Mass Effect 3: Reveal Trailer Analysis

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I love the Mass Effect series. It epitomizes why I play video games. I endured Spike's grueling Video Game Awards on Saturday night because I heard rumors of a Mass Effect announcement. I've since watched the trailer for Mass Effect 3 revealed at the show over 20 times already. Over the next week, I'll likely get that number up to triple digits. 

But I digress. Back to the trailer itself: A lot of things jump out right away in this 60-second clip. Some of it I find incredibly interesting, other parts surprising. Let's break it down and see how far this rabbit hole goes.



Gray, cold, and hopeless: The art style at play here mixes the future with our present. By setting the trailer in London, developer BioWare gives us a familiar reference and an immediate connection to the dire straights humanity has found itself in. The color red, a common Mass Effect 2 visual motif, is prominent in the blood on the soldier's drugs and on his ear, as well as Shepard's N7 armor. The entire thing evokes a feeling of oppression and violence from an overwhelming threat.


You have to hand it to BioWare's A-team: They do not waste a breath rolling out the setup. The reapers are coming to kill and likely assimilate humanity into their mysterious plan. The implications spiral outward from there. Shepard is not on Earth but he can see what's happening. According to our British soldier, Shepard needs to get help, which means he isn't recruiting a squad this time around: He's recruiting a galaxy. All of the Council races and possibly even some of the non-Council ones will need to follow Shepard to Earth if there's any chance of saving life as we know it.

What stands out is our no-name soldier knows who Shepard is even if he's never seen a Reaper before. He's also aware Shepard is out there working against the catastrophic threat. A blurb on EA's website (now pulled) described Shepard as an Alliance Marine. Perhaps this implies our commander has reconnected with the military and is working openly this time.

Other Developments

This one I haven't quite puzzled out yet: Our soldier clearly shoots an alien chasing what looks like a woman and a child. My gut tells me it's a turian. There's something about its skinny legs and the way it falls down reminds me of Garrus. 

However, it could also be a new husk. If it's a turian or another species working for the reapers, it's likely the reapers have enslaved other races to turn them on us. If it's a husk, then at least we know what we're in for. Either way, the big, ship-like reapers are doing mega damage to our cities while these ground forces hunt human survivors on the run.

Another tidbit: Our soldier buddy gives us the death toll and rate of mortality. Two million dead on the first day and an additional 7 million by the end of the week. Shepard is going to have to move fast because too much dallying in politics will spell the end for Earth (I'm looking at you, Ambassador Udina!). 

It's worth considering whether time will play a role in Mass Effect 3 as a result. Possibly the longer you take to save Earth, the higher the cost you'll pay in the end.

Unanswered Questions

A lot is left unsaid in this trailer. How much time has passed between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3? Was Shepard was at ground zero when the reapers hit, or did they sneak by him to burn our London bridges down? Only time will tell. At this point, there is only one thing I can say for sure about Mass Effect 3: I am f*cking pumped for it.

Please add your own thoughts below as to what you gleaned from this teaser trailer.

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