EA press conference

BioWare Reveals Mass Effect 3 Gameplay And Release Date

by Joe Juba on Jun 06, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Mass Effect 3's presence at the Microsoft press conference was interesting, but EA saved the most tantalizing piece of gameplay for its own briefing, along with a March 6 2012 release date.

BioWare's Casey Hudson took the stage to introduce the sequence, promising that Mass Effect 3 will be the best game in the series. He emphasized that it will be a satisfying payoff for longtime fans, but also a good place for newcomers to jump in since the story is reaching its exciting climax.

The demo begins with Shepard gearing up for an assault on a Reaper base, except...surprise! It isn't a Reaper base at all; it's an actual Reaper. As Shepard, Liara, and Garrus run from the rising mechanical threat, Cerberus agents show up on the scene and start shooting. Why Cerberus (and presumably the Illusive Man) want to kill Shepard in the face of extinction is a mystery, but Shepard seems to roll with the punches. The party blasts through the opposition with gunfire and a flashy new melee kill that see Shepard using a sort of hologram blade attached to his omni-tool. Those curious about returning characters will also be happy to hear that Shepard is also in radio contact with Legion and EDI as this is all going down.

By this point, the Reaper has fully unfurled, and begins chasing Shepard. That's when he hops into a turret and players control the action in an on-rails shooting segment. This just appears to be a brief little break from the normal battle mechanics to illustrate the massive scale of the advancing Reaper; it seems unlikely EA and BioWare are going to fill the game with on-rails sequences.

After the Reaper sustains significant damage from an orbital strike, the demo ends. If you want to see how the encounter wraps up, you'll have to wait until March 6 when Mass Effect 3 hits shelves.

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