Although many of us first found out details about Mass Effect 3 from Game Informer, the announcement at E3 was no less anticipated, especially with the release of information just prior hinting that the Kinect would have some role to play in ME3
Before E3 2011.
Prior to the E3 Press Conference, we learned that
Combat has been tightened up
Spoilers about who is in the squad etc.
The basic plot
Changes from ME and ME2
The new combat, as we eventually got to witness during E3, is all about fluidity. Shepard now has more efficient melee attacks, an easier method of running and shooting, more bang for her bullets and cover will make more sense instead of being so haphazard.
I will talk more about the demo in a bit, but basically the new changes to combat look and act great if the demo is any indication.
Here is an article from someone who got their hands on the demo.
Tali is confirmed as a squad-mate
No new romance options (so only the ones from ME1 and ME2)
They have hinted that Wrex is probably not a squad-mate
Powers will combine (possibly like in Dragon Age 2?)
Cerberus is working with the Reapers
Confirmed squad-mates: Garrus, Liara, either Ashley or Kaiden (depending on who lived) and Jason Sanders (who’s this guy? lol).
Wrex, Anderson, Legion and Mordin will return, but are not confirmed as recruit-able.
Decision from the Rachni Queen will have an effect on the story
The basic plot is that Earth has been invaded by the Reapers and Shepard is forced to retreat. In order to save Earth and the universe, Shepard must convince different planets and species to align with him against the Reaper invasion. But of course, since this is Bioware, that will not be as simple as asking politely.
Enemies sound REALLY annoying to kill (for example they draw strength from other dead creatures around them)
People who didn’t play the first 2 games will again have the option of doing the prequel comic to make the key decisions (wish they would have done this with Dragon Age 2 instead of having presets).
New system will be similar to ME2 but with more choices.
Each skill line will have multiple upgrades so more specialization is possible.
Now fighting husks of every species, not just humans.
The method of mining planets is undergoing yet another change
Shepard now has combat rolls and can “run-and-gun”
Shepard and his tool. 0_0
Overall, Bioware has hinted that ME3 will have some features from ME and some from ME2, but overall will run smoother and be more responsive to the choices the character makes (example: who shows up in a scene).
Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference
During Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference, they announced that ME3 will include Kinect voice support.
The idea is pretty original and definitely not what I expected. Players will use the Kinect voice support to pick a command on the dialogue wheel and also to tell the squad where to go and which moves to use. As they mentioned in the conference, these changes will increase the immersion in the ME world.
After watching the conference, I must admit I’m very impressed.
Utilizing voice commands for the dialog wheel seemed a strange choice to me at first, and then I started playing ME2 again and the memories came back to me. With the way the wheel is formatted, I know that I personally picked the wrong option plenty of times from accidentally hitting the buttons too fast. In a game like Mass Effect, the dialogue can have serious consequences on the outcome of the story, so this often ended up being a big, frustrating deal.
Saying an option, if done properly, would leave a little less to chance… unless you happen to have an accent, and then this could go horribly wrong.
The ability to tell your squad-mates where to go and what to do with voice instead of pausing to pick the choice on a wheel will add fluidity and intensity to battles. It will also add to the feeling of immersion that is already handled pretty well in ME2.
I personally think it will really add to the sense of “command” that Shepard has (see what I did there?). Not only do you lead a ship and make decisions for the group, but you will actually be able to “give orders” to your squad in the heat of battle. If they pull this off correctly, my inner dork will probably spaz out from sheer joy.
Watching the conference, this part worked exactly as I imagined, with the producer saying things like “Garrus, move up!” in his little commanding voice.
This demo… looks very polished and not at all like a demo. Compared to the demo released for Dragon Age 2, I must say Bioware has stepped their game up. This demo played like a movie and I can say with certainty that I’m no longer looking forward to Christmas…. it’s all about March 6 baby!
Mass Effect 3 will come out for PS3, Xbox 360 and the PC on March 6, 2012