Mass Effect 3 Demo Single Player Hands On

Xbox 360 Reviews

thisisxbox received our redeem codes today for the anticipated and exciting Mass Effect 3 Demo which uses Kinect voice commands for the first time in the history of Mass Effect – mainly because the tech wasn’t out for earlier games… spoiler alert

Upon starting the demo you get to choose your experience from Action, Role Play or Story game modes. Action allows you to jump right into the action as the iconic Commander Shepard, Role Play is the traditional Mass Effect experience with customisable characters and variable dialogue responses, and finally Story Mode features customisable characters and the option to control the interactive story without any difficult combat. The choice is yours.

Within the demo, we chose Role Play and decided against customising the character appearance to keep the look of the default Commander Shepard we know and love. In editing the Personnel Records we were able to choose from the following Military Classes as shown below and decided upon Soldier.

  • Soldier – Pure Combat Specialist.
  • Infiltrator – Tech and Combat Specialist with Cloak Ability.
  • Vanguard – High Risk, High Reward Combat.
  • Sentinel – Tech and Biotic Abilities with Advanced Shields.
  • Adept – Biotic Specialist with Raw Biotic Powers.
  • Engineer – Tech Specialists able to disarm enemy defences.

To complete a Psychological Profile, we could choose from Spacer, Colonist or Earthborn as the options to state how our Commander Shepard was raised. Spacer meant his parents were both in the Military and he was raided on Ships, As a Colonist he would have been raised on Mindoir, a small border colony in the Attican Tracerse – and finally, as an Earthborn, he would have been an orphan raised on the streets of the great megatropolises covering Earth. Then, from either Sole Survivor, War Hero or Ruthless we made him Ruthless in Battle.

Once the cut scenes introduce the story and how only one man can save humanity – Commander Shepard steps into the fray and although looking a little aged and tired, he seems ready for action. Then, the big one we’ve been waiting for – the Kinect voice control prompts appeared on the screen. In a little moment of excitement, we did it… “We should’ve prepared for this” spoken to the screen, and the cut scenes continued into the moments of pre-battle with the Reapers – who have become more powerful and more advanced than anything else. There it was again “We have to stand together” spoken to the screen, and the story then continued…

Visually the graphics within the action parts of the game seem very polished with exceptional lighting effects to represent the gritty, tech filled war torn environment. We had to make Shepard run and jump many obstacles as part of the first mission which was an escape plan with Anderson to the Space Port. We were able to climb ladders, drop down ledges and take cover – then bust our guns out to kill all the nearby Husks. In quickly running out of ammo, heavy melee was a great way to knock out oncoming enemies as Shepard’s arm lit up red and thumped out a good hard thud to the face.

Demo Start Up Screen Captured by Jason of Duty

The single player demo puts you in an environment very similar to the War of the Worlds with heavily armed futuristic tech on a giant scale causing mass destruction, people are dying everywhere and children are winding up lost but you are just unable to help. It’s a great introduction to the story where you are put deep into the front lines of war battling the Cannibals at the crash site, and additionally really showcases the benefits of using Kinect to voice control your actions and responses. It has a way of making you feel involved.

Towards the end of the first chapter after releasing a distress beacon you are forced against a horde of oncoming enemies where you must hold you position until you are rescued. The battle scenes feel very much like a Gears of War game in a more technology science fiction setting, it’s fast paced and even uses Kinect voice commands to pick up Health Packs and switch weapons.

From the Mass Effect 3 demo you can clearly see this is going to be one huge action packed cinematic RPG experience which is begging for your attention. Described by EA as a game where players will be thrust into an all-out galactic war to take Earth back and save the entire galaxy. With a team of elite, battle-hardened soldiers at your side, each player decides how they will take Earth back, from the weapons and abilities they utilise to the relationships they forge or break.

Mass Effect 3 also features a new co-operative gameplay mode that allows fans to experience the war from a different perspective. Players who want to try this new mode will be able to do so on February 17th, or by qualifying for early access to the co-op portion of the demo which begins February 14th. Gamers qualify for early access if they have activated their Battlefield 3 online pass.

As thisisxbox is one of the first to try the demo hands-on, the Multiplayer portion of the demo has not yet been unlocked. We’ll report on that as soon as it goes live and note that the demo requires you to have an EA Origin account before being able to access online features.

Why not check out the new trailer below:

Founder of ThisisXbox.com (owner from 2010 - 2014), now writer and reviewer with an interest in writing thriller fiction. Two addictions; Diet Coke and Call of Duty. All views expressed everywhere are my own and not that of my employer!