Mass Effect playable at E3

Plus more details.

Bioware's revealed a bit more about Xbox 360 RPG Mass Effect - including the fact that it'll be playable at E3 in May.

Due out either this year or next, Mass Effect's an action RPG in which players form bands of intergalactic adventurers and go around smacking aliens in the face (roughly), discovering planets to explore and basically pillage as they roam around the solar systems and galaxies.

Speaking to IGN during GDC, Bioware's joint-CEOs Greg and Ray (saves typing) said that prior to battles, which will be proper real-time, players will be able to plan strategies to use, and then swap characters as the fights unfold too. Characters will fit into what sound like fairly standard archetypes - long/short range specialists, healers, etc. - but during the creation phase you'll be able to specify what you want, including the sorts of special attacks they have. The game will also use what's been pegged as Bioware's traditional weapon and armour progression trees.

On the graphical side, the game obviously looks amazing, and promises to have finer detail levels in terms of animation even than Jade Empire. Bioware apparently wanted to create more credible characters, who deliver poignant dialogue and realistic facial animation - it's about articulating emotion without necessarily saying anything, seems to be the gist of it. They want memorable smiles.

All quite intriguing - we'll be sure to take a closer look and see if it makes us smile when we get to E3.

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