The November rush of video games is finally over, but with one notable exception. While the year had started off with gamers marking their calendars for a 2011 release of Mass Effect 3, a subsequent delay means we've got a few more months until BioWare reveals what they've been up to. In anticipation though, we've got another look at the new changes being made for Mass Effect 3's combat, as well as an explanation of what's being offered in the collector's edition of the game.
The combat tweaks and improvements looked promising at E3 2011, and the more we've seen, the more encouraged we've been. The recent ME3 demo leak gave a more in-depth look at the story and traversal, but there are still going to be plenty of fans who are concerned about the shift the developers have taken.
While playing the game will likely be the only thing that can calm their fears once and for all, we'll settle for a deeper look at the combat and an explanation of the mechanics by the minds behind it. That's included in the latest edition of BioWare Pulse, along with a walkthrough of what extra content and goodies will be packed into the N7 Collector's Edition. Have a look:
With each new video and detail, we're getting more and more tempted to simply avoid all Mass Effect news to make the third game that much more of a surprise. But for the time being, we'll settle for the torture of watching a combat engine we won't be able to enjoy for another 3 months.
There's no other way to say it; this game looks to change the series in a lot of different ways, and it's hard not to think that they're for the better. If the Mass Effect series has become about combat and not just story, then at least give players a rich combat engine with a chance to shape any skirmish the way they see fit. The Vanguard class' new 'Nova' attack and the returning 'Charge' alone look to reshape a shooting gallery, and that's just one aspect of a single class.
After the weaponry of Mass Effect 2 offered almost no unique perks other than range or damage, it's extremely encouraging to hear that the new Krogan shotgun won't just be powerful for close-quarters attacks, but inflict bleeding damage as well. This effect makes sense since ME2's Inferno ammo behaved in a similar way. So it's nice to see that the developers don't have to start from scratch.
That being said, the new heavy melee attacks and introduction of armored, shielded, and turret-deploying enemies may be more than even optimistic fans had hoped for. To be perfectly honest, when watching these in-depth looks at Mass Effect 3's combat it's hard to believe this is the same series that started with a simple point-and-shoot combat philosophy. We're cautiously optimistic that all of these signs point to a return to BioWare's RPG roots, but if they keep pumping out footage like this, we may be convinced before long.
As for the N7 Collector's Edition, it's hard to resist spending a few more bucks for all those extra items. Issues with additional player and mission DLC and Avatar items aside, it's hard to think of a serious fan who isn't already seriously considering the purchase. If that includes you, then we'd suggest taking BioWare's advice and pre-ordering sooner rather than later.
What do you think of the decisions being made in respect to Mass Effect 3's combat? Does it look like the new levels of customization and depth will ease the disappointment of Mass Effect 2 for RPG fans? Leave us your own thoughts in the comments.
Mass Effect 3 will be released for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on March 6, 2012.
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