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Hands on with the Mass Effect 3 Demo

by: Chuck -
More On: Mass Effect 3
The first thing I should warn you about the Mass Effect 3 demo is that it’s going to make the wait until the March 6 release date feel about three to four times as long as it really is. The good news is that if you do decide to download the demo there’s a lot to keep you busy between now and then.

The roughly 2GB demo contains two of the single player missions from the game as well as a small sampling of the game’s multiplayer mode. The single player portion of the game features updated versions of what was show to the press at E3 this year.

Before you start the demo you get to select the style of gameplay (Action/Role Playing/Story) you want to try as well as the class and a few plot decisions from the last two games. You don’t get to import your Shepard from previous games which may not be a bad thing.

The first level is presumably the first of the game and shows the beginning of the Reaper invasion of Earth. That’s all I’m going to say about as I don’t want to spoil some of the excellent story telling from the folks at Bioware. I’m not normally a fan of extended cut-scenes but the first level is just some damn good story telling.

The second level features Shepard and team visiting the Solarian home world to collect a Krogran female. There’s not a lot of context provided but after a brief opening sequence you get to control Shepard as he tries to get the Krogran female off world while fending off a Cerberus attack. The nice thing is that you start out with 23 attribute points so you can trick Shepard out anyway you want. Between the two levels there’s a good 40 minutes of gameplay depending on how good of a player you are.

There’s a bit of re-playability in the demo as you can go through multiple times to try out the various classes as well as different allocations within each class. It does feel good to be controlling Shepard again and the demo just teases you with such a short snippet of the game.

I dabbled in the multiplayer mode for a bit but not enough to get a good feel for it. The gist is that you and three other folks battle it out against ever increasing ways of enemies on a few maps from the game. You get experience points for kills, kill assists, and a few other activities. As you level up you can tweak your character out more and more. In the few matches I played we only got to the third wave due to a lack of playing together effectively. The persistent RPG component and different classes makes it feel a bit deeper that than the other “Horde” style games on the market. I’ll report back more once I play the game with a few more people and level my character up a bit more.

The Mass Effect 3 demo does a great job of showing you what you’re going to get in the game and there’s certainly enough to do in the game to keep you busy until the game launches on March 6th and it helps to show off the somewhat controversial multiplayer content of the game (which isn’t as bad as people expected).