Ok, so I was thrilled today to see an article about Mass Effect 3 in the July 2011 issue of the Official XBox Magazine (Down to Earth, pgs 50-55). In it, some interesting details are learned. I'll post a few of them here.

  • The city of Vancouver is apparently featured in the game - the intro describes "a futuristic Vancouver-like city burning in the background as Shepard and some krogan allies barrel through", and an image bears the caption "The gleaming white spires of future Vancouver."
  • Customizable firearms - per the article, each firearm will have three slots for upgrades such as scopes and enlarged magazines. These will affect both the appearance and the performance of the weapons.
  • Enemies are smarter, and will (among other things) attempt to flank you, and call for reinforcements.
  • All "main characters" from previous games will return, assuming they aren't dead. There will apparently also be lots of deaths, as the article mentions massive casualties on both sides.
  • Turians and krogan will be fighting side-by-side (as in, on a large scale, not just the members of your squad). They point this out to underscore the severity of the situation. What's next though, dogs and cats living together?
  • Greater mobility - Christina Norman details that you can now "SWAT turn in cover, sprint out of cover, roll, climb ladders, leap across gaps, climb over small obstacles without entering cover."
  • More dynamic battlefields - Norman notes that in Mass Effect 2, combat seemed to be about finding the perfect spot, and then just hunkering down and blasting everything. In the third game, "we're trying to make it so that the composition of the battlefield is always changing."
  • And just a reminder, the mysterious nasty-looking dude from the concept art? Still not James Sanders/Vega. The caption refers to him as "A Cerberus assassin".
  • Speaking of which - James Vega is described as a character who, in part, was placed there (I'm guessing early on) to help familiarize people not too familiar with the backstory with the lore of the games. He'll ask questions like "Who are the Reapers?" and "Tell me about Cerberus" to make the story more understandable for people who aren't ME-geniuses like most of the people here.
  • Also in this issue, on the page just before the article, female Commander Shepard was ranked #5 on their list of "The 5 Coolest Video Game Heroines".

All in all, it was a great article with some super-cool images. I highly recommend everyone interested in ME3 read it. Discuss below if you want, and if not, whatever. :D

  • Update - a minor one, to be sure, but one I found interesting. The city described in the article is (as revealed in an article on ME3 in the new Playstation magazine), a megalopolis formed by the merger of Vancouver and Seattle, similar to what happened in Texas with the "Texan Megapolis". This is kinda cool in that it's an indicator of the level of integration in the UNAS. (I also totally just realized that the abbreviation of the United North American States is the name of an alien race from Stargate: SG-1. And no, that isn't trivia!)

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