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Hands on preview with Mass Effect 3

So, my friends and compatriots, Mass Effect 3 is less than a month away, and not too long ago, the demo dropped for the Playstation 3 version.  Up until this point, there was a game that you could play on the Mass Effect website that would allow you to download the Xbox demo, but now that it has hit console wide, I thought that I would give my impressions on what I thought of each of the parts, and then some general thoughts.

The demo itself is broken into two main parts, which I found to offer two pretty differing moods, yet each of these moods seemed to have a unique enough feel as to where they were each amazing pieces of a product that will be very entertaining.  For the first part of the demo, it opens up with Commander Shepard on Earth, as you are quickly thrust into a heated talk with a very councilesque Earth Alliance.  Without ruining too much, things quickly start to spiral out of control, and you are thrust into a pretty engaging conflict.  One thing I noticed in the demo was that there were a few spots where the frame rate dropped a little, but these did not seem to deter the gameplay.  The last scene of this first part had a heavy Gears of War vibe to it, which really got me interested for the second part.
The first part of the demo focuses much more on Earth                                                                                                    The first part of the demo focuses much more on Earth

Whereas the first part was much more story based and the action was a bit secondary to the story, the second part of the demo was much more action packed.  Without giving much away, you find yourself saving a species that was not thought to have existed in the first two games (or existed in fairly small numbers), and you find yourself protecting this certain species from an attack by a group that those who have played ME2 should be intimately familiar with.  All total, I would say that the demo lasted maybe 30 minutes or so, but I think that each of the parts represented very good chunks of the game, and if you aren’t completely sold already, I think that the demo would be a great thing to try out.
                                                                The second part may or may not have Wrex featured             
                                                                                               The second part may or may not have Wrex featured

After finishing the demo, there were a few critiques that I had on the way that the game plays.  For the first two games, I always ended up playing as an adept, because I thought that the biotic abilities were not only incredibly useful, but also very fun to use.  One thing that I noticed during the game was that even in the second part of the demo, when my warp ability was all but maxed out, the recharge time on it is abhorrent.  In both of the previous games, if you had a biotic power pretty much maxed out; there was only a 10 second or so recharge time before you could use it again.  In this iteration, though, I was one tier away from the top and the recharge time was 18 seconds. I found this to be incredibly annoying, because as an adept, I rely on warp in order to take out enemies, but I felt like every time that I used it, it would take forever to recharge.  This is a minor quip, and I think what they are trying to convey is that these powers at the highest levels are really powerful, and thus, cannot recharge in a short amount of time.  As far as the upgrades go, they seemed to have done a bit of a hybrid between ME1 and ME2, where each power costs successively more (tier 1 costs one point, tier 2 costs 2), and everything starting from tier 2 or tier 3 on has a choice of two options, which is usually a speed vs. power option.  The other thing that they seemed to change was that now, there are shield meters and a health bar, very similar to something like Halo: Reach.  The shield meter will replenish, but if you take health damage, the only way that you can heal is to use unity (which they have renamed First Aid).  Overall, the quips that I have with ME3 are so minor that they barely take away from the excitement that I have for ME3, which drops early next month.       


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