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Release Date: March 6, 2012

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Mass Effect 3′s Environments

Posted on February 4, 2012 AT 12:12pm

THE BUZZ: When Mass Effect 2 was released, some players were somewhat disappointed that the Citadel, the first game’s big world hub was no where to be found. In-game fiction explained that parts of the Citadel were still under construction after the events at the end of the first game. Bioware has recently opened up about the creative process of integrating the Citadel and other enviroments into Mass Effect 3 in a more effective way.

Speaking to the Official Xbox Magazine in the UK, Bioware art director, Derek Watts says players will experience new areas of the Presidium: ”We changed a few things which bothered us, which people won’t even notice. Some things though, like the Presidium – we wanted to open up a lot more and use it. Most of the places in the Citadel you’ve never been before, we were able to do most of those, as many as we wanted, like some of the docking areas and offices.”

Derek Watts also spoke about London, telling OXM that the team used Google Street View to map out the environments and keep the world somewhat familiar to players. Watts added, ”There was a bit of debate about whether we should use the double-decker bus, but we decided that it would all be gone by then, so we’d have to use floating cars and Alliance vehicles. Some of the underground signs are still there, but no Cockneys!”

Throughout the interview Watts explained how valuable well made concept artwork is to a well made level design saying, ”You don’t want the designers to do too much of everything, because otherwise it becomes too much just what we want at the time. You want the artists to be involved to see how it’s going to look and what the views will be.”

EGM’s TAKE: Bioware has never been shy to tell us how much they try to listen to their fans. Some gamers feel Mass Effect 2, while very well made, streamlined a few aspects that it shouldn’t have. Besides a lack of  player customization and looting, level design was somewhat simple and, as mentioned before, players were disappointed about the lack of Citadel in the final game.

Besides the Citadel, having Mars and London as full on, explorable levels is exciting to say the least. Whether or not you can see your house from there is another story, but the level of painstaking details that seems to have been added to London in particular has us salivating in anticipation. We remember how it felt to set our first step on the Moon in the original game and the idea how doing the same on Mars might be too much for our human brains to comprehend.

Source: Official Xbox Magazine

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