The defense of our home planet is usually viewed as a paramount priority and throughout the Mass Effect trilogy, that was an element with a lot of foreboding. Mass Effect 3 brings the Reaper threat to our beloved Earth and it’s up to Commander Shepard to stop them.

At E3 last week, we got up close and personal with Mass Effect 3 for a private demo with the game’s director, Casey Hudson. For a hint of what we saw, check out the brand new “Fall of Earth” trailer.

Mass Effect 3 is, without a doubt, going to be one of the most anticipated games throughout the year, heightened by the slight delay to early 2012. BioWare is going balls to the wall on the work and care they are putting in to both appease and amaze fans with an assortment of changes. The combat mechanics have seen yet another overhaul, the franchise is making its first movie to integrate Kinect voice commands, and tying up loose ends you may have had throughout the first two games.

This trailer shows off many of the new gameplay features to expect in the third and final installment in the Commander Shepard trilogy. Through this brief tease of the game, ideas should start flooding into your mind on how to approach different combat scenarios and how to utilize some of the new features like the omni-blade and grenades.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJvrN6JijuU

To emphasize some of the newer aspects of Mass Effect 3 combat, Cerberus troopers (the affiliation that revived Shepard in Mass Effect 2) enter the fray, wielding a riot shield, only to be taken out by a sniper. Mass Effect 2 featured some adaptive combat mechanics with different kinds of defensive layers. Shields would be destroyed faster with automatic fire, biotic barriers were destroyed through slower and more powerful weapons, so the physical shields look to be destroyed after taking a beating from the M-98 Widow Sniper Rifle.

While revamped combat is very well and good, the Mass Effect trilogy (like all BioWare games) has been about choice and consequence. The story of Shepard having to round up aid and allies throughout the galaxy to combat the Reaper threat will also be able to shed even more light on the expansive universe. How Shepard goes about saving the galaxy is still up to you as a player and whether or not you want to follow the paragon or renegade path will still be in your hands.

Either way, it’s going to be a long, long wait.

If you’re a fan, you must read our E3 Mass Effect 3 previews:

Mass Effect 3 releases on March 6, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

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