BioWare's Greg Zeschuk • Page 2

More on Mass Effect from the boss himself.

Eurogamer: What are your plans for episodic content?

Greg Zeschuk: We have development plans for what we're building, but not release plans as yet. We'll work with Microsoft on that. We have a pretty good idea what we want to build, not spec'd out to the maximum, but we want to create something we can have fun with.

The thing about story-based games is, usually what people want is more story. So we can create that, but we could also have more content like weapons and armour... I'm not saying we would or wouldn't have any feature changes. Big feature changes are probably unlikely, maybe some additional changes, you never know.

How much post-release content we produce will depend on how well the game does, and how well the initial extra content does. We could do a lot more and be more aggressive if they're both very successful.

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Eurogamer: What do you believe is BioWare's biggest achievement with Mass Effect?

Greg Zeschuk: I can't help but think it's the characters and the acting. I can't say it's 100 per cent yet, but it's certainly getting there; there are times when I just sit back and it seems like a movie. I'm just amazed sometimes.

What that results in is very interesting: watching Mass Effect is almost as interesting as playing it. We did a brief hands-on at E3 and gave one journalist the chance to play, and he said, 'No thanks, I'm just enjoying watching it.'

It's about trying to capture that cinematic feel for everything within the game. Mass Effect really does do that in a lot of ways.

Eurogamer: There's talk that we're finally starting to see proper next-gen titles now with games like Bioshock. Do you think Mass Effect should be placed in that category?

Greg Zeschuk: As a true next-gen game? Absolutely. In every way.

Bioshock, Mass Effect and some of the other titles coming out this year show us how some of the games before weren't next-gen. It's not that we're so much better, but the bar is being set. Certainly Bioshock set a high bar, I think we'll set a pretty high bar, and it's going up and up.

It's scary, because you discover how many groups can legitimately compete at that level. In the games business it's winner takes all, so if you can't compete... That's a bad position to be in.

Eurogamer: What about the argument that PlayStation 3 is technically the most powerful console? As you're trying to push these boundaries, do you wish you had that extra power to play with?

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Greg Zeschuk: With power comes challenge. A lot of improvement in games doesn't come so much from raw power as it does from the tools at your disposal - so creating tools and technologies to make the act of creating better, which we focus on a lot. And secondly, pushing the performance; hitting the limit, then pushing and hitting it, then pushing more...

At the end of this cycle, I don't think there's going to be a big difference. If everyone's waiting for this huge difference, it's just not going to happen. By the end of this generation both PS3 and 360 will look awesome. Maybe 1 per cent of the population might be able to tell the difference between the two.

Going back to Bioshock - people said, 'You can't make great games on one DVD.' Well, Bioshock is on one DVD. Mass Effect is on one DVD. Gears is one DVD. It's doable.

Sometimes technologists are best when they've hit the wall. When you tell them they can't do something or they can't go any further, then they go a bit further. By the end of the cycle games for both consoles will look great, that's the main thing.

Eurogamer: About this rumoured PC version of Mass Effect...

Greg Zeschuk: We're not discussing anything about that at this point in time.

Eurogamer: Is that your final answer?

Greg Zeschuk: That is my answer.

Eurogamer: That is our final question. Thank you.

Mass Effect is out in Europe on November 23rd. A full preview of the game is now on Eurogamer, and you can find plenty of screenshots and movies on the Mass Effect gamepage.

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About the author

Ellie Gibson

Ellie Gibson

Contributor  |  elliegibson

Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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