Everything We Know About Mass Effect 3

  1. Combat and Gameplay
  2. Multiplayer and Galaxy at War
  3. RPG Elements
  4. The Mass Effect Universe
  5. The Story
  6. Technical Details

The Story

Simply put: The Reapers can win. That ending has been promised from the beginning, but of course Mass Effect’s main storyline has been about Shepard’s quest to stop that from happening. And to pull it off, you’ll be spending the bulk of Mass Effect working to unite the galaxy to defend itself. We don’t know everything that will happen, but you can bet you’ll spend the game doing what Shepard does best: Traveling around the galaxy, talking to people and doing stuff. For peace. And Freedom. And for offering celebrity endorsements.

That makes it certain that many of the series’ long running background events and plot threads will be front and center. Particularly those subplots and loyalty missions from previous entires that involved the festering conflicts between different cultures that go back many hundreds of years. Here are those we know for certain will appear.

Krogan Vs. Salarians

The Genophage inflicted on the Krogans by the Salarians is one of the series’ key past events. The disease, which causes all but 1% of Krogan infants to be stillborn and is contributing to their extinction, intersects the lives of three members of Shepard’s squad: Wrex, Grunt and Mordin, and in Mass Effect 3, at least one mission will involve Mordin’s work with a Krogan female who appears to be immune to the Genophage.

During the mission, Wrex appears ready to start a war with the Salarians over the matter. Further, the Salarian homeworld is confirmed to appear. It’s almost certain then that a significant portion of the game will involve finding a cure for the Genophage, while at the same time trying to prevent the Krogan from taking their revenge on the Salarians for having created it in the first place.

Batarians and Humans

Even before the events of Mass Effect 2′s The Arrival DLC, the Batarians and humanity had a contentious relationship. Both races were in frequent conflict over territorial expansion, and a huge number of Batarians have been involved in slave trading and in brutal raids against human colony worlds. In The Arrival DLC, Commander Shepard is forced to blow up a Mass Effect Relay in order to prevent the early arrival of the Reapers and in the process, hundreds of thousands of Batarians are killed.

It is already known that Mass Effect 3 will begin with Shepard’s court martial over those deaths. We know Shepard will be spared serious punishment and be reinstated in the Alliance Military when the Reapers invade, actions likely to lead the Batarians to conclude that humanity is culpable for Shepard’s crimes. Expect an enormous penance from Shepard and humanity in order to keep the Batarians from waging war on them in the midst of Reaper invasion.

Cerberus Has Been Assimilated

Thanks to a stray line of dialogue in the Mass Effect 3 demo at E3 2011 – “They’ve been indoctrinated! They’re capable of anything!” – we learned early on that Cerberus won’t be taking part in galactic victory celebrations, assuming you manage to defeat the Reapers.
The extent of that indoctrination wasn’t revealed at the time, but The Art of the Mass Effect Universe confirms the rot goes all the way to the top.

This is likely to be the result of events described in the novel Mass Effect: Retribution, during which Cerberus comes into possession of Reaper nanotech and implants it in a human just to study the results. Expect The Illusive Man’s beef with Shepard, assuming you blew up the collector base at the end of Mass Effect 2, to combine with the Reaper’s hatred, as BioWare has hinted he’ll be a miniboss at some point in the game.

Quarians vs. Geth

300 years prior to the events of Mass Effect, the Geth, originally created by the Quarians as robotic manual labor, developed actual sentience and rebelled against their creators. The Quarians lost badly; billions died and the few million who survived were driven off their homeworld, forced to live in a fleet of ad hoc spaceships as their immune systems atrophied to the point that they require special suits to protect themselves from even minor illnesses. By the events of Mass Effect, it is assumed the Geth are inhospitable machines who fully intend to ally themselves with the Reapers when the time comes.

However, in Mass Effect 2 we learn the surprising truth: the Geth who allied themselves with Saren were in fact a reviled heretical offshoot; the rest of the Geth don’t want to conquer anyone, they simply want to be free to make their own way. The loyalty mission for Legion, the Geth squad member, has Shepard putting an end to that faction either by destroying them, or overwriting their programming. The loyalty mission for Tali reveals that the Quarian fleet is seriously considering going to war against the Geth to retake their homeworld. In Mass Effect 3, Shepard will probably have to prevent a war and bring about some kind of reconciliation between the Quarians and their creations, the likely reason the Quarian homeworld is confirmed to appear.

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