'Mass Effect 3' Weapon & Armor Customization Trailer

Mass Effect 3 Reckoner Knight Armor

It's safe to say that Mass Effect 3 has already cemented the fact that it more than deserves the title of our most anticipated game of this year. There certainly won't be any shortage of pomp and circumstance when it does arrive, but there are still large aspects of the game that we have yet to see in detail. Check armor and weapon customization options off that list, thanks to the new 'Build a Customizable Arsenal' trailer for Mass Effect 3.

Since the developers at BioWare have made it extremely clear that the weapons and armor customization are one part of the game they are counting on to appease the RPG/inventory fans of the gaming world. But over the past few years we've seen several examples of so-called 'customizable weapons' with the results ranging from stellar to catastrophic.

The idea of hunching your own Commander Shepard over a work bench and constructing your ideal weapon is one particularly attractive to shooter fans, and something that until now has been little more than a dream. Now the newest trailer finally gives an idea of how the individual weapon mods and components will allow players to craft a weapon that suits their own style. Considering the over-simplified weapon system of Mass Effect 2, that should be enough to assuage some fears that talk of RPG depth is just lip service.

Most surprisingly, the armor customization is also featured in the trailer along with a look at some of the multiplayer interfaces. Check out the trailer now:


What would new gameplay details be without a handful of screenshots as well? Have a closer look at the amount of options you'll be afforded in ME3's armory, as well as that Reckoning armor unlocked by downloading the Kingdoms of Amalur demo:

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What will strike many fans immediately is just how much the overall aesthetic of the armor selection screens has been improved and brightened - something they share with the gameplay itself. It also seems that the system has been moved to a more frequented part of the ship, and if that means less loading time wasted traveling into Shepard's quarters, we're fully in favor of the decision.

While there are sure to be plenty of skeptics who wish that the armor and weapon customization slots numbered in the dozens, the depth offered by the system seems much closer to that of the original Mass Effect. All that system really needed was an improved interface, which ME3 certainly has.

What hasn't been largely discussed was the skill tree system of upgrades implemented for Shepard's attacks (Singularity and Concussive Shot seen here). Aside from being light-years ahead of the previous interfaces, breaking Shepard's progression and experience down into individual attacks may engage player customization more than the previous category-based mechanics. Hopefully this system will be available for all of Shepard's squad, but we won't get our hopes up. Either way, BioWare's claim that Mass Effect 3 will be different for everyone seems much more plausible with these mechanics.

The thought of taking on the game's wealth of choices upon choices may have seemed somewhat intimidating, but with this level of weapon and armor preferences that just might be more fun than frustrating. Unfortunately, this also has us wondering if all of that extra weapon and armor DLC might actually offer some unique abilities...

What's your take on the expanded weapon and armor systems seen in the trailer? Think this level of depth will work as fans of the original game hoped it would, or will this only mimic shooters like Call of Duty?

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

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

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