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Mass Effect 3 Pre-Release Anticipation Info Bundle Extraordinaire

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Mass Effect 3 Pre-Release Anticipation Info Bundle Extraordinaire

Game News - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Thu 23 February 2012, 10:33:01

Tags: BioWare; Mass Effect 3

I'm happy to provide a comprehensive Mass Effect 3 pre-release info bundle.

If you really don't have anything better to do, you can take part in the hunt for your very own Mass Effect 3 Space Edition.

To celebrate Commander Shepard’s war to take Earth back, Mass Effect 3 will be the first console game launched into Earth’s upper atmosphere on a historic voyage. And you have a chance to take home a piece of that history.
Starting February 23rd, various cities across the globe will host their very own Space Edition launches. Starting with San Francisco, CA and ending in Berlin, Germany.
Track the packages on their flights and be the first to arrive at the landing zone to win an early copy of Mass Effect that has survived space travel. Each Space Edition also comes with an on-of-a-kind fan prize package. Other prizes will also be given out to runner-up participants (subject to availability).
Check back soon for rules and contest entry.
In other fantastic news it became known that, in a very generous gesture, BioWarEA decided to offer the first DLC on day one. Only $10.

It seems Microsoft mistakenly published information about first piece of downloadable content for Mass Effect 3 online.

Dubbed "From Ashes," the content costs 800 Microsoft points. The content could not actually be downloaded, and has since been removed from Xbox.com. The add-on weighed in at a hefty 628MB.

The description read:
Unearth lost secrets from the past and recruit the Prothean squad member in Mass Effect 3: From Ashes.

BioWare producer Mike Gamble said this:

We're happy to confirm that Mass Effect 3: From Ashes DLC will be available at launch for all platforms. For those of you who have purchased the N7 Collector's Edition (including the PC Digital Deluxe Edition), you will get this content at no extra charge.

We'll have a lot more details for you later this week! Stay Tuned!
Despite the good news, the editors at Gameranx found this day 1 DLC money making scheme unacceptable. Hippies.

With Mass Effect 3, we now have to pay for content that's been developed concurrently with the rest of the game, but released separately for extra profit—and to make the Collector's Edition look more attractive to buyers.

It's understandable for DLC to be released separately and sold for an additional cost when they're developed as extensions to a pre-existing game or as 'added value items' impertinent to the core experience. However, it's unacceptable for core elements (in my very subjective opinion, this content has been vital in the past) of the game to be stripped out of the main game just so they can be sold separately for an extra price.

To draw an analogy, it's like selling a watch with one hand missing.
BioWare's Michael Gamble commented on the DLC:

There has been a lot of discussion about the DLC offering but we wanted to clarify a few things...

- “From Ashes” includes the Prothean squad mate, an adventure on Eden Prime, a new weapon, and an alternate
appearance for every squad mate. Note that these alternate appearances are in addition to the ones already advertised in the CE.

- The Collectors Edition has been advertised from the beginning as containing a bonus character/mission, but we were not at liberty to provide the details. The Prothean is optional content that is certainly designed to appeal to long-time fans, which is why he is part of the CE offering (the version many fans would be likely to purchase). Mass Effect 3 is a complete – and a huge game - right out of the box.

- The content in “From Ashes” was developed by a separate team (after the core game was finished) and not completed until well after the main game went into certification.

- The Collectors Edition has been sold out in most places for some time now, and is becoming very hard to find (many players prefer not to purchase the digital version). As such, we wanted to make this content available so that SE buyers could also incorporate the Prothean into their game.
Lastly, there's a hands-on preview over at the Guardian.

If you were hoping to find major gameplay innovations in Mass Effect 3, you'll be disappointed, if its initial stages are anything to go by. And who can blame BioWare for that, since Mass Effect's gameplay (bar the ill-conceived vehicles in the first game, long since abandoned) has always been spot on. There is, of course, the shoehorned-in voice recognition support for picking conversation choices via Kinect, but the likelihood of that working for anyone without an American accent lies between minimal and non-existent at best.

Visually, though, it did look like it has taken advantage of every last drop of graphics processing power that the Xbox 360 (on which we played it) possesses. Story-wise, it looks nicely set up to reach more epic heights than ever before, particularly with Earth taking centre-stage for the first time. And then there's the added excitement of a new multiplayer element coming to the franchise.

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