Mass Effect 3 to focus on smaller, more intimate squad

Mass Effect 2 was epic, and I don’t just mean the scope of its space opera story. The second installment in BioWare’s planned trilogy featured 12 recruitable teammates, a number that’s shrinking for Mass Effect 3 in favor of building “deeper relationships and more interesting interplay” according to project director Casey Hudson.

BioWare seems intent on making Mass Effect 3 an even more streamlined experience than Mass Effect 2, which didn’t have much fat to cut, by improving combat mechanics, eliminating stat games and trimming squad size. Though they haven’t announced which characters will be joining the fight, Hudson assures that they’re “bringing everyone back – every main character is in Mass Effect 3 somewhere.” If they didn’t die that is.

Zaeed, Thane, Mordin and those who survived Mass Effect 2‘s final suicide mission will return, though not necessarily the same. Resident nut job Jack in particular has undergone some major changes in appearance and attitude, having matured since the last game. “Maybe she’s softened up a bit. You can only stay punk rock for so long, you know. Even Johnny Rotten eventually goes, ‘I’ve got to do something different,'” said art director Derek Watts.  “She’d get tired of walking around completely naked and she’d probably grow her hair out, but she’s still Jack and still kinda punk – shaved at the sides with a pony tail at the back.”