Tag Archives: Bioware

Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC is Available For Download

BioWare has made available Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC on Xbox Marketplace. The 1.9GB DLC is available on the Live Marketplace and can be downloaded for free. The PC version isn’t yet available –  though it should be out soon. PlayStation 3 players will have to wait till July 4 to get their on the DLC.

Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC

As mentioned previously, the DLC doesn’t change the end game, neither does it add any new gameplay but is supposed to expand the meaning of original ending. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of closure BioWare aims to provide with this DLC. You’ll need to load a save game from before the attack on the Cerberus Base and play through to the end of the game to see how the game spans out.

And once you’ve done that, let me know in the comments on your thoughts about the ending.

Mass Effect 3 Gets Free Multiplayer DLC Titled Resurgence

BioWare will be releasing a free DLC tomorrow, titled Mass Effect 3:Resurgence. Resurgence will be focusing on the multiplayer section of Mass Effect 3, with the DLC bringing in 6 new characters and 2 new multiplayer maps.

The new characters include

  • Asari Justicar(available as Adept)
  • Krogan Battlemaster(available as Vanguard)
  • Batarian (available as Soldier and Sentinel)
  • Geth(available as Engineer and Infiltrator)

Mass Effect 3 MP New Characters
Image courtesy BioWare.
The new maps featured are Firebase Condor, a warzone outpost located on one of Palaven’s moons and Firebase Hydra, an old abandoned Quarian colony converted into a dam facility.

Apart from these, the DLC also features goodies including:

  • More weapons – the Striker Assault Rifle, Harpoon Gun and Geth Plasma SMG
  • More reinforcement packs including Targeting VI, Shield Power Cells and Strength Enhancers.

Resurgence will be available for free on PSN, Origin and Xbox Live on the 10th of April in North America and the 11th of April in Europe.

BioWare’s Band Aid Solution To “Please” Fans Over Mass Effect 3 Ending: Free DLC

Mass Effect 3 has been receiving quite a lot of criticism since the day it was available for pre-order. From the bungled pre-order offer to their Day 1 DLC fiasco to the outcry over the blatantly slaughtered ending, Mass Effect fans have been quite rabid in expressing their displeasure – particularly about the way the game ended. Some of the horde have taken the route of Meta Critic bombing – and one fan has gone ahead with a FTC complaint.

BioWare have been going overboard trying to quell the fans’ displeasure – so much so that BioWare co-founder and GM Dr. Ray Muzyka ended up publishing a OMG-please-relax-we-may-fix-it blog post.

Now, it looks like BioWare have caved to fan pressure and have just published a press release informing of a new DLC that’s scheduled to be out soon. The DLC will be free and will be known as Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut.

Quoting the press release:

Mass Effect™ 3:Extended Cut, a downloadable content pack that will expand upon the events at the end of the critically acclaimed Action RPG. Through additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes, the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will give fans seeking further clarity to the ending of Mass Effect 3 deeper insights into how their personal journey concludes. Coming this summer, the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will be available for download on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC for no extra charge.

“We are all incredibly proud of Mass Effect 3 and the work done by Casey Hudson and team,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder of BioWare and General Manager of EA’s BioWare Label. “Since launch, we have had time to listen to the feedback from our most passionate fans and we are responding. With the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut we think we have struck a good balance in delivering the answers players are looking for while maintaining the team’s artistic vision for the end of this story arc in the Mass Effect universe.”

Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series added, “We have reprioritized our post-launch development efforts to provide the fans who want more closure with even more context and clarity to the ending of the game, in a way that will feel more personalized for each player.”

Now I’m a huge fan of the Mass Effect series, completed all the games and even though I did not like the ending, I do not like this move. As a game designer, you should either own up to the decisions that you have taken and stand by it, or get it right. Fan feedback is important, however the idea that a game developer is willing change the ending of a game to satisfy some section of fans is not something I’d like to see.

And oh, if you’re like fellow techie-buzz gaming fanatic Kaushik who’s been waiting for Mass Effect 3 price cuts, you might want to know that the “free” DLC offer is valid till April 2014.

Props to Sharath Patali for informing me of this Press Release.

Blizzard Takes a Dig at EA, Ubisoft This April Fools With “Mobile Adventure Game”

EA (specifically its subsidiary Bioware’s game Mass Effect 3) is fair game these days it seems – what with the extremely unsatisfying ending, obvious greed with Day 1 DLC as well as numerous reports of Bioware blocking legitimate customers from Origin for allegedly trying to mod the single player (which is precisely the point of owning a game on the PC). Many of the gaming industry’s terrible policies originate from EA, Activision and Ubisoft. However currently EA is leading in the douche-race by a large margin.

supplydepot

So Blizzard, the developers of Starcraft and World of Warcraft (and, ironically, partners of Activision in the publishing business) have put up an entire mobile-game website for a game called Starcraft: Supply Depot 2 with the following description:-

It is a dark time for the galaxy. The alien forces of the savage insectoid Zerg and ancient, militant Protoss have threatened the Terrans for years – but the threat is finally over, and we have lost the war. The time of the descendants of Earth is at an end.

The Terrans pin all of their hopes on a champion – a pillar of war unlike any other before or since. He is all that stands between the advancing hordes and a safer tomorrow, and he will defend the future with his very existence.

Sounds familiar? Yep, that sounds almost but not quite unlike the plot of Mass Effect 3. It is also adorned with many “features” such as “Ridiculous Amounts of Action” and “Fascinating Dialog” and more. Notably these stand out:

Multiple color coded and unfulfilling endings!

Even more endings via revolutionary Democratic DLC™!

Hilarious. Play the game (apparently Android and iPhone versions will be out soon!) here.

mobileblizz

They also have some other games “in development” such as Blackthorne 2: Thorne Harder which is a dig at either the Modern Warfare series or the Battlefield series (probably the latter as Activision owns Call of Duty) and Queen’s Quest which features, among other things, a sweeping orchestral soundtrack and this rather simple DRM protection:-

  • Sweeping saxophone soundtrack
  • Literary consultation from “A Couple of Dudes from Mar Sara”
  • Comes on 17 floppy disks
  • A revolutionary Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme in 5 easy steps:
    • Open the Spin-A-Spacer DRM application on any smart phone*
    • Line up the spacer faces to reveal the page/word matrix value
    • Consult your player guide / lore manual, and turn to the appropriate page
    • Use the special 3d lenticular glasses to decode the margin text and find the keyword passphrase
    • Enter the special passphrase into the on-screen prompt
    • Speak “OK” clearly and audibly into the device’s audio input
    • ENJOY! (Occassionally, you may be asked to call a toll-free 800 number to verify your identity)

A++ will buy again!

How to Unlock the Prothean Character in Mass Effect 3 Without Paying for DLC

(Also known as “How to tell an unsuccessful lie to fans and to set new lows for the gaming industry” by EA and Bioware)

We all know that Bioware and EA were a bunch of greedy people. This was proved once again with the release of the Day 1 release of the premium Downloadable Content (DLC) called From Ashes which unlocked a Prothean member in Commander Shepard’s squad. This led to a lot of clamor and eventually many people (including me) decided to boycott the game completely, or at least until the game’s price falls to acceptable levels.

Bioware/EA’s response to this was that the DLC was programmed and created after the game was done coding, and that they had no intention of including any of the DLC in the core game. That is to say the Prothean team member’s model, texture, animation and voice was coded outside the main game. This sounded fishy to many people. Some enterprising fans tinkered around with just the core game’s code without installing the DLC at all and found out that Bioware was lying outright.

To recapitulate, here is how to get the Prothean character without buying the From Ashes DLC:-

1. Open Coalesced.bin with this http://wenchy.net/me3-coalesced-utility

2. Search for this:MemberValidCID=22, MemberAvailablePlotLabel=IsSelectableProthean,

3. Replace with this:MemberValidCID=, MemberAvailablePlotLabel=,

Awkward, Bioware. Awkward.

Mass Effect 3 Demo Available for Download

Mass Effect 3 LogoIt’s been a long wait for Mass Effect fans and the wait is over. At least, for the demo version, that is. BioWare just announced that the demo of Mass Effect 3 is now available for download.

Mass Effect 3 is the final chapter in the Mass Effect series of games which marks Commander Shepard’s fight against against the Reapers. Mass Effect has easily been one of the most anticipated games of the year. Initially slated to be released towards the end of 2011, the game was delayed to “tweak things”.

The demo will feature both single-player and multiplayer options – with some portions of the multiplayer being initially locked.

The single player section features the opening level featuring the Reaper attack on Earth, and a level further into the game where Shepard travels to an alien home world to seek their assistance in the war effort, while the co-op multiplayer section will include 2 maps: Slum and Noveria. This section will be open to players who have qualified for the early multiplayer access as of February 14, and will then open up to all players on February 17.

 

Demo System Requirements

Minimum Spec:

  • OS – Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1, Win 7
  •  *Supported chipsets: NVIDIA 7900 or better; ATI X1800 or better.  Please note that NVIDIA GeForce 9300, 8500, 8400, and 8300 are below minimum system requirements, as are AMD/ATI Radeon HD3200, HD3300, and HD4350.   Updates to your video and sound card drivers may be required.
  •  CPU – 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent AMD CPU)
  •  RAM – 1GB for XP / 2GB RAM for Vista/Win 7
  •  Disc Drive – 1x speed
  •  Hard Drive – 2.5 GB of free space
  •  Video – 256 MB* (with Pixel Shader 3.0 support)
  •  Sound – DirectX 9.0c compatible
  •  DirectX – DirectX 9.0c August 2009 (included)
Recommended Spec:
  •  OS – Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1, Win 7
  •  CPU – 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent AMD CPU)
  •  RAM – 2GB for XP / 4GB RAM for Vista/Win 7
  •  Disc Drive – 1x speed
  •  Hard Drive – 2.5 GB of free space
  •  Video – AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB or greater, NVidia GeForce 9800 GT/ GTX 550Ti 512 MB or greater
  •  Sound – DirectX 9.0c compatible

You can download the demo from this link.

Now while you’re waiting for the demo download to finish, you might want to check out how the demo looks like with this 40-minute playthrough video of it.

 

Electronic Arts/BioWare Hacked, Customer Information Stolen

In a continuing pattern of attacks on high profile targets, Electronic Arts has suffered a breach of security. The attack, which occurred on June 14, effected the message board system for one of the companies older titles.

According to EA, the server hosting the message board for Neverwinter Nights, a 10-year old game by BioWare, suffered a “highly sophisticates and unlawful” attack. In a post dates June 23, EA reports that, while no sensitive personal information like credit card or social security numbers were taken, a large amount of user’s personal data is at risk. This data included user names, encrypted passwords, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses, and phone numbers.

BioWare Ea Hack Homepage

While the full extent of the hack is unknown, EA is assuring its users that they have re-secured the server and are working hard to inform anyone they believe to be affected by the attack. The company wrote in its forum post that it is e-mailing “all potentially affected users.”

If you are an active user of the Neverwinter Nights forum and do not receive an email from EA, then you may be one of the lucky ones who were unaffected. That doesn’t mean you can relax, however. It is important to remember that security measures are important.

With the recent surge in attacks on popular websites, we should all remember to practice good security practices. That includs being wary of who we give sensitive information to, as well as changing our passwords frequently.

As of this writing, no group has stepped up to claim responsibility for the hack. EA is continuing to investigate in hopes of discovering the full extent as well as the identity of the individual or group responsible.

DICE Helping Out Bioware With Mass Effect 3

Electronic Arts’ subsidiary studio Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment (DICE) is helping out Bioware with the final installment of their epic space opera role playing game Mass Effect 3. DICE is the studio behind Battlefield 2, Mirror’s Edge, and the latest Medal of Honor. While they are frantically in pursuit of Need for Speed The Run‘s development schedule, they are also helping out Bioware with the audio realismof the guns and bombs in Mass Effect 3. While they are not actively working with Bioware, some ideas were apparently shared between the two studios on the upcoming action role playing shooter.

DICE

In other words: Oh my god, Mass Effect 3 is going to be so awesome not only will the story come to a great ending [we hope], it will also have great characters, an amazing soundtrack and, most importantly, realistic physics driven guns. What more could I possibly want?

Although I can assure you that it is the minority that will probably say What more could I possibly want?(especially since The Witcher 2 is looming large on the horizon) there will be quite a few notable representatives of our esteemed gaming community who will.

MassEffect3

However, DICE’s site has no such affirmation on the news and we could only find one citation on the Wikipedia page for DICE. Not that big an issue, am I right? It’s going to be awesome, right? Right?

Bioware’s Sequel Celebration Gives Mass Effect 2 for Free

– with a purchase of Dragon Age 2, of course. (You knew that there was a catch, did you not?). The folks at Bioware have put up a new scheme for April where a purchase of Dragon Age 2 and registration with Electronic Arts (EA) will get you the download code for Mass Effect 2.

dragonagemasseffect

Here is how to go about it:-

To qualify and get your Mass Effect 2 PC download code, please follow these steps before April 30, 2011 at 11:59pm PDT:

  1. Purchase your copy of Dragon Age II (if you do not already own one).
  2. Activate the Online Pass content that came with your copy of Dragon Age II (The Black Emporium).
  3. Start the game and log in using your EA Account or create a new EA Account.
  4. Visit http://social.bioware.com/me2offer/ and log in with that EA Account.
  5. Enter your Online Pass code and click “Submit”. You will then be provided the code for Mass Effect 2.
  6. Open the EA Download Manager and enter the code to commence download (if you don’t have the EA Download Manager installed, it can be found here: http://www.ea.com/1/download-manager)

NOTE: Please allow 72 hours between time of online pass activation and submitting your online pass code on http://social.bioware.com/me2offer/.

Quite swell, isn’t it? However, as Sathya in a moment of intelligence and wit that could not have possibly been his (Smile with tongue out) said this of the offer somebody at Bioware needs to be shot. Most of the players of Dragon Age 2 are also Mass Effect 2 players. In fact, if Bioware was trying to get newer players to its epic franchise in the science fiction end of the spectrum, it should have given a free download code for the first Mass Effect game.

Perhaps that will come too, eventually. For now, follow the instructions and get a free copy of Mass Effect 2 if you already do not own it.

A Look at What Dragon Age 2 Will Offer

The hefty 1.9GB demo of Dragon Age II contained quite a lot of things, but leaves much to be desired (as is the case with most demos, which is why they are called demos, right?). The demo contains some fairly decent story pointers and sticks to the previous games’ difficulty spikes. Considering that Bioware has gone the Mass Effect way with this game (fully-voiced main character, previously saved data importing and others), it will be worthwhile to check out if the game is actually a beacon of shining light towards the new path of Role Playing Games (RPGs).

DA2Screenie2

The game does not reveal much in the way of story (except for the lone important character from Dragon Age: Origins making an appearance towards the end of the prologue chapter). The fairly overused You are the savior of the Worldtrope comes into play here. As Hawke, you will be the Champion who one day saves the world from [insert obligatory evil person/thing here]. You can choose between three classes (Mage, Rogue or Fighter) and play either the male or female version of these. The story is fairly straightforward except when you reach Kirkwall wherein the narrative gets totally flummoxed and you just flit between skirmishes. The artwork style is quite brilliant with a washed out hand drawn feel to it.

DA2Screenie

The dialog options are akin to Mass Effect‘s radial option dial. The dial shows the gist of what Hawke will actually say and there are four main kinds of responses that Hawke might have a peaceful response, a neutral/comic response, an aggressive response and an investigative question. These are extremely simple to understand and actually make you wait and listen to the entire dialog instead of Esc-ing through the long drawl of the player’s talk.

DA2Screenie3

The gameplay, on the other hand, has taken a completely different approach from Dragon Age: Origins. With a camera behind the main player overseeing an extremely fast battleground, it can be daunting task for RPG-lovers used to an overhead camera to come to terms with this new approach. The fighting is absolutely chaotic and without the assistance of a pause options, it would have been well nigh impossible to coordinate attacks. Players playing as a mage will most likely be hit upon by the Darkspawn and other enemies spawning faster than their magical abilities refresh. The game is as hard as it used to be and without carefully coordinating the attacks and the AI of your party characters, it will be difficult to win many battles, if not impossible.

da2scren

With the prologue seeing the same battle being fought twice due to an unreliable narrator, it is hard to miss the similarity between the double-take in Dragon Age II and The Witcher 2‘s initial gameplay impressions.

In short: Mass Effect + Dragon Age: Origins = Dragon Age II. It is really hard to look at the game’s gameplay without comparing it to Mass Effect. Yes, there are still vast differences between them (the tweaking of the AI tactics being the most prominent) but the main game will tell how Dragon Age II really matches up to its predecessor.

Dragon Age II Demo Out

Followed by the necessary a million downloads gets you unlockable goodies in the finished game!, Bioware has released the playable demo of their new epic Dragon Age II. The game with features that amalgamate the storyline style of Mass Effect with the rudiments of role playing is set to be the next Role Playing Game (RPG) of the Year (that is unless The Witcher 2 trumps it which I am hoping will).

DRAge2

As Hawke, the to-be Champion of the world of Dragon Age, you will journey through the different locations of the universe. The main character is fully voiced, and the dialog options are just the gist of what the character actually says (as in the Mass Effect games):-

In the demo, players will venture through the game’s prologue, choosing from three different character classes. They’ll also learn more about Hawke and hone their skills and abilities that will make them the ultimate hero. After finishing the prologue, players will enter a key new location in the world of Dragon Age, Kirkwall, befriending Isabela, a romantic interest in the game who is also a deadly smuggler. Upon completion of the demo, players will unlock a special weapon, Hayder’s Razor, an ancient dwarven blade which increases health, mana, and combat abilities, in the full release of Dragon Age 2.

Bioware has also created two new in-game items that will be released in the full version of Dragon Age II if there are one million downloads for the demo. The two items are the Lothering’s Lament and The Far Cliffs of Kirkwall. Both of them are lore books that give an experience (XP) boost and money when read.

So download the demo today and tell us about your experiences with it!

The demo is also available off Steam, in case you don’t like no-fuss downloading and installation.

Dragon Age II Has Quite a Lot of Gaiety

I am pretty sure my readers are used to my terrible puns in the title. It is a habit I cannot let go of, much like the habit of exploring every possible relationship possible in a Role Playing Game (RPG). To that extent, Bioware’s games have always been liberal even slightly rainbow colored. Although the option was glaringly missing in Mass Effect 2, Bioware have decided to let gamers from all orientations (except the slightly unconventional ones, um) experience virtual love in a fantasy world in their own way.

Dragon_Age_II_Logo

In other words, more homosexual romance options! In Dragon Age: Origins, Zevran Aranai delivered men from the pangs of homosexual lovemaking (the elf was an amorous and libidinous assassin), while Leliana the Orlesian bard did the same for female gamers (which as we know exist in the bodies of Many Men Online Role Playing as Girls {MMORPG} ).

DAOLove

The game itself is mature beyond this fine treatment of the rainbow pride movement. According to the ESRB’s rating synopsis, the game has its fair share of dirty talk as well as one oral sex scene (cough, cough, Bioware):-

During the course of the game, characters sometimes engage in sexual dialogue (e.g., “Why is it always about sex with you?” and “Sailing is like sex. Do it wrong, and it’ll make you sick.”). Players can also initiate brief cutscene sequences in which couples (male-female or same-sex) are shown kissing and embracing one another in a bedroom as the screen fades to black. In one cutscene, a woman kneels in front of a male character and appears to perform fellatio—there is no depiction of the sex act; the camera pans out to the rest of the room. The words “a*s,” “bastard,” and “sh*t” appear in dialogue.

Much fun to be had by the RPG loving legion in about a month’s time, eh?

Dragon Age Awakening Expansion Now Available For Mac

Finally, Mac users will get the taste of the Dragon Age Origins Expansion, Awakening. The expansion is released and is available for purchase for Mac.

Dragon Age Awakening

The expansion Awakening is a 12 hours journey from the Wardens Keep to the boss in the end called Mother. The entire journey will take place in Amaranthine, you will not come in Ferelden. New and powerful enemies will make the fights more exciting, especially the talking Darkspawn. Only one character from Origins will come with you in this journey and rest all will be new.

The Expansion for Mac is available at GamersGate and GameTree Online.

(Source)

Bioware Announces Witch Hunt DLC For Dragon Age Origins

Bioware announced that they will be releasing the Witch Hunt DLC for Dragon Age Origins. This DLC is supposed to be the conclusion of the Dragon Age Origins storyline.

Witch Hunt Dragon Age Origins

All the fans of Dragon Age Origins wanted to know what happened to Morrigan (the beautiful mage) in the end of the game. This DLC will reveal all the secrets or more than what you bargained for, as said by Bioware.

witch_hunt001

According to me, this could be the best DLC of Dragon Age Origins because even after ten months since I started playing this game, I still wonder if the secret of Morrigan could be revealed. The key features in this DLC are:

1) Confront Morrigan in this dramatic conclusion to the Origins storyline

2) Earn powerful rewards that transfer into your Awakening and Origins campaign

3) Import your character from Origins or Awakening or create a new, high-level hero!

witch_hunt002

The Witch Hunt DLC will be released on 7 September 2010 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. It will cost $7.

I am wondering what will happen in this DLC. If you have played Dragon Age Origins then do comment what you think will happen.

(Source)

Dragon Age 2 Trailer Released: 8 March 2011 Is The Day

Dragon Age Origins from Bioware was one heck of a super duper RPG. It was crowned as one of the best RPGs till now. Personally, I found it so exciting that I completed that game 10 times. As a Dragon Age fan, I was badly waiting for a glimpse of the upcoming Dragon Age 2. Finally, Bioware has released a cinematic trailer of Dragon Age 2.

dragon-age-2-artwork-logo

The story seems to be completely new and it has no relation between Dragon Age Origins. In the video you can see new weapons, powers and enemies. The game will be releasing on 8 March 2011 on PC, PS3 and Xbox platforms. You can also preorder it now. Here is the trailer, enjoy!

(Source)