A funny thing happened when I sat down to test out Mass Effect 3's ability to shout out orders to my virtual squad mates: I resisted. Big time.
As a longtime Mass Effect fan (I'm almost embarrassed to admit I've played the previous two games enough times to see virtually all of the different endings), it was difficult not to fall back on to old habits. Despite some tweaks and additions to the game, Mass Effect 3 played similarly to its two predecessors, so the temptation was there.
But I persevered and actively avoided using buttons and pausing the game, instead barking my orders via the Xbox's Kinect peripheral, which powers the feature. After the initial awkward few minutes in which I learned the different commands on the fly, I was routinely telling my squadmates to fire singularity warp fields and throw grenades just as naturally as if I asked my co-worker to hand me an extra notepad. The result was a more satisfying experience and a stronger personal connection to the virtual characters flanking me in combat.
Gamers will get their own chance to try out the game on February 14, when EA and Bioware will release a free demo online to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, as well as the PC. The game hits stores on March 6. … Read more