Publisher: Electronic Arts
Engine: Microsoft Windows: Unreal Engine 3.5, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3: Mass Effect 3 engine (modified UE3)
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Decisions from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 will be imported into Mass Effect 3 to keep continuity within the series. Over 1,000 variables will be pulled to shape how players experience the final chapter. Unlike in Mass Effect 2, Commander Shepard will start the game with some powers. The character creator will have more features and hair-styles included than in Mass Effect 2 and players will be able to change appearance and class when importing their character. There will be no origin-story comic for new players to help them make quick decisions without having to play the previous two games. Upon finishing the game, there will be a New Game+ option that allows players to continue playing after the main story ends or start again with their finished Shepard and collect items they missed the first time around. If players achieved a love interest in both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, then both previous love interests will be vying for Shepard's attention in Mass Effect 3. This "love triangle" will be resolved by the end of the game.
Locations in Mass Effect 3 will include the salarian homeworld Sur'Kesh, the asari homeworld Thessia, the turian homeworld Palaven, the quarian homeworld Rannoch, a human mining base in a Martian crater, and a giant city on Earth representing the combination of Seattle and Vancouver. Players will also return to Tuchanka - the krogan homeworld - and Illium, as well as the Citadel.
Mass Effect 3 will have more RPG elements than Mass Effect 2. For the first time in the series, players will have skills that start along a single path and then splinter into two branches where they can select only one upgrade or the other along a sequence of possibilities. Players will also be able to customize their weapons with different scopes, mods, barrels and ammo types. There will be 25 weapon mods total - five per weapon type - and each of them will have multiple power levels to collect. The game will include mini-games (although planet scanning is unlikely to return) and Hammerhead and Mako missions.
As of August 23, 2011, BioWare has confirmed the return of previous characters Liara T'Soni, Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams, Miranda Lawson, the Illusive Man, Garrus Vakarian, Legion, Samara, Morinth, Tali'Zorah, Urdnot Wrex, Jack, Mordin Solus, David Anderson, Zaeed Massani, Kasumi Goto, Kelly Chambers, Thane Krios, Jacob Taylor and Ambassador Donnell Udina from Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Some characters will not return if they were killed at any point during the previous games. The number of characters available as permanent squad mates will be smaller than in Mass Effect 2 for the purposes of deeper relationships and more interesting interplay, including same-sex relationships for both male and female Shepards. BioWare has also confirmed a new character called James Vega. [Source]
Mass Effect 3 will begin with Commander Shepard on Earth for trial as a result of events from the Mass Effect 2 DLC pack Arrival. During the trial, Earth is attacked by Reapers. Faced with insurmountable odds, Shepard is forced to flee the planet in order to gather support from alien civilizations and mount a counter-attack while also having to deal with Cerberus, who have decided to turn against him/her. It is possible for Shepard to lose to the Reapers.
In an interview with PSM3 Magazine, Casey Hudson said of the plot, "Mass Effect 3, in simple terms, is a little more like the first game. You're collecting pieces of a story, but the more you investigate and explore these themes, the more the game will unlock and you'll see the bigger picture. In a way, it's more of a traditional story where you're learning about things and the plot changes as you find things out." The game will complete the story of Commander Shepard. [Source]
- A rich, branching storyline: Experience a sci-fi epic with multiple endings determined by your choices and actions throughout the game.
- Massive in scope: Battle on many worlds across the galaxy as you unite the ultimate force to take back the Earth before it's too late.
- Large-scale and intelligent enemies: Battle enormous enemies and take on a smarter type of foe that will consistently challenge your best combat tactics and put you on the edge of your seat.
- Unlock a customizable arsenal: Tailor each weapon with devastating upgrades including scopes, grips, barrels and dozens of other unique attachments. Each weapon boasts its own powerful impact and visual flair.
- Unleash death from afar or go toe-to-toe: Customize your soldier and squad to engage the enemy on your terms. A huge variety of weapons, abilities and equipment allow you to combat the enemy in your preferred style of play.