How is the role playing stuff?

Incredibly engaging. Role-play minded players can choose responses in dialogue sequences, tailoring their engagement of the story and steering the outcome of each scenario and ultimately the overall story. Shooter oriented players can select an option where Shepard automatically responds to dialogue minimizing the role-play aspect, and maximizing the ‘lets-get-back-to-shooting-baddies’.

Either way the overall story has as much depth and rich tapestry as any decent science fiction novel, with a wide range of unique and believable characters, an interesting and complex history, and engaging dialogue voiced by some of the best talent in the industry. The whole experience is like simultaneously watching, co-writing and directing an incredibly imaginative Hollywood movie.

Mass Effect 3 has the depth & richness of a novel, the scale & charisma of a summer blockbuster and the whole story turns and shifts on your every decision. Many of the decisions you make have dramatic impact on the outcome of the story. Some decisions have immediate effect, while others consequences won’t be realized until much later. Whether it’s choosing to romance a crew mate, show mercy to an enemy or annihilate a species every decision changes the story.

How is the action stuff?

A walk through the park, if your park has roaming packs of demonic aliens, armies of sentient synthetic beings intent on your destruction and gigantic skyscraper-sized laser spewing beetles.

Bioware talked about how hard they worked this time around to provide fun, challenging gameplay for every type of player and it shows. Mass Effect fans expecting business as usual are going to find Normal mode much more challenging than they were anticipating, mostly in a good way.

Hard core shooters expecting to breeze through battles will be pleasantly surprised to find that with ‘Insane’ difficulty mode enemy unit AI is incredibly sophisticated, aggressive, and tactical – and they rarely give players opportunity for an easy kill.

Change Your Mind Any Time

One of the coolest features of Mass Effect 3’s difficulty settings is they can be modified at any time with immediate effect – not just between scenarios or missions. I haven’t seen that on other games I’ve played, I assume its unique to ME3 (correct me in the comments below if I’m wrong).

As a casual shooter fan myself I play most FPS campaigns through in Normal (or Normal +1) mode the first play through. So I started Mass Effect 3 in Normal mode, but was forced to switch to Casual twice to get through a few areas. Curious about the harder modes I experimented a few times with Hard and Insane modes, but found both too challenging for my tastes (and my limited shooter skills) on a first play through.

Whatever your play style, Mass Effect 3 serves up satisfying game play. You owe it to yourself to pick up a copy, invest a little down-time, and play through at a pace that suits you. You can thank me later.