Mass Effect 3 day one DLC files spotted on disk, Bioware respond

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3's From Ashes DLC caused controversy the moment it was announced. Fans wanted to know why they were paying extra for the new character, weapon, mission and companion outfits. Bioware's Mike Gamble insisted that the bulk of the DLC was developed "by a separate team (after the core game was finished) and not completed until well after the main game went into certification.”

Since then Mass Effect 3 has been released worldwide, giving PC gamers the chance to dive into Mass Effect 3's files. Some players found evidence of voice files, animations and character models for the From Ashes companion character on the Mass Effect 3 disk, leading many to believe that, contrary to Bioware's statement, the DLC had been developed alongside the main game.

Gamble took to Twitter to explain the files. "Because the plot of ME3 is so richly interwoven with the character interactions and moments, you simply cannot use a DLC module to 'insert' a new character," he said. "As we've mentioned before, that character has to be planned and the framework has to be established ahead of time for us to build off of with the DLC module."

He also mentions that elements like the character selection screen can't be overwritten with DLC, so spaces had to be left for the DLC character from the start. "certain elements of the Javik appearance and some of the VO needed to be included on the disc. That is a fact," he admitted. "But that doesn't mean the content was created, and then removed. It is a necessity of adding a rich character presence in our game."

"Certain elements of the Javik appearance and some of the VO" wouldn't amount to a functioning character, you'd have thought, but a video has appeared online showing how a seemingly combat ready version of the DLC squad member can be unlocked, apparently by changing a line of code.

"The DLC is over 600 mb," Gamble explained. "The DLC data holds the mission itself, the cinematic flashback moments, the cinematic dialogue interactions with Javik, his weapon, the appearances for squad members… everything that makes the adventure a cohesive experience."

"'From Ashes' is not Javik's character model. It is the story of finding the last remaining Prothean, and how his tale interweaves with Commander Shepard's as he struggles to destroy the Reaper threat." If you want that interweaving tale, it'll cost you 800 Bioware points.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.