Getting ready for the end of the world with “Mass Effect 3”

By Brian Chidueme |Staff Writer|

In “Mass Effect 3,” Earth is in trouble yet again, and how you plan to save the galaxy is greatly influenced by the choices and decisions that you’ve made in the past.

Gamers and critics such as GamesRadar have been hailing the franchise as the apex of “video games as a storytelling medium.”

Since the franchise’s birth on the Xbox 360 in 2007, “Mass Effect” effectively chronicled the story of Commander Shepard and his role in leading an intergalactic struggle against a race of extraterrestrial machines known as the Reapers.

At the same time, developers BioWare rewarded gamers with the ability to customize Commander Shepherd at will.

“Mass Effect” also serves as an introduction to what’s possible for the future of storytelling in video games, such as richly detailed and lifelike characters and an expansive storyline that alludes to “Star Trek” by boldly going where no other games have gone before.

In this final chapter, the decisions your character made in the past games “Mass Effect” and “Mass Effect 2” will come full circle, along with your teammates’ fates.

The demo that was released on Valentine’s Day gave players a glimpse of both the amount of improvements and overhauls made to each of the game’s highest points, from the series effective use of the Unreal Engine 3 to a greater emphasis on combat to make the game more appealing and accessible to a wider audience of gamers.

The single-player portion will allow gamers to choose between three different campaign modes: action, story and role-playing.

While the action and story modes let the player choose between experiencing Earth’s final stand from a direct focus on combat or a direct focus on storytelling. It is highly recommended for the player to experience the game on role-playing mode to partake in the full “Mass Effect” experience.

The game will also include a co-op similar to the Horde mode in “Gears of War” called “Galaxy At War,” which allows four players to fight alongside one another in missions that will play a role in influencing the single-player campaign.

While no characters from the campaign will be featured in the multiplayer, “Mass Effect 3” is not as much concerned about Commander Shepard more than the game is concerned about the bigger picture and how both the player and his teammates will react while taking arms against the Reapers.

The game’s focus on making combat more refined and accessible to players may not be as obvious to long-time franchise fans, but will show within the diversity of each battle.

What shows this diversity is that enemies will act more like a team by supporting each other in units, stressing the importance of the game’s revamped cover system. If the game is played on Hardcore mode, note that taking cover during battle is recommended.

The decision for Bioware to set “Mass Effect 3” after the ‘Arrival’ downloadable content pack in “Mass Effect 2” provides an obvious hint that there will be a huge amount of extra content that will be released as downloads. These downloads will enhance both the campaign and multiplayer experiences players will undertake in their quest to save the galaxy.

If “Halo 3” claimed to show players “the way the world ends,” “Mass Effect 3” will allow players to dictate the way the galaxy ends.

“Mass Effect 3” will be released on March 6.

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