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Mass Effect 3 cover-camping a no-no on Hardcore, Insanity

"You'd better be doing everything well, or you'll die."

Apparently I'll need to do more when playing Mass Effect 3 on Hardcore or Insanity difficulties than cower behind cover and pop up every so often to fling a biotic ability or loose a round of ammo, safe in the knowledge that my Krogan ally-plus-one have taken care of everything else.

"On Normal you'll be able to power your way or shoot your way through the game. But when you try Hardcore or Insanity you're not going to be able to do that any more," lead designer Preston Watamaniuk warned OXM (via VG247).

"You really will have to think about each combat; who the enemies are, what kind of resistance you're presented with, and then strategise to take them down. I'm hoping that it'll feel like you made a mistake and the game called you on it, rather than, 'I thought I was playing well, and then I died.'

He was a good Shepard. Just saying.

"We've tried to make it so that it just feels like if you're working the problem - using all your squad, all your powers, picking the right guns - you're going to get through that combat.

"It's not going to be, 'I sat in cover and popped out five or six times to use powers and stuff.'"

What's more, the Insanity difficulty will be harder than in previous games.

Peer pressure, explained Watamaniuk: "I had a lead designer for another game write to say, 'Make Insanity harder!' And I was like, 'OK!' This was a really well-known and respected guy, so I was like, 'OK, I'll do my best.'"

I hope it wasn't Shigeru Miyamoto - he's supposed to be busy making Nintendo's next big hit! I wonder if it was Dark Souls' director Hidetaka Miyazaki, or Skyrim's game director Todd Howard?

"It's not going to be, 'I sat in cover and popped out five or six times to use powers and stuff.'"

Preston Watamaniuk, lead designer, Mass Effect 3

Watamaniuk went on: "You'll notice that if you play on Insanity, that sort of general rule of thumb is even harsher. You'd better be doing everything well, or you'll die."

As we've waffled-on about before, baddies in Mass Effect 3 come in more shapes and sizes - and with more tricks up their sleeves - than in they did in Mass Effect 2 or Mass Effect 1. Some of them even carry shields that block bullets! So you'll need to get up off your bottom and flank them if you're serious about saving Earth. And no it's not unfair, because you'll get more goodies with which to tackle them.

"There's all the cover mobility, there's increased mobility in and out of cover, like being able to Storm out of cover, roll into cover, roll out of cover - a lot more agility around that," explained Watamaniuk.

"We have more involved powers, power combos, mods and the mods interact with the powers. Being able to take a Claymore shotgun and put a Shredder mod that allows you to penetrate through enemies, and then you put Cryo ammo on top of that, and all of a sudden you can pull the trigger once and blow four husks away."

A Mass Effect 3 demo will be released on Valentine's Day - Tuesday, 14th February.

The classes you can pick from when playing Mass Effect 3's co-op multiplayer mode.