Mass Effect 3 “pushing variety” in art design

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 5 July 2011 02:55 GMT

BioWare has ruminated again on the difficulty of sci-fi level design in Mass Effect. As a special bonus, have a look at the third entry’s character designs.

Continuing yesterday’s theme, senior environment artist Don Arceta told Xbox World 360 bringing the series to Earth is particularly tricky.

“Mass Effect is all big curves and arching structures, and you don’t want famous landmarks to just stick out like a sore thumb in that sci-fi universe,” he said.

“That’s the kind of the balance artists are looking for – making it fit but still feel like Earth. Just putting Venetian blinds on the windows makes it more familiar to the player that this is Earth. You wouldn’t ever see that on an Asari planet.”

Arceta said the art team is “really pushing the variety within the levels” to avoid the feeling of empty combat arenas, as opposed to places where people might live and work.

There’s lots more through the link above; meanwhile, the image below is said to have originated on the Portuguese BioWare forums, and to show off alternate costumes.

New character James Vega is shown, alongside Mass Effect 1’s Kaidan, Ashley, and Liara.

As these are apparently alternate costumes, it’s probably not necessary to get het up about how much Liara looks like Mass Effect 2’s Samara, or Ashley’s Miranda-like Spectre makeover. Check ’em out below, and click to see the pic full size.

Mass Effect 3 is due on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2012.

Thanks, Miladesn and NeoGaf.

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