Incoming! Week Commencing 05/03/12
- Mass Effect 3
- Mass Effect
All good things must come to an end – it’s a trite but true saying, the poignancy of which will be felt by many gamers this week when Bioware’s epic space-faring adventure reaches its conclusion with Mass Effect 3. But alien-killing, galaxy-saving shenanigans aside, there are a couple of other potential gems inbound this week, too. Here’s what to expect between now and Friday…
I Am Alive UK Release Date: Wednesday 7th March
Formats: Xbox 360 (XBLA)
In Ten Words: Survive cataclysm, lose family, dust lapels, scavenge weapons, kick ass
As we explained in our Best New Games of 2012 feature, this post-cataclysm survival game I Am Alive had something of a troubled conception, being passed from pillar to post to pillbox before finally settling with Ubisoft Shanghai in 2010. The story of a man who survived a world-shattering event and now struggles to find his missing family has the potential to be as emotionally affecting as it is mentally stimulating. With ammo and resources scarce, traversing a decaying cityscape filled with scavengers and chancers is both incredibly dangerous and very eventful. Carrying a pistol with very few bullets means you have to be creative, threatening people who stand in your way and hoping they don’t call your bluff. With an emphasis on exploration on both horizontal and vertical planes, and the possibility of finding other survivors both hostile and benign, I Am Alive has the potential to be a huge arcade hit for Ubisoft.
Collector’s Edition available? No
Predicted hit? Yes. Ubisoft have obvious experience traversing vertical cityscapes, and the bleak, desperate struggle for survival is something that’s almost never represented in games without some form of zombie outbreak / alien invasion involved.
Unit 13 UK Release Date: Tuesday 6th March
Developer: Zipper Interactive
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
In Ten Words: Wear camo, shoulder rifles, foil insurgents, shoot terrorists, know drill
Developed by zipper Interactive, it’s no surprise that Unit 13 plays very similar to the SOCOM games. A third-person military shooter, this Vita-exclusive offers gamers the chance to complete its mission objectives in any order they choose, and usually by means of any number of differing approaches. Each mission can be played through co-operatively, and they all feature an unlockable “Dynamic” mode – wherein objectives, locations, weapon pickups and enemies are random. Coming at a time when military shooters as a whole are often criticised for the linearity and predictability of their campaigns, Unit 13 could do very well by offering such a comparatively-fresh modus operandi.
Multiplayer? Yes, 2-player co-op is possible across PSN
Collector’s Edition available? No
Predicted hit? Hard to say, but the Vita seems to be shifting a lot of units at present so any title flying out this close to launch has a solid chance of selling well
Mass Effect 3 UK Release Date: Friday 9th March
Formats: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
In Ten Words: Take Earth back, save the galaxy, have sex with aliens
If we need to tell you what Mass Effect 3 is, you’ve probably been living in a cave for the last 18 months living off moss and the flesh of squirrels you hunted yourself. Bioware’s epic space-faring series draws to a close this week – or at least the part featuring Shepard does – as the gargantuan, genocidal Reapers invade Earth and lay waste to Council Space. Once again it’s up to Commander Shepard to step forward and do what he/she does best – kill Reapers and seduce his/her subordinates. Featuring a co-operative multiplayer mode (the surprisingly excellent demo of which landed on Valentine’s Day), a choice of game modes intended to cater for those who want their RPGs filled with chatter and those who just want to murder aliens, and over 1,000 story variables that must be calculated before you even begin to play, Mass Effect 3 is already a shoe-in for Game of the Year and it’s only March. This is as epic as sci-fi gets in an RPG, and if you’ve never taken the Normandy for a spin before now then you really, truly, don’t know what you’re missing. We demand you take the next week off work and play the first two Mass Effect games right now before Friday, and then play this. That’s right, we said “demand”. (Note: please don’t actually skive off work all week because we said so. That would be stupid.) Get re-acquainted with the Mass Effect universe by reading our huge feature, and prepare for the end with our ME3 preview.
Multiplayer? Yes, indeed. The Galaxy at War mode is a co-operative mode featuring missions separate to the campaign, but with certain elements woven throughout that will affect the single player narrative in subtle ways. Featuring customisable characters and the six main classes, those who downloaded the demo and took it for a spin will already know that Mass Effect’s multiplayer means business.
Collector’s Edition available? Yes. Well, it was – it’s sold out almost everywhere now. If you’re lucky enough to get hold of the N7 Collector’s Edition (for about £70), you’ll get a unique tin case, a 4 x 6” lithographic print of the Normandy spacecraft, a fabric N7 patch, a digital soundtrack, special XBL avatars, an exclusive comic and a handful of downloadable content including a secret character and an extra mission (which will be available to purchase on launch day for those of you who buy the standard edition). Most importantly, the N7 Edition cover features the “real” Commander Shepard (wink).
Predicted hit? Are you gonna eat that squirrel or can I have a bite?
That’s it for Incoming! this week – we’ll be back next week with more new releases. Y’know, assuming you’re not all still boinking aliens and saving humanity by then. Actually, forget it – that’s what we’ll be doing.
Words by Mick Fraser (Twitter: @Jedi_Beats_Tank)
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