‘Mass Effect 3′ Will Have New Game+, Combat Rolls, Ladders

BioWare is giving us “Mass Effect 3” later this year, which is a good thing for all of those fans left hanging after “Mass Effect 2” ended on a dire note. The first details on the game emerged last week, by way of a feature in the latest issue of Game Informer. Now a few more bits and pieces have emerged from that same first look, which you can check out after the jump.

The news that will probably please fans the most is the confirmed return of a New Game+ mode (via CVG). BioWare had originally not intended on bringing it back from the original game for last year’s sequel, but later worked it in. From the sound of things, the feature will again be altered a bit for its appearance in “Mass Effect 3.”

“It’s probably going to be a combination of [the first two games],” executive producer Casey Hudson said in the GI feature. “We’re going to have a version of the post-game state that you can go back to and finish more stuff, but then we’ll have stuff you can loop back around and do in new game+. It’s a hybrid of the two.”

From Hudson’s description, it actually sounds a lot like what was in “Mass Effect 2.” In the first game, you could simply restart at the same difficulty with your character’s experience level maintained. It wasn’t until “Mass Effect 2″ that you were able to continue playing after the main story ended, though you also had the option of restarting and boosting your Commander Shepard with one of your loyal followers’ special abilities.

Hudson also spoke to GI (via CVG as well) a little bit about the combat in “Mass Effect 3,” specifically the need to tighten it up since the series’ shooter-style gameplay begs comparisons with similar action games that have no RPG elements. “We realized that because we have shooter combat, we inevitably will be compared with the best shooters in the world.”

Hudson explained that most of the tweaks are subtle, the sort of things that only the most dedicated of fans will immediately notice. He did stress that giving players a wider range options for moving around the battlefield is a particular focus during development. In addition to an “enhanced cover system,” which includes given Shepard the ability to roll over low-lying objects, there are also now climbable ladders.

You know a sequel has “made it” when ladder-climbing is added as a feature. Pressure’s on, “Skyrim“!