The Massification Effect: A Mode For Everyone

What’s the deal with the leaked Mass Effect game modes which seem to have the fanboys on edge?

As any well-versed Mass Effect fan already knows, there was a leak of an early build of the coveted next release of the franchise during the beta testing phase of the new Xbox dashboard. Weather this leak was intentional or not is neither here nor there, but it did allow us a peak into the upcoming release of the third iteration of the franchise, along with knowledge of various game modes, which seemingly have the Mass Effect purists on edge a bit.

The new modes that have been leaked include action mode, story mode, and rpg mode. Before outlining each mode, I would like to point out something my brother, Kary Brown (@karybrown), said when we briefly talked about this on Pause/Break earlier this week. “Don’t you just play the game like you want to anyway?”

On that point he’s completely right. And while in my opinion Mass Effect was more RPG-like and Mass Effect 2 seemed a bit more action-oriented, you can in-fact play the game like you want to for the most part. So why the need for tailored modes? One word, accessibility.

Here are the modes that leaked via NEOGAF:

Action Mode: For those who want to emphasize action and combat and minimize story management. Action mode will set automatic replies in conversation and a normal difficulty.

Story Mode: For those who want to emphasize story immersion and minimize combat pressure. Story mode will set manually-selectable replies in conversation and a minimal combat difficulty.

RPG Mode: For those who want to explore both realms of story and combat. RPG mode will set manually-selectable replies in conversation and a normal combat difficulty.

Action Mode

There are some people who just do not play these games for the story. And as strange as it sounds for those of us who love the lore behind the franchise, there are people who just want to skip through the cut scenes and shoot up bad guys. Not recommended, but not a bad thing. Easing the pain of selecting options from a conversation tree will only make the experience better for these types of players.

Story Mode

This mode is by far the most interesting part of these leaks. I would love to play through the older titles just for the story experience. But wouldn’t this just be the equivalent of just playing the game on easy? Or are they doing something else inherent in the combat that makes it even more easy? Either way, it will serve as a predefined preset for those who just want the narrative.

RPG Mode

Business as usual.

In summary, action mode equals automatic story, story mode equals dumbed- down combat, and RPG mode equals everything (or what the franchise has always been).

The final outcome of the various modes can only be looked at as positive, as long as the user still gets the chance to get the full experience. Accessibility is always good as long as it does not inherently augment the experience for the faithful hardcore fan.

Bring on the modes!