Mass Effect 3: The Live Actioning

Beneath 'Are We Under Attack?' there should be an even smaller line reading 'Yes.'

We seem to be doing this backwards. On Monday we kicked off E3 week with an action-packed in-engine trailer for Mass Effect 3 featuring such bravado-soaked one-liners as “We need a plan to stop them!” “WE FIGHT OR WE DIE. THAT’S THE PLAN.” Captain Shepherd that’s a terrible plan and you are a bad captain.

Anyway, today we’ve got a live action trailer showing various humans acting all shocked at the imminent invasion of Earth. You know, the same invasion that’ll form the backdrop of Mass Effect 3. You can watch it after the jump.

1:07 is totally the best bit. I wish I could remember what those guys were called.


  1. Mike says:


    • The Tupper says:


    • Pop says:

      Bah! That kind of outrageous behaviour could *only* be an English man in France! After his football and beer no doubt. Mon dieu!

    • Bidou says:

      At least that sound like French, it still use the vocabulary coming from google trad tough, but it’s not like MW3 (god I hope the russian/arabic in the games is not as bad as the French is in the trailer. They must be laughing / WTF-ing all the time).

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      French men are the future.

    • nofing says:

      The German part was fine, the only weird thing is, that she said “…the EU is attacked by Reaper combat helicopters” … what? Since when do the Reapers have helicopters?

    • Tatourmi says:

      Yes, the french was, for the first time in a game trailer, good stuff. The first frenchman especially had a very good line in my opinion. Colour me happy.

  2. El_MUERkO says:

    ‘Husk’ I think.

  3. Alexander Norris says:

    Husks, Quinns. You rubbishman.

  4. jon_hill987 says:

    That is a terrible plan. It certainly shouldn’t be plan A.

  5. Inigo says:

    Are We Under Attack?


    • Meat Circus says:

      Are We Under Attack?”

      Maybe they’re just on a shopping trip? Reapers needs shoes too you know.

    • McDan says:

      “It’s the terrorists!”
      “Um, apparently they’re being attacked too, by these massive robot things that guy warned us about but we totally ignored.”
      “It’s a ploy! It’s terrorists! Or the french!”

    • JackShandy says:

      “So there’s hundereds of alien ships above earth?”
      “Uh, we’re talking thousands, actually.”
      “So, are we under attack?”
      “Pssh! Nah.”

    • DarkNoghri says:

      Not to rain on your parade, but are they not talking about massed numbers of human ships? “…. preparations against a legitimate attack…” etc.

      Just saying.

    • JackShandy says:

      Oh. I see.

      Still, that means that the government actually does recognize the threat and is defending against it, only they decided not to tell anyone. It just changes to:

      “So, almost every single spaceship on earth is massing in this one spot, is something going on?”
      “Pshaw! You and your superstitions.”

    • gwathdring says:

      “There is something going on.”
      “Look there is nothing going on. Please believe me, there is abso …. lutely nothing going on. Is there anything going on?”

      No there’s nothing going on.

      “See? Nothing going on.”
      “Wait, what the hell are those?”
      “My aunts.”

    • Dhatz says:

      to me it seems 100 just over europe and 1000 globally.

  6. Judy says:

    This feels a LOT like Neill Blomkamp. District 9, anyone?

    • somini says:

      Damn, ninja’d. I was going to say that we should make the Mass Effect film. Looking like District 9 is a compliment, at least in my book.

    • d32 says:

      That movie was such crap. After the “documentary” part ended and the action-superhero part started…

  7. CLD says:

    Huh, 200 years in the future and the political map of Europe looks the same as today ? That’s hard to believe.

  8. KauhuK says:

    Oh c’mon. I refuse to believe people would be that ignorant of things going on.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      Have you watched the cable or satellite news channels recently? They barely report the actual news.

    • Magrippinho says:

      Fox News Reporting:

      Is this an Alien attack, or was GTA’s Hot Coffee mod more serious than we thought? Here are some fleeting pictures of experts, and here’s our interview with our resident ‘expert’ Mr. Kit Soffmylone.

    • Faceless says:


      The media never downplays events, there’s a reason why there isn’t a term inverse to ‘sensationalism’. At worst, the media exaggerates and assumes. They’d assume it’s time-travelling Mayans long before they’d collectively wave their hand in dismissal. That’s assuming the government(s) wouldn’t lie that it’s a military exercise, too, in order to avoid panic.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      @ faceless, The media downplays stuff all the time with perhaps the most comprehensive explanation of how and why they do it being the propaganda model:

      link to

    • Nalano says:

      “…and the bombing in Libya continues.


    • Joshua says:

      The only guy actually reporting on it in the USA would be Jon Stewart. As with the Zydroga bill and stuff.

  9. colinmarc says:

    splodey gooey zombie thingies

  10. WaveOfMutilation says:

    About 2 months ago I was really hyped for this game, but for some reason now I couldn’t care less.

    I’m not sure why this is.

    • kael13 says:

      Because the trailer was dreadful? Why oh why are they wearing regular business suits for example? In which Mass Effect game do you see ANYONE wearing a suit? Budget issues be-damned! Hire some fresh out of college costume designer to come up with the craziest news caster garb they can.

    • jeremypeel says:

      I prefer to get my in-game tv news from the Brotherhood of NOD. At least with them there’s the chance of an on-screen execution to keep me focused on current affairs. Otherwise, it’s not so different to FOX.

    • FKD says:

      I feel the same way unfortunately :/ When I played the first ME I had a absolute wonderful time (the inventory was a pain in the butt though and there were several things I never fully understood until towards the end). The second game, I liked the “production values” of it and the cover system was nice however I thought the combat was the weakest part of it (it felt just like any other run/gun/pickup ammo game) and was annoyed with the respawning enemies which magically stop once you get to a certain point.

      This looks like the combat has been “streamlined” even further, and just has a all around “meh” feeling to it. While I will still have to wait to really get a true impression of it, my excitement for the series has completly plumetted. :/

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      Also it seems really incongruous with the previous 2 episodes that anyone should care about earth being invaded. There’s a whole galaxy and I can’t think of any missions that actually have taken place on Earth.

  11. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Oh god. I hope it’s not going to be exclusive to EA’s new DD service Origin. But they’re probably too greedy for that!

    I can only hope this will be the only Live Action Promo for ME3. I’m still traumatised by C&C cutscenes, and can barely watch video-game related live action footage.

    In a pessimistic mood today. Whats that thing shepard does with his Omni-Tool? does the phrase “omni” include knifing stuff?

  12. Rinox says:

    I love the Mass Effect series, but…this whole “LAST STAND ON EARTH” thing is seriously putting me off. I want to explore space and find new cool planets, I don’t want to be on earth. I’m on earth enough in my real life as it is.

    Also, classic alien invasion mistake to attack Earth first.

    • sinister agent says:

      It’s also monstrously egotistical. Earth isn’t even close to being strategically important on a galactic scale. For a superior race of ultra-logic, the reapers are pretty damn stupid. The Geth or Krogan or even the Tourisms Turians are surely far more significant than squishy, divided, backwards-arse humans.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      It could be like Halo 2’s earth invasion in that it is the big flashy thing to draw punters in and then quickly abandoned for my interesting sci-fi locales.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      The reapers have shown a personal dislike for Shepard since he’s meddled in their plans, as confident and powerful as they are maybe they’ve chosen earth out of spite rather than strategic importance.

    • stahlwerk says:

      @Rinox, I agree wholeheartedly.

    • Kdansky says:

      It’s about par for villain stupidity in that universe.

    • kibayasu says:

      I believe its already been made abundantly clear that you’ll be going to the other races in the galaxy.

    • rozpocet1 says:

      I’d like to make a few things clear: You all have to take a look at the ME galaxy map. The reapers approach from the bottom area of the map. First, the batarian systems were under attack, hence all the mutated batarians in the trailers. The next known system is the Sol system with Earth. For me it makes perfect sense. After Earth is attacked Shepard escapes with the Normandy. He’ll be visiting plenty of worlds, don’t worry.

    • bleeters says:

      It’s pretty much established by now that they’re far more interested in humans than any of the other species, what with humanity actually managing to defeat a reaper, and all that noise about interesting genetic diversity. Assuming they regard humanity as some kind of challenge relative to the other insignificant races, attacking Earth isn’t all that implausible. Virtually the entire Alliance navy is wiped out at once, after all.

      Either way, they’re immortal death robots. I doubt they care much for tactical complexity after ploughing through the galaxy unopposed dozens of times already.

    • Urael says:

      Right with you, Rinox. I hate being dragged back out of my pan-galactic travel fantasy to this crappy little world – it’s dull dull dull dull dull. Only hack writers still consider Earth as having some kind of deep emotional commitment for gamers – but if you’re giving us people in suits and ties, Bioware, after two games of funky sci-fi future outfits, you desperately need to hire some hacks and get rid of the poop-flinging monkeys who made that trailer.

    • Arglebargle says:

      I suspect that humans have been chosen as the race to assimilate in this particular iteration of the Galactic Death Sweep tm.

      Or maybe that Bioware thinks they will sell more copies of the game to humans than to Turians or Asari. Though I think the Krogan would like it pretty good.

    • Dhatz says:

      its not like earth is the only planet under attack, and reapers were pissed off that shepard destroyed their collectors and ME2 ending spoiler.

  13. sinister agent says:

    Captain Shepherd that’s a terrible plan and you are a bad captain.

    Genuine ‘out loud’ moment there. You bast. I hope, I hope, I hope someone says that in game.

  14. Dzamir says:

    9-3-2013 is the release date!

  15. ReV_VAdAUL says:

    The live action adverts for Halo 3 were a lot better though they were proof of concept for a Halo film I think.

    Uh oh.

  16. fallingmagpie says:

    So is male Shep the official canon one now then?

  17. stahlwerk says:

    Oh no, not Hamburg (again)!

  18. Pop says:

    Giant indestructible alien ships? A last gasp battle? But why’s it all on foot?

    Put Shepherd in a fighter and lets finally have us some Freespace action!

    • Stick says:

      I, too, am a bit confused as to the infantry-vs-spaceship dynamic, but what the heck. Don’t Stop The Fun Train, etc.

    • Zenicetus says:

      This is my big disappointment with the whole series. They go to the trouble of modeling that great combat starship you fly around in, the most advanced in the galaxy, yada yada…. and then you never get to use it for anything except taxi service. Even ignoring all the lost potential for ship-to-ship action that you never see except in cutscenes, it’s a little silly that you’re always running around outdoors, popping off shots behind cover at some distant group of goons, when you could just call in an airstrike.

  19. Kdansky says:

    0:17 – GIANT HANDS.

  20. woodsey says:

    So that’s two terrible Mass Effect 3 trailers from E3.

  21. ericks says:

    I nearly lost it when it said 09-03-12, then I remembered I’m a backwards American and I was okay.

  22. Coins says:

    The most unrealistic is that the current borders are on those map. Surely that would chance in the future!

    • p34ce says:

      If you want to talk about realism, the concept of a territorial border in space is a nonsense to begin with.


    • Dhatz says:

      the concept of space bing like ocean is the biggest BS. BGO only goes with it because it make the maps not disorientating.

  23. Mr_Day says:

    “I’m Commander Shepard, and the Reapers are coming to kill us.”

    “That sounds a bit far fetched.”

    “Really? Again? You are going to doubt me again? Wasn’t that the premise of my last two adventures?”

    “What, that [insert name here] are coming, and only the player can be bothered to stop them? That doesn’t sound like anything Bioware would write.”

    “That is EVERYTHING NEW Bioware write! Except DA2, which couldn’t tell you what the plot was if you asked really nicely.”

    “Pff. Kotor.”

    “Oh noes, The Sith are coming, and only the player can be bothered to stop them.”

    “Er. Dragon Age.”

    “Oh noes, The Blight are coming, and only the player can be bothered to stop them.”

    “Bullshit! Jade Empire!”

    “I haven’t played that one. YOU WIN THIS TIME!”

    “AHa! Phew. Still, no Reapers, I am sure the mass of ships above us have nothing to do with..oh.”

    “What, did the Reapers attack?”

    “YOU DON’T KNOW THAT. I mean. Yes, kinda. But you didn’t know!”

    “I’ll go and save us then, shall I?”

    “Could you? It’d be nice. I promise not to doubt you ever again.”

    “I’ll go get the Council Races to help us.

    “Yeah, sure you will.”


    “Nothing.Sorry. Off you go. Pff, he won’t do it.”

  24. keith.lamothe says:

    “Captain Shepherd that’s a terrible plan and you are a bad captain.”

    *Poof* The magic dialogue wheel appears!

    Possible Response #1:

    Summary-on-the-wheel: “You’re right.”

    Actual words if chosen:
    “It’s true that I may be taking the wrong approach here, what would you suggest?”

    Possible Response #2:

    Summary-on-the-wheel: “Best we can do.”

    Actual words if chosen:
    “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, but it’s the best we can do now.”

    Possible Response #3:

    Summary-on-the-wheel: “Don’t get me started on Bad Plans.”

    Actual words if chosen:
    “Listen up, Mr. Smith. My PLAN didn’t involve getting earth caught under a hostile alien fleet.

    In fact, my PLAN was to stop Saren before he found the Mu Relay. But those council bastards wouldn’t believe me until he’d already gotten too much of a head-start. Took half the Alliance fleet to save their behinds from that one.

    In fact, my PLAN after that fiasco was to just quietly die but some jerks named after a mythical dog brought me back from the dead and I found myself inexplicably cooperating with them despite every desire to not do so. Oh, and I might have gotten out of it if the council had believed me _that time_ about the impending threat, but nooooo.

    In fact, my PLAN involved delaying the arrival of these alien monstrosities until we could form some kind of sensible response strategy. To do this I blew up an entire bleeping _star system_ and all I got for it was this lousy court martial!

    Don’t talk to me about bad plans, anemia-boy, I’ve already tried all the good ones. The only one left is the only one that’s worked worth anything in this entire script: shooting people in the face.”

    • Seb says:

      I would play this game.

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      Option three sounds like the right thing to say.

    • Stick says:

      Heh. Reminded me of this bit from Leverage:

      “How many plans to we have? Is there like a plan M?”
      “Yeah, Hardison dies in plan M.”
      “I like plan M.”

    • 9of9 says:

      Can we like, start a petition or something to have this as an actual in-game dialogue choice? Please? ^^

    • p34ce says:

      Option #3 is always the correct option. Because it’s always the one highlighted red. Well played sirs.

    • keith.lamothe says:

      “Can we like, start a petition or something to have this as an actual in-game dialogue choice?”

      “Starting an internet petition” is one of the very few activities in this world less likely to produce results than “ask the Council for help in Mass Effect”.

      (btw, the dialgoue-wheel bit was not actually a criticism of ME or of Quinns, both of which are awesome, just a fun little thought experiment where Shepherd’s tired of taking flak for what the writers did and decides to go metagade)

    • Dhatz says:

      red option ,yes, I’m a sith in the maki..not. ACtually Deus Ex 3 does it best, you have the one word and next to it when selected is shortened answer.

  25. Jesrad says:

    That looked awful. Bioware are truly appalling now, all their products are just an indistinguishable blur of juvenile mediocrity.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      Is the bandwagon comfortable? Or does it need more pillows?

  26. westyfield says:

    I really hope there’s a scene in ME3 where Liara or someone asks Shepard:
    “Cerberus? But they’re terrorists? Why didn’t you just refuse to work for them?”
    *Shepard turns and stares directly at camera*
    I don’t know.”

  27. Premium User Badge

    mickiscoole says:

    Ah yes, “Reapers”

  28. Muzman says:

    That wasn’t too bad, but as is often the case fabbo CG moves aside to reveal not quite as nicely done live action work (The Prey 3 one did it better by removing the live action almost entirely).
    Really, anyone wanting to fake a newscast should just hire The Onion. Seriously, they have it nailed to such perfection it scares me.

  29. Lagwolf says:

    Lol, the guy doing the interview is someone who flogs “track-phones” on an infomercial on late night cable. Guess he prefers his bit in MEIII over the inane script he worked with on that commercial.

  30. WMain00 says:

    Ahh yes, “reapers”.

  31. TheApologist says:

    I’m pretty fond of late-Bioware games, DA2 aside. And they sell well, so the marketing is obviously totally fine and working for them.
    And yet, I find myself repeatedly in the same cycle of seeing pre-release trailers and thinking, ‘oh dear, that looks a bit shit, not looking forward to that any more’ before reading glowing reviews, buying, playing and enjoying.

    This weird video was shit to my mind. Really a bit embarrassing. I no longer want this game that I’ll almost certainly end up buying.

    Clearly, this is partly my fault for paying any attention whatsoever to pre-release hype, but still, why does marketing that clearly works for big chunks of people who buy games leave me so very, very cold.

  32. Dhatz says:

    wtf, its the future, every human speaks english, or engrish,whatever, all of emus

  33. BobsLawnService says:

    “Captain Shepherd that’s a terrible plan and you are a bad captain.”

    I’ve just come back from the worst day at work and this gave me a good belly laugh. I just want to say “Thank you very much!” – your words are hugely appreciated and have made a huge difference to my day.

  34. reticulate says:

    I’m ok with seeing more shakycam home footage of Reapers laying down the smackitude. Not so much news presenters wearing the same sort of thing they do nowadays.

    Also, this is tempting me to yet again finely hone my Shep’s story so I get all the glorious resolutions I’m after. Of course, I’ll no doubt yet again have to galavant around the bloody galaxy doing odd jobs in order to convince everyone, but that’s Mass Effect, innit? Although if there was a conversation option that just said “Look, I’ve saved the galaxy twice, can you just take my word for it?” I suppose it would be a pretty short game.

  35. Rambal says:

    “Captain Shepherd that’s a terrible plan and you are a bad captain.” The truth, the ugly, ugly truth.

    By the way, In the future nobody speaks spanish. Or maybe latin america was exterminated by “los reapers”.

    Maybe nobody knows because we are just a long jungle without internet. Brb, must defend my house from a invading monkey gang.

  36. Slade says:

    The more I read about Mass Effect 3, the more I feel that space exploration won’t be part of the game anymore. Just swapping from country to another, saving the Earth and discovering that the true power against the Reapers was lying underneath our feet.

    Please let me go navigate in the entire galaxy, Bioware.

    • Nalano says:

      I kinda figured ME3 would be all about rallying the other species to lend military aid, which is why you’ve been traipsing about the galaxy with a token member of each species for the last two games and developing attachments with them.

      “Hey, Wrex, now that you’ve solved the whole clan warfare thing at home, would you mind sending a couple battalions my way? Thanks.”

      “Hey, Liara, since you’re now the most powerful kingmaker in the galaxy, could you please prod the council to get off its fat ass?”

      “Hey, Garrus, keep doing what you’re doing. You’re awesome.”

    • Slade says:

      Yes, end the hatred from the Krogans to go to Earth and help Australia !
      Bring the Rachni to defend Europe !
      Call the Asari to protect Argentina !
      Use the Geth to aid Japan !

      And then, Dr. Mordin would make “Mass Effect : The Musical”.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, it’ll probably follow that whole Seven Samurai plot arc about assembling the team again, and doing all their necessary side quests to get them to cooperate.

      But I’m wondering how that works if the Reapers have already landed on Earth? Will it be another game where Shep gets to exist in a separate timeframe where he can ignore the current emergency, and do a bunch of trivial XP-building mini quests? I guess it could work if the Reaper attack doesn’t happen until near the end of the game, but that seems a bit spoilerish to show in a trailer.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      Given the tutorial mission is Sheperd and Anderson escaping from Earth while under attack from the Reapers I don’t think that’s in the cards.

    • Dhatz says:

      that would be so awesomely funny if shep was honest and always replied to “why did you do this?” “For the XP”.

  37. letoeb says:

    This has got “Command & Conquer cutscene” written all over it. Then again, so do the Star Wars prequels.

    • godwin says:

      Yes. This. I’m sure they must have found some use for those EALA ‘talent’ after the studio was dissolved. But really, this is cringe-worthy stuff. Whoever thought that C&C3 (plus three or four more games) ‘camp’ was appealing anyway? Red Alert 1 had a dark tone to it, so did the original C&C. Tiberian Sun too, had live action cutscenes that were cinematic and attempting to be serious. This shit isn’t even trying. TIES. WHY ARE THEY WEARING TIES AND SUITS.

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      I can’t believe that footage will make it into the final game. Surely that’s just a lazy way to add some continuity to the trailers

  38. MadJax says:

    Holy crap! There ARE other countries beside America??

    Seriously though, glad that Bioware aren’t going the usual route of “OMG, Earth being attacked! And by Earth, we mean America with hardly any mention of anywhere else on the planet!”


  39. Birky says:

    So this is a trailer for the new Command and Conquer, yes?

  40. adamiani says:

    Femshep would have had a better plan.

  41. eldwl says:

    Hang on a minute. Is that date at the end American or British? If it’s American, that said the 3rd of September. Didn’t the one the other day say the 3rd of June?

    I am confused…

    • 9of9 says:

      The game comes out 9th of March 2012 in the UK and the 6th of Match 2012 in the US so I guess it must have been a UK date. Compare to this trailer link to which comes up ‘3 – 6 – 2012’.

    • eldwl says:

      Oh good, ta! Was a bit worried then.

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      Oh great. So the game will have been completed by the majority before we get our hands on it, yet again.

  42. Betamax says:

    I believe they roped in a fan group known for their rediculously awesome cosplay to help with these bits.

    I checked and I was correct: link to Makes a nice change to CGI EVERYTHING.