IGN's Three Red Lights Podcast #14: All About Mass Effect

This week IGN received a great bounty -- Mass Effect! After spending all night playing BioWare's epic RPG, the Xbox Team (Hilary Goldstein, Erik Brudvig, and Nate Ahearn) gathered for a podcast to offer impressions and answer your questions. Many, many Mass Effect questions answered. Do not listen unless you want to get pumped for this game!


The podcast is 1 hour and 12 minute. Reader Q&A segment begins at 35:10. The answers are very in-depth and cover a lot of grounds and details. May contain spoilers.

See the first comment below for highlights from the first 35 minutes of the podcast (before Q&A,) and the second comment for a listing of the questions emailed in by IGN readers.

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ktchong4053d ago

• "I think the game doesn't look as good without the grain effect." "I kinda like the grain effect." "I like it too." "I like it because it gives the whole 70s sci-fi feel." "And it goes with some of the music. That music totally sounds like it came straight out of the original Terminator. It got the cool 70s vibe to it, and there's the hot alien sex scene, which is totally straight out of the 70s sci-fi movie." (11:21-11:50)

• "I probably played it maybe three hours there in the office, and then I started playing it at nine o'clock last night, and when I finally got tired of it and said this is time to call it a night, I looked at my clock, and it was 3:30. Oh god." (12:41-12:59)

• "The RPG elements are, top notch." "They are awesome." "They really are." (13:40-13:45)

• "It's an RPG first. Shooting is just the fight mechanics." (14:40-14:47)

• "We should say something about the ammunition: there is no bullet count or anything like that. It's all based on the heat of your weapons. So you never have to reload or anything like that, but you just have to watch for the heat building up. For more powerful weapons, heat tends to build up faster, but then again you can also get upgrades to make the heat go away. You can also have biotic powers that will actually reduce the heat. You can overheat your enemies' weapons and stuff like that..." (15:34-15:56)

• "When you're in the Citadel, which is basically the main planet you sort of start off with. I've probably spend like five hours on that planet, or six hours. There are so many side quests that just keep popping up. They're all really interesting, and they're all very well integrated with the main story." (20:35-20:46)

• "One question somebody asked was how would the game take just went through the main quest. I don't think you can do that." [laugh] "You could if you're insane, but it's so alluring to go off and do the other stuff in this game." (23:10-23:22)

• "Probably the biggest thing I like about the game right now is the conversation tree. Works sooo well. I don't know if you could ever go back to where you just go pick through a line of dialogue." (24:30-24:42)

• "The dialogue in this game is some of the best I've ever seen, even in movies. Some of the lines, they're just great." (26:47-26:55)

• "The amazing thing is the amount of dialogue in this game. First of all, you can play as a man or a woman. In KOTOR for example, your character never spoke. That's typical in RPG: the main character doesn't speak - because there would be tons of dialogue to record. It's not the case in Mass Effect. You speak! You're playing as a man and a woman. They record voice for all these conversations, both for a man and a woman, and there's a lot of time (other characters) will refer to you as 'him' and 'her'. So they have to record all these stuff multiple times. And there's sooo much conversation in the game." (26:57-27:38)

• "And people will act differently toward you if you're playing as a guy or a girl. (If you're playing as a girl,) a lot of guys will start hitting on you... You can flirt with everyone. I just spent like a couple hours last night walking around talking to people going around the ship. You can flirt with all your crew members." (27:37-28:03)

• "This is not a good and evil thing... Do not think of it as a good and evil because that's not true. You are playing as a good character. The difference is paragon versus renegade... They are completely different. You get a lot of different responses... They get rid of the whole good and evil thing. That's not what it is." (28:33-29:24)

• "There's a whole political subplot going throughout the game as well as the save the universe plot too. There's a lot of little subplots going along all over the place, and all the little things seem way more developed than they were in KOTOR. All those little subplots are just so detailed." (31:05-31:25)

• "I feel like I'm actually role-playing when I'm playing this game. It is called RPG, but most RPG are not actually RPG. You're not actually playing a role... For the first time, I feel like (playing a role)... I care about the character I'm playing, even though she's a b!tch." "I'm care about the character I'm playing too, even though she's homely." (32:21-33:29)

ktchong4053d ago

• How much can you customize your Shepard's appearance: facial hair, hairstyle, hairline? Are you stuck with the crew cut the whole game? (35:11)

• How is the action gameplay? Will it deliver (for) someone who is not a big RPG player but more of an action-adventure player? (37:40)

• Other than your partners' feelings toward you, to what extend do you have control over customizing them - both physically and stat-wise? (40:41)

• How many achievements do (Hilary and Erik) have for the game after playing 10 hours? (42:42)

• If Mass Effect is so great, how come it doesn't cost as much as Rock Band? (45:41)

• Exactly how hard is the combat? Are the graphic and animation safely outside the Uncanny Valley? (46:26)

• Are Biotic powers crucial aspects of the game or afterthought? Is there enough customization that you can create a different character type? (49:38) Is customization going to boil down to just picking what weapon type you like? (51:40)

• How open do the planets feel in Mass Effect? (58:15)

• What are the load times when traveling between planets? (59:14)

• Is the exploring on the planets loot-based or side mission-based? (1:03:29)

• How long will the game take to finish? (1:05:36)