Wow. This game is going to be uh-maze-zing.
The demo (available HERE) doesn’t last too long, and there is no saving your progress. So you’ve pretty much got to run straight through it. It starts with Shepard on Earth and the council calls for him when they get wind of the Reapers coming to Earth… now.
I haven’t even finished ME2 yet, so I don’t know the meaning of the awkward glances between Ashley and Shepard. If you play as the female Shepard, you still get the same looks.
The “ish” has hit the proverbial fan. A little conversation leads up to the Reapers landing and demolishing everything in sight. Your job in the first part of the demo (and presumably the full game when it drops) is to reach the Normandy and get off planet to go get help.
A look at the melee attack, both in a charged version (blade comes out) and just thumping the husks on the head with you pistol. Then a little in-game cinematic.
I believe the destruction of the dreadnaught is caused by your forward progress. I think the first time I ran through this I watched the two of them battle it out for a minute before moving on. I’m not sure how long they’d slug it out if you stood just before the trigger point indefinitely. Making a mental note to try that….
The second part of the demo puts you further into the game on a mission to go get Wrex laid, er, find him a Krogan female so they can… talk? The Krogram female, for some reason, is in a force-fielded container that they have to escort up several levels to the roof so Wrex can pick her up.
There’s more to be seen, but this is all I captured. There are full walkthroughs available on Youtube, check those out if you want to see the whole demo without actually playing it. I would, however, highly recommend you take the time to download it.
A few notes. As usual for this franchise, most cut-scenes are done using the in-game graphics engine. So if you’ve never seen a Mass Effect game before, those scenes are not pre-rendered movies. Nope they are actually what the game looks like *all* the time. The demo understandably doesn’t have many options to tweak for the PC in terms of graphics performance. Basically you can set your resolution and turn on/off shadows and anti-aliasing. Having said that… the game looks gorgeous. The attached videos I captured using FRAPS at 60fps using my monitors native resolution of 1680×1050 (60fps seems to be locked for the game).
Gameplay seems very solid. I didn’t like the new semi-automatic assault rifle in the second part of the demo, I’d prefer a full auto. I did, however LOVE the shotgun. Absolutely brutal at close range and fairly effective at distance.
If you have a save game already on your machine the demo will pick it up and use that as your default player if you choose the “action” option when starting. This option doesn’t give you any dialog choices. The “role playing” mode is the normal ME mode, and there is a “story” mode which says it has even more dialog and less shooting up (why would you want that?). This is an interesting option if they choose to keep it for the final game.
A pre-final note. I wasn’t too happy about having to install Origin to get this demo. ME3 will be the only game I ever use Origin for, and it’s only because I want to see the series through till the end. I made an image of my machine that will get restored the instant I finish playing. I only wish that game developers and publishers would stop making it hard on honest folk who will shell out cash for their game and don’t want intrusive, borderline spyware on their machines in order to play.
Final Note: The video captures were made on my main desktop with the following specs:
- CPU: Core i7 2600k – stock speeds
- RAM: 16 GB DDR3
- Primary HDD: Corsair Performance 3 128GB SSD
- GPU: ATI 6850 1GB