Jessie Krehlik, Senior Staff Writer
This is it. The end of the world—or at least, this is the situation gamers face in the upcoming final chapter of the “Mass Effect” Trilogy. Once again players will take on the role of Commander Shepard, an officer in the Systems Alliance Navy and commanding officer of the SSV Normandy.
In this final installment, it’s up to you, Shepard, to defend Earth and the human race against the “Reapers,” an ancient alien race hell-bent on destroying everything in their path. “The price of failure is extinction,” according to the product details issued by BioWare.
The game picks up just before the “Reapers” launch a full invasion on Earth, but it’s entirely up to the player to determine how you’ll stop them. Choose whether you attack with a tactical approach or launch an all-out military assault, guns blazing.
Unlike most choose your own adventure role-playing games (RPG), “Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War” (ME3) takes the game to the next level by letting you, the user, customize your gaming experience. Gamers have the option to play out the campaign in three different modes: Action Mode, Story Mode and RPG Mode.
Each of these modes caters to a different type of gamer.
Action mode removes much of the element of the “choose your own adventure” story options. This type of gameplay is designed for the gamers who just want to annihilate every alien scum in their path.
Story mode is at the compete opposite end of the spectrum. Designed for users who love the story but not the fight, this version of the game targets users who are either intimidated by the intense combat, or only pick up a copy of the game to live out the story.
RPG mode is the best of both worlds. It exists for gamers who don’t want to give up either element while playing. In this mode, players still get the full effect of the choose your own adventure gameplay while also experiencing all of the rich combat options.
“Mass Effect 3 is better with Kinect.” According to the game’s website, users will experience an all-new gaming experience when using Kinect. In addition to dodging bullets in their living room, gamers can now shout commands at the CPU’s in the game when entering battle. Gamers with Kinect will replace the traditional radial menu for issuing commands in exchange for voice commands, a detail developed specifically for Xbox 360 users.
Fans of multiplayer and co-op modes are going to love ME3. Up to four friends can progress through multiplayer missions together and are provided with an arsenal of choices for weapons and skills. Gamers are encouraged to combine their “spectacular weapons, powers and abilities against overwhelming odds.”
Moreover, success in these multiplayer missions will have a direct impact on the single-player campaign’s success.
Gamers who missed out on Mass Effect 1 and 2 have nothing to worry about. Game developers assure users that because the first two games were prequels to the third, it can stand alone if necessary. However, those interested in investing in the original games can pick up a used copy at Gamestop for $20 each.
“Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War” was developed by BioWare, who provided gamers with other hits, such as “Dragon Age,” “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” and “Jade Empire,” all of which featured the same “choose your adventure” or “create your own world” gameplay that we see in the Mass Effect series.
The long awaited final chapter of the Mass Effect Trilogy will hit the market on March 6. Gamers who pre-order their copy will receive an exclusive weapon download to strengthen their military arsenal. ME3 is rated M for Mature audiences and is available for Xbox 360, PC and Playstation 3, although only Xbox 360 Kinect users will earn the full experience, according to Microsoft.