The upcoming BioWare port will walk the line between innovation and faithfulness.
What happens when you take one of the most acclaimed (some would say infamous) games of 2012 and promise it as a launch title for the most unusual console in years? In the case of Straight Right, you get a lot of excitement and an equal amount of anxiety. BioWare charged the Australian developer with porting Mass Effect 3 to Nintendo's upcoming Wii U, and while Straight Right believes the console's idiosyncratic gamepad can enhance the experience of controlling Commander Shepard, it's also very conscious of maintaining original 360/PS3/PC release's feel.
"We're very conscious of not wanting to mess up," says Tom Crago, head of Straight Right. "We're taking something which ... was exceptionally good." One of the biggest changes to Mass Effect 3 is the inclusion of Wii U gamepad functionality. These features allow players to view a map of their surroundings with distinct markers for enemies and allies, select special powers on the fly, or even play the whole game on the gamepad (perfect for when your housemate needs the TV). Even so, Crago's primary concern was how to keep the game faithful to its original release. "You look at the game and think 'how could I possibly make this better?' ... But first and foremost you say, 'well, I don't want to screw this up.'"
Straight Right has been hard at work on the Wii U port since before Mass Effect 3 debuted on current-gen consoles and PC. "It's going to be a launch title, but of course we don't know quite yet when the hardware will launch. We intend to be there that same day," Crago assures. Whether there will be a market for the final entry in a core sci-fi RPG on Nintendo's new system is anyone's guess, but Straight Right hopes to provide an experience at least as good as that in March 2012. If you're a fan of the Extended Cut ending, it might be even better.