The latest issue of UK-based gaming magazine Xbox World reveals new details about next year's upcoming Mass Effect 3.
Firstly, BioWare's Casey Hudson, project director for the Mass Effect series, has revealed that Mass Effect 3 will focus on a smaller overall squad than the previous two games. "Twelve was a big number in Mass Effect 2. Almost too big," admits Hudson, who contends that the smaller squad of Mass Effect 3 will empower "deeper relationships and more interesting interplay". Fret not, though; your favourite character is guaranteed to make an appearance provided that they haven't been killed off in your save game. "Every main character is in Mass Effect 3 somewhere," says Hudson, although some will return in a lesser capacity and won't be part of Shepard's squad.
It also seems that some key characters may return with makeovers. "Liara, Kaidan or Ashley, Jack and Garrus all return as squadmembers, though all with substantial redesigns by the original artists," continues Hudson.
Shepard will also benefit from a few tweaks, mostly to the control scheme. "You're falling, climbing, jumping, rolling between cover, SWAT turning, you can melee and grab enemies over cover objects," adds Hudson. "There's a new heavy melee attack for every class."
Also revealed is that players will have the chance to visit the turian homeworld of Palaven and the quarian homeworld of Rannoch, while also returning to such familiar environments as Tuchanka and - for the first time - Earth.
For Mass Effect first-timers, a similar system to that of the PlayStation 3 version of Mass Effect 2 will be implemented to bring them up to speed. "It might not be comic style, but we'll do something to recap the story," said Hudson. "It's essentially a really fancy save-game generator."