Thirteen squad mates, according to Bioware, is a little much. Project Directer Casey Hudson told Xbox World 360 Magazine (via CVG) of the developer’s plans to cater to more of “a smaller squad with deeper relationships and more interesting interplay.” Those worried that their favorite characters will not make be in the game can relax, as long as they survived the suicide mission of Mass Effect 2.
“We’re bringing everyone back – every main character is in Mass Effect 3 somewhere” confirmed Hudson, “… If they survived, they’ll make it in. Zaeed is in, plus Thane, Mordin and the rest.”
In particular, a renewed focus seems to have been placed on the character of Jack, who has reportedly matured since the last game. “Maybe she’s softened up a bit.” hinted Art Director Derek Watts, “You can only stay punk rock for so long, you know. Even Johnny Rotten eventually goes, ‘I’ve got to do something different.’ 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.”
The news comes around a week after Senior Designer Christina Norman informed Official Xbox Magazine that the game will “enrich” meaningful RPG elements that contribute to gameplay, but minimize the more statistical components that have less of a noticeable effect. “We want to enrich the role-playing aspects of the game, while making sure that they’re always meaningful in combat,” Norman emphasized, “We don’t want to have any meaningless behind-the-scenes stat games, where the output is very minor in combat. Every single thing you do has a real impact in the battle…We got combat the way we wanted it for ME2, so you’re going to feel right at home straight away. But there are so many subtle improvements that you’ll miss them if you go back.”