Mass Effect 3 Demo: A First Reaction

You know I couldn’t possibly wait more than half an hour to play the Mass Effect 3 demo when it became available. I didn’t. Though the taste whetted my appetite for the game (new abilities! familiar faces!) what it did more than anything was frustrate me.

If you’ve played the demo, you know what I’m talking about. “Do you know Shepard?” “I used to.” Squees became howls of frustration (and let’s not talk about Ashley’s dye job.)

All I can say is that BioWare better have come up with a damned good explanation for why loyal Shep hasn’t been with Kaidan or Ashley between games. “I used to…” I ask you!

A Word on Space Combat in Star Wars: The Old Republic

Space combat plays an important role in Star Wars, as much in SWTOR as in the movies. But how does The Old Republic handle those battles?

Those of you who cut your digital teeth on flight simulators likely look forward to skimming enemy space stations and making that skill shot down a ventilation shaft. (How many of the rest of you are picturing the Death Star exploding right now?)

Why Does BioWare Charge a Monthly Subscription for SWTOR?

I had a thought the other day, in reading the SWTOR forum. At yet another accusation of greed, something to which I’m sympathetic, it occurred to me that servers, hosting, and patches are not BioWare’s only costs.

What’s the name of the game, here? Star Wars, of course. And when you see that splash screen while loading LucasArts appears prominently. Are they known for being loose with their copyrights? Do you suppose EA Games perhaps pays a hefty, on-going license fee to set this game in George Lucas’s universe? I would bet you a month’s subscription fee that they do.

I’d also bet that any new content BioWare plans has to get the stamp of approval from the folks over at LucasArts. This added layer of bureaucracy, understandable and possibly even necessary though it may be, adds to the cost of running a game of this nature.

Sideline Wednesday: The Champion's Side, Chapter 38

If Wishes Were Horses

Anders glanced up from healing some sweet-looking, filthy child while his parents wrung their hands. He’d known I was coming and his own freshly-scrubbed face shone in the light of his magic.

The tableau showed me a dedicated healer exhausting himself in the service of others, but I couldn’t help but suspect he’d arranged it for my benefit. It echoed the scene in which we’d first met so closely that it seemed precisely the sort of obvious ploy Anders would try.

The image of the endearing bumbler couldn’t stand up, however, to the fact that this was yet another attempt at deception. He might as well have put up a shrine to Andraste in one corner and a choir or urchins in the other. I crossed my arms and leaned against a nearby table to show that I wasn’t fooled.