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Mass Effect 3 E3 demo | grenades, stealth and rolling

Submitted by on Monday, 20 June 2011One Comment

Mass Effect 2 was predominantly a corridor shooter, even with its huge and richly detailed space world. It wasn’t a bad set up, though; BioWare found a successful balance between exploration and action, and the gaming world responded by giving the team a slew of awards.

However, we’d only describe Mass Effect 2’s shooting as decent. It’s good, but it doesn’t match the quality found in top action games like Uncharted. The challenge, then, for BioWare is to create Uncharted 2 standard action sections for Mass Effect 3 — to get the shooting side of the game up to the same quality as the exploration.

Early signs are looking positive, as the E3 demo we have below shows. (Stick with it, it’s a slow starter.)

The video, created by BioWare TV, has executive producer Casey Hudson discuss the various improvements BioWare has made to the fighting system. In the interview, Hudson mentions that there are now more ways than ever to approach combat in a Mass Effect game. Run and gun is still a viable approach, as is holding back and managing your squad; but now we also have brutal stealth kills for the first time. Brawling is also now a viable option, rather than a death wish — thanks to the omni-blade (a retractable blade attached to Shepherd’s arm).

On viewing the demo, Mass Effect 3 looks much more visceral and slicker than its predecessor. Before fighting was slightly clunky and not as satisfying as we’d have liked, but here we see Shepherd smoothly rolling between objects before quickly rising from cover to toss grenades. It looks much improved. The only disappointment is that enemies still don’t react enough to having a bullet or ten sunk into them. However, this is small in the grand scheme of things.

All the changes are welcome and point towards Mass Effect 3 being stellar. Improving on Mass Effect 2 is a big ask — there’s a reason why it’s considered one of the best games of this generation —but BioWare appears to be up to the task.

Mass Effect 3 will arrive at retailers worldwide beginning 6 March 2012.