Mass Effect might be the current generation’s finest hour. Taking notes from reviewers, fans, and developers, BioWare revealed what could be their Mass Effect sequel mantra:

More Intensity! 

According to an IGN GDC interview with BioWare leads Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, the Mass Effect galaxy might be getting some critical tweaks and changes. The interview’s juiciest morsel came from Ray Muzyka:

“There’s a few bigger buckets of things we’re working on. One of them is
the intensity of the action, amping that up so people will see this as
a shooter RPG…It’s going to feel like shooter fans are going to have a
great experience”

While this is great news for detractors of Mass Effect’s occasionally frustrating combat, is this bad news for fans of the original game’s effective RPG elements? Since BioWare’s resume reads like a D&D nerd’s bookshelf, this probably isn’t bad news for anyone.  It could also be a fluff statement that’s just code for “Mass Effect 2 is gonna be so exciting, with lots of ‘splosions.” In any case, it’s worth thinking about. 

Regarding exploration and optional planets:

“Exploration, we’re still trying to tighten up that experience.  It’s still optional and there’s still uncharted world
that’ll be optional, but we want every single one of them to feel like
they’re adding something important to the main storyline. So you feel
yeah they’re optional, but I feel like I really want to do that. So
that’s a philosophy change too.”

That’s great to hear, since too many of the original game’s planets felt superfluous. I’m looking at you, Hawking Eta system.  On the visual front, Zeschuck claims that Mass Effect 2’s performance and textures will be “hot.” Hot?  We prefer our graphics “tightened,” thank you very much.