Mass Effect 3 Combat Trailer Squad Leader

Gamescom 2011 is just getting started and we’re already neck-deep in high-profile announcements. Following a set of intriguing new video announcements, a Borderlands 2 teaser and a new Prototype 2 trailer, BioWare officially unveiled an exciting new look at in-game Mass Effect 3 combat footage.

The new trailer, which is only the first installment in a series of gameplay-specific first-looks, presents the Squad Leader role in a battle scenario – leading us to wonder if the video series is building-up to a, recently rumored, Mass Effect 3 multiplayer announcement.

There’s no doubt that the Mass Effect series has a deep combat system – not to mention, Mass Effect 3 (with Kinect support) will feature some of the most intuitive squad-based commands ever introduced in a video game. However, a series of combat (and “class”) focused teaser trailers seems like an odd way to market a game series that’s known for it’s rich universe, fan-favorite characters, and eye-popping action – unless multiplayer is really on the table.

While the trailer adds-in a few prerendered cutaways to ground the footage in a “story” – there’s no doubt that watching the video is much more akin to viewing a co-operative horde match than the kind of story-driven battlefield scenarios that players are expecting to see in Mass Effect 3.

Check out the video “Mass Effect 3 Combat Reveal: Part 1″ below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1XiGk1YwpM

There are certainly some cool new combat improvements featured in the video – Shephard’s one-hit incendiary melee move is a nice touch as is the enemy mech’s ability to interact with (i.e. crush) AI players. In the past, enemy fighters, no matter how close, would mostly just continue to fire-off rounds – instead of get physical.

That said, for a “combat reveal” that features “squad combat” – the video is kind of confusing. Aside from squad leader dialogue and the shot of Garrus and Shephard firing at the mech in the closing moments – the video doesn’t showcase a lot of “combat reveals” or “squad combat” mechanics players have come to expect from similar offerings. As a result, it’s hard not to feel as though we’re viewing the trailer somewhat out of context – i.e. without BioWare openly stating that this is a multiplayer mode with no AI players in Shephard’s squad.

Check out new official in-game images from Mass Effect 3 below:

Of course, despite co-op rumors and the aforementioned mention of multiplayer details in the next issue of Xbox World 360 magazine, BioWare has previously denied Mass Effect 3 would feature multiplayer.

So, maybe we’re off-base but, if this video series isn’t connected to a larger multiplayer reveal, the “Squad Leader” video is unforgivably bland – and pales in comparison to the dramatic trailers that BioWare has put together to tease the upcoming game.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

Mass Effect 3 will release for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 6, 2012.

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