Mass Effect 3
is an upcoming Action RPG developed by Bioware and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows , Xbox360 and Playstation 3. Officially announced on December 11, 2010,the game is scheduled for a March 6, 2012 release and will mark the final chapter in the Mass Effect ttiology video games
, completing the story of Commander Shepard.
Gameplay in Mass Effect 3
will be influenced by decisions from Mass Effect
and Mass Effect 2
and have settings throughout the galaxy, including Earth and Mars. Combat has been changed and refined; in particular, the cover system has been improved, there will be more options for moving around the battlefield, instant melee kills and more conventional grenades will be introduced as well as improved artificial intelegence. A four player co-op mode will also be available.
Mass Effect 3
will follow from the events of the Mass Effect 2
DLC expansion Arrival
and follows Commander Shepard's mission to save the galaxy from the Reapers by rallying civilizations of the galaxy together, while also having to deal with Cerberus, who have decided to turn against him/her.
Decisions from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 will be imported into Mass Effect 3 to keep continuity within the series.Over 1,000 variables will be pulled to shape how players experience the final chapter. Unlike in Mass Effect 2, Commander Shepard will start the game with some powers. The character creator will have more features and hair-styles included than in Mass Effect 2 and players will be able to change appearance and class when importing their character. There will be no origin-story comic for new players to help them make quick decisions without having to play the previous two games. Upon finishing the game, there will be a New Game+ option that allows players to continue playing after the main story ends or start again with their finished Shepard and collect items they missed the first time around. If players achieved a love interest in both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, then both previous love interests will be vying for Shepard's attention in Mass Effect 3.This "love triangle" will be resolved by the end of the game.
Locations in Mass Effect 3
will include the salarian homeworld Sur'Kesh, the asari homeworld Thessia, the turian homeworld Palaven, the quarian homeworld Rannoch, a human mining base in a Martain crater, and a giant city on Earth representing the combination of Seatle and Vancour. Players will also return to Tuchanka — the krogan homeworld — and Illium, as well as the Citadel.
Mass Effect 3
will have more RPG elements than Mass Effect 2
. For the first time in the series, players will have skills that start along a single path and then splinter into two branches where they can select only one upgrade or the other along a sequence of possibilities.Players will also be able to customize their weapons with different scopes, mods, barrels and ammo types. There will be 25 weapon mods total — five per weapon type — and each of them will have multiple power levels to collect. The game will include mini-games (although planet scanning is unlikely to return) and Hammerhead and Mako missions.
As of August 23, 2011, BioWare has confirmed the return of previous characters Liara T'Soni, Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams, Miranda Lawson, the Illusive Man, Garrus Vakarian, Legion, Samara, Morinth, Tali'Zorah, Urdnot Wrex, Jack, Mordin Solus, David Anderson, Zaeed Massani, Kasumi Goto, Kelly Chambers, Thane Krios, Jacob Taylor and Ambassador Donnell Udina from Mass Effect
and Mass Effect 2
. Some characters will not return if they were killed at any point during the previous games. The number of characters available as permanent squad mates will be smaller than in Mass Effect 2
for the purposes of deeper relationships and more interesting interplay, including same-sex relationships for both male and female Shepards. BioWare has also confirmed a new character called James Vega.
Combat in Mass Effect 3
has been radically changed and refined from Mass Effect 2
, and further emphasis has been put on third person shooter aspects to make the game more commercially viable. In a preview for IGN, editor Arthur Gies went so far as to say the game "plays like a shooter" and that "combat-wise, Mass Effect 3
is in an entirely different space" from the first two games.
The series' cover system has been improved so players no longer need to slide into cover and then hop over objects. Players will have more options for moving around the battlefield, including a refined sprint capability, combat rolling, and the use of climbable ladders. Players can also blindfire their weapons from covered positions, and have opportunities to shoot selected armor pieces and limbs off enemies. Moving and shooting, a previously "suicidal maneuver" in Mass Effect 2
, will finally be a viable option because of a revised melee system. Players will be able to execute formidable punches and attacks, and instant melee kills will be introduced specific to each class; for example, by holding down the melee button, a soldier Shepard will deliver a killing blow with a tech-blade in his/her wrist armor. Actual, round, conventional grenades will also be available.
Mass Effect 3
plans to be the most difficult in the series, with increased artificial intelligence to challenge players and increase the sense of reward. Enemies no longer act as individuals as they did in the previous games, instead fighting and supporting each other in units.Enemies include 15-foot tall Cerberus mechs, assault troopers, and ninja-style shock troops, as well as Reaperized husks of all races and Reaper ships ranging from 500m to 2km long. Some changes will be made to already-existing class types; for example, Engineers will be able to build turrets.
Mass Effect 3
will offer a multiplayer co-op mode called "Galaxy at War". In the mode, players will be able to play alongside up to three other players in unique missions that can impact the outcome of the single player campaign. Each mission was designed specifically for multiplayer, and will involve taking over enemy strongholds. By completing these missions, players will give themselves a better chance of attaining a perfect ending in the single player campaign; although, they are not necessary to do so.
No characters from the single player campaign will be featured in the multiplayer mode. Players will create brand new characters for themselves and be able to play as members of non-human species, including asari, drell, krogans, salarians, and turians. Every race will have unique powers, such as a "Krogan Charge" for krogans and different movement options out of cover between drell and humans. The maximum level that created characters will be able to reach is 20, and just like in the single player mode, leveling up will include skill branches.
Gameplay in the multiplayer mode will only allow for players to carry two guns at a time in their inventory, and there will be no ring menu to change weapons; instead, weapons will be changed by holding down a button.
To design Mass Effect 3
, BioWare used fan feedback, similar to what they did for Mass Effect 2
. The game's development team paid close attention to past mistakes in the series as well as the critical failings of other BioWare titles such as Dragon Age 2
. Production onMass Effect 3
began prior to the release of Mass Effect 2
. Speaking with IGN at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 8, 2010, Casey Hudson admitted "We are already at work on Mass Effect 3
," adding, "Building the first bits of the story, putting that together." In another interview later that month with Computer and Videogames, Hudson revealed that the game could be out as soon as the end of 2011 or early 2012.
On December 10, 2010, Electronic Arts posted the official synopsis for Mass Effect 3
on their website, although the listing was later removed pending an official announcement at the 2010 Spkie Video Game awards. The following day, the game was confirmed for a "Holiday 2011" release and accompanied by a teaser trailer. On March 21, 2011, actress Tricia Helfer announced via twitter that she would be reprising her role from Mass Effect 2
as EDI, and had already started voice-recording sessions. Actor Seth Green was soon to follow, announcing that he would be reprising his role from Mass Effect 2
The first detailed information regarding development of Mass Effect 3
started being released in April, 2011. On April 20, Belgian website 4gamers.be reported that BioWare were collaborating with Battlefeild
developer DICE in weapon development for the game. The same day,Game Informer released the first-ever screenshots of Mass Effect 3
to help promote their May 10 cover story. On May 3, 2011, IGN announced that Mass Effect 3
would be presented and demoed by Electronic Arts at the 2011 E3 The next day, BioWare announced that the game's release date had been pushed back to early 2012, in part so it could be tweaked to appeal to as wide a market as possible. On June 1, EA Games' online store uploaded artwork by mistake which revealed the game will have Kinect support. The artwork was later removed.
At the 2011 E3 Convention, BioWare finally confirmed Kinect support in a gameplay video.The game's collectors edition cover art, a new teaser trailer and official release date of March 6, 2012 were also revealed. For the first time, fans were shown actual gameplay videos, including a 15 minute demo supervised by Casey Hudson. At Comic-Con 2011, fans were given an opportunity to play a demo version of the game. Hudson and lead writer Mac Walters were both in attendance, with Hudson sitting on the Legendy Pictures panel to talk about the upcoming Mass Effect
film and Walters sitting on the Dark Horse Comics panel. At Gamescon 2011, a new trailer was released demonstrating 50 seconds of combat gameplay. The game was also demoed at PAX Prime 2011.
On July 17, 2011, to celebrate reaching 10,000 followers on Twitter, the first-ever screenshot of new character James Vega was posted.On September 13, Casey Hudson posted to Twitter that the game was seeing signs of its final stage of production. A few days later, lead writer Mac Walters revealed that writing for the game was almost finished. Music started going into the game around the same time.On September 27, EA employee Andy Katkin revealed at a Las Vegas press conference that big news was coming that fans "have been eagerly awaiting".
On October 3, a leaked South African advertisement hinted at multiplayer capabilities for Mass Effect 3
. On October 10, multiple BioWare employees took to Twitter to announce that the game would have a multiplayer component. The announcement confirmed longstanding multiplayer rumors, stemming from a BioWare job listing in 2010 for someone to take Mass Effect'
s "existing single player user experiences and make them multiplayer safe". On October 12, an official trailer for the multiplayer mode was released through BioWare Pulse.Soon after, it was reported that a demo for both multiplayer and single player modes would be released in January 2012
Commander Shepard and the team will visit a wide variety of new locations in Mass Effect 3, including:
- Rannoch the quarian homeworld, now occupied by the geth.
- Sur'Kesh, the saralian homeworld.
- Palaven, the turian homeworld.
- Thessia, the asari homeworld
In addition, the player will return to the following locations featured in past games:
Mass Effect 3 makes several changes to the way weapons worked in Mass Effect 2, these include:
- The ability for all classes to wield any type of weapon. However, classes will be limited by the number of weapons they can carry at any one time, with the Soilder being the only class that can wield every weapon class at once.
- The return of weapon modifications. Players will be able to modify their weapons with different parts, such as barrels, scopes and materials, that will affect the weapon's combat performance and appearance.
- Shepard can pick up and wield weapons dropped by enemies.
- All weapons that the player acquired in Mass Effect 2 will be available, including downloadable firearms, such as the M 96 Mattock
- Grenades will return as a usable weapon. The new grenades have a different appearance and mechanics than those in Mass Effect. Mass Effect 3's grenades are "round, [and] conventional", they are thrown at enemies and detonate after a short time
SAVE FILE TRANSFER
As with Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 will allow the player to import their save file from the previous game, carrying over their decisions from both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, totaling over 1000 variables. As Mass Effect 3 will import decisions not just from Mass Effect 2, but the original Mass Effect as well, some of the player's decisions from Mass Effect that did not have impact in Mass Effect 2 could potentially have an impact in Mass Effect 3.
If Commander Shephard died in the player's Mass Effect 2 playthrough, the player will be unable to import their save game. Mass Effect 3's story is a continuation of Shepard's story and if Shepard died in Mass Effect 2 that death is considered final. Similarly, any squadmates who did not survive the suicide Mission at the end of Mass Effect 2 will not return in Mass Effect 3.
A player importing a save from Mass Effect 2 will be able to change both their appearance and their class at the beginning of Mass Effect 3.
Mass Effect 3 for the Xbox 360 will include optional Kinect functionality. The Kinect will allow the player to choose dialogue options by reading the paraphrase aloud and give tactical orders to the squad, such as changing positions or using powers, with voice commands. The Kinect features will not serve as an alternative control system, but will "augment" in-game conversations