While the demo may come out for everyone else on Valentine’s day, I was fortunate enough to snag a code for the demo off of the Mass Effect 3 Facebook app. Unfortunately, Microsoft is out of download codes, so you’ll have to wait for Tuesday to take the demo for a spin.
Since the multiplayer component of the demo is unavailable until the 17th (or the 14th if you own a new copy of Battlefield 3), only the single player is available at the moment. Still, there’s plenty to be done, and I’ve gone through the demo three times now, and I’ve used one class twice. For this article I’ll be avoiding story-related spoilers and focusing more so on changes to the overall gameplay.
The single player consists of two levels, the very first section of the game, and a mission that occurs later in the game’s story (the second level has been shown off at both E3 and New York Comic Con). Having played an earlier build of the game at NYCC, I can safely say that combat has been improved since then. Aside from having improved movement and the cover system, Bioware has incorporated hit-markers so you’ll definitely know if you’re hitting (or missing) your target. It’s a welcome addition, making combat a lot more dynamic.
Graphically, the game is breathtaking. Every character, enemy, and environment in the demo has been carefully crafted and beautifully rendered. Weapons seem to be well-balanced, although you don’t get to choose your arsenal in the demo. The same goes for weapon and armor customization, although the earlier build of the second level had a weapon customization table. This will probably change for the final build, although it is strange that the table was removed for the new build when the feature will be in the final game.
From what I’ve seen so far, Mass Effect 3 is shaping up to be the best game in the series. I can’t wait to go hands on with the full game this March and take the battle back to Earth. Until then, I’ll have to settle for playing the demo. You can expect another article once the multiplayer becomes available.
The Mass Effect 3 demo is made available to the public on February 14th, 2012.
Multiplayer access is made available to everyone on the 17th, although those with an active “Online Pass” for Battlefield 3 will be able to jump into multiplayer on the 14th. Multiplayer support for the demo will shut down on March 5th, the day before the game is released.
Mass Effect 3 releases March 6th 2012.