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Mass Effect 3 Hands On Preview

A prime example of how good games get better.

With Mass Effect 3 on the horizon, the overall hype meter is slowly building and for good reason; the game is filled with improvments, additions and an overall polish that clearly shows the right way to go about making a sequel. 

The demo I played started me off on the Salarian homeworld where Mordin Solus, a team member from the Mass Effect 2, helps you through the protection and rescue of the only firtle female krogan (a race almost driven to extinction by a alien plague known as the genophage). While trying to rescue her, Ceberus agents are constantly attacking and force Shepard and his crew (which included Liara and Garrus in the demo) into battle. Why Ceberus is now an opposing force now is still generally a mystery yet the combat scenerio's brought about by them show off something very important; The gameplay is much more fine tuned and responsive. 

One of Mass Effect 2's main flaws was the mediocre cover system and somewhat unresponsive controls. All of those problems have been adressed for the most part and the game plays and feels a lot smoother because of it. Along with that, Shepard gained a new combat roll which makes it play a lot more similar to its inspiration, Gears of War, but it works very well in the Mass Effect universe. There were times where I accidentally snapped into cover, and couldn't take cover in spots where I thought I could, but overall it worked better than in Mass Effect 2. The demo is still the same demo seen at E3 and SD Comic Con, so further polish will probably be implimented. Gunplay is still solid, and the powers are still fun to use. Thankfully, the powers now feel even better and pack more of a punch.

The powers can all be upgraded as they could be in the past games, but now are complimented by an improved skill tree system. Now powers can be developed much further than they can in Mass Effect 2 to the point where even players who have the same class can have much different experiences depending on how they upgrade their abilities. For example, one biotic can upgrade his/her singularity to be long lasting and extremely powerful, while another might opt for a huge radius and quicker recharge time. The possibilities are exciting to explore and will definitely add to the replay value.

Not only are the powers expanded upon, but the weapons have an upgrade system now. Weapons can now be equiped with different attachments which increase the stats of the weapon while also altering the physical appearance. Players can add things that increase stability, overall power and magazine size. The physical changes can come in the form of things like scopes and silencers and it really adds an interesting touch to each weapon.

Overall, by the end of the demo, I had confirmed that Mass Effect 3 is well on its way to becoming one of 2012's biggest titles. Bioware is promising a deep and satisfying story, as well as a new co-op multiplayer feature that is bound to turn heads. Being able to finally play as races like Turian's and Asari will definitely satisfy a lot of gamers wants from the series. Of course, Bioware also confirmed that this multiplayer is completely optional, so dont fret if you would rather keep the game as a solo experience. Mass Effect 3 is slated for a March 6th 2012 release, so prepare for the fight!



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