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Reflecting on the end of Mass Effect

- February 22nd, 2012

Mass Effect Executive Producer Casey Hudson and Lead Writer Mac Walters chat about crafting the finale to gaming’s most ambitious science fiction role-playing game series

Gamers are counting down to March 6. It’s not that Mass Effect 3 is one of the most anticipated games this year, I mean it is, but the anticipation of Mass Effect 3 stems from a promise BioWare made back in 2005.

With Mass Effect, BioWare was anxious to break the RPG mold by designing a non-linear narrative for players that would allow them to craft their own Commander Shepard and shape his or her own identity within a galactic conflict brewing in deep space. As Shepard, gamers realized the threat of the Reapers and, over the course of Mass Effect 2, began to unravel their mysteries.

In Mass Effect 3, the Reapers have arrived on Earth with destructive force and it’s survival at any cost. Catching up with Executive Producer Casey Hudson and lead writer Mac Walters on Valentine’s Day, I was anxious to learn if the team at BioWare Edmonton achieved the vision they set out for almost seven years ago.

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PlayStation Vita: the good, the bad, the iffy

- February 13th, 2012
PlayStation Vita

PlayStation Vita makes this man almost as happy as his purple hoodie does. Will it do the same for you?

Sony’s big gaming gamble is just a few days away.

PlayStation Vita, the electronics giant’s follow-up to the reasonably successful but never quite beloved PlayStation Portable, hits stores Feb 22. At $249.99 – only $50 less than a brand new PlayStation 3, and $80 more than the rival Nintendo 3DS – Vita is Sony’s powerful, pricey new platform aimed at gamers who occasionally wander away from their homes. The sun! It burns my pasty skin!

But in an age where our smartphones are capable gaming machines that also do e-mail, apps and those weird “telephone call” things, an expensive dedicated games device is a risky proposition. Sony is out to prove that a big screen, familiar controls and deep games can woo people away from smartphones, tablets and a miniature Mario.

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FemShep Friday has arrived!

- February 10th, 2012

Bioware has finally launched a Mass Effect 3 trailer starring the female version of protagonist Commander Shepard, or FemShep, as she’s known to her fans.

And she definitely has fans.

FemShep doesn’t get as much attention as her oh-so-manly counterpart (Mass Effect 3 marks the first time Bioware has used her in their marketing), and she doesn’t have yield the same numbers (only 18% of players choose her), but  much like a cult-classic TV show, she commands a small but dedicated fanbase.

Just ask Jaime Roberston, the founder of FemShep.com, a community where Female Shepard’s loyal followers can write fanfic, share fanart and swap stories about their space-faring, galaxy-saving exploits.

What began as a FemShep thread on Bioware Social Network turned into a Deviant art site (Warning: Some NSFW content) and eventually became a central hub for the greater FemShepper community.

So what is it about this character that inspires this kind of fandom?
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