Famed role-playing game developers Bioware are going after a surprising audience with their upcoming RPG, Mass Effect 2: Fans of first-person shooters.
While Mass Effect 2 will remain very solidly in the realm of role-playing game, the combat has been reworked specifically to try and attract the same sort of gamer who plays Modern Warfare 2, Mass Effect 2 project director Casey Hudson told Kotaku.
“When it comes to the shooter quality of the game there are things that a really experienced shooter is looking for,” Hudson said. “The feel, the precision, things like that, so we made sure those things are there as well.”
“We do have third-person shooter combat. That was a big thrust, including that. That world continues to evolve with games like (Modern Warfare 2). We need to put Mass Effect 2 combat against the very best that is out there. And say this is absolutely state of the art shooting.
“I think in combat moments they will feel it is the same sort of game.”
While one of the ways Mass Effect 2 changes is by including elements of other sorts of genres in the game, Hudson says the game stays true to the evolving definition of what makes a game a role-playing title.
“Before if you got a role-playing game that meant one and only only thing: You’re going to be playing a medieval fantasy with lots of rules, that is turn based and includes this whole list of things,” Hudson said. “Our definition of role-playing games is that in addition to the core gameplay you have the ability to explore your world freely, have a non-linear story and the progression of your character.
“That allows us to make role-playing games about anything.”
In the case of Mass Effect 2, while the game’s combat feel a lot more like a straight third-person shooter, it’s still built on the base of an RPG.
“The weapon that you are firing is still something you bought in a store and you customised it with resources you added,” Hudson said. “In the combat areas you are fighting your way through areas, you’re shooting, you’re planning your squad, you’re doing all of the same things in this one as Mass Effect one, but each element works a little bit better. You have independent control of your squad, the powers are more interesting and more class based and more powerful.”
“It’s no less of an RPG.”
Bioware’s goal, Hudson says, is to attract a non role-playing game audience and show them that they actually like the genre.
“A lot of what we are interested in in terms of audience is surprising people that they like RPGs,” he said. “That’s our favourite kind of new gamer. It’s not that we would ever want to go away from making a great RPG experience, it’s more about finding ways to show people that even though they didn’t know it, they really like RPGs.”