According to what BioWare's Casey Hudson told PC Gamer, Mass Effect 3's set to have some interesting combat and a few surprises in the romance department depending on your action in the previous games.
We'll start off with the action side of things. With the Reapers featuring heavily in this instalment of the series, Shepard's going to be spending a fair chunk of time battling them, as well as the various species that they've combined their technology with, in order to create some slap dash footsoldiers. These troops will have slightly different abilities thanks to the Reaper tech coursing through their systems and Hudson shed some light on what you should expect:
So we're giving them heavier melee stuff that they might do, or one of them is able to suck back the health of the enemies you've killed around it. So as you're killing enemies next to it, your squadmates are working on this character, and it's able to suck in the health.
So they have special abilities that their origin species don't have, but it's always kind of hinting back at what that species is good at.
Now, if you've been looking at the plot details for Mass Effect 3, you'll know that the Cerberus Organisation are also out for Shepard's blood and it seems like they're bringing out the big guns to get the job done, in the form of the Atlas, which is a bit of heavy machinery controlled by a living pilot. I'll let Mr. Hudson fill you in:
The cool thing about that is obviously once you see it moving, you get more of an idea of what it's about - it's a massive, heavy thing that's got a huge cannon on it. But it's piloted by a Cerberus trooper that's on the inside - you can actually see him in there, and if you concentrate on the little glass shield that he's behind, if you can take that shield out. Then you can damage the guy that's in there, and then you kill the guy an the machine's dead. Or likewise if you kill the machine, then the guy can hop out and you fight him.
It's not all going to be blood and gore though, you'll also be able to break out your romantic side when there's a rare quiet moment and Hudson recently tweeted that he was "Happy to confirm Mass Effect 3 supports wider options for love interests including same-sex for male and female characters, reactive to how you interact with them in-game."
For those of you who want a few more details, it's a good job that PC Gamer also gave Mr. Hudson a grilling on this topic too. Here's what he said:
In this one, we don't really have new characters that are part of the romance stuff in the way that we did in Mass Effect 2, where we introduced a lot of characters. So this is more about how you, if you're a new player, how you start these romances with the existing characters. If you've had relationships with previous characters, then it's your opportunity to resolve those.
At this point you might be wondering how your romantic actions towards members of the second game's crew'll pan out in the third. Well let me hand over to Mr Hudson again:
. . . a lot of people had romances with those characters, and now the fun is bringing back some of those characters from Mass Effect 1 and putting them back in the mix, and looking at what you did in Mass Effect 2 and bringing some . . . interesting scenarios around those things.
It sounds to me like there could be a lot of jealous looks exchanged as you travel around the universe, but I guess we'll all have to wait till next year to see exactly how all of this is going to pan out.