Mass Effect 3 EA Event @ Syd (22/2/12)

All pictures courtesy of EA Australia

One of the most anticipated releases of early 2012 is definitely Mass Effect 3, the final chapter in Bioware’s epic sci-fi masterpiece. And if what was shown at the recent Sydney preview event was any indication, the anticipation is well deserved. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with media types, and ticket winners, I was fortunate enough on Wednesday night to be able to take part in a party celebrating Mass Effect 3’s impending release, and even got a chance to play through the demo that Bioware had brought with them, featuring two sections from early in the game.

After a few drinks, and having my driver’s lisence-esque photo super-imposed onto Shepherd’s body, I sat down in front of an Xbox360 and fired up the demo that I had been all-but-salivating over with anticipation.

Of course, my first few moments were filled with some confusion, being a PS3 gamer, however once I had gotten used to the Xbox’s controller, which felt a bit like a lunchbox, I settled in, put my headphones on, and watched as the Reaper threat became all too real on Earth.

Without giving too much away, I steered Shepherd though a desperate escape from the Reapers as they first arrived on Earth, before heading off to Mars on a somewhat ambiguous mission to search for something which would hopefully be able to help fend them off. The first moments of the game are filled with all sorts of emotions for the characters. Frustration, anger, desperation, sadness. All of these and more as they watch their home be invaded by the Reaper menace. And as with the previous Mass Effect titles, the combination of great musical scores, and skilled voice acting draws you into the situation with the characters, letting you share in their sense of dread as the Reapers descend on the unprepared planet.

While I’m not too familiar with the Xbox’s controllers and such, the controls seemed to feel smoother and bit more refined then they had in Mass Effect 2 (though I played ME2 on PS3). Movement seemed more fluid, and cover and shooting seemed a little bit more natural than it previously had. Many of the other features of combat remain largely the same, you are still able to order your squad to use one ability or another at your direction. This lets you combine the abilities of one or more characters for optimal effect, allowing you to things such as pull enemies out of cover with singularity, allowing them to be shoot with greater ease.

So far, Mass Effect 3 feels similar enough to its previous releases to allow players to be comfortable with it, but has enough changes to keep things fresh enough to draw them in. Things such as multiplayer, and a whole host of other cool interactive features to help draw people into the fight to take back Earth. Not to mention the fact that it serves as the final chapter to perhaps one of the most engaging scifi game series to be released in recent years. I for one am looking forward to Mass Effect 3’s imminent release, and will be anxiously waiting outside my local game store on release day, ready and waiting.

About the Author

I'm a student who, like many, spends more time studying games than my coursework. Games are a bit like food. You need to try as many different types as you can, otherwise you might miss out on something that you didn't even know that you liked.