PC Mass Effect delayed, HUD reworked

[UPDATE] BioWare's in-depth, deep-space RPG now shipping for Windows on May 28 in NA, June 6 in EU; project director Diarmid Clarke explains the new onscreen control scheme.

For a while there was consolation for PC gamers who were miffed that Grand Theft Auto IV wouldn't hit their platform of choice on April 29. That's because Mass Effect, the critically acclaimed sci-fi role-playing game, was scheduled to ship for Windows just one week later on May 6. Today, though, came word that the BioWare-developed, now-EA-published game's PC debut has been pushed back to one month after GTA's debut on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

"I have just confirmed with the development team that we are making a small change to the release date of Mass Effect for the PC," said BioWare community administrator Chris Priestly in a forum post last night. "The new release date for North America is May 28, 2008 and June 6, 2008 in Europe."

As to the reason for the delay, Priestly said it was to allow BioWare and Boston-based Demiurge Studios, which is handling the port, to refine the PC port. "The additional time will allow us to incorporate more play-testing feedback, add extra polish, and tune the additional features," explained the admin.

The most noticeable alteration to the PC edition of Mass Effect is the new heads-up display system, which BioWare unveiled today (pictured). As it did with the PC edition of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the developer has reworked a HUD optimized for a gamepad into one better-suited to a keyboard-and-mouse control scheme.

[UPDATE] Speaking with GameSpot, Mass Effect project director Diarmid Clarke outlined the refinements that will be included in the new HUD, which he said was "absolutely" responsible for the delay. "If it's going to work, it's got to work perfectly," he said. "It can't look like a piece bolted onto the game."

According to Clarke, the new HUD allows for much easier access to biotic powers and weapons by doing away with the radial HUD used in the 360 version. "All of the wheel stuff is now on the screen, you're not flicking between menus," he explained. "It's all just point and click now."

In particular, the new display scheme does away with the 360's inventory-management system, which drew widespread complaints for its lack of ease of use. Now, the guns will all be on the HUD screens ordered in rank of power, with customizable attachments and ammo types selectable via a drag-and-drop interface. Other keys will allow access to menu screens directly via a single key touch.

The new version of Mass Effect also takes advantage of hotkeys to let players more quickly use biotic powers. It will also have hotkeys for individual commands, which will let players issue orders to single non-player characters for improved tactical-squad combat. "It lets you be strategic and still do run-and-gun play," promised Clarke.

Clarke also said that the developer had made an array of tweaks and improvements based on criticism of the 360 Mass Effect. The dreaded long elevator rides would be sped up in certain "frequently used" conveyances, including that on the starship Normandy. The game's long loading times between interplanetary systems, another source of complaints, have also been reduced significantly. The controls for the Mako all-terrain vehicle have also been improved, and the graphics have (obviously) been optimized for PCs.

Will the improvements in the PC Mass Effect be implemented via downloadable content to the 360 Mass Effect? "You won't see any major changes to the original [360] game," a BioWare rep said. However, Clarke said it "would not be an unreasonable assumption" that many improvements would be included in Mass Effect 2, which the BioWare rep reconfirmed is already in development. "We're definitely working on it," he said.

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110 comments
FlyByU
FlyByU

"Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation. After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez'd and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn't become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can't contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run." Let's play a questions-and-answers game, shall we? Q: Has anyone ever refused to buy a game because of invasive copy protection? A: Yes. Q: Has anyone ever not been able to play a game because of invasive copy protection that malfunctioned? A: Yes. Q: Has invasive copy protection ever made a customer angry at the company, and therefore lessened their opinion of said company and their products? A: Yes. Q: Has invasive copy protection ever stopped a game from being pirated? A: No. Q: Given these facts, is invasive copy protection a wise move for your business? A: ____

cireking213
cireking213

I've been putting off getting a console, and now I have yet another reason to do so, even if the game itself is delayed. Mass Effect was one of the games that made me consider getting a 360. Now that Gears of War, Assassin's creed, and Mass Effect has or is coming to PC, I'm a very happy PC gamer. I will get a console eventually, but the longer I put it off, the better. Cheaper console prices and games, plus plenty of triple-A titles to choose from, no need for me to rush, the games aren't going anywhere soon.

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

Pilch_red. lol. u made a gud point.tho u were wrong bout thinking i made anything up. there really isnt anything to lie bout. im just too lazy to go thru all that trouble to change it. like i said before quote "who cares anyway" but apparently u care. cant believe u ACTUALLY bothered to check out my profile . dont know if i shud be complimented or just plain yawn-struck. funny thing about all of this is i havent even bothered to take a look at urs.to go thru all that many clicks and get to see som1s profile as uninteresting as u is not worth the muscle. r u that lame? UREKA!!!! thankx for the info. asif i didnt know that im biased. ofcourse im biased. im biased towards wats cool and not retarded. thank u very much . move on, move in, move out watever it is u wanna do hint is dont type it in like a bid shot adult and just do it . judging u ....ur words r louder than ur actions. ps: by the way. that was the weirdest comment i have ever read. wy wud u defend ANY platform. is there a new super hero in town. its a bird , no its a plane , no its any-platform-defender.

CYSYKO
CYSYKO

I don't know what i'm yelling about!!!!! LOUD NOISES!!!!!

Magusi
Magusi

I'm geeked this is coming out on PC. Now I will get to play it. But for all the arguments going on here about consoles and PC's. I have to say ... PC's are great, but they are also a pain in the arse. Example is, I just can't keep up with it and I know I'm not alone. Very pricey on upkeep (upgrade) which needs to be done more frequently then ever before. When a console has you set up from start and ready for anything released on it. However, what you get out from a PC, far out ways a console. (outside of just gaming included) Basically they both have pro's and con's. Most people have both, but some are more suited for one or the other.

some_guy_ss
some_guy_ss

Why does this even need to be argued? Games, regardless of the genre will always be better on pc. Pc is better than any console, you don't see PC's following the consoles. "PS3 has a browser feature" Who's trying to copy who? I mean even saying that just sounds ridiculous, comparing a PC to consoles is like comparing A god to people. Anyway as for this game, I don't know about you all but I like the whole futuristic RPG thing going on. Is it just me or you people just bored to death with elves and dragons and knights? This game is original, something hard to find in todays game industry

Seiromem
Seiromem

*Walls of Text all hit Seiromem for critical damage

Pilch_R_eD
Pilch_R_eD

Is someone attacks. One will defend. If someone attacks an old lady I will help her. If someone keys my car, by god you better expect blood will be split ^^. When someone seemingly attacks a platform, be it any of the current gen consoles or the PC, I will defend. People get defensive when it seems like someone is attacking. Whether you have any good points or not is completely irrelivant when you consistantly spew forth negativity and agression against anyone who opposes you. This is a forum, your going to have to expect some people to come with comments that directly disagree with you, and when you come back and call them an idiot, or a noob or a know it all, people will get defensive and fight back. I think with how many people who have done just that is evidence enough, but yet again, as far as im concerned, i hate know it all's as well, and that was my exact oppinion of you and your comments when i saw them, but unlike you, i never used it as a direct attack. And if in your about me section and the fact that you say it again in your games collection comments, if that is old news, then why dont you change it, its highly misleading, but i still get the feeling that no matter what anyone says you will make up anything so as to *win*. Whether your reason for disliking it has changed to another reason it still doesnt changed the fact that you are biased. But i dont have to fight, nor to say anymore even after this, because anyone with any sense has already moved on, and so shal I.

-RaptorJesus-
-RaptorJesus-

Some of the comments on this page are retarded. That said, I'm glad to see BioWare still committed to quality when it comes to ports. Every game is a labour of love for them, so I'm not surprised. I wish that more developers were as passionate about the games they make as BioWare is...

graavigala
graavigala

i just love what they did! this is what all game developers should do if they feel that the product isnt good enough. i for one dont want to play unfinished game even thou ive been waiting this to hit PC since the day it was announced for xbox. couple more weeks dont matter when i get my hands on working well polished game :)

fireandcloud
fireandcloud

heck, if they delay it to improve it, that's fine by me. i'd wait a year or more if necessary, just to get a game that's properly optimized and that runs smoothly. but at the same time... release the game~!!!! ...and make it available on steam.

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

WOW! ^_^. that blew me away. especially with the about me quote. i kind of guessed that some 1 wud bring that up but who cares anyway. this isnt a competition on wats better. well honestly at the time when i typed that in i disliked the pc for all the wrong reasons. later on my reasons changed for the better. and i dont get how every 1 keeps ending up saying that wat im saying is becoz im som sort of "pc hater". i told u . i have nothing against this game or the pc. infact i even complimented it.and the only 1 whos a delusional fan boy is u. i dont remember once saying a 360 or a ps3 is a superior platform but i do recall saying the pc is the best platform. its all in ur fanboy head if u have 1. wat i hate most is when some 1 acts like a know it all. yes i know wat bioware has been doing thru their years as a big time rpg dev.im a member of their site (Dark_Master_Amen) yes ive been playing games since the snes sega mega drive as well.i play CS with my friends on a daily basis so dont bring up the mouse>controller issue. so wat if some ppl prefer a controller with vibration and even motion controlling functionality.the only 1 here whos trying to prove how much superior their preferred platform is ,is u. so stop the saint act. at least i dont hide behind a fake facade. and sorry but everything ive said before r facts not fiction.

Pilch_R_eD
Pilch_R_eD

These are some of the saddest comments ive ever seen. As I start, I will copy paste a small section from Kratos_Karmakar's *about me* section. "sony and 360 fanboy, yes that is uncommon. dislike the pc." This already makes all your comments completely biased and fairly pointless. There are obviously reasons you like the 360 and PS and not the PC, in your personal taste. This does not make your oppinions a UNIVERSAL TRUTH. Just Because more people own consoles does not make them better, price differance is one thing, know how is another, whether you would get the use out of a "can do everything machine" instead of a machine thats pretty much just for games, is also another factor. Control schemes, performance, quality, gameplay. These things change allot from system to system, and from looking at the wii, it shows that a control scheme can influence a gameplay experiance to a huge degree. Ive been playing games since the Sega Master system and the NES and pretty much everything since. There is something highly unique about the PC, and the platform, whether you like it or not, its an EXTREAMLY hardcore system in many differant regards. I know I for one do more things then just games, such as map making, sound generation, contibuting to some 3rd party projects etc, but i already build PC's and know the hardware and the software and enjoy the use of it. The games are faster, the control scheme of a M/K is allot more accurate and precise, when u have been using a PC as long as i have FPS with any other available control scheme is terrible, and not even enjoyable, its slow its tacky its innacurate it has to have an autoaim, its not cool. Also, just because a game comes out for a system earlier doesnt make the game on that system or the system itself, better. In the case PC's versus consoles, its all to do with money, the game was published my microsoft, of course it was going to be a short time 360 exlusive. Guess what. Bioware has been making RPG's for PC since Bioware was formed, they make their games as PC games first and then adapt afterwards, the Devs say this themselves. Look at a game like UT3, the interface and menus have been consolised and they suck ass BIG TIME. How would you like having PC games, GOOD PC games ported over to a console without any changes to interface and menu. Me personally, knowing bioware and reading this, of course im a smidge dissapointed, but im more then willing to wait for the changes, its very much worth it. The devs already say they feel the PC version of the game is a far better experiance, watch their latest interview about the PC version, thats practically a quote. Never the less, I dont care, platform is about personal preferance and choice, and at the end of the day, even if a PC is that much more expensive, it is in so many ways a superior platform, its costly, and you have to have allot of knowhow, but in the end if you know what your doing and enjoy the ammount of work you put into these things, the *hardcore* aspect of PC gaming, then it is extreamly rewarding. Then theres consoles for people who just want to pop in a disc and play and nothing more, and thats great, the market for that really has improved and im happy for people like you who that works for, but in the end it doesnt make you or your platforms of choice superior, and your arguments are so full of stupidity and biased angst, that I dont think when an article relates in any way to a PC or Pc version of something, that any of your comments should be taken seriously. Fanboyism of any kind is biased stupidity. Yes im a hardcore PC gamer, but not a PC fanboy, I love games, pure and simple, and ill play them anywhere on any machine that i get the most enjoyment from it, period!!

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

marc5477 .*sarcasm* ur a genius to have actually figured out that a pc is better than a console. gee i didnt know that. i guess im just a delusional fanboy. i have nothing against the pc. i want this game to come out on the pc so every 1 knows how gr8 it is and so they can enjoy it unlike some other devs id like to name.lmao.it seems ive rattled the fanboy cage. im not debating on which is needed or not needed in todays world. frankly i cudnt care less. "Since everyone has a PC the only thing you need to add is a decent video card and you are good to go at some level of quality that is playable" that comfirms it . u R nuts. this isnt 2004. its 2008. wy dont u check out the requirements for a decent game on the pc and then tell me i only need an agp.and by the way the minimum requirements is really always lower than wat u actually need to run the game ( a trick more often used by devs these days) so that geniuses like u pick them up. wat just becoz u assume that i play consoles that i dont know anything about a pc. u think that an agp cures it all. an agp will get u nowhere without a minimum of a dual core and a ram of 512mb or 1gb this day if u dont actually want to make a sandwich between load times. i was a pc gamer myself so dont dare teach me on how to handle a machine u noob. i had a friend come over with the witcher. i have a p4 3ghz ram-1gb , agp-geforce 6200 turbocache. the game still had serious frame rate problems even with everything on low.so u can drop the price issue if u want to play ur game in max payne slow motion with some action missing out in between with the usual hitches. every multiplatform game runs best if not marginally on the pc. but to even get the 360 or ps3 equivalent performance out of it u have to spend a lot and lot= more than wat u pay for a 360 or ps3. so there u have it .if this isnt getting thru ur thick fanboy head i dont know wat can.

marc5477
marc5477

Kratos... thank your for entertaining us with your marginally exceptional posts. Moving on, a PC is something you have to have in todays world. A 360 is not. Since everyone has a PC the only thing you really need to add is a decent video card and you are good to go at some level quality that is playable and yes you can play it on the big screen TV and yes you can have a joystick too but most PC guys dont like those. So drop the whole price issue. The only other roadblock is how dumb you are and whether or not you can handle your own PC or if youre so stupid that you blame everyone else for your PC not working right. Mass Effect, from what ive read and heard from real friends is a good game. Not the best but they all agree its worth the money and time.

marc5477
marc5477

Kratos... thank your for entertaining us with your marginally exceptional posts. Moving on, a PC is something you have to have in todays world. A 360 is not. Since everyone has a PC the only thing you need to add is a decent video card and you are good to go at some level of quality that is playable and yes you can play it on the big screen TV and yes you can have a joystick too but most PC guys dont like those. So drop the whole price issue. The only other roadblock is how dumb you are and whether or not you can handle your own PC or if youre so stupid that you blame everyone else for your PC not working right. Mass Effect, from what ive read and heard this is a good game. Not the best but they all agree its worth the money and time.

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

yaberingyeti Firstly, Kratos, are you suggesting that we buy 360's to play this game now? If we dont and want to wait then we're slobbering nerds? Ok, cool.. makes sense. Also, last I checked Crysis isnt the only game available to pc... I may be wrong about that one tho, dont quote me on it. As for the game, I'll give it a miss. Console hits are almost always highly cinematic and not very deep and complex, which, from what i've seen, this game is no exception. Not exactly my cup of tea. lol. if pc nerds can spend so much money so that they can run something like crysis or AC at medium setting then wy not. for a pc gamer buying a 360 wud be like a mosquito sting. take a deep breath and think wy ur waiting.....coz the pc edition is coming out God knows when this year when its already made its mark last year.hmm i always wonder wy pc exclusives never interest me or the masses in the slightest so u can keep the xclusives.lol but u cant do that either. theyre usually lining up to get ported to the console. Mass effect is an outstanding game and thats not me telling u that its the majority of the quality reviewers (gs doesnt count),the New York Times, and a lot more.my point is - wat u do or not do with the game is up to u but if ur standard of games r as yaberingyeti and his avatar which by the way im sure he looks like then ill gurantee ull like something that has more " DEPTH " and is more "COMPLEX". by the way ME is as complex and deep as they come and unlike u ive played and finished it and not just looked at some crummy downloadable clips and made my judgement.

Duke_51
Duke_51

kratos_karmakar... that's about the most ignorant statement anyone can make. Why would anyone want to wait six months to play the PC version? Maybe because using a mouse is far superior to using a stupid thumbstick that requires a ton of 'autoaim' to make it even remotely possible to shoot something. Or maybe because of the fact that modders will take advantage of the fact that it's on PC, and more third party content will be developed, rather than having to wait six months for one expansion pack released by the devs. Or maybe because of the fact that my PC actually works! And that I'm on my SECOND 360 with the same god damn problems it had before...

mattcake
mattcake

Stuff the HUD, make the enemy AI actually *work*... what use is a cover system when the AI just blindly charges at you, runs behind you, then does a little jig as it shoots you, while you try to break out of cover and get your aim back at 10fps. Disappointing game. If they fix some of the obvious mess like that I may grab for PC but I'm not holding my breath.

pourya_ahmadian
pourya_ahmadian

i can not wait;where will be the time of LOST ODYSSEY2?

Atomic_Mutant
Atomic_Mutant

Well do you know what this game is in need more of? Escalators.

dryden555
dryden555

OK but no amount of interface changes will make this B grade game an A grade game. Let's wait and see

DarkDamo
DarkDamo

Please stfu until you get a brain. Comments like that (kratos_karmakar) do nothing to further anything except your perception of your e-pe.... From the sounds of it the game will not be another bad console port but something actually worth getting :)

grigjd3
grigjd3

Having played the game through on the 360, of the above changes, the only one that really negatively effected the gameplay was the control system on the Mako. Driving the thing was a chore and didn't mix well with any other game I drove a vehicle with a gun turret. I understand why they are changing the menu system for PC but the rest is kind of silly. I had no trouble sorting through inventory and load times are load times. Those are really going to be determined by the machine you run the game on. I'd rather have a longer load time all at once then have frequent breaks in gameplay as new sections get loaded up.

Royas
Royas

If you're going to port a game to the PC, this is the way to do it. Change the interface to make it more PC friendly. I wish more developers would do this, Bethesda comes to mind with it's poor Oblivion PC interface. If it takes a few more weeks, so be it, get it right the first time.

Darkreaper_1
Darkreaper_1

I'm honestly looking forward to this game. Not only does it look and sound the biz but Bioware did an excellent job with KOTOR. And in regards to the delay i'd rather wait and get a game that is more "finished" than get a game early and have to spend time waiting for patches, etc.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

For once I actually appluade EA for delaying a game. It might be to make sales after gta4 instead of a few for weeks before gta4, but I'd really like the controls more streamlined, and elevator rides shorter, THANKYOU

VercettiTommyy
VercettiTommyy

No problem,I just hope that the delay makes it better :)

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

Bummer. Still, at least I will have GTA4 to hold my attention for that month.

snax13
snax13

oh well...gives me more time to beat mass effect on 360 again...haha

Dreski83
Dreski83

just throw money at it EA... maybe it will magically do as you please :P

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

Yet another reason why PCs will always be superior to consoles. We get better versions of most games, and we get downloadable content. They KNOW these issues can be corrected on the console versions, but they won't bother fixing them, because they've already made their money. On a PC, these issued would have been corrected and the game would have been patched. And, for the record, I am no fanboy. I own a PC and a 360.

damariners
damariners

it's ok worth to wait for good game like this.. nway this month is GTAIV month...ready to rock on with ps3..

Merl57
Merl57

Too bad they can't patch the 360 version

NeoNavarro
NeoNavarro

Nothing I can do... but, sit and wait. I'd rather have a flawless game.

Kh1ndjal
Kh1ndjal

ill wait for the polish and tweaking, happily

MindlessTeef
MindlessTeef

Waiting a extra month for the above PC tweaks... seems fair, but I want the game now! :) It's all good, nothing worse then playing a game on the PC and constantly thinking "this is just a console port - and a bad one at that!"

Jedited255
Jedited255

I've got mixed feelings about this. The PC gamer in me is excited to see this game in high resolution but i already own ME on 360 and don't haven any problems with the issues that so many people critisize. I'll probebly wait and see what EA's gonna do about DLC for the PC version.

mysterylobster
mysterylobster

A month delay is infinitely better than hearing complaints for years about a "consolized" HUD in a PC game.

aimmy79
aimmy79

a little delay won't hurt if it will make the game better. i will absolutely buy this game. i'm your fan, bioware.

AvIdGaMeR444
AvIdGaMeR444

I'm guessing that most hermits don't care. A lot have made it very clear in system wars that they can't stand console ports.

marc5477
marc5477

Two thumbs up from me. This is the only console game that I have had any interest in and if it needs a little more polish please take your time. Its a nice change from cheap porting companies that put out horrid products so just for putting in that extra effort I will buy it.

shade1978x
shade1978x

Hell, I can wait a few more weeks for an even better Mass Effect. Sold!

Pug_of_Crydee
Pug_of_Crydee

@ GM_Link It also feels that every 8 months there's a new hardware you'll need to install to play the next great game. The dedicated PC gamers don't mind, but for those who just like to kick back while waiting for classes or just play because they're waiting to watch their favorite TV show but someone else is occupying it don't. Although I agree that its difficult to keep up to date with all the hardware coming out, new tech, etc., people need to realize that other than one game like Crysis, which is going to give any computer a run for his money, you do NOT need to upgrade all the time! Good developpers (blizzard, valve, etc.) will optimize the game for lower pc as most of their customers are in that market. Again, the high end computers are for showing off, you dont need them.

Pug_of_Crydee
Pug_of_Crydee

@ GM_Link It also feels that every 8 months there's a new hardware you'll need to install to play the next great game. The dedicated PC gamers don't mind, but for those who just like to kick back while waiting for classes or just play because they're waiting to watch their favorite TV show but someone else is occupying it don't. Although I agree that its difficult to keep up to date with all the hardware coming out, new tech, etc., people need to realize that other than one game like Crysis, which is going to give any computer a run for his money, you do NOT need to upgrade all the time! Good developpers (blizzard, valve, etc.) will optimize the game for lower pc as most of their customers are in that market. Again, the high end computers are for showing off, you dont need them. As for Mass Effect, cant wait! edited: Format and spelling

Lepuke
Lepuke

It's better to ship out a diamond than a polished turd. If the teams handling of KOTR was any indication, this port is going to be beyond good.