E3 2011: Mass Effect 3 first live demo

The final mission we saw took place near the beginning of the game, and was easily the strongest thing we saw story-wise. We're told that previously to this mission, Shepard had been detained to stand trial after the events of The Arrival DLC, when reapers suddenly launch a full-on attack on the planet. Now that Shepard's claims about the reapers can finally no longer be denied, it's time for the naysayers to let him get to work.

Shepard and Captain Anderson (his sole squadmate) make their way to an escape shuttle through what looks like a mostly-evacuated settlement. As reapers descend into the city nearby, the duo fights off enemies called cannibals that look similar to the batarian husks we saw in earlier screens. The cannibals have a more biologically infected look though, with huge reddish pustules bubbling up all over their skin, rather than having a geth-like synthetic look.

Along the way, Shepard stops to help a young boy hiding in a duct that the evacuation crews must have missed, and selecting the paragon option in the familiar dialogue wheel, Shepard tries to coax the boy out, so they can move to safety together. The boy was too afraid to move though, and so Shepard and Anderson are forced to finally move on.

As the pair finally make it to the shuttle that will take them to the Normandy SR2, the captain decides to stay and lead the remaining survivors, despite Shepard's protests. Anderson tells Shepard that he must go and spread the word, and recruit as many races as he can in the battle against the reapers, and reluctantly Shepard agrees. As the shuttle ascends, Shepard glimpses the young boy he tried to help earlier boarding an escape shuttle at the last second, along with another shuttle full of evacuees. The happy moment is cruelly short-lived though, as moments later a reaper blasts both shuttles into shrapnel with a terrifyingly-powerful red laser beam.

Only Shepard's shuttle makes it, and as it escapes into orbit we see the extent of the reapers' assault on Earth – across the entire globe is nothing but complete and utter devastation. Smoke plumes up everywhere as the reapers sink their tentacle-esque appendages into the planet without mercy. Humankind's homeworld, the seat of our entire history and civilization, laid to waste by machines bent on nothing but the extermination of all sentient life.

The demo ended as Earth shrank into the distance, and left us wishing Mass Effect 3 was nearer than its March 6 2012 release date. For more footage and details on what we saw, make sure to check out our interview with BioWare's David Silverman below:

Jun 8, 2011




  • briangodfather - June 16, 2011 1:43 p.m.

    When they say you move from cover to cover do they mean like in Splinter Cell: Conviction??
  • zanthox - June 9, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    CAN'T WAIT! and was that star wars music in the background?
  • GamingBear - June 9, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    I hope they don't reveal too many plot details, and just focus on what improvements they have made, still can't wait. I can understand maybe cerberus getting indoctrinated especially if they obtained the base at the end of me2, maybe the illusive man had his finger in too many pies it seems - he must of had some sort of previous with the reapers or something
  • Clovin64 - June 9, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    March 2012 can't come soon enough. At least Skyrim will keep me busy in the months leading up to ME3's release.
  • smallberry - June 9, 2011 6:18 a.m.

    @Carolyn You mentioned "RPG elements"; does the game feel increasingly like an Action game with some RPG bits thrown in? The videos they've shown mostly convey action; which I totally get...that's what you need to show to grab people's attention at E3. I really want to be able to set up tactics for my squad based on their powers, armor, loadout etc. Not to mention a stronger story that I really think was lacking in ME2 (in comparison to ME1. It was still a great game). I'm sorry if you've covered this in the interview. I'm trying to buffer it on my office connection but it's taking ages.
  • Longnuts - June 9, 2011 5:55 a.m.

    What if you killed Wrex in ME1? Wonder if his wussy brother will fill in again in that event.
  • Smeggs - June 9, 2011 4:49 a.m.

    Well, I expected Illusive Man to become indoctrinated and then come up with some bullshit lie to get the rest of Cerberus after Shepard, but the entire Cerberus organization? I wonder how that happened...Maybe they took Illusive Man and used his console communication stuff to spread the indoctrination through com-links and stuff.
  • Spybreak8 - June 9, 2011 4:10 a.m.

    Do want to watch but don't lol. I saw too much when I watched EA Pres Conference. OMG I can't wait for 2012!!!
  • pimpdaddie - June 9, 2011 4:08 a.m.

    dude I can't decide on tali or ashley for mass effect 3 they are both so fing hot!!!
  • tacoman38 - June 9, 2011 3:15 a.m.

    I am just very much confused on the omniblade. the omnitool was supposedly a holographic display for tech interfacing. so how is it stabbing things to death. unless its just a graphic way of introducing a virus into their suit that will kill them by changing life support and controls and stuff....
  • KolbitosFruitJuice - June 9, 2011 3:04 a.m.

    Ahhhhhhh! I want more info on the upgrade/power/skill system! This preview says there are more options to upgrade sheperd and squad, but thats pretty vague. Not that this isn't a good preview, but I'm already convinced on the new combat and everything else, all thats left is to see how the upgrade/power system has been expanded/reworked. Its driving me nuts. I'm going to get the game no matter what, but I want to see how Bioware is fulfilling its promise to us (promise via Christina Norman) of a more fleshed out RPG experience for the 3rd game. Graaaaahhhh! Will I have to wait until March to find out!?!?!? Well we have to wait until March anyways for the game, soooooooooo...............*facepalm*
  • Reaver_Beaver - June 9, 2011 1:24 a.m.

    *Drool* Can't wait...
  • Yeager1122 - June 9, 2011 1:12 a.m.

    The wait for this is going to be pure torture.
  • gilgamesh310 - June 9, 2011 12:34 a.m.

    My god, this looks absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. Im expecting it to be nothing short of the best game ever.
  • Samael - June 9, 2011 12:08 a.m.

    SHIT. The kid dies? Fucking hell...they didn't show that in any of the "Earth" demos they've released to the public. They always cut away before Anderson opts to stay behind. Speaking of which, he better not be dead when Shep finally comes to take back Earth. URRGH. If anyone can survive it's Anderson... I'm gonna tear these metal-organic bastards tentacle from fucking tentacle.
  • MyCoolWhiteLies - June 9, 2011 12:06 a.m.

    Yeah, the story bit about the trial is from The Arrival DLC.
  • GamesRadarCarolynGudmundson - June 9, 2011 12:01 a.m.

    @Defguru7777 - you're right about the trial, yeah. I haven't played The Arrival yet... I'm saving it because I can't stand the mental anguish of not having any new Mass Effect until March.
  • dontshootthereviewer - June 8, 2011 11:46 p.m.

    Soooooo excited for this game
  • Defguru7777 - June 8, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    My understanding of Shepard's trial was that he was in trouble for the Batarian colony (and system) that he destroyed in The Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2 that ended up killing 300,000 people (er, batarians). At the end of the DLC, Hackett even said that Shepard would need to return to Earth because of it shortly. Maybe they didn't elaborate to keep their promise that you don't need the ME2 DLC to understand ME3's story (but I think that's the reason).
  • babyhenchy1 - June 8, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    Quite possibly my all-time most anticipated game. So excited. March can't get here soon enough.

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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