Besides neatly conveying the notion of weak gravity, using thrust-powered elevation allows the MAKO to bounce up from behind cover and, using the mounted cannon, pop off shots at nearby enemies.
Fixed firmly in Shepard's sights are the galaxy-bothering geths - machine-based humanoids power-drunk on AI - and the demo gave us the first opportunity to size them up. When in groups, geths can draw on a collective intelligence, allowing them to assess and react to situations far more effectively than if they are acting alone. While we didn't see any evidence of this in action, the impact this could have on combat is certainly intriguing.
In addition to the regular foot-soldier geth, the player will also come up against several sub-forms: we got to see hoppers - sinewy, agile and arachnid-like in movement - and a geth armature, which resembled a spindly mech vehicle.
To tackle Mass Effect's enemies - and in addition to an array of weapon-based options - players will have at their disposal a selection of tech and biotic focused attacks. Shepard, for example, was able to remove gravity from objects, allowing him to lift and throw geth troops (most amusing when a sticky grenade was planted on the unfortunate geth first), while his Turian (one of Mass Effect's humanoid species) sidekick wielded an EMP ability that enabled him to disrupt electromagnetic shields.
As well as squad mode, which lets the player pause the game and issue orders to their crew, it's also possible to take direct control of each individual member. This gives access to any of the host's weapons, skills and abilities - a geth sentry was spotted in the distance, control was swapped to the squad's sniper specialist and the lookout dispatched accordingly.