I may not have gotten much sleep after my first full day of Comic-Con 2011, but that didn't stop me from making my way over to BioWare's snazzy little setup across the street from the main halls of the convention center to get the latest scoop on Mass Effect 3.
It may be hard to tell from my less than energetic performance on camera, but I can't wait for Mass Effect 3. I'll blame it on the fact that I was transfixed on every word that came out of Casey's mouth. Listening to man speak about what BioWare has up their sleeves had my inner nerd screaming. And after getting some hands-on with the game after the interview, I can tell they've really paid attention to the feedback from Mass Effect 2 to ensure that they close the series with a bang.
The combat, which was the focus of the demo, feels even tighter than the previous game's vastly improved shooting. Aiming seems more accurate and the guns usable really pack a variance in weight and kickback. Shepperd is also more nimble now, as he can roll in and out of coverage or to just escape a hailstorm of oncoming bullets. When in cover, the option to easily transition into new coverage is as easy as a tap on the stick and a click of a button. This really makes getting to tactical advantage points as pain free as possible--which is important when fighting shielded Cerberus soldiers.
Mass Effect 3 is also bringing back the RPG elements that were stripped from the series' second installment. The demo allowed limited weapon respeccing at a workbench in the mission, but the game is early and this feature is already light years ahead of ME2's practically nonexistent mods. Augments such as silencers and scopes allow for improvements in weapon stability and rate of fire.
Class perks have also seen a kick in the customization department as they incorporate a sort of skill tree-like structure. Take, for example, the warp ability from the previous games. A powerful biotic spell that shreds armor defenses off enemies. As squad points are now dealt out the ability can be branched into six different categories to make the skill truly unique for every user. If you didn't miss the RPG elements form the original, players can auto-select a recommended best fit for each ability to move through the game faster, but where's the fun in that?
I may not have played Mass Effect 2 28 times, but after completing all the DLC (except Arrival) and reading every Mass Effect novel I've invested countless hours into the universe and can't wait to see how BioWare wraps things up. The demo was short and sweet, though it offered nothing new since E3, but if what they have shown so far is any indication of what's to come, Mass Effect 3 will easily be the best in the series when it lands on March 6, 2012.
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