Last month Tom spoke to executive producer on the Mass Effect series, Casey Hudson, about your romance options in Mass Effect 3. While ME3 will introduce new characters, including new squadmates, Casey says all your romance options will be with familiar faces. And since all the romance options from Mass Effect 1 are back as full time squadmates, many players are going to have some awkward moments when their old flame meets the new squeeze.
PC Gamer: How are the romance options compared to previous games? In Mass Effect 1 you only had a few, and then Mass Effect 2 had loads.
Casey Hudson: It had a few more. In this one, we don't really have new characters that are part of the romance stuff in the way that we did in Mass Effect 2, where we introduced a lot of characters. So this is more about how you, if you're a new player, how you start these romances with the existing characters. If you've had relationships with previous characters, then it's your opportunity to resolve those. And again, it's in the context of a 'World War II'-type setting, so you don't really know if you're going to survive, or what kind of a world is going to live beyond the story. So it's kind of that situation.
But we also have some interesting things happening, where you've got Ashley and Kaiden from the first game, you've got Liara, and there's sort of a love triangle there. And then we gave people a bunch of new characters. People said “Well, I just want my Mass Effect 1 characters, and I'm not interested in any of these characters.” But then a lot of people had romances with those characters, and now the fun is bringing back some of those characters from Mass Effect 1 and putting them back in the mix, and looking at what you did in Mass Effect 2 and bringing some... interesting scenarios around those things.
PC Gamer: It must be a nightmare, because if you think about all those combinations of who you might have started dating, stopped dating then started dating somebody else, you've got to figure out how they react to each other in every case...
Casey Hudson: Yep - it's fun! (Laughs) I think sometimes when we do certain things, it makes players realise what kinds of things are possible, and then they think about a different level of meaning in terms of why they're doing things, in terms of how the characters relate. So even something like: if you had a Mass Effect 1 romance and you didn't have a Mass Effect 2 romance, so you stay true to the character from the first game, there's a scene where you look at the picture of that character, and that's essentially the romance scene in Mass Effect 2.
I think when people realised that we were thinking about that kind of thing, and that we were going to reflect those kinds of decisions, then it's like “Wow, the game actually knows that I didn't cheat on my Mass Effect 1 love interest. So if it knows that, then it probably knows other stuff that it will reflect. Then that means I need to think about that stuff [when] talking to characters and making decisions and the like.”
PC Gamer: So it's all existing characters... I'm just trying to think what gay or lesbian characters that gives you. That would leave Liara?
Casey Hudson: Well yeah, it's going to be similar to Mass Effect 1 and 2. Like I say, we're not introducing any new characters that are going to be love interests. There's some new characters, but generally it's going to be the interplay between the characters from 2 and the returning ones from 1, and then Liara as the one that's... either asexual or omnisexual, depends on how you look at it.
Casey also told us Tali will return as a full time squad member , but implied Wrex won't. We'll have another chunk of Mass Effect 3 details tomorrow. You can subscribe to all our Mass Effect 3 news and previews if you use an RSS reader .