Mass Effect 3 to be set entirely on one planet.
It was confirmed in the first trailer for Mass Effect 3 that the Earth would be making at least a cameo appearance in the third outing for habitual galaxy-saver Commander Shepard. However, GameGripe can now exclusively reveal that the Earth’s presence will be far more prominent than originally anticipated, being the focus for the entire game.
This information, disclosed by an anonymous source inside BioWare, comes after the success of Dragon Age II and its shift of pace and scope from Origins. The sequel moved away from a sweeping fantasy epic format which spanned the entire country of Ferelden to the far more tightly focussed setting of a single city.
“We wanted to do something different for the third Mass Effect,” said our BioWare source. “Something that made it stand out from the crowd of other space-exploration games.” Then the development team had an epiphany: “Why don’t we make a space-exploration game where you don’t do any space exploration whatsoever!”
Instead of a multitude of exotic interstellar locales, the bulk of Mass Effect 3 will take place in a futuristic version of Stockton-on-Tees. Shepard’s adventures will include a thrilling battle with the Geth in Billingham Beck Park, and a face-to-face encounter with the Reapers in Preston Hall Museum.
“We didn’t really plan to set the game in Stockton,” said the source “For a bit of fun we decided to leave our development direction to chance. So we just threw a dart at a map of Britain and it happened to land just west of Middlesbrough. But we’re really excited at the challenge of creating a sci-fi epic on such a microcosmic level.”
While this idea has certainly been adopted from Dragon Age II, there have been some alterations to the template: “Hawke’s adventures took place over a period of six years, but we had trouble making the city look different as time passed. Therefore, Mass Effect 3 will take place over six days. That way it makes sense that Stockton looks the same all the time.”
If the idea of Commander Shepherd concentrating his efforts wholly on defending a moderately-sized town in the north-east of England is causing you concern, then fear not. As with Dragon Age II, the game won’t entirely take place in Stockton. According to our source, players will have the chance to explore “some fields outside the town” and a embark upon a thrilling expedition to “a post office in the nearby village of Kirklevington.” We asked whether the postman might make an appearance as one of Shepard’s sidekicks, but our source was elusive on this subject. “At present I’m not at liberty to say, but there may be a chance for Shepard to deliver some mail while saving the planet from the overwhelming Reaper threat.”
It’s early stages yet, and there are many details of the game that remain under wraps. Personally though, I can’t wait do deliver that post!