Mass Effect 3 Preview

We have come this far. Fighting aliens and robots along the way, we have finally reached the conclusion of the sci-fi epic that is the Mass Effect series.

Mass Effect 3 opens up with Commander Shepard on trial for committing genocide (these events are covered in the Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2). Just as the trial is getting underway, the Reapers invade the Earth.

Now the fate of Earth and the entire galaxy rests in the hands of Shepard and his crew. Now Shepard must gather all the civilizations of the galaxy to fight off the Reapers and shape the Galaxy.

The Mass Effects Story Continues

Just like in Mass Effect 2, all of your choices that have been made in the prior installments will have an effect (no pun intended) on the story of Mass Effect 3. Whether you destroyed the Rachni Queen in the first game or had your whole team killed of in the suicide mission of the second game, all of the choices change what happens or sometimes what does not happen in Mass Effect 3.

This helps keep long-time players invested in a story that they have shaped since the first game. BioWare has stated that all of the characters from the previous entries are returning; yet some may have a different capacity. There will be less party members in this game, but some will come back for certain missions similar to Liara in the Shadow Broker DLC.

Mass Effect 3 James VegaNew Characters and Some Familiar Faces

While Shepard heads around the galaxy gathering followers, he will encounter these characters, and while they may not join your party, they will undoubtedly be integral to the story. Information is still a little sketchy about which specific characters will be a part of the entourage, but speculation abounds.

From what we’ve been able to piece together we believe Mordin, Garrus, Tali’Zorah and Liara T’Soni will return. There is also good reason to believe we’ll be seeing Ashley Williams,  Kaiden Alenko and David Anderson. The only new companion we’ve seen confirmation on is James Vega (information care of G4TV)

You can be sure that epicaGames editors have our ears to the ground and will share any information as soon as it surfaces and can be confirmed – until then, a little detective work and a lot of speculation.

Gameplay Changes for Mass Effect 3

The Mass Effect series has set a new precedence in modern action-RPG combat. Mass Effect 3 seeks to continue their high standard of combat with a few tweaks from the Mass Effect 2 system. Shepard is now more agile in combat, being able to roll into cover. He also has specific melee attacks for each class, as opposed to the rifle butt attacks from previous entries. We can also expect a lot more versatility in the terrain and map progressing, with the ability to climb, leap across gaps and roll from cover to cover.

The enemies AI has also been improved and are now able to use complex battle maneuvers. Don’t expect the enemies to just stand there and get shot – it’s going to be a lot more challenging with enemy units stationing strategically, out flanking, and boxing you in.

There have been a few changes in the weapons department as well. Classes are now able to choose whatever weapons they want but the classes have a certain number of weapons the player can hold. There are a number of ‘grenade’ weapons as well – including concussive, antigrav (toss enemies into the air) and traditional explosive grenades. The weapon customization options are going to be pretty interesting in Mass Effect 3 as well, with customizations effecting the look and operation of the weapon – reduce recoil, increase damage, range and accuracy among other things.

BioWare also is striving to bring back the overall RPG feel to the powers in the series. Instead of just one major upgrade once they reach level four, Mass Effect 3 will allow the player to upgrade their powers multiple times. Also those who hated the mining mechanic of the second one will be glad to hear that this feature will be changed to something less boring.

Xbox 360 Kinect Gameplay

Kinect support has also been confirmed for the Xbox 360 version in the form of simple voice command. Xbox 360 players will now be able to command their teammates in battle, telling them where to move and what abilities to use. Kinect players will also be able to say which dialogue choice they want their Shepard to say. Because of all these changes to the battle system, BioWare has stated that this game is harder than the previous entries.

Mass Effect 3 Will Be More Difficult, By Design

Casey Hudson has stated that “Normal is the new Veteran” in reference to the difficulty of the game. However, with all these new abilities and equipments, the end of this Trilogy will be sure to impress all. So far this game is shaping up to be better than the previous entries by combining the things that made people adore both of those games. Make sure you load up Mass Effect 2 soon to get that “perfect” play through.

Release Information for Mass Effect 3

The latest installment of the Mass Effect franchise is poised to launch March 6th 2012.

The Collector’s Edition that comes with an 70 page art book, a Mass Effect comic, a N7 fabric patch, a lithograph, a digital copy of the soundtrack, and, for Xbox 360 user, a Xbox Live Normandy Prop for their avatars.

The Collector’s Edition also comes with a few in-game goodies. It comes with the N7 Arsenal Pack, which is a weapon pack, a robotic dog, alternate outfits for Shepard, Ashley, Kaiden, James Vega, and Liara, and an extra character and mission. This all comes in a metal case with both male and female Shepard on either side.

Mass Effect 3 Screens, Concept Art & Wallpapers

Be sure to check out this Incredible Mass Effect 3 fan art

concept art images © via Robert Simons | other images © BioWare
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