This topic assumes you know something about Mass Effect. If you don't, I'm not going to take the time to explain the whole thing. What do I look like, Rainbird?
All right, chumps and chumpettes! It is time to talk about Mass Effect 3! This is the topic where Mass Effect 3 will be talked about! THis is dedicated to one series, and Mass Effect is that series. Let's go.
Mass Effect 3 is the closer to the Mass Effect trilogy, the story of Commander Shepard's years-long battle against those punk-ass Reapers.
Oh, but Khuutra! What are you talking about? What is the Mass Effects?
OH MY GOD SHUT UP AND WATCH THIS TRAILER
Okay there are like zombies and ships invading Earth riding space ships that look like crabs I guess?
Okay fine, listen. Here is what Mass Effect is:
You play as Commander Shepard, a bad-ass elite member of the Human Alliance military.
I have no idea who these assholes are.
You determine what Shepard is like. Are they a man or a woman? What is their ethnicity? How sexy are they? How many people do they bang? What kind of guns do they use? These are some of the things you can choose, though not all of them.
You are on a mission to stop the Reapers from destroying the galaxy. The Reapers are dicks! 50,000 years ago they wiped out the Protheans, who were advanced as shit, and they disappeared for a while after that. Now they are back, and they want to wipe out all life! That includes you.
In the first game we are introduced to the Reaper threat, and we have to stop them from taking out the universe! In order to do this, you gathered up a very avatar-able crew to help you:
These guys were the ragtag group that helped you save civilization! All of them (especially the girls) are bros, the sorts of bros who will help you punch extinction right in its multi-appendaged dingaling.
In the second game the threat was much more localized against humanity but the mission itself was much more dire, so you supplemented the missing members of your first crew with this fleet of verifiable bad-asses:
Look at those sons of bitches. Any one of them could be a workable main character in other franchises. This is the crew that will help you shatter a world. Man!
Okay but what's so great about this whole shebang, I don't get it?
You don't get it because you are stupid! Mass Effect is stepping up to fill the void of a really great space opera game, sort of a video game equivalent to Star Wars or Star Trek with a greater focus on narrative progression and world-building in a more reasonable timespan. It's huge in scope and intensely personal in its subject matter, and if you like science fiction then there is undoubtedly something here for you.
I like Mass Effect because of the characters. The cast of Mass Effect 2, on the whole, is probably the best video game cast of protagonists of the past two generations.
But this topic isn't about the rest of Mass Effect. If you don't know what's great about Mass Effect, either go play the older games or just leave, because now it is time to talk about Mass Effect 3!
Here are some things you can expect to be in Mass Effect 3:
Okay I don't have a video for this one, but bear with me because it's pretty exciting, what's happening here. I'll just drop this Femshep video to break up this wall of text.
Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 had similar ideas to character progression in theory, but ME2's was even more simplistic in practice. You had certain skill paths you could invest a limited number of points in, so you had to prioritize some skills over others. That being said, there wasn't a lot of real customization involved, because skills only really grew in one way, and some skills were pretty useless in comparison to others. Anyone ever use Shockwave in ME2 on any difficulty above Normal? No? Me neither.
ME3 aims to change this up with more important and more effective skill customization. The first three levels of any skill tree (they're trees now!) are gimme levels, but after that the last two levels all have very different effects which can be cumulative and have synergy with your class powers and weapon sets. Want to make a Vanguard whose sky-high weapon damage is modified further by being in close-range and punching people? You can do that. Want to make one where they're almost unkillable, and every time they use Charge they knock over thirty people while boosting their shields sky-high? You can do that too.
Every class has a bevy of different skill options, all of which can conflict or complement each other depending on how careful one is in crafting the builds. On higher difficulties it will be absolutely necessary to make skillsets that support each other, but that only limits one to dozens of optimized builds per class rather than hundreds. Hurray!
Cutomizable Weapon Loadouts
One of the biggest complaints about the move from ME1 to ME2 was how they got rid of the entire inventory. Now, nobody actually cared about the inventory management itself, because that was seriously tiresome bullshit, but the ability to give yourself new ammunition and various other modifiers? THat was good stuff. WOuld have have added another good element to ME2, and taking it out was to the game's disadvantage.
Well guess what? THat shit is back, and it's better than it was before! Different ammos are still based on squad powers rather than items, but ME3 teps it up in two respects: firstly in a larger number of potential enhancements, secondly in narrowing the number of enhancements that can be applied to a gun at the same time. Want a bigger magazine on your SMG? Of course you do. Now choose between greater muzzle velocity versus a lower shot spread. Not so easy now, is it?
The weapon customization is another example of ME3 allowing its players to optimize their strengths according to their specific strengths, so a person who prefers to stay back and shoot from cover can be more effective at that, whereas people who want to get all up in a person's business can do that too!
But what about people with powers, you say? How does this weapon shit benefit them? Doesn't this just mean that everything is all gunnified, now?
No! Wrong, wrong and stupid!
A gun is the kind of biotic power a BITCH would use.
Guns have WEIGHT now, and you can choose how many you bring along or not. Take an Adept who's carrying nothing but a dope-ass heavy pistol and he can throw out Singularities and Warps so fast it would make ME1 Shepard cry. Carrying too many guns slows down your power usage, so it's more beneficial to power-based classes to pick out specific guns and use their powers to adapt to situations where their firearms won't pull the weight.
Are you excited yet? Start getting excited.
Multiplayer That Doesn't Suck
Shut up, shut up! Shut up! I mean it! Really, guys, it's neat as Hell:
Yes, it's basically Horde mode, and it's strictly cooperative rather than competitive. And you know what? THat's fine.
It's more fun than Horde mode simply by virtue of it being Mass Effect. How does that make sense? Listen:
Take the different class and race combinations you can play. Each of them has different abilities, different stats, different roles to fill. They can be further customized according to the skills you want them to have. They're very nearly as customizable as Shepard is.
Now combine that with the team dynamics, where you can have workable synergy across four characters, all of whom can fulfill different or similar roles according to the needs of the group. You want four Vanguards zipping around shattering the enemy line in seconds? You can do that. You want a bunch of krogan just smashing stuff with their faces? That's fine. A carefully balanced team of highly technical players who supplement a hail of bullets with high explosives and a flamethrower? Shit, why not!
It's fun, you guys. It is super fun, and it is an excellent addition to the game, mechanically.
But you don't have to play it if you don't want! See, the multiplayer is integrated so that you can accrue "galactic readiness" points which will help you get a better ending in the main game, but if you don't want to play multiplayer you can just do more sidequests! If you don't want to do sidequests, you can blitz multiplayer. If you want to do both, well Hell, that's just like me!
It will be good times.
Those Choices Will Finally Do Something, Christ
"Okay Commander, after you cheated on Jack she knocked down the Chrysler Building. Good job."
Mass Effect as a series has always flirted with the idea that your choices will cause huge consequences. We've seen this play out on various scales - the last level of ME2 is probably the biggest example of this if you screw up too badly - but never anything that really changed the way the story went, or affected our ability to go on certain missions. The Witcher this ain't.
Well, Mass Effect 3 is the end of all of that. As the final chapter, it's no longer tied down by the need to set up another game or give a common starting point for all players. That's over with. BioWare swears, up and down, that this time it's different, they love you so much baby, just give them one more chance and see how your choices affect the face of galactic politics and survival.
Fine, BioWare. Fine. Show me what's what. Make me believe.
CLINT MANSELL IS BEHIND THE SOUNDTRACK
The Game Is a Week Away Now
So who's ready to play?
THIS TOPIC WILL BE SPOILER FREE AS HELL
Everyone will mark their spoilers or I will eat their hearts, and there will be absolutely no spoilers or discussion of leaked information prior to the game's actual release, on pain of death! Of death.