So. This is Mass Effect 3. The long-awaited sequel to Mass Effect 2, unsurprisingly. Hopes are high with this one. Bioware have something of a great track record, except for maybe Dragon Age 2, and people are quite rightly looking forward to the conclusion (?) of Commander Sheppard’s battle against the Reapers.
I managed to get some early access to the Mass Effect 3 demo that’s heading your way tomorrow. So, to find out what I thought about said demo, click on.
To begin with, the demo gives you a few choices. The Mass Effect series has been known for throwing choices at the player since the series started, and we’re not talking about little inconsequential things here. People live and die depending on your choices. Well, councils can also die, as well as entire species. So it’s a good thing that the games asks you these questions to ensure you don’t have any “didn’t that guy die?” moments through the demo. There’s also the decision to make as to whether you want a male or female Sheppard and what type of character (soldier, technician, etc) you want to play as.
Once your decisions are out of the way you’re thrown into what seemed to be a very long cut-scene. The cut scene is set up nicely enough with a short message something along the lines of;
‘Shit’s going down. These reaper things are going to kill us all. Let’s see what happens…’
You get summoned in front of some people, but as the warning stated, shit’s about to go down. And it does.
Boom, crash and indeed, pow. Things start blowing up and it’s time to move your arse out of there. Getting acquainted with the controls is easy enough and the shooting and aiming feel fine. I still have a problem with the cover mechanic. Sometimes your character will happily fall out of cover and stand there like a giant shooting range target, other times they won’t JUMP OVER THE FUCKING OBSTACLE! DO IT! NOW! JUMP! GGGRRRAAAGGHGGGHGHH!
Minor movement issues aside, the combat’s pretty good. You issue commands to your team using a nice and simple command wheel. Using the right stick to select the target and the left to cycle through to your actual command.
Of course, the gameplay is merely window dressing for me. The main appeal of any ME game is its story. With this game being the 3rd in the series, there are a lot of returning (or not, depending on your choices) characters, so it can be hard to keep up. Am I meant to know you? Are you important?
The demo itself doesn’t give too much story away except for the following;
- Earth is getting F’d in the A. No one is safe, not even little kids.
- Cerberus are back and this time causing trouble. Or so it seems.
- Normandy is in the house. Flying from planet to planet is on the menu. Hooray.
Whilst I’m not expecting anything new or revolutionary, I am expecting the next Mass Effect game. With this demo, it looks like that’s what I’m getting. Bioware haven’t messed it up. That’s reason enough for me to be excited.