inherent to The Witcher who is really supposed to be a self-serving mercenary.

    I just don’t see any reason why you’d always have to split the decisions between something as banal as asshole and saint. Either I do something horrible, or I do something compassionate. Why? Is that the best people can do? There are a lot of nuances between the two.

    That’s one thing I found massively stimulating in The Witcher 2. Often I had every reason to go for either one, which meant that I could exert my own opinion with far less pressure than I otherwise would. It’s fucking annoying to have to finish a quest by spitting in someones face, or patting them on the head. Why do you always have to make it either/or? Why not make it a human, personal choice?

    I always find myself falling out of the immersion in those games and going “This playthrough I’m gonna be the nasty guy” or “This playthrough I’m gonna be the whitest motherfucker in the bunch”. Not so in The Witcher, I actually had to think about those decisions.

    “Do I want blood vengeance, or information?” “Do I want a powerful enemy of an enemy, or a less than capable ally?”. That was genuinely interesting.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    “That’s one thing I found massively stimulating in The Witcher 2. Often I had every reason to go for either one, which meant that I could exert my own opinion with far less pressure than I otherwise would.”

    THats weird because I found the choices to be really restrictive than the original and felt no tie to any of the choices I made other than I like the elves more than humans so I picked them, then it practically pidgeon holes you in to two choices that all result in 2 endings that really have no consequence what so ever. THe original really had potential with showing of that 3rd choice but its really disappointing that they gutted most of those choices in the 2nd game and then forced the player through the motions.

    I didn’t like some of the renegade choices in ME2 some of them were way extreme and not expected for me and especially with the renegade interruptions how was I as the player supposed to know that my character was going to punch someone in the face I was just thinking shot the character in leg or foot. THats something they need to improve so the player knows what they are going to do or some way to hint at it. No game is perfect I hope they use something like Dragon AGe 2 with the tone system and having control over my character that way too.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    Different strokes I guess.

    I fail to see any pigeon holing between two sides that are indiscriminantly murdering civilians of either side. It would be different if one was somehow adhering to a higher morality, and one to a lesser, as is the case in the vast majority of roleplaying games these days, but in The Witcher 2 it’s really just a case of two groups with entirely different cultures and motivations, finding themselves in direct conflict over the same society and its land. That’s a far cry from a game of axis and allies.

    Honestly I just don’t think the writers care enough to set up scenarios like that. It’s a lot easier to just make one-dimensional bad guys and good guys along predetermined archetypes, and define your choices accordingly.

    And a lot of those choices in The Witcher 2 were indeed subtle. That’s why they’re interesting. They don’t neccesarily differ from eachother that much, but they speak volumes of the person you want your Witcher to be. It’s the difference between a crappy movie director who treats his audience like children, and a brilliant one who demands them to be capable of abstract thought.

    To the contrary, I don’t see the appeal in the more childish worldview, resulting in these “severe consequences” that end up closing off parts of the game to you. The Witcher 2 pretty much pokes fun at the naive approach by having some of the more benevolent choices in the game be punished, by the NPCs taking gross advantage of them.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Hybridpsycho

    People say this for every game :D

    It’s getting old, make it happen. Like The Witcher 2 perhaps? Not many choices had a large impact, but a few had HUGE impact.

    #13 3 years ago

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