Can Mass Effect 3, our most anticipated game of 2011, deliver the goods when it comes to story and character? Can it outdo both of its predecessors and bring the best story and gameplay elements of both for the franchises’ best installment yet?

As we read into the details released thus for for Mass Effect 3, we can’t help being intrigued and fascinated about how the Commander Shepard story will end as the Reapers attempt to lay waste to Earth. Is there hope for Shepard and mankind?

Our first look into the story, characters and gamplay of Mass Effect 3 comes from the 12-page exclusive Game Informer preview. Today we’re going to look into the terrifying story of Mass Effect 3 and how it compares to Mass Effect 2 in tone and style.

In the preview’s interview with BioWare Executive Producer Casey Hudson, the question about the darker direction of ME2 was posed, in regards how “dark” ME3 will be due to the galaxy’s upcoming war with the reapers (watch the Mass Effect 3 reveal trailer to see what I mean about doom & gloom). Can we expect that tone of the story to continue into this game?

“Yeah. I don’t want to say it’s hopelessness, but it’s that sense of, given the scale of what you’re fighting, how can you possibly win? It’s going to take so much coordination and so much force. Whereas Mass Effect 2 was sort of stylishly dark – cool and slick, this is much more of a full-scale war feel.  You don’t really have the luxuries, and you don’t have the sense that you can for sure win. Deep down, you know that it’s going to get ugly and there are things that are going to be lost, even if you win.”

I have no doubt the “things that are going to be lost” references at least some of Shepard’s team members and quite possibly, Shepard himself, if this is the real “end” of the Commander Shepard story.

What intrigues me about Hudson’s words is when he mentions that it’s going to take “so much coordination” which – perhaps this is just my hopes and desires taking over – means that Mass Effect 3 will make use of your larger team in innovative ways like the last act of Mass Effect 2 did. What I want to see is players having the need to create subsets of teams from your roster and having them tasked with completing separate missions or working together in a way that gives all of the characters a direct purpose. This makes your choices and relationships with the characters that much more important as the wrong decision could cost lives…

With the reapers, their new and improved army of Husks and even The Illusive Man and Cerberus after Shepard while Earth is in danger, is all hope lost? Hudson continues:

“Part of the trick is that the nature of that kid of story is that, initially, it has to be kind of hopeless. Then, you start finding a reason to believe. But if I tell you that reason to believe right now, then the story up front doesn’t make sense when you play, because you’re waiting for X to happen. That’s the thing we don’t want to reveal.”

Would could that X-factor that turns the tide against the Reaper forces be?

If you’re catching up on all of the Mass Effect 3 news, here are the latest topics we’ve covered:

Mass Effect 3 releases this Fall (rumor: November 8th) on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

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Source: Game Informer

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