Everything We Know About Mass Effect 3
- Combat and Gameplay
- Multiplayer and Galaxy at War
- RPG Elements
- The Mass Effect Universe
- The Story
- Technical Details
The Mass Effect Universe
As this and the next section both deal extensively with lore, please assume heavy spoilers from here out.
Though combat, gameplay, RPG elements and controversial new features are important, the Mass Effect series’ chief appeal is its sweeping story. Whether it’s the tale of an embattled galaxy on the verge of destruction, the resolution of ages-old conflicts between hardened enemies, or simply the idea of knocking boots with hot, blue skinned space babes, you’re playing because you want to see how things finally turn out. BioWare has clearly gone all-out to bring the Commander Shepard story to a close. Expect higher stakes, richer character development and an even bigger explorable galaxy. And spaceboobs.
In Mass Effect, players were confined primarily to the edges of Citadel Council space. In Mass Effect 2, players were confined largely to the so-called Terminis sector, often uncharted areas outside of Council jurisdiction. In Mass Effect 3, given the scale of the Reaper invasion, its expected that we’ll see more of the galaxy than ever before, returning to familiar locations, and seeing completely new ones.
Confirmed locations include: The Citadel, Earth, Mars, Eden Prime, Rannoch (the Quarian homeworld), Sur’Kesh (the Salarian homeworld), Palaven (the Turian homeworld), Thessia (the Asari homeworld), Illium, Tuchanka (the Krogan homeworld), and Noveria.
Romance options have always been a large part of the Mass Effect experience, and everything thus far revealed suggests that BioWare intended to outdo themselves in the final chapter of the series.
In Mass Effect, Commander Shepard had only 3 romance options. Both male and female Shepard could pursue a relationship with Liara. In addition, Shepard could pursue one of the two human crew members – Kaiden, if you played as female Shepard, or Ashley if you played as male. The romance option was greatly expanded in Mass Effect 2. Neither of the romanceable characters from Mass Effect were included in the main game, leaving Shepard free to pursue entirely new people. For Male Commander Shepard, this included Miranda, Jack and Tali. Femshep was likewise able to pursue Jacob, Garrus and Thane. Players could also choose to avoid romantic entanglements of any kind out of loyalty to the character they pursued in Mass Effect. And if that wasn’t enough, even casual sexual encounters were included.
Yet as convoluted as this sounds, in matters l’amor Mass Effect 3 promises to make all of that seem positively innocent by comparison.
Both Liara, and Shepard’s human love interest from Mass Effect, have been confirmed to be part of your permanent squad in Mass Effect 3. In addition, all of the romanceable characters from Mass Effect 2 have been confirmed to return in some capacity (some as members of your crew, others in key scenes). This means that if you began a relationship with a character in Mass Effect, then pursued someone new in Mass Effect 2, both love interests will compete for your attention throughout the game.
Sadly, you won’t be able to romance Mordin.
But it won’t be as simple as having to navigate your past hook-ups. BioWare has gone all out in Mass Effect 3, not only in the kind of relationships you can have, but with whom you may have them. There at least 2 new romanceable characters in Mass Effect 3. The first confirmed was new squad member James Vega (voiced by Freddie Prinz, Jr.). The second, an embedded Journalist named Diana Allers (voice by Jessica Chobot) is a big departure; she’ll apparently be on the Normandy but won’t be able to accompany you on missions, which marks the first appearance of a non-squad member with whom you can reach the paramour achievement. Both new characters will be romanceable regardless of your actions in previous games, suggesting the heady possibility of having to negotiate jealousies and hurt feelings between 3 different love interests.
Finally, the biggest romantic variable is the long-awaited inclusion of a same sex relationships. Regardless of your imported character’s previous history, you will be able to pursue same sex relationships, and the option will apparently extend to all characters who have previously been available as romance options. We’d best hope then that you can buy “I should go” cards in the Citadel gift shop. You’re going to need them.