BioWare on Mass Effect 3’s “harsher” Insanity Mode

When it comes to videogames, we like to say “get hard or go home”.

Okay, maybe that didn’t come out quite the way we wanted it to. But basically, we like our games to be challenging, and the good folks at BioWare have realized that, which is why they’re pushing a “harsher” Insanity Mode for Shepard to face this time around in Mass Effect 3.

According to lead designer Preston Watamaniuk, those playing on the harder difficulty mode will have to rely on powers as well as shooting to get by. He told OXM: “You’ll notice that if you play on Insanity, that sort of general rule of thumb is even harsher. You’d better be doing everything well, or you’ll die.”

Watamaniuk also revealed the inspiration behind a harder setting: “I had a lead designer for another game write to say ‘make Insanity harder!’ And I was like “OK!” This was a really well-known and respected guy, so I was like ‘OK, I’ll do my best.’

“We really thought about it hard. On Normal you’ll be able to power your way through the game or shoot your way through the game, but when you try Hardcore or Insanity, you’re not going to be able to do that any more.”

The ending result (hopefully) is a difficulty that still feels fairer: “You really will have to think about each combat, who the enemies are, what kind of resistance you’re presented with, and then strategise to take them down. I’m hoping that it’ll feel like you made a mistake, and the game called you on it, rather than “I thought I was playing well, and then I died”.

We’ll have to watch our squad power-usage, too. Otherwise, they might ruin the perfect battle plan. “If you’re just into pure mayhem, on Normal you can get away with that,” Watamaniuk added. “I find that on Insanity, it’s a little harder. Like, I wish I had Liara’s Warp right now, but she’s already cast something. So on Insanity I prefer to turn it off and keep full control.”

Sounds like Mass Effect 3 won’t have to go home, then. We can’t wait for its March 6 US release and March 9 EU one.