Top 100 of 2012: 10 – Mass Effect 3

Massive.

Did I ever mention how much I like Mass Effect? The first game created a universe that was so diverse and filled it with characters that were all expertly fleshed out and amazingly well realised. Mass Effect 2 bettered the previous instalment in every way, drawing out the player’s emotional engagement with key characters and further filling in details of the created universe. I liked Mass Effect 2 so much that I own it on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

So, Mass Effect 3 takes a well-deserved place high up on our most anticipated list. But what is it that we’re looking forward to so keenly?

Well, it’s due at the beginning of March with the customary couple of days disparity in US and EU/UK releases. The exemplary musical scoring will doubtless return as, despite Jack Wall’s departure from musical duties, Clint Mansell is on board. Mansell is the composer of   scores for all of Darren Aronofsky’s films, including the much loved Lux Æterna from Requiem for a Dream and, most recently, the Black Swan soundtrack.

The same classic action RPG gameplay will, of course, feature. We hope and expect that more games will be made within the Mass Effect universe but it has been said that this third instalment will mark the end of Commander Shepherd’s story.

For the first time in a Mass Effect game, four player cooperative play will feature. Players will be able to import their saves from Mass Effect 2 to continue their own story but of course you’ll be able to jump right in too, if you haven’t played the first two games. We would expect another “previously on Mass Effect…” video on the main menu to fill in for those of you who are late to the trilogy.

Kinect functionality has been mooted for the Xbox 360 version, with players able to speak their dialogue choices rather than selecting from the dialogue wheels as usual. We see no reason why this couldn’t be done with a PC or PS3 headset, as it was in Tom Clancy’s EndWar, but Kinect’s improved voice recognition might make it easier to implement.

Leaks from the prematurely launched beta, made available briefly thanks to a mistake at Microsoft, have revealed that Mass Effect 3 will have three distinct gameplay modes – Action mode where conversations are automatically finished, Story mode where you choose your own conversational responses but the combat difficulty is reduced and RPG mode which will most closely reflect the typical Mass Effect gameplay.

We’ve been promised RPG mechanics that slightly improve on the very pared down systems in Mass Effect 2. There will be more variety and intricacy in levelling up, with branching routes, and more customisation of weapons and armour. It’s unlikely that we’ll get planet scanning and mining back but Mako missions have been touted, as well as some unannounced integrated mini games.

BioWare are masters of this genre and Mass Effect has been a wonderful series so far so it was hardly surprising to see it feature so far up our list of most anticipated titles for 2012. March can’t come soon enough.

30 Comments

  1. Played the ME2 demo, obviously wan’t nearly enough time to get the story across in any meaningful way, so that didn’t draw me in, and the combat was a bit clunky and boring for me, so I’m planning on missing this one. I’m still very interested though, might see if I can get ME2 very cheap and see if the story is as good as claimed..

    • I know exactly how you feel, I bought ME1 in 2009, but after 2hrs of playing it I decided its not for me and gave up. 2 years later I decided to give it another go, and I am glad I did, because now its on my top 5 list. What I realized is that the game is not about the combat at all, its about the narrative. You have to take your time, talk to people, get to know them, listen to encyclopedia to learn more about the world of Mass Effect. And as you progress through the game you learn new bits of the story and that’s where the game really shines. Basically think of it as an interactive movie, rather than a game. It is very well written. I suggest you replay ME1, but just the main quest, because the side quests do suck. I guarantee that after finishing it, you will WANT to play ME2. Now I can’t wait for ME3.

  2. Still playing Mass Effect but my top priority is to get to the final prestige in MW3.

  3. I love RPGs so naturally, i shall be getting Mass Effect 3. I wonder if they will be doing a genesis thing for those who didn’t get ME2/don’t have a ME2 save to import? I am a bit annoyed at the tacked on MP which affects the SP but i’m going to ignore it.

    who buys an RPG just to shoot stuff? Who does that?! I hope that all of the modes are avaible from the begining as i plan on playing ME3 in RPG mode.

    But i’m a bit concerned that they are rushing it and only have had a yearish to develop it. :S

  4. I always thought they would pack it in after the Mass Effect “trilogy” was completed, but I’d certainly welcome more additions to the storyline even if they don’t feature Shepherd. As you said above, March can’t come soon enough.

  5. Can’t wait for this one.

  6. Mass Effect only 10th? I was expecting a top 3… I personally cannot wait for this!! Although with Skyrim and Uncharted 3 still to play through and this only a couple of months away, I think I can wave my degree good-bye…

  7. For me this is THE video game of 2012. Nothing else comes close.

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