Bioware’s Mass effect series is one of the most popular set of video games to date. The first and second edition of which have both rated extremely highly, gaining scores of 8.5, 9.2, 9.3 and similar from top video game websites such as IGN and Gamespot, and Mass Effect 2 was rated 1st is their list of top 25 xbox 360 games.
The series’ popularity comes as no surprise; the games are in depth RPGs in which the player, Commander Shepard, is the Universe’s last hope for salvation. The games include levels of choice leaps and bounds beyond any other game; almost every choice the player makes can lead to a different potential outcome, and these outcomes are carried over between each game in the series, making it possible to play the series in a countless number of ways.
Mass Effect 3 has been eagerly anticipated by Bioware’s large group of followers, and is set for a European release date of March 9th 2012. Not only this, but the reasonably small wait left before this release is cushioned by the recent release of a free Mass Effect 3 Demo. I would definitely recommend downloading and playing it; whether you’re a ME fan or not.
Although just a demo, it includes elements of customisation (of your character; Commander Shepard), action (battle scenes in which you can use an array of weapons, powers, techniques), role playing (level up and alter your character, as well as interacting with non-playable characters to unfold different possible plot lines, be they a choice for good or evil) and gives a glimpse into the focal storyline of ME3; starting off in Earth, you are called to a council, when your meeting is cut short by the arrival of the “Reapers” to Earth, a species of seemingly unstoppable Artificially Intelligent machines, whom you have had brief dealings with in the previous games.
This is quite a hefty demo; giving glimpses of actual game play from two different in game points, taking anywhere from 30-60 minutes to complete. There is also a look at Multiplayer, something that hasn’t been available in previous editions of the series; in this mode, you play alongside 3 other players (be they friends or random strangers online) and perform tasking such as fighting off waves of enemies, taking out key enemies of interest, or hacking security terminals.
All in all, the demo was one of the best I’ve ever played, and it has certainly performed its purpose, i.e. to whet my appetite for ME3, but at the same time it’s significant enough to contain me for the few weeks required to wait before its full release. And best of all, it’s fun and free; all you need is an xbox and a live silver membership (free to anyone).