No running and gunning in Mass Effect 3

3 min read


Well, not on Hardcore or Insanity. Instead, on those difficulty levels you’ll be forced to actually use your brains. You’ll also no longer be able to rely on your squad mates picking the right powers for the task at hand – leaving squad tactics in your capable hands.

“We really thought about it hard. On Normal you’ll be able to power your way through the game or shoot your way through the game, but when you try Hardcore or Insanity, you’re not going to be able to do that any more,” lead designer Preston Watamaniuk said to OXM

“You really will have to think about each combat, who the enemies are, what kind of resistance you’re presented with, and then strategise to take them down. I’m hoping that it’ll feel like you made a mistake, and the game called you on it, rather than ‘I thought I was playing well, and then I died,’” the designer explained.

“We’ve tried to make it so that it just feels like if you’re working the problem, using all your squad, all your powers, picking the right guns, you’re going to get through that combat. It’s not going to be ‘I sat in cover and popped out five or six times to use powers and stuff.”

There’s a lot more work involved this time – but you’ll be able to effect much more damage.

“There’s all the cover mobility, there’s increased mobility in and out of cover, like being able to Storm out of cover, roll into cover, roll out of cover, a lot more agility around that. We have more involved powers, power combos, mods and the mods interact with the powers. Being able to take a Claymore shotgun and put a shredder mod that allows you to penetrate through enemies, and then you put Cryo ammo on top of that, and all of a sudden you can pull the trigger once and blow four husks away,” Watamaniuk beamed.

According to OXM, there’s more emphasis on using powers at harder difficulty levels.

“You’ll notice that if you play on Insanity, that sort of general rule of thumb is even harsher. You’d better be doing everything well, or you’ll die,” said Watamaniuk.

But why the increased level of difficulty?

“I had a lead designer for another game write to say ‘make Insanity harder!’ And I was like ‘OK!’ This was a really well-known and respected guy, so I was like ‘OK, I’ll do my best’.”

That sounds to me like the work of BioShock’s Ken Levine – who’s included an old-school difficulty setting in BioShock Infinite called “1999” mode, which dials up the difficulty and makes player choice more impacting. That’s probably a good thing, because really – with all these “guided” experiences, gamers are becoming a bunch of softies.

Last Updated: January 31, 2012

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