One of the holiday season's heavy hitters has bowed out of the fourth quarter. Today, via Facebook, BioWare announced that Mass Effect 3 will now arrive on the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 during the first three months of 2012. The new date puts it in the similar launch window of Mass Effect 2, which launched in January 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PC and in January 2011 for the PS3.
"The development team is laser focused on making sure Mass Effect 3 is the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone's expectations," said Mass Effect series executive producer Casey Hudson in a statement.
The third installment in BioWare's epic sci-fi role-playing game series, Mass Effect 3 sees planet Earth under siege. The attackers are the Reapers, a race of heavily armed sentient spacecraft that were central to the plot of the first Mass Effect. The Reapers' return to the series was concretely revealed in Arrival, the tepidly reviewed last installment of downloadable content for Mass Effect 2.
In Mass Effect 3, players will once again take on the role of Commander Shepard, a hardened space marine who is now on the run from his former employer, the shadowy pro-human organization Cerberus. To save Earth, he must travel the galaxy trying to rally support from alien civilizations with varying degrees of sympathy (or lack thereof).