As promised, the first Mass Effect 3 details have arrived in US retailer mag Game Informer.
According to the mag, BioWare's third and final sci-fi instalment kicks off with Shepard on Earth, facing trial for the events that occurred during the recently released Arrival DLC for Mass Effect 2.
In the middle of the trial, the Reapers invade, and it all kicks off. Mass Effect 3's prologue involves Shepard's escape to the Normandy, and subsequent mission to yet again gather allies to battle the Reaper troops.
Confirmed squadmates from the GI article include Liara, Ashley/Kaiden, Garrus (if he's alive) and a man called James Sanders, who we're not familiar with. Wrex, Mordin, Legion, and Anderson will also appear in the game (if they're alive), but aren't confirmed as squadmates.
Mass Effect 3's set to include numerous endings, BioWare's confirmed, and just like the last game who you have in your squad and which allies you recruit will have a drastic effect on which ending you get.
The Illusive Man also plays a prominent role in the third game, and Cerberus is out to kill Shepard for reasons unknown, says GI.
In the gameplay department, RPG elements are being beefed up for the third game, says BioWare, offering players more freedom with character skills. Skill trees are said to be larger, and powers will evolve several times instead of just once, offering players even more freedom.
Weapons are similar to those in Mass Effect 2, except mods make a return, allowing you to swap out different parts such as barrels, scopes, and so on, which effect both the weapon's combat performance and appearance.
All classes can wield all weapons unhindered now, but will have limited slots to carry them. For example, only the Soldier can carry all weapons at once.
Finally, for those who've missed out on the series so far (shame on you) GI says Mass Effect 3 will feature a "previously on Mass Effect" comic to make decisions from scratch.
Good stuff. EA says to expect Mass Effect 3 this year. We'll hopefully have more for you soon.