Mass Effect 3 Squad Leader Video – What does it really show us?

August 16, 2011


Today marks the first day that we’ve seen new Mass Effect 3 footage since San Diego Comic Con. We’ve all been waiting eagerly, and Bioware had no intentions of denying us our Shepard fix.

In the press panel video released today, Bioware, following a brief introductory speech, showed a video trailer showcasing the player’s role as the “Squad Leader”. As Commander Shepard, you will bring two squad members into combat with you, and they can be commanded to execute a wide variety of strategies. In previous demonstrations, we saw how they could be ordered to flank enemies to attack weak spots, and to use their unique talents to disable dangerous enemies to make them easier to take out. In this video, it’s immediately apparent that the almost silent command system from Mass Effect 2 has been revamped; rather than simply point squad members to where to go and who to attack, Shepard will now explicitly tell squad mates where they should move to and take cover. In fact, squad banter seems to be at an all-time high, something that Bioware has promised to deliver on. Shepard and his team can be heard giving and accepting commands, updating the squad on targets and ability usage, and even reassuring compliments (“Nice”).

Next, Shepard is heard updating his team’s weapon selection to take on a new threat before sprinting to forward cover while Liara dispatches a Cerberus soldier with her biotic Throw. After Shepard takes out an enemy with a fiery Omniblade attack, Cerberus responds – with an Atlas, a giant walker armed with powerful weapons and armor. Up until now we’ve only seen this enemy before the demo cuts away, but in today’s video, Shepard and his team actually fight to bring it down. This proves to be anything but easy, however, as Garrus notes that he can’t penetrate the Atlas’s shields, just as it strides up to Liara, grabs her, and nearly snaps her in half with its claw before throwing her to the ground. Garrus is targeted next, the focus of heavy rocket fire and a similar fate as Liara as the strider approaches. However, he disables its shields with a Tech Overload, setting it up for Shepard’s follow-up frag grenade, finishing it off for good.

So what new information can we glean from this video? Actually…not as much as we might like. Aside from the demonstration of additional party speech and a fight with the Atlas, there wasn’t really a lot showcased here that we didn’t already know about, although technically we did get to see the Engineer in action. Still, it’s only day one of GamesCom, and Bioware would be foolish to show their entire hand so early. Stay tuned as we eagerly await to report new Mass Effect 3 information for you! In the meantime, watch and comment on the video below.

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About Argus9

Jonathan ‘Argus9′ Zisser has been an avid gamer for over 20 years. His early years of playing the NES with his father helped springboard his interest in gaming, and has eventually matured into an avid following for the gaming industry. Studying Computer Engineering at Stony Brook University also gave him insight into the more technical side of video games. A passionate writer as well, Jonathan loves conveying his experiences and opinions by creating engaging articles as often as possible. More often than not, he tries to break down today’s industry and write editorials that make his readers think.

View all posts by Argus9

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3 Comments on “Mass Effect 3 Squad Leader Video – What does it really show us?”

  1. RockN Says:

    The trailer did not give me too much either. Mostly I was thinking “God, I hope the graphics look like this when the final product is released.”


  2. argus9 Says:

    I hear you. I think the video was really meant to whet our appetites for the content they’re sure to show us next. 🙂


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