Now onto part 2, talking about my time with Mass Effect 3.
I'm not going to give any spoilers away, just describing my impressions with the kinect feature, and a little of the game itself. If you wish to know nothing at all about even small non-spolier game details, then it's safe to read till the second mass effect picture below. Okay so I was working the kinect feature of the game, if those who don't know it'll have Kinect implemented in the game, not mandatory of course.
My primary duty was to test out how well the voice input was while playing the game, using my Australian dialect, as were other people with their own different ascents such as British and French. After that I would do recordings of my own voice, that would be implemented into the Kinect so it would help recognise commands better.
Once that was over I was play testing the game, checking for bugs and specifically kinect commands that wouldn't work. Such commands that have been placed in the game are exploration, combat, ordering your crew and dialog choices during conversations. What was the point of adding kinect to the game? To make it more fast paced, especially the combat and the power wheel. Instead of pausing the game to select your power you can call upon it (long as you know what they are lol) mid-battle which I think is a nice addition, though the only worthwhile one in my opinion.
For example, some of the exploration commands are things like picking up items or opening doors. The commands for both are 'open' and 'pick up', which are suitably fine although you could simply press the button on your controller as well. The same goes with dialog choices where you can either speak out the line, or press a button. I suppose it's really up to yourself how you like to go about experiecing it.
If you have Kinect already it'd be a worthwhile test, although if you don't - I don't think spending money on getting kinect for the game when you already have a controller is a good investment, but that's just my opinion since I've grown up with a controller all my life. I do admit it was a good experience playing with Kinect, but when Mass Effect 3 comes out, I'll be sticking to my nice controller :)
Right, so what did think of the game? Is it as amazing as what this concept art picture above looks? Yes, it's pretty damn awesome. It's a pretty accurate description of what it'll look like in game, they've defiantly brought the big guns in terms of how massive the scope is supposed to be.
In terms of graphics they remain pretty much the same par as Mass Effect 2, if for a little better or worse I'd say a little better. What's more noticable is the surroundings with so much happening in the background as your playing. Of course, it's war time in the galaxy so naturally things aren't so quiet for Shepherd, there's plenty of little things that get your attention visually whether it's in the foreground or background.
The gameplay largely remains the same as before. It's a third person shooter at heart, but with role playing elements implemented. I'm sure the biggest thing people want to know is how much "RPG" is in Mass Effect 3, after Bioware stated that they would bring more of the aspects from the first game into this one, which people criticized the second for having barely any RPG involved to even be considered being called a RPG game.
Remember in Mass Effect 2, the only real time where you got 'exp' is when you completed a mission for the Illusive man? This time around you get experience for killing enemies again, although it's not individually - it's more grouped when you have a specific events happen during play. Such as killing a enemy squadron or boss, solving a puzzle, finding items, conversations and completing side missions.
The menu system is largely the same, the difference is in the squad level screen. It's been changed a bit to have a little more customisation then what Mass Effect 2 had previously, with choices of certain powers or abilities to have either more damage, radius, recharge, shield, health and so forth depending on your ****
A better addition this time around is customising your weaponary. Throughout the game, and buying at stores are weapon upgrades which you can use a weapon bench to modify your fire rate, accuracy, damage and ammo capacity as well as weight capacity which affects how quickly your powers recharge in the power wheel. It was a small part in Mass Effect 2 but it's a lot more escalated this time around, with a lot more variety and upgrades to use/find. It's a nice added feature. Oh yeah and Shepherd has a cool melee attack that does a ton of damage if you can get near an enemy.
I did finish the game, although I started it from scratch and not an import save - I noticed plenty of times where things in the game would've been treated different if you started with an import from Mass Effect 2. I would throw a tip out there that if you only played Mass Effect 2, I would play the first one, then the second because most affected choices seem to come from Mass Effect 1 and not so much #2.
In my opinion those who enjoyed Mass Effect 2 will love Mass Effect 3, it's pretty much the same game but with added features which I thought all who are nice additions. Those who thought it would regain a lot of Mass Effect 1 features will be a bit disappointed, although they have placed a few things that were in it and taken out of Mass Effect 2. If I had to put a number between Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 to say how much of both it is as a hybrid, I would say about a Mass Effect 1.75.
I tried the Multiplayer as well, only for a brief time however. I'll admit I was pretty skeptic about it when I heard Mass Effect 3 was getting multiplayer - but I was a little surprised when I played it and to a point enjoyed it. It's nothing remarkable, and to those concerned it looks like it's just an added feature and but being solely focused upon as much as the singleplayer story.
There will be a demo out pretty soon, around about early-mid January I believe. The version I played was almost complete so Bioware should have finished by early January. Mass Effect 3 will be out March 6th! If you have any questions I'll answer them, unless they're spoiler related. Hope you enjoyed reading!