BioWare Mondays

So…Leviathan, the first proper single-player DLC for Mass Effect 3, is now available, and reviews of it have been flowing in. The general consensus seems to be that it’s a worthy piece of DLC, worth picking up, and much like the day-one From Ashes DLC it offers up some excellent, story-expanding content…as well as a bit of detective/mystery-like gameplay to break up the game’s otherwise action-oriented pace.

Which, really, is one thing that I’ve tended to like about BioWare: they like to experiment, in their DLC, with new and interesting gameplay elements.

Leviathan’s producer, Billy Buskell, wrote a blog post on the BioBlog about the process of creating the DLC, and it certainly sounds like he and his Edmonton-based team had a blast crafting it.

Of course, the DLC’s release also has some people suggesting that, rather than just adding new snippets of dialogue to Mass Effect 3′s endgame, BioWare should consider releasing DLC that drastically (or at least significantly) alters the ending.

And to be fair, I think there’s a bit of a point there. Adding new DLC to Mass Effect 3 is odd in that it has to fit into the middle of the story. In Mass Effect 2, you had the option to continue playing after finishing the suicide mission and witnessing the endgame (provided that your Shepard survived, natch), and could mop up DLC like Overlord or Shadow Broker in a galaxy now freed from the scourge of the Collectors. But that’s not an option in Mass Effect 3. DLC for ME3 has to fit into the middle of the story. And one can certainly see how BioWare could introduce something, in a DLC package, that could have drastic effects on the war against the Reapers. Indeed, they very nearly do so with Leviathan.

At the same time, one can’t help but get the feeling that calling for such is really just an extension of the original griping over how the game ended in the first place.

Anyhow…it turns out that the Wii U port of Mass Effect 3 will be developed by an Australian studio. And to be fair, it sounds like that might prove to be an interesting port to play.

In other news, BioWare’s Matt Bromberg went on record discussing the process of converting The Old Republic to a free-to-play title. The shift to free-to-play certainly hasn’t hampered the introduction of new content for the game, however.

And to be honest, I (for one) am kind of looking forward to playing The Old Republic again. The single-player elements are the main component of the game’s free-to-play side, and while the experience will probably be a bit more grindy because free players don’t gain experience as quickly, it will be nice to wrap up the Consular storyline.

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