It’s not even the end of Q1 yet, and one of 2012’s most anticipated games has shipped to retail: Mass Effect 3 has landed in North American stores for Xbox 360, PS3 and Windows PC. As we said in our hands-on preview, Mass Effect 3 for Xbox 360 supports voice commands via the Xbox Kinect hardware. It’s the only platform to support voice controls. The first round of Mass Effect 3 DLC has also gone live today.
Mass Effect 3 will launch in Europe on March 9.
Mass Effect 3 thrusts players into an all-out galactic war to save mankind from an ancient alien race known only as the Reapers. Players will assume the role of Commander Shepard, a war-torn veteran who’s willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate this nearly unstoppable foe. With a team of elite soldiers at their side, each player decides how they will take Earth back, from the weapons and abilities they utilize to the relationships they forge or break.
Mass Effect 3 also features the Galaxy at War system, where players will have the option to fight the galactic war on multiple fronts. The system includes the franchise debut of co-operative multiplayer, as well as two iOS-exclusive apps, the cover-based, third-person shooter, Mass Effect Infiltrator, and the Mass Effect 3 Datapad. Progress made in each of these components will directly link back to the player’s main campaign, helping Commander Shepard rally the forces of the galaxy to eliminate the Reaper threat once and for all.
Also today, BioWare released the first Mass Effect 3 DLC, called “From Ashes.” This DLC pack is included in the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition and Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe Edition. BioWare is now offering this new adventure to all gamers who could not secure a copy of either special edition.
In Mass Effect 3: From Ashes, Commander Shepard will discover an ancient Prothean artifact that could turn the tide in the war to take Earth back. Players will take on a dangerous mission during Earth’s final hours to retrieve this critical piece of lost technology, and travel to a remote human colony to secure the artifact before the shadowy, pro-human organization, Cerberus, captures it for their own plans of domination. This optional content is included in the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition or Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe Edition or can be purchased on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC for $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Points starting today.