Mass Effect 3 Moves Beyond Dirty Dozen, To A Warring Galaxy

With the promise of more fluid combat, vicious melee attacks, tougher enemies and a nimbler Commander Shepard, Mass Effect 3 is shaping up to be the game Bioware says will be definitive Mass Effect experience.

"Mass Effect was always designed as a trilogy," Bioware game director Casey Hudson told a gathering of press, "and Mass Effect 3 is the main event."

That means an overhaul of the combat, cover and mobility in the game, reworked enemies and weapons and new customizable powers.

It also means a different sort of narrative backdrop.

Where Mass Effect 2 was loosely structured around a Dirty Dozen storyline, its sequel will take a step back and have you gathering not individual members for a team, but commodities for the war effort.

"The large scale story and even the little missions, the little friendships you accumulate during the game contribute to the overall war effort," Hudson said. The greater you do the better your chance of success."

Mass Effect 3 will be about the galactic war that the game has been moving toward for two titles now.

"This is the story of that all out galactic war," he said. "You start out with the Reapers having captured the earth. It is your job to rally the forces of the galaxy and unify everyone behind the cause and wipe out the Reapers forever."

The game also has a number of tweaks to the way you'll handle Commander Shepard. He will have a whole new level of mobility, Hudson said.

"You can climb things, leap across gaps," he said. "In combat you can roll in and out of cover or between cover. That really helps with the overall fluidity of combat.

Enemies will be tougher too with a "lot of new behaviors" from flying in on rocket boots to crawling out of holes. Some will come at you with physical shields.

Your squad members will have new abilities too. For instance you can send one in to go into a fight a rip a shield out of an enemies hands.

Shepard will, of course, also have new abilities including a new collapsible blade attached to his arm that can be used for vicious, skewering attacks.

To give us a sense of what he was talking about, Hudson let us see a bit of gameplay from Mass Effect 3. It was from early on in the game when you are on a Salarian home world.

The brief demo was a chaotic scene of thumping guns, smoke and fire. Arrows directed when Shepard could roll to new cover or could press a button to see a pivotal moment in the gunfight. A serious injury caused Shepard's vision to blur and the noise from the battle to echo briefly.

At one point in the battle a group of enemies formed up with shields, blocking the return fire of Shepard's team until he was able to flank and cut them down with shotgun blasts and that blade of his. Shepard activates an adrenaline rush power that essentially slows everyone but him down, making his assault easier.

Later in the battle a mech lands. Hudson says that if you can take out the driver you can control the suit.

"We're trying to make Mass Effect 3 the best of the series," he says. "It's about improving the moment to moment action, providing an epic conclusion to this storyline."


Comments

    EEEEEEEEEEE!

      I should add, there's a Collectors Edition announced with some swag - an art book, extra game content, a soundtrack etc.

      The CE cover looks very, very nice.

      It's not up on any Australian retailers that I can see yet.

        I was hoping for one with a model of the Normandy 2

      OOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Call of duty-esque?

      Thy have mentioned that weapons will once again be upgradable... i think bioware may have got the message that they were losing thier fans by stripping out the rpg elements of their rpgs... both mass effect 2 and dragon age 2 suffer from the same issue.

    I got through ME2 just the other week and decided to go back to ME1 and start over.. I really still like no.1 better. Yes ME2 engine wise, story the whole lot, is over all better. But I really enjoyed the RPG elements a lot more of no.1 and it really did feel like a much bigger universe.

    They do seem hell bent on further striping down the rpg elements.
    Oh well I look forward to Gears of Mass Effect, oops mass effect 3. I hope they ditch the god awful ammo mechanic from 2 though

      From my point of view it doesn't seem like that. To me stats and gear aren't what make a game an RPG, all that's just boring stuff left over from the pen and paper days. What makes it a true RPG are the characters, story and world and your ability to interact with and effect those things.

      Also ME2 ammo system was vastly superior to ME1. ME1 was a great game but the combat was just terrible.

        That's an action game pure and simple

        Fact is to survive all games should have competent story and characters like bioshock which is more action than rpg

        Rpg is stats and numbers problem is these days the casuals would rather be killing over anything else

        Me1 was an rpg
        Me2 was an action 3ps with little rpg elements and what were there were near pointless

        Me2 could have retained the rpg elements of thefirst and added the combat of the second instead they are very different games

      Here here! I can't stand the ammo system in ME2, it's an RPG not a FPS. Also give me back my loot!

      It would be good if they moved back to a normal XP system as well, there's just no incentive to go the extra mile in missions when you always get 1000xp at the end no matter what. Take the easy way out of a ballte? Same XP. Boring!

    I have no idea why people struggle so much with the concept of an action RPG.

    I loved the combat feel in the second game. The fact they're making it even *more* fluid is brilliant.

    I've also heard we'll be seeing a return of a lot more customization on weapons and powers this time around, something closer to 1, but without as much clutter or junk to sort through.

    Can't wait to see what they've got up their sleeves.

      Don't look too closely at what they've got up their sleeve - as it is a collapsible blade!

    This is biowares premiere IP, I have faith it will be a spectacular title.

    Lucky i saved the Rachnii queen...

    I totally nuked the Geth tho, and I'd do it again in a heart beat :D

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