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The final game in the series, Mass Effect 3 is a role-playing game with a third-person shooter combat system. The defining feature of the franchise is that decisions you make in one game will impact the next.

What’s the story?

Piggybacking off of the final DLC available for Mass Effect 2, Arrival, Mass Effect 3 begins with Commander Shepard on trial. In the middle of it, the Reapers show up and start their attack on Earth. If you were concerned that the game would take place entirely on our home turf, don’t be. BioWare’s Casey Hudson said in the May issue of Game Informer, “The battle for Earth is lost. The only hope is to flee, gather support, and mount a counter-attack to reclaim the planet.”

That means that instead of a focus on gathering squad mates, you’ll be courting civilizations like the Salarians or Quarians to help ward off the Reapers and save not only Earth, but the entire galaxy.

Another twist revealed in Game Informer is that Cerberus has also decided to turn against Commander Shepard, though the reasoning for that isn’t clear yet.

What does it play like?

We haven’t seen any gameplay footage of Mass Effect 3, but the May issue of Game Informer had quite a few tidbits of juicy info.

Weapons are no longer restricted by class and are customizable with different barrels and scopes, etc. Biotic and tech powers are back of course, and Shepard’s skill trees will be more fleshed out than before. Additionally, the cover system has been refined so you no longer need to slide into cover and then hop over objects.

As a whole though, the combat in Mass Effect 3 will play very similarly to Mass Effect 2.

What characters will return?
So far, BioWare has confirmed the following cast for Mass Effect 3:

  • The Illusive Man
  • Garrus (if he survived)
  • James Sanders (NOT the soldier in the trailer)
  • Liara T’Soni
  • Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams (the Virmire survivor)
  • Legion (if he survived)
  • Wrex (if he survived)
  • Mordin (if he survived)
  • Ambassador Udina
  • Captain Anderson