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Mass Effect 3 heads into space

Mass Effect 3 heads into space

Mass Effect 3 will be the first game to be distributed by space-bound weather balloon, claims Electronic Arts.

The last entry in BioWare's epic space opera Mass Effect might be set in space, but it's also going to distributed there too in one of the more innovative marketing pushes we've seen from a publisher.

To celebrate the launch of Mass Effect 3, publisher Electronic Arts is to put several copies of the game on weather balloons released in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris.

USA Today reports that each copy will be fitted with a GPS-based tracking system. As the balloons hit the outer edges of space, they will deflate and drift back to good ol' Terra.

As each balloon drifts with its precious cargo, its location will be tracked live on the official Mass Effect website. Be the first to reach it when it touches down, and you'll have your hands on a copy of the game a week ahead of its retail release.

Okay, so the games aren't quite being sent into space - despite Electronic Arts' amusing mock-up image - but it's still a neat way to generate buzz for the launch. It's also a way for fans to compete to show their love for the series, with the prize of early access being one truly worth winning.

The final full entry in the award-winning series, Mass Effect 3 promises to tie up all the loose ends from previous games. Gamers who have played through the first two games will find the decisions they made have far-reaching ramifications for the in-game universe in the third.

Officially due for launch on the 6th of March, those lucky enough to snag one of the space-bound copies won't have that much of a lead over their retail-based brethren. That said, a head start is a head start.

If you manage to chase one of the London-launched copies down, be sure to let us know in the forums.

19 Comments

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Bede 17th February 2012, 13:56 Quote
The demo actually has me slightly more excited about the multiplayer than the SP - as far as I can see they have taken the dialogue tree's good/bad option and made it ANGEL/DEVIL, completely unconvincing.


This is a good PR stunt though :)
faugusztin 17th February 2012, 14:12 Quote
"far-reaching ramifications"... Like the decisions in ME1 had in ME2 ? :D
thil 17th February 2012, 14:53 Quote
SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!

Wait, wrong game.
Bauul 17th February 2012, 16:05 Quote
I'm in space!
Kiytan 17th February 2012, 18:36 Quote
pretty cool idea, nice to see SOMETHING even vaguely original come out of an EA owned office. shame the demo left quite a lot to be desired (as much as it pains me, probably not enough to stop me getting the game)
Fizzban 17th February 2012, 20:39 Quote
A decent PR stunt as such things go. Pointless of course, but then PR stunts usually are. Might be a world first though. First game to reach the outer-atmosphere? Can't say Space as it will never actually get that far.
Sloth 17th February 2012, 21:19 Quote
Can't wait to see if any of these land in the ocean.
teacherboy 17th February 2012, 22:28 Quote
Anybody know if any of them are going to be the PC version :(
thehippoz 17th February 2012, 23:12 Quote
maybe they could stick the beastrix into the game.. like you run into a room and it's full of headless chickens and fobs wearing dr. ho support belts

welcome to the future
N17 dizzi 18th February 2012, 01:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
"far-reaching ramifications"... Like the decisions in ME1 had in ME2 ? :D

Your decisions do change the course of the various plot lines to a degree.

Pleased Ashley or Kaiden are back in the squad for ME3... I tried to stay faithful in ME2... ahem
faugusztin 18th February 2012, 01:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by N17 dizzi
Your decisions do change the course of the various plot lines to a degree.

But not much :
http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Save_File_Transfer#Major_Plot_Decisions
Hovis 19th February 2012, 00:14 Quote
Am hoping the third part of the series holds up. Mass Effect is on the cusp of being the greatest story ever gamed, it just needs to stick the landing.
teacherboy 19th February 2012, 01:06 Quote
^ This

I really REALLY hope that the zillions of dollars they've thrown into making and marketing the last slice of Mass Effect cheesecake doesn't end up being a waste and that they nail the story arc that we all weep tears of gratitude at the end of an era rather than tears of rage at a waste of a dramatic/enthralling/genre defining/changing game and wonder what could have been instead.
N17 dizzi 19th February 2012, 10:06 Quote
Quote:

Actually thats quite a bit.
mucgoo 19th February 2012, 11:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by N17 dizzi
Quote:

Actually thats quite a bit.

Thing is the only result of them so far has been about say 10% of the dialogue being different between a completely paragon/renegade character. No actual plot implications yet.
Then again I can appreciate how hard it must be to have so many branching options.
Hovis 19th February 2012, 12:52 Quote
If you go into the fine details of exactly what is functionally different between the stories played as paragon or renegade then you probably won't find too many actual differences. You'd also be missing the point to an almost pitiable degree.

Mass Effect is a story. It is not a sandbox. The game is played in episodes and these can be addressed in a variety of different ways, but it's got a start, middle and end. If you want the sort of freedom to make choices that ultimately effect the entire game world, well you'd probably want to be playing something like Mount and Blade, which lets you make your own story. I don't think Mass Effect has ever tried to sell itself as a game about the choices you make shaping the story, rather the game lets you use the choices it gives you to define your character.
N17 dizzi 19th February 2012, 16:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
If you go into the fine details of exactly what is functionally different between the stories played as paragon or renegade then you probably won't find too many actual differences. You'd also be missing the point to an almost pitiable degree.

Mass Effect is a story. It is not a sandbox. The game is played in episodes and these can be addressed in a variety of different ways, but it's got a start, middle and end. If you want the sort of freedom to make choices that ultimately effect the entire game world, well you'd probably want to be playing something like Mount and Blade, which lets you make your own story. I don't think Mass Effect has ever tried to sell itself as a game about the choices you make shaping the story, rather the game lets you use the choices it gives you to define your character.

Agree, there is enough 'choice' or at least illusion of choice to get you emotionally involved with the characters.

Trying to run through ME2 again quickly before 3 comes out
Beasteh 19th February 2012, 21:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Can't wait to see if any of these land in the ocean.

Just imagine the headlines if any break loose from their balloons. Wouldn't want to be the "lucky" sod who gets ME3 delivered straight into the noggin. ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis

Mass Effect is a story. It is not a sandbox. The game is played in episodes and these can be addressed in a variety of different ways, but it's got a start, middle and end. If you want the sort of freedom to make choices that ultimately effect the entire game world, well you'd probably want to be playing something like Mount and Blade, which lets you make your own story. I don't think Mass Effect has ever tried to sell itself as a game about the choices you make shaping the story, rather the game lets you use the choices it gives you to define your character.

This. It's nice to be able to take a few different approaches, means you can make Shepard your own, while still enjoying a blockbuster plot. Bioware have done a pretty good job of keeping the balance. That said, I'm hoping for a few tough choices in ME3 - something like Virmire in the original - ME2 was sorely lacking in them.

(I'm also looking forward to the return of Conrad Verner... )
CrazyJoe 27th February 2012, 11:22 Quote
Just a heads up that the London launch is is 7 minutes!

http://masseffect.com/space/LON/
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