In this edition, Eric talks about getting his hands on Mass Effect 3 at New York Comic Con and first impressions of the end of one of his favorite gaming series ever.
So for those not in the know, Mass Effect is one of the most immersive and expiremental RPG's I've probably ever played. It's truly the first game ever to fully succeed with building on each choice you make in one game carrying into another. You are Commander Shepard, hero of the galaxy and a man on a very important mission; stop the Reapers at any cost.
During the first two games you get the Normandy, represent the human race to the rest of the galaxy and manage to foil both of the Reapers early plans to get to our galaxy. Along the way you make choices that really end up shaping the game's universe for the future, whether it's calming Wrex down (any gamer that killed Wrex is not a gamer I would like to know), stopping the Shadow Broker, working with Cerberus or even finding a love connection along the way. Each game feels like the original Star Wars trilogy to me, and unlike other games out there is probably only 20% cinematics and the rest is you.
Now that I've attempted to fill everyone in and you can tell just how excited I get about this universe, let's talk about the demo at NYCC.
To start off, I would like to comment on how smoothly the demo ran. There were moments during Mass Effect 2 where the framerate would get a little choppy (especially in the middle of the game), but from the demo of Mass Effect 3 so far it seems that was fixed right off the bat. You're still the same character you've been playing throughout and you still have only two people in your party at a time.
The demo was a very short preview of a mission that I think a lot of long-time fans will be excited for. It's heavily connected to both Wrex and Mordin's stories. (Both characters appeared in the build I played at the show.) It was odd, as I had a smile on my face when Wrex yelled at Shepard from the ship he was driving to hurry up, and it really did feel like a visit from an old friend. (I was told that things would obviously be different for those who killed Wrex, which I once again can't process at all.)
Biotics are still around and kicking as Liara was attacking enemies while I tried to do the tasks set out for me. Though when an enemy got too close, I got to try out another one of the heavy improvements: the melee attack! It feels like a mix between the shotgun bunt in Halo and Gears of War. It's a very visceral experience and something I kept wanting to do throughout the demo. (I will admit that it almost got me killed too, mostly because I was being an idiot.)
Like the framerate, it felt like there were more enemies on screen at a time as you tried to protect Mordin while he worked away. It was an interesting dynamic since the way you control your team has been tweaked as well.
Did I mention that Cerberus has been indoctrinated by the Reapers? So I guess it's good you left them when you did if you did at the end of Mass Effect 2. The enemies I fought were a bit tougher than normal and it really was a tense close quarters battle, especially when the boss of the stage shows up.
Other things to mention were that I talked to the guy running the booth and you don't have to play the multiplayer if you don't want to. If you do, though, it gives you added experience to bring into the main game to help achieve your goals faster. Also, guns are customizable, which is a pretty cool new feature but which I sadly didn't get to play with.
So far, the only characters I've seen were the ones in my party: Garrus and Liara (though once again I'm sure that changes depending on your choices via the DLC from last game), and Wrex/Mordin. I hope Miranda is back, as she's a huge part of my Mass Effect 2 game.
I'm really loving the tweaks and improvements they've made to the system, I can't wait to get my hands on the real game when it comes out in 2012! Plus I now have my very own Omniblade!
Next time, we get back into the reviews as we talk War of the Independents/Key of Z and Epic!
Written or Contributed by: Eric Ratcliffe