Bioware has released the embargo on the release date for their highly anticipated title, Mass Effect 3, now slated to appear on March 16, 2012 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC platforms. Additionally, the Xbox 360 version is slated to ship with Kinect support. No, you won’t be controlling your Shepard with motion controls (not yet, anyway), but you will be able to control your squadmates using unforseen voice recognition brought on board by the Kinect’s unique hardware and software.
An interesting note during EA’s press conference at E3 was the addition of a melee weapon, seemingly a large knife that deploys from Shepard’s omni-tool, previously used for tech abilities, in-game hacking, and also as a sort of wrist-mounted computer device. This opens up a whole new set of ideas for the game, as melee combat was something that the game didn’t seem to focus very much on, and in the small parts it had, it didn’t deliver much outside of a very weak rifle-butt attack. Hopefully this addition will see new character advancement trees that focus on interesting ways to close distance and use this new weapon (and make Vanguard, my personal class of choice, more viable in the harder difficulty modes).
In addition to these already-massive announcements, the digital version of Mass Effect 3 will be delivered via EA’s newly announced Origin platform, a replacement of their older EA Store, with new storefront and digital game management features that allow achievements and other types of content to be synced between PC and mobile platforms of EA’s games.
Hopefully, with the new PS3 platform support and this new Kinect voice recognition technology, Mass Effect 3 will be more than a worthy successor to its vastly popular predecessors. Again, ME3 is slated to hit March 16, 2012, for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. Check back with us in the days ahead for more breaking news on this franchise.