If there was one booth that people were turned away from at this year’s E3 Expo more than any other, it was the little white door just to the left of EA’s largest central screen, as access was for people with media badges only and I was one of the lucky few. Stepping through the innocent looking white door was like stepping onto the deck of the Normandy; the silver walls arched over at the top and windows looking out into space lit one side. We weren’t here to look at the room though; Mass Effect’s Producer Casey Hudson stood next to a giant screen and wanted to show me a small glimpse of his latest story, “a story that is as big as we can possibly tell” as he calls it.
Just to bring anybody who has been living in a cave up to speed, Mass Effect is a sci-fi adventure with many smaller plot lines and varying outcomes, but its over-arching story is one of an invasion by a race of alien machines known as the Reapers, who are coming to harvest all life in the galaxy. In Mass Effect 3, the Reapers have now reached Earth after laying waste to most of the galaxy and it’s your job as Commander Shepard to rally the survivors and save what is left of Earth. Casey was keen to stress that although this is the final part of the trilogy it is also “the best place to jump in because it’s the beginning of the biggest events of the Mass Effect series, and it’s also going to be the best game in the series”. I’ll be honest, I don’t agree with him; to fully appreciate Mass Effect you need to play it from the beginning. I think he’s saying that if you haven’t played the others in the series, don’t feel put off Mass Effect 3 by not having played them, as it will still be a great game regardless.