It seems Santa Claus has come early for all of you with BioWare’s secrets scribbled on your lists. Someone privy to Mass Effect 3’s beta (lucky!) has posted three videos of the game – over an hour of footage total – on YouTube. Provided below is the only one that doesn’t pepper your delicate eyes with spoilers, “A Look at Mass Effect 3’s Co-op Mode.”
There are a few details we can glean from the gameplay. Obvious is that BioWare has taken a liking to the (ten) wave system so prevalent in recent shooters. Our protagonist is a Vanguard sporting the Shuriken submachine gun and the Katana shotgun – a true 22nd century samurai.
Race is tough to determine, seeing that the player is wearing what looks like the Death Mask from Mass Effect 2. Back then, the mask granted a 10% bonus to negotiation. Whether diplomacy and dialogue come into play in “Galaxy at War,” as the online multiplayer component is called, is anyone’s guess.
The HUD seems to have undergone a complete redesign, with the shield meter and health bars more centered for the player’s attention. If they’re both drained, teammates have what seems like a mere 12 seconds to get you back on your feet, or it’s spectator mode for you.
Every third wave (starting with the wave 3) imposes an additional, somewhat ho-hum objective – “enable” four devices scattered across the map – alongside the priority to kill and survive. Finally, the various enemies seem to pose quite the challenge for our four players. As was revealed last week by development director Scylla Costa, the stalwart enforcers make for a tough kill. The vanguard is its perfect foil in the end, as the “pull” ability effectively takes the shield out of the equation, exposing the flustered mollusc of a foe beneath.
The Atlas Mech makes a doorframe-filling appearance, but it’s the acrobatic, biotic Phantoms who, for all their cartwheeling, eventually close in and spell the end for the party in Wave 7. One of them even seems to “counter” the Vanguard’s pull at 20:28… Spooky.
Be sure to check out the other posted videos if you want a sneak peek into Mass Effect 3’s single-player storyline.
As a separate warning, it might make you wish that March 6th, 2012 were tomorrow.