Mass Effect - Preview @ Daily Game
Daily Game's preview of Mass Effect has a good explanation of how the dialogue system works in BioWare's space action/RPG:
The implementation of all this is remarkably smooth, especially considering BioWare doesn't exactly specialize in real-time tactical shooters. Had we not been in a private room with BioWare, in fact, it would've been easy to pass off Mass Effect as having come from a developer with a long history in shooters. That is, until we entered a bar in the 30-mile-long space station.
In this scene, we instigated a conversation with an alien who had some information we wanted. Like KOTOR (and most other RPGs), there were several ways to get this information, from sweetening her up with compliments to flat-out threatening her with a drawn gun. The conversation didn't progress with a simple conversation tree, though, as each expression was mapped to a specific direction on the D-pad. Throughout the game, similarly toned responses will be mapped to the same direction, so if players always want to have a "nice" response they would always press right, for instance, or if they always want to have a "mean" response they would always press down.
This gave the conversations a much more instinctual and fluid feel than reading entire chains of text, and it made them feel much more like cinematic cutscenes than interruptions in the gameplay. It also will help gamers who buy Mass Effect for the tactical-shooting elements breeze through what they might feel are the "boring" parts while still being engaged in the story. BioWare did assure us, though, that every line of dialogue will still be recorded, so hardcore RPG fans can sit there and listen to every voice-acted word if they wish.
I do love how the voice recordings are for the hardcore.
Information aboutMass Effect
SP/MP: Single + MP
Platform: Xbox 360