So, it's coming, the most anticipated RPG of 2012 is almost with us. It's due on for European release on 9th March and I, for one can't wait.
The third instalment of the epic Mass Effect (ME) saga sees our hero, John Shepard (or Jane if you're a FemShep aficionado), back home on earth after being unceremoniously discharged for his/her actions in the Mass Effect 2 DLC, Arrival. During a meeting on Earth, it becomes clear that the Reapers have reached Earth - it's up to Commander Shepherd to save the planet.
From here he will venture forth to gather a force to combat the Reapers and hopefully win. But, this being Mass Effect, that's not guaranteed; losing is always a possibility, and each action has consequences. This is one thing we expect from a Mass Effect game, jeopardy; have you made the right decision, no other game make those choices seem so important.
Being a BioWare title, we all know this will be a polished and professional release in the RPG genre. This time they have given us some options on how we play the game through though: Action – where the story is just a background for all those lovely fights with some awesome future weapons, RPG – the classic ME game with role playing elements brought to the fore, and finally Story Mode - combat and RPG take a back seat to the epicness of the on-going saga.
Also in this release BioWare have taken the new Kinect system to heart and included a huge array of voice commands for Shepherd, from ordering your squads around, to changing weapons. The system has been integrated very well and doesn't feel bolted on in anyway - quite an achievement and surely an indication of what can, and should be done to bring Kinect into the more mainstream gaming community.
Even though BioWare have already announced this is to be the last Mass Effect title, this shouldn't detract from it - it's the end of the story we have followed for years, so unless they have hired the writers from Lost, we should get a spectacular end to one of the greatest stories ever told.
All in all, Mass Effect 3 is a huge game to look forward to. This could be the game of the year; whoever comes after it will have some way to go to beat it I'm sure.