The next Mass Effect 2 DLC hits tomorrow, March 29, and while it may not fill the gaping hole in your heart left by Dragon Age II, it does remind us that there will always be Mass Effect. And if you liked DAII, you can still enjoy the 'Arrival' add-on.
In a recent discussion, BioWare programmer Brenon Holmes went in depth on the subject of combat and interface, revealing that the team was actually looking at Visceral Games' Dead Space 2 HUD design for inspiration.
“We’re still really interested in trying to move information into the world,” Holmes stated on the BioWare Social Network, when responding to user comments. "That’s one of the things that I love about Dead Space; the interface… it feels really immersive. I just want to touch the hell out of those buttons.
“So we are still investigating ways of putting some of our HUD elements into the environment… we’ll see what we end up with.”
Visual indicators in combat are also being addressed right now for Mass Effect 3. Complaints regarding the red vein aura and enemy indicators (health bars and names) in Mass Effect 2 have influenced the development team to look at less intrusive alternatives, though Holmes hasn't mentioned anything specific. Changes are definitely being made, but details remain understandably sketchy
“At the start of ME3 we put together a ME2 silhouette chart… some interesting stuff came out of that," he explained. "Basically, it’s very difficult to make out which enemy is which base purely on a lineup… some stand out a bit more (like Vorcha, Geth, Collectors, and the Oculus (dur, beach ball!), but for the most part it’s difficult to tell who’s who...
“Even if you were able to easily recognise a given enemy, what are they going to do in a fight? What sort of strategy should you be using when engaging them? Sooo… one of the things we’re trying for ME3 is to make it a lot easier to identify the various types of enemies. Silhouette of the character is a huge component of that, and our character art/animator guys have done a pretty awesome job. I’m pretty excited for when we get to start showing off some of the really cool creatures we’ve been working on.”
Mass Effect 3 is scheduled to be released this holiday season, for the Xbox 360, PC, and PS3.