The first details are courtesy of Game Informer magazine. If you want to head into the final instalment of BioWare’s epic space opera RPG with no expectations, then stop reading now. Naturally there will be Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 spoilers in this post, so beware!
Mass Effect 3 will start off on Earth. Shepard will be standing trial due to the events that occur in the latest DLC chapter “Arrival” (damn it, now I have to play that). During the trial the Reapers invade Earth and Shepard must escape to the Normandy. Once again you are tasked with recruiting squad mates so you can take on the threat of the Reapers.
So, which squad mates from previous Mass Effect titles will be making a return?
So far, confirmed and recruitable squad mates include Garrus (providing you didn’t kill him in Mass Effect 2), Ashley or Kaiden (depending on your Shepard’s gender), Liara and a new bloke called James Sanders. Returning characters (who may or may not be recruitable) include Wrex (not in my game! He went rabid; had to put him down; damn shame), Anderson, Legion and Mordin.
This time around Cerberus will be trying to kill Shepard, although why is unclear seeing as how the ending to Mass Effect 2 gave you an option to either play nicely with the Elusive Man, or piss him off. And speaking of endings: Mass Effect 3 will feature multiple of them, each dependant on the squad mates you recruit and the decisions you make. Naturally your decisions from Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 will carry across, but for those of you who don’t have save files to import, there will be an interactive comic in which you can make the critical choices from the first two games (similar to what was offered on the PlayStation 3 version of Mass Effect 2).
BioWare will be increasing the RPG elements for the final outing with Commander Shepard. Those of you who lamented the dumbed-down RPG elements in Mass Effect 2 will be pleased to know that Mass Effect 3 will be slightly heavier in this regard. Players will be able to upgrade skills several times and there will be far more options available for people to truly customise their character. What’s more, all weapons will be available to all character classes, although only the Soldier class will be able to carry one of each weapon type at all times.
Expect Mass Effect 3 to be out before the end of the year.