Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mass Effect 3 Revealed

Mass Effect 3Every gaming developer has their niche. Rockstar has the whole open world thing and Bungie has Halo, but there is one company that really nails one of the most vital parts of a great game, storytelling, and that company is BioWare. From Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to Dragon Age: Origins, BioWare has delivered some of the most cinematic game experiences to date.

The company has this unique ability to create a game that draws you in with its captivating story and intriguing characters that all build a relationship with you, the main character. Probably BioWare's biggest hit to date is definitely the Mass Effect series. When the first game dropped in 2007, audiences were blown away by the epic story and the amount your character could interact with the people and places around him. Forming relationships with your crew and companions added a sense of depth to the game that is often lacking in games today.

When Mass Effect 2 dropped in 2010, fans came scrambling back to take Commander Shepherd on another galaxy saving adventure. However, what really brought fans back was the ability to import a saved file from Mass Effect into Mass Effect 2, allowing you to continue your journey with your original character. All the choices you made in the first game came into play in Mass Effect 2. The companions you let live, the ones you let die and even the interactions you made with NPCs all had different repercussions in Mass Effect 2. This added a bond that the player could form with not only their character but the entire Mass Effect universe.

There has been no doubt as to whether or not BioWare was going to release a third installment in their Mass Effect series. The only question was when it would be releaseed and when are we going to find out. Well, both those answers have been given to us. Last Saturday on the Spike Video Game Awards, BioWare unveiled the first teaser trailer for Mass Effect 3. Previous screenshots from the trailer have been pieced together and all make sense now.

The story goes as follows: "Earth is burning. From beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race. As Commander Shepherd, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the Earth and save the galaxy."


When we last left Commander Shepherd, he was trying to find out why human colonies all over the galaxy were disappearing without a trace. When he found the source, Shepherd found an ancient race of aliens known as The Collectors who are hell-bent on destroying the human race. It was your job to stop them and stop them you did. With help from the mysterious Pro-Human group known as Cerebus and its leader The Illusive Man, you were able to stop the reapers and save humanity......or so it seemed.

Mass Effect 3 takes players, for the first time, to Earth. From the trailer and other news we can gather that The Collectors (we think), being controlled by the Reapers, have attacked Earth in a plot to destroy it. With Earth overrun Shepherd must travel to planets all across the galaxy in order to rally the civilizations of Citadel Space, both human and alien, if there is any hope of saving Earth.

Details about gameplay have yet to be revealed though the trailer, as well as rumors, seems to allude to a new multiplayer element to the game. Personally, I pass on the option of multiplayer. One of the best things the Mass Effect series has going for it is its strong focus on single player development. The lack of multiplayer is hardly a negative aspect in my mind.

What I would like is more weapons and a revamped mining system. BioWare took out the slew of weapon choices from the first game and replaced it with an upgrade system, and they also added planet mining, an essential part to game completion. The combat can stay the same. I found the upgraded combat system a much welcome change from the first game.

Like the previous two games, players will be able to import a saved game file into Mass Effect 3, allowing you to finish the epic story with the very first character you started off as. There has been no word on what characters will return, though it does depend on which ones lived for you in your outcome. It is likely that Garrus will return, seeing how he was a major character in both previous games. I would love to see the return of Urdnot Wrex as well as Thane Krios, two of my personal favorites.

Gamers have a lot to look forward to and, sadly, a lot of time to do it as Mass Effect 3 is slated for a Holiday 2011 release date. The game should be coming out on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC simultaneously (or at least close together). If BioWare does it right, this could be one of the biggest and most epic games to ever be released.

Check out the first teaser trailer for Mass Effect 3.

Video courtesy of


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