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New Heavy Melee class for Mass Effect 3

Potential spoilers inside.

UPDATE: We've run the original Spanish by our colleagues at Eurogamer.es, and have amended some of the details reported below as a result.

ORIGINAL STORY: Mass Effect 3 features a new class, according to fresh details that emerged this afternoon.

There may be spoilers ahead.

Eurogamer.es translation of Spanish gaming magazine MarcaPlayer (via the BioWare forum), reveals that Mass Effect 3's Shepard has a "SWAT turn" and new melee attacks, including kicks and punches. The Heavy Melee class takes advantage of these new melee attacks.

Shepard can roll, jump small gaps, and hit cover in a way likened to Max Payne.

Space battles are possible, but unconfirmed at this stage. The Engineer can build turrets, and weapons are customisable.

New locations include New York, London, the Salarian home planet, a Quarian moon, and Mars. Developing each location takes six months, and BioWare test them as soon as they start working on them.

Pro-human organisation Cerberus, which acts against Shepard in the game, has mechs, assault units and "ninja-style" shock troops at its disposal.

But Shepard and his party members are able to cause damage dynamically to enemies. The Cerberus mechs, for example, have a weak spot that must be shot. Arms can be cut off and armour can be broken.

The combat is described as "more dynamic", forcing players to move quickly. "Game rhythm" is 10-15 per cent faster.

Mysterious alien robot race the Reapers come in different sizes, from 500-600 metres to two kilometres. Sovereign, for example, is a two kilometre Reaper.

Environments are bigger. We'll see people walking, ships fighting and more detailed architecture. BioWare is looking for photo-realism by using new lightning techniques for the environments. Atmosphere is also better and there are more interactive elements in the scenarios.

A new scanning system has been implemented, and we won't drive the vehicles of previous Mass Effect games.

Earlier this month US magazine Game Informer revealed the first details on Mass Effect 3.

The RPG elements of Mass Effect are being expanded for the third game. Skill trees will be larger, and powers can evolve several times.

Characters returning in Mass Effect 3 include love interests Liara T'Soni, Kaidan Alenko and Ashley Williams. Squad members Garrus, Wrex, Mordin and Legion are pencilled in (providing they didn't die), as is Anderson. Whether these old faces can be recruited remains to be seen.

James Sanders - a possible offspring of Mass Effect novel heroine Kahlee Sanders - can also apparently join your team.

Mass Effect 3 starts as Shepard stands trial for his actions in recent ME2 DLC Arrival. Part-way through the hearing the Reapers invade earth. Mass Effect 3's prologue involves Shepard escaping to the Normandy, before rocketing off to put the old team back together. He'll fight Reaper-controlled husks of all species along the way.

Like Mass Effect 2 on PS3, the third game packs an interactive digital comic to both backfill the story as well as take your input on key series decisions.

Enigmatic Mass Effect 2 patron the Illusive Man also returns, his Cerberus operation now tasked with killing Shepard. Why the Illusive Man has turned the tables on his former champion remains to be seen.

Multiplayer is said to be off the cards.