- Created on 14 February 2012
- Written by Javier Ivan Vargas
- Hits: 1215
Nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day from Bioware" like a demo for one of the year's most anticipated titles: Mass Effect 3. Bioware has to deliver over an insane amount of hype and their work is nearly done. For now, its time to dissect the demo and get a glimpse of what lies ahead in three weeks.
The most focused aspect in the Mass Effect series is its story, but now there are different ways to experience it. Before starting the demo, you will be instructed to choose from three different modes: Action, Story, and Role Playing. Action is the answer for those who want a more combat-focused adventure, Story are for those who want to scale the difficulty down for the sake of the story, and Role Playing is the traditional Mass Effect experience we all know and love. With me being a hardcore ME fan, I went with the obvious choice of Role Playing for my demo. Once you're finished with choosing your preferred mode, you are then tasked with customizing your Shepard and choosing one of many classes that each have their own unique abilities in battle.
Single-Player starts you off at Earth where Shepard is brought to trial, only for it to be interrupted by the imminent Reaper attack. With Captain Anderson at your side you are to make your way through debris to rendezvous with your trusty ship, the Normandy. The graphics jump from ME2 to ME3 is bigger than I had hoped it would be. The environments are detailed with gorgeous vistas of Earth being attacked in real-time. Characters act more natural and less like puppets just looking at each other exchanging information. However, I wasn't a fan of how Shepard was talking by himself more often and the dialogue wheel really wasn't in the demo very often. Hopefully this isn't the case in the real game. Animations are also improved with a more fluid movement which help both the combat and cut-scenes. One grievance I had with previous Mass Effect installments was the controls, but ME 3 has tightened them to a silky smooth refinement. Getting in and out of cover is also less of a hassle than it was before.
If there was one reason that worried me the most about Mass Effect 3, its the combat. ME 2 was on the border of maintaining its RPG genre with its heavier emphasis on action and less focus on role playing elements. However, 3 has now found an equal equilibrium for both genres as the RPG elements become more sophisticated, while also having more fast-paced shoot-outs. You acquire more points when leveling up and have more skill paths to take with each ability that include upgrading your biotics or improving your reputation.
Without spoiling too much, the intro ends dramatically and the demo assigns you to another mission where you are to rescue a female (finally!) Krogan. You are given a deeper arsenal with the chance to try out your abilities related to your class, as well as Garrus and Liara to accompany you. Squad tactics are carried out quicker, the intelligent A.I. actually throws well-placed grenades that force you to use your new dodge rolls. Your squad will also shout out advice on how to approach certain situations and enemies. The demo then ends with a cliffhanger and you have the option to play Multiplayer.
Undeniably the most controversial new feature of Mass Effect 3 is the co-op multiplayer. From the two levels of the demo, I'm happy to say that the multiplayer is on the right track. it takes all the fun of ME's combat and lets you bring in 3 other friends along. At first i didn't think that co-op would help the franchise but it sure proved me wrong. The demo allows you to choose from any of the classes with certain races as well. The multiplayer itself is revolved around fighting waves of Cerberus foes with objective based missions tossed in every few waves. These missions can include a King-of-the-Hill-esque objective, taking out certain "High Rank" enemies, or downloading data at certain checkpoints. These objectives help make the game stay fresh and force the players not only to move from place to place, but also to work together as a team as the enemies are deviously smart. The more you play, the more Xp and credits you earn which you can use to level up your character and purchase special items and perks respectively.
At the end of the day, the demo helped me put my worries aside and look forward to the newest iteration in the Mass Effect franchise. Its multiplayer is looking good and its Single-Player is more cinematic than ever. If you have yet to try ME 3, download the demo now on the Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Network, and/or EA Origin. Note: you must have an EA account to download it.
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