Microsoft is clearly focused on the Kinect hardware at E3 2011, and even BioWare has been unable to escape its thrall. BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka took to the stage at the Microsoft E3 press conference to announce that Mass Effect 3 will support the Kinect and demonstrated how it will work. He prefaced the demonstration by calling the upcoming shooter/role-playing hybrid a brand-new adventure. The galactic war is about to begin, and Shepard and company must take Earth back from the Reaper threat. Muzyka also stated that Mass Effect 3 will be about "kick-ass action."
The biggest feature Muzyka touted during the demo, however, was how you will be able to give commands in Mass Effect 3 with your voice, using the Kinect. We see Shepard interact with Mordin Solus, the fast-talking Salarian that stole the show in Mass Effect 2. The dialogue wheel has returned, but no longer do you have to choose it with a thumbstick; rather, you can speak your response aloud. (Admittedly, this came across as somewhat odd during the demo; you speak one line, but in true Mass Effect fashion, Shepard speaks another.) Shepard and Mordin spoke briefly about a character they were seeking, who was apparently considered the last hope of the Krogan civilization. Upon reaching her, your target warns: "I hope you brought an army."
The demo then switched to combat, where we saw the other application for Kinect voice integration: squad commands. If you want a squadmate to perform a biotic skill, you speak the character's name aloud and then announce the attack to execute. We also saw Shepard perform a powerful melee attack that was further dramatized by a cinematic camera angle. This certainly seems in keeping with the announcement that ME3 will feature a new heavy melee class. We then saw the previously encountered character make a big entrance in a gigantic armored suit, which brought the demonstration to a close.
Muzyka then promised that BioWare would be showing more cool Mass Effect 3 stuff on the E3: 2011 show floor. GameSpot will be scouring that floor to bring you more Mass Effect 3 information during the next few days, so stay tuned for more news from the outer reaches of the Milky Way.
For more on Mass Effect 3, check out our impressions of the new content shown off at the EA press conference here.