The demo for Mass Effect 3 is the ultimate tease. The tease begins by allowing gamers to choose their Shepard. You won't be able to transfer your save file for the demo. I admit clicking new game was painful, but I powered through it.
The first thing you'll notice in ME3's demo is the ability to decide how you want to play: Action, Role-Playing and Story. Before you panic like I did, Action means you want to play this game like Call of Duty. Dialogue choices are cutscenes and the primary focus is combat. If you want to mosey through the game not focusing on actual skill, instead allowing yourself to get caught up in the emotional story, then choose Story mode. If you want to play Mass Effect 3 the way it was intended, with a balance of guns and dialogue wheels, then choose Role-Playing. I obviously chose it.
You'll be asked to answer three more questions, one addressing your origins, one allowing you to decide your Shepard's reputation and another deciding who you chose to live and die in Mass Effect 1. Normally in an RPG I would tell you there's no wrong choice. But kids, Ashley Williams in the wrong choice. (Nikole + Kaidan = Love Forever) These questions are supposed to catch you up if you've never played ME1 and ME2. It's certainly not the interactive comic for the PS3 version of ME2, but this is just a demo.
A ship zooms by the screen, but as the camera zooms out you see it's just a toy a child is playing with. The demo starts out with a command station in panic, as shown originally during E3 2011. Captain Anderson's voice is echoing as alliance officers scatter. Shepard walks with Anderson, asking why there was such panic. Word of the impending Reaper invasion has just become accepted, which is good timing since they've actually begun invading Earth.
As we walked down the hallway I noticed a familiar face. (OMG IT'S KAIDAN!) We exchanged a few casual words before going our separate ways. James, Shepard's newest squad mate asked Kaidan, "Do you know her." He replied, "I used to." YOU'RE KILLING ME KAIDAN!
This part of the demo is an on rails cinematic. My only interaction was making choices on my dialogue wheel. The counsel demanded help, a plan, but I told them to shove it. My plan? "Fight or Die." Apparently they chose "die" because as soon as the room was quiet a Reaper descended from the sky as a giant red laser cut through the room. The only obvious survivors were Anderson and Shepard.
VIDEO: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Gameplay Trailer -- Galaxy At War "Special Forces" Video
Anderson leads Shepard to a drop ship that was attacked, scaling the outside of the building along the way. If you pan the camera left you'll see at least four massive Reapers terrorizing the city. As Shepard made her way down the building, Husks began to attack. I don't know where the husks came from or why they were there, but neither hindered my ability to shoot them in the face. While inside a building, Shepard runs into the kid from the beginning. He's hiding in an air duct but before Shepard can help him, he slips away.
After the husks, your next enemy is the Cannibal. There wasn't an explanation for these guys either but they looked like the Mass Effect equivalent to a husk who drank too much imulsion (Gears of War). A few headshots later and the SR2 will swoop in to pick Shepard up. As Shepard's ship ascends, you see that same child from earlier climb aboard a ship. Before you have a chance to sigh from relief, a Reaper's laser blasts the ship into millions of pieces. Dramatic fade to black.
Part 2 of the demo is the Krogan female rescue mission from back at Gamescom last year and then again at PAX Prime. This part of the demo takes place later in the game as your character is already level 12. This mission is meant to show off ME3's combat abilities. Shepard has a decent amount of ammo, ample cover and enough Cerberus baddies to familiarize gamers with ME3's combat style.
The best part about this mission is it reunited me with Liara, Wrex, Garrus and Mordin. I do wonder which characters would be there had I let them die in ME2. The only annoying part of this part of the demo was backtracking. You'll have to go back through rooms, which can be a little confusing. The climax of the demo is a mech fight to allow Wrex to land the ship for the Krogan female. Using the d-pad you can direct your squad to distract him, allowing you to focus on red spots on its back. When there are no Cerberus soldiers left, Wrex lands to free the female. End of demo!
Coming up soon, our impressions of the multiplayer co-op game!