One of the most anticipated games of the year, Mass Effect 3 will be out in about six weeks. More good news for gamers who've been eagerly waiting it since beating Mass Effect 2 two years ago: Bioware has produced a demo, scheduled to drop a month before Mass Effect 3's March 6 release date.
The demo, scheduled to come out on Valentine's Day, will give fans a chance to experience the game's first chapter, including what Bioware describes as a "mindblowing opening attack on earth." Gamers will be able to check out the game's much-hyped co-op mode as well as an even more exciting feature: Kinect compatibility.
Although the game is also available on PS3 and PC, the Xbox 360 Kinect version is the most intriguing. Unlike most developers, Bioware chose to neglect the motion-based Kinect controls in favor of voice commands. A few other games, such as Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, have used Kinect voice control, but Mass Effect 3 promises to go further, allowing players to give individual characters commands by calling out their names. Other voice commands can be used to switch ammo, open doors and choose dialogue.
Voice activation adds a new element for Mass Effect fans, and developers will be paying close attention. Since Mass Effect 3 borrows from a broad range of games, including RPGs and third-person shooters, it should provide a good barometer for how fans react to voice control in their games. If gamers embrace the technology, you could soon be doing everything with your voice, from quick saving to using potions.
Download the demo on Feb. 14 to start the final installment of the Mass Effect trilogy and find out for yourself how Bioware's changes affect game play. Let us know what you think of the new story, gameplay options and voice command through Facebook and Twitter.
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