We are well into day 2 here at E3 and the Mass Effect 3 demonstration booth has a line that completely wraps around the closed-door presentation area. Like every single person in line, we couldn’t wait to see Commander Shepard up close and personal on the big display, fighting off Reapers, and demonstrating the game’s advanced battle mechanics.
The live demo started off with Shepard and his crew launching an attack against a Geth and Reaper base. Just as shown during Monday’s press conference, Shepard begins his attack as the Normandy flies overhead. As combat intensifies, Shepard learns that the base isn’t a base at all: it’s a live Reaper.
The Reaper targets Shepard immediately, forcing him to retreat to a mobile turret. A missile launched from the Normandy blasts into the side of the Reaper but does little damage, showing the pure defensive strength of the Reaper’s exterior. Shepard’s team quickly beings to fall back and the Reaper tracks them closely. Round after round is fired from Shepard’s turret, but the enemy continues to close in. The demo ends with the Reaper towering over Shepard before the screen cuts to black.
Before we’re able to even begin to digest the first demo, we are shown another sampling of the game. This time, the focus is on the various forms of combat found during a mission. Shepard is shown with Garrus, Liara, and Mordin on the Salarian home world, Sur’Kesh. Shepard is shown in a wide variety of combat situations during a single battle. He is running and gunning, moving quickly behind cover to flank enemies, ordering his team into position, getting close for rapid Omni-Blade combat, and taking steady shots at distant foes.
The increased variety of combat has raised the difficulty, challenging players to adjust to the unknown. It’s thrilling to watch and we can’t wait to try it out for ourselves. As gameplay continues, we’re told about the improved customized gameplay. Weapon modes and adjustments have an even stronger role in determining your abilities and stats. There will also be new worlds and tech to explore.
The presentation ends with a third and final demo. It’s an early scene from the game; Shepard is on Earth, ready to stand trial when the Reapers descend from the sky. It’s a horrifyingly beautiful image. The Reapers cover the blue sky and the broken remains of decimated Alliance ships plummet to the ground.
Shepard is shown racing through narrow hallways, and encounters a young boy hiding in fear. Shepard stops to briefly talk to the boy and we are told about the expansive conversation system in the game. It’s the most advanced conversation system BioWare has ever created and the team has worked hard to ensure every choice has an impact.
The final live demo comes to an end and we are shuffled out of the presentation booth feeling more excited than when we went in. March 6, 2012 could not come soon enough. For more information head to www.EA.com/Mass-Effect-3.