PREVIEW: Mass Effect 3 will be “enthralling”

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Mass Effect 3, although delayed to March 2012, will arrive two years after the release of its predecessor. And of course, expectations are high for the final instalment of the series. The delay can be seen as a godsend to improve faults, or a way to piss off fans. And while you’ll have to wait longer, here’s a little preview what you can expect, and what we hope to be in the game.

Mass Effect 3 (ME3) looks much like ME2, graphically at least, from what we have seen so far. However, this is not a bad thing for the franchise as it has always boasted spectacular graphics and spectacular level designs. From what has been released so far, it looks like Bioware have drawn more heavily on flawed aspects from the original title than from ME2. Grenades and in-mission weapon customisation have both been introduced into this instalment, however with some much needed tweaks. Grenades, which had been replaced by heavy weapons in ME2, will be reinstated, except this time they will act like conventional grenades rather than simply explosive discs.

Improved melee combat especially is likely to change how players react in combat…

We are hopeful that that tenacious and really annoying inventory system from Mass Effect will not be brought back. It will be interesting to see how Bioware incorporates weapon customisation into ME3 after its removal from ME2. It has been said that work benches can be found throughout levels that will allow you to collect theses weapon mods but fingers crossed that it is in a similar manner to what happens to all items collected in ME2, that is once it is picked up it is stored in all weapon supply locations and on the Normandy.

Other changes to combat include an improved cover system and better melee attacks. The improved melee combat especially is likely to change how players react in combat, no longer being forced to try in vain to stave off death with wild swings of their rifle. Also the introduction of instant kill melee attacks that are unique to each character type will also help keep the game fresh on multiple play throughs.

The AI have also been revamped, with enemies now functioning more as groups than as individuals, meaning that they are more likely to use supportive buffs as well as legitimate combat tactics, and not just running at the player firing (no matter how effective that has been for the game in the past). Thus players will be forced to use far more thought when approaching these situations.

Just as decisions made in Mass Effect affected Mass Effect 2, decisions made in both games will carry over into ME3. Over 1000 variables from the previous games will be ported over from the first two games in the franchise, so if you are thinking about getting Mass Effect 3 you should also play the other two games in the franchise (unless you’re on the PS3 then you are f**ked). Decisions will also affect characters available in the game, so if you want the full range of characters you will also have to get the DLCs for ME2 (and unfortunately there is no Game of the Year Edition for the PC or Xbox 360).

We can’t wait to get back in to this deep and enthralling universe, to see new and old worlds alike. Bioware have are yet to let us down on this series let’s hope they don’t start now that the end is nigh.

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