February 14th is a day that has never held any significance before in my life until this year. Why you ask? Because today was Bioware’s release of the Mass Effect 3 demo! For those of you unfamiliar with the series it’s an action role-playing game set in the not-too-distant future that has spawned comics, novels, and a highly devoted following. In addition to the stellar graphics and great game play perhaps the most involving and addictive part of the game is the story telling. Mass Effect 3 is the culmination of both previous games and other content related to them as the ancient race of sentient machines knows as the Reapers invade Earth.
First, I’ve got to say that the graphics look amazing! The detail has been sharped with the gritter elements further enhance the utter sense of despair as the Reaper invasion begins on Earth.
Second, is both a compliment and a warning: The combat difficulty has been ramped up considerably. Enemies do not aimlessly walk into your line of fire. They shoot, strafe, and dodge with the best of them making them difficult targets to engage. If you’re new to Mass Effect game play I’d suggest you pick up ME2 & do a play through just to have an idea of what you’re stepping into. ME3 will challenge hardened vets of the series such as myself, a challenge I relish. Anything worth having is worth working for and I can only imagine the hours one will have to put in to ME3 to get a desirable ending.
Third, even from the demo you get an overwhelming sense that the decisions you’ve made in the previous two games will be coming back to bite or immensely strengthen your play through (go back & save Captain Kirrahe, trust me). The first part of the game places you during the beginning of the Reapers’ invasion of Earth. As with ME2 you begin the game with only a pistol (though you eventually pick up a rifle) and have to fight both Husks and Cannibals. The 2nd part of the demo takes place later on the game and you will be given 12 points to use for your combat talents. The skill tree seems to be a hybrid of ME & ME2 and I can wait to see several fully evolved powers at work. One thing I absolutely loved was the addition of the charged melee hit! I’m going to enjoy slicing and smashing any poor souls that dare encroach! Overall I give the demo a 10/10! Just enough was included to further wet your appetite for the full game. It’s a good thing the actual release is less than a month away because I don’t think fans could wait much longer without a fix! This is definite buy!