Yesterday, BioWare community coordinator Evil Chris Priestley posted and hosted a new podcast focusing on Mass Effect 2 for the PlayStation 3. His first order of business was to report the port of the critically acclaimed game--a nominee for GameSpot's 2010 Game of the Year--has gone gold for Sony's system. It is now on track to ship in North America on January 18 and in Europe on January 21.
After host Chris Priestley repeatedly cited the "huge" demand for the game amongst PlayStation 3 owners, he introduced the producer of the port, Jesse Houston. Houston then went on to drop a bit of a bombshell--namely, that the PS3 edition of Mass Effect 2 will have superior visuals vis-a-vis its counterparts because it is running on the Mass Effect 3 engine.
"One of the first things you're going to see is improved graphics," said Houston. "We actually created the engine for Mass Effect 3 and then used that to make Mass Effect 2 PS3. We took the content, the story, all the other assets that made Mass Effect 2, and we put it into the Mass Effect 3 engine. That's what we're actually delivering."
Houston went on to mention some other improvements the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 will have over its elder siblings. "The controls are geared to the PS3 controller, [although] you can switch it back to the old Xbox 360 style controls if you'd like. Things like planet scanning have been improved, we've rolled in all the patches, done a ton of bug fixing." Houston also said that community feedback had been taken into account for numerous gameplay tweaks and adjustments.
Mass Effect 2 for the PS3 will include the original game and several downloadable content packs released for the game on a single Blu-ray disc. The extra content includes the Lair of the Shadow Broker, Project Overlord, Kasumi: Stolen Memory, and Blood Dragon Armor packs.
PS3 gamers who purchase Mass Effect 2 new will also gain access to the Cerberus Network, which offers free content ranging from the Zaeed character missions to the Hammerhead hovertank. Used-game purchasers who want said content will be required to purchase access to the Cerberus Network.
BioWare will also be offering a make-good to PS3 gamers for the absence of the original game on Sony's platform. The studio's Edmonton arm will be collaborating with Dark Horse Comics on an interactive comic that helps fill in the story leading up to the events in Mass Effect 2. Choices made while reading the comic will also have an effect on a player's character creation.
For an idea of what to expect from Mass Effect 2 on the PS3, check out GameSpot's coverage of the Xbox 360 edition.