ME3 Demo Impressions

me3-mp-1There are minor spoilers within this article based on the content of the demo. If you wish to go into Mass Effect 3 completely pure, then do not read!

I’ve spent almost a week with the Mass Effect 3 demo now. All it is telling me is that I can’t wait any longer for this game. I need it now. I must find out how it ends, even if that is in multiple possible ways. And I must have my happily ever after with a certain marine and a certain raven haired biotic. There isn’t much to this short demo in the grand scheme of a Bioware games. Due to the constraints of being a demo, dialogue is sparse and obviously you don’t get to see your own personal universe crafted over the past two games. But what is there is flat out awesome.

The gameplay isn’t much different from the past two games. In fact, with the new leveling system and better power balance, there is a subtle and welcome shift towards the first Mass Effect in some respects. This isn’t a bad thing. The shooting is still as crisp and fun as in Mass Effect 2.  It’s just the return of old powers and the return of emphasis on using them brings back memories of the first game.   It is wonderful.  Add in two powerful and insanely addictive melee attacks (one being from behind cover), smarter squad AI, and smarter enemy AI and you suddenly have a game that feels more explosive and adrenaline laced in the battles available within the demo. I can’t imagine what the full game will have in store, especially with the additions they are promising that aren’t in the single player portion of the demo.

This brings me to the multiplayer.  I was skeptical first, I’ll admit. Then over the months I grew to accept it, especially given that Bioware wasn’t seemingly skimping on the selling point of the franchise in its story.   But I still was taken by surprise on how fun the multiplayer mode is. It’s nothing extremely new – a simple horde style mode with waves of enemies. Still, the classes are diverse and unique, you can play multiple races, customise appearance and loadouts, and there are objectives interspersed in set waves to break up the simple “take cover and kill all enemies” format. It is addictive, especially with friends. And this is just one little demo that is locked to a few maps and one enemy type. I could play the demo happily as the end product, save a few glitches from time to time.

And last… just from the little bits of story that were teased in the demo, my desire to get this game was driven beyond the realm of sanity. I was doing well. I was impatient but stoic. Now? Forget about it.  One spare glimpse and a manly squee at seeing Miranda in the recent femshep trailer and then Ashley in the demo and I am now growling at all space and time about it not being March 6th yet. OF course, the few somber moments in the demo, with a melancholy soundtrack, are already threatening to overwhelm me.

I still harbour doubts. There is no question about that and it simply cannot be helped. But it’s not because I believe Bioware incapable of producing a game for the ages, only that I fear some of my personal favourite characters may not be as prominent as I would like.  Still, Mass Effect 3 is the game I’ve most wanted and needed than any other. If I took one thing from this demo… I need Mass Effect 3.  I need it now.

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