ME3 Launch Trailer: A Closer Look


So as we all know by now, the biggest (and probably final) trailer for Mass Effect 3 was released yesterday, and unleashed a tsunami of geekgasms across the internet.  Officially known as the Launch Trailer, it was quite a departure from the last two videos offered by Bioware.  Made entirely of in-game footage,  the Launch Trailer was the preview that hardcore fans of the series were waiting for.  And by the Goddess, did it deliver.  But there was so much awesome on display, some key elements might’ve been missed by fans too busy to go through the video frame by frame.  Luckily, I have no life.  So lets take a closer look, shall we?  But beware of spoilers from this point forward…

me3-launch 1Can I just get this off my chest real quick?  Enough with the kid.  Yeah, it’s tragic that he dies.  Yeah, it’s a perfect way to kick off the grimdark, end-of-everything storyline.  But we’ve been beaten over the head with this poor guy ever since E3 of last year.  Whatever emotional impact his vaporization might’ve carried is long gone.  Enough.  OK, that felt good.  Moving on.

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Here we have the Citadel Council, in their chamber which we haven’t seen since the first Mass Effect.  But something is wrong.  Where is David Anderson?  Players who chose Anderson, but did not read the Mass Effect novel, Retribution, will be unaware that Anderson grew tired of his role in politics.  He resigned, gave the job to his assistant (and total douche) Donnell Udina, and returned to his former career in the Systems Alliance.

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Yikes.  The love scenes in Mass Effect 3 have taken a turn for the macabre, haven’t they?  Actually, Skeletor here is a Banshee, an Asari who has been turned into a Husk by the Reapers.  Unlike regular human-based husks, Banshees have powerful biotic attacks, and will pose a serious threat to Shepard and company.

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Ready for your first mega-spoiler?  Say hello to EDI.  That’s right, the Normandy’s onboard computer, which gained true AI status in Mass Effect 2, gets her very own body.  Originally used as a Cerberus infiltration unit, the robot is captured by Shepard and repurposed as an autonomus shell for EDI’s program.  Quite a step up from the giant bowling trophy she appeared as in the last game.

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Here’s the before-mentioned David Anderson, formerly of the Citadel Council.  As anyone who played the demo knows, Anderson stays on Earth to lead the resistance against the Reaper invasion.  Judging by the destruction that surrounds him, not to mention the Turian and Salarian soldiers in the bacground, I’m going to assume this scene takes place sometime later in the game.  But when?

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Did anyone feel a chill?  No?  Maybe it was just me.  Anyway, here we see The Illusive Man in his familiar control room.  Whether you see him as a hero or villian, he definitely still has a role to play in the events of Mass Effect 3.  And as inidicated by this screenshot, he won’t be alone.  Kai Leng, formerly relegated to supporting roles in the Mass Effect novels, will make his in-game debut as The Illusive Man’s most trusted assassin.  It’s unclear what specific duties he’s been assigned, but it’s a good bet that it won’t be paperwork.

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Salute all you want, Joker.  I still blame you for getting Shepard killed at the beginning of Mass Effect 2.  If you had just followed orders…

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Here’s one of those Atlas Mechs Cerberus has been using a lot lately.  They must’ve gotten a great deal on them from the mech store.  But that’s not the point of this screenshot.  Look at the lady with the glowing arms.  Those tattoos look familiar?  That’s right, Jack is back, and she’s sporting… hair?  Wow.  But fear not, the studded cutoff leather jacket she’s wearing is a clear indication that she hasn’t lost her edge.  Just her razor.  Jack’s introduction in Mass Effect 2 was highlighted by her obliterating three heavy YMIR mechs at once.  Hopefully, she’ll dispatch Mr. Atlas here in an equally spectacular fashion.  Funny thing about those YMIR mechs, though.  She was never able to kill one with a single shot while in my squad.  Hmmmm… damn cutscene-only powers.

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It’s comforting to know that, even in the midst of an invasion by an unstoppable fleet of robotic monsters determined to wipe out all sentient life in the galaxy, Shepard can still find time to dance.  Because if you can’t dance, then the Reapers have already won.

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I don’t know what that energy beam shooting up into a vortex in the sky is, but I bet it’s important.  Energy beams shooting into a vortex in the sky are usually a big deal.  Also, husks have surprisingly sculpted behinds.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  They’re still an evil horde of nightmare fuel.  But their asses aren’t half bad.

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Well, helloooo.  Ashley Williams is back, and looking as sultry as ever.  After getting cameo’d in the second installment, Williams will have a starring role in the series finale.  Assuming you didn’t leave her to die in a nuclear fireball on Virmire, anyway.  And if you romanced her in the first game, it looks like you’ll be able to pick things up where you left off.  It’s a shame that Bioware turned the heat way down on the love scenes in Mass Effect 2.  Assuming that trend continues, we shouldn’t expect to see anything too steamy.  I guess we’ll just have to let our imaginations do the work.

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Yeah… what I said earlier about using your imagination?  Nevermind.

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Awwwww yeah, it’s the Destiny Ascension.  The flagship of the Citadel fleet, and the most powerful warship in the galaxy.  As long as you didn’t let it get destroyed in the original Mass Effect, it looks like this majestic warship will make a return.  But as big and powerful as the Ascension is, I doubt it’ll last long against a fleet of Reapers.  I hope she gets to take a few of those giant space bugs down before her inevitable destruction.

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This scene wasn’t exactly hard to miss, but I’m including it in this article due to its extreme level of badassery.  There are ships from at least three different races in this fleet, and that sure looks like a decimated Earth in the background.  It’s probably safe to assume that this is the moment Shepard tries to TAKE EARTH BACK!  And he’s brought Humans, Turians, Asari (and presumably more) races with him.  Should be quite a battle.

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And finally… remember that energy beam shooting into a vortex in the sky I mentioned earlier?  Well, here it is again, with Shepard and Anderson approaching it cautiously.  Yeah, I’m calling it.  This is a big deal.  Or maybe it’s just Reaper piss, or something.  There’s no way to know for sure. 

So that’s that.  As Liara laments at the very end of the trailer, “This is it, isn’t it?”  But if I may make one more observation…

This is going to be one of those CANNOT UNSEE moments, so feel free to stop reading now… OK, looking back at the super sexy love scene between Shepard and Ashley, do you notice anything a little odd?  Anything odd about Shepard’s elbow, maybe?  Like… there’s a totally creepy eyeball in Shepard’s elbow that looks out on the world with a cold detachment?  Holy crap, Miranda!  Did you add any other extra body parts to Shepard during the Lazarus Project?!  YUCK!



About the Author: (@Joe_of_the_Dead) Lead Editor, Writer

Joe was born in a time of war. A console war. Two electronic titans were locked in a heated battle for the living rooms of America. Which titans, you ask? Well, the Fairchild Channel F and the Atari 2600 of course. You see, Joe is old. So many of his favorite games tend to be on the older side as well. But that hasn’t stopped him from developing unhealthy obsessions with such modern franchises as Halo and Mass Effect. Just don’t tell him how long it’s been since the original Metroid was released. His aging heart can’t take the shock.

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