Will Mass Effect 3 be best on Xbox 360?
We all have our console of choice. If you are a huge Mass Effect fan, you are most likely going to get Mass Effect 3 for which ever system your past two saved Shepards are on, regardless of which consoles have which features; but what about the gamer picking up Mass Effect 3 without ever playing the other two? When it comes down to the PS3 or the Xbox 360, that is usually a matter of personal preference. What about the PC gamers? The allure of having abilities mapped to number keys on the keyboard is a pretty sweet feature.
What’s even better than having a keyboard armed with hot keys? Voice commands. As we have previously covered, it’s no secret that the Microsoft video and speech recognition accessory has been implemented to Mass Effect 3 for the Xbox 360. Even though the Kinect has recently been released for PC, as of now it will not support ME3. Maybe it will in the future.
Why are voice commands so great for Mass Effect 3? Simple, they improve combat flow. If you’ve played the previous ME games on the hardest difficulties, you know that you basically need to turn off your crew’s auto ability and control them yourself. This means a lot of pausing of the action to bring up the radial menu to constantly use crew and Shepard's abilities (PC partially excluded). While shooting, being able to say, “Tali, overload” not only simplifies the process but I assume it will also draw you more into the fight. I can see this making you feel more like ‘Commander’ Shepard and not just Shepard.
From the video, you can see the players telling crew mates to move, use specific abilities, switch weapons, and even tell your companions to cover Shepard. Out of combat Shepard can examine items, bypass locks, use the conversation wheel, and activate machinery. The counter argument to the Kinect commands is that it’s functionality is just gimmicky and unnecessary. Are you too lazy to press “A” to open a door? Isn’t saying a command to open a door actually more work? That’s a fair argument. The out of combat stuff might fall into the category of ‘showing off,’ but it’s fun to have the options there. I still feel like the combat will be an improvement if it is as responsive as people are saying it is.
It of course boils down to preference in the end. The Kinect may not make or break Mass Effect 3, but I do feel like the voice options will add a new layer of options to the gameplay. If it works as well as they make it seem, then it will truly be amazing. The demo coming out for Xbox 360 and PS3 on Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. The Kinect voice commands will be available in the demo for Kinect users. After this demo I think we’ll all know for certain if these functions are truly worth the hype. Don’t forget ME3 will be out for all March 6th.