Mass Effect 3: BioWare Explains Why They Made Volus Playable

The presence of the Volus in Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer is explained.

Volus in Mass Effect 3

It was recently revealed—or rather, leaked—that the Volus would be a major playable race in Mass Effect 3’s co-op multiplayer mode. For those not in the know, Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer consists entirely of co-op, in which a team of four players go up against waves of enemies. Armed as a variety of race/class combinations, players must see to the defense of Alliance interests and accumulate new weapons and unlocks while they’re at it. 

Fans of Mass Effect lore were perturbed by the inclusion of the Volus, which have long been presented as small, bumbling egg-shaped characters with stubby arms and legs. Not analogous whatsoever to fantasy dwarves, these little characters are typically vulnerable without the assistance of stronger races. Seeing them in combat seemed a bit out of place with the lore.

To that end, Bioware’s Chris Schanche penned a response on the official Bioware forums to explain the rationale for including them as a playable race.

“We wanted to expand on the available races to something less conventional to represent the continuing state of the war,” he wrote. “We also wanted to build a pure support class, it’s something we’ve seen requested more then [sic] a few times, and the Volus were an interesting opportunity to build a very non-tradtional character with a power suite built around staying out of front line combat and emphasis about boosting team score over personal score.” 

Given their roles as support characters, the Volus don’t seem terribly out of place, especially when you consider the fact that they play the very same role in the war at large. BioWare was also happy to note that playing a support role doesn't reduce your chances of getting ultra-rare weapons, so there's no penalty to playing a Volus.

Hilariously enough, the Volus character can be seen standing on a crate in the character customization screen. Why? Because he’s short.