You can swap laser pistols on the fly and see every weapon you carry strapped somewhere on Shepard's body. Speaking of laser pistols, you can modify your guns to add new effects - we had a nifty immolator strapped to our sniper rifle that engulfed enemies in flames.
Your squad seemed pretty smart, but you can micromanage if you want by pausing the game and issuing orders, like 'go here' and 'shoot this guy'. You can even have them blast away at bridge stanchions to drop the whole structure on enemies, crushing them to paste. Your team will support you intelligently, though, if you don't tell them anything at all and they looked remarkably efficient, downing foes before we even noticed them.
With a vast universe packed with a ridiculous variety of inhabitants - most of which were swaddled in bad-assed Kevlar - Mass Effect challenged our ability to maintain a professional attitude. In fact, we lost it several times gasping loudly or yelling, "Oh my god!" at the screen due to the incredible sights.
Mass Effect looks incredible and we can't wait to see more.
Above: Mass Effect is going to be a huge, universe-spanning adventure