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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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 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:

NOTE: Please allow 72 hours between time of online pass activation and submitting your online pass code on

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).


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.


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.


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.


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.