Mass Effect 3: Shepard’s Dynamic Stabbing

Stabby stabby!
Bioware have put out a video focusing on Shepard’s improved animations in Mass Effect 3, which you can see below. The clip shows off how his reactions when taking cover are more nuanced, and also shows how melee is made a little smoother and more believable with improved animation syncing. It’s quite an interesting insight into the little tweaks that the devs are able to make for the third game, and it shows the designers demonstrating their combat in a test scenario, which makes the improvements on the original character animation really stand out. Skip to 1:20 to get past the “community” blatherings and get to the meat.


  1. mkultra says:

    I wonder if they told that guy to wipe off his eyeliner before the interview or if he did it on his own accord.

  2. Ross Angus says:

    It’s Adam Jenson! No – sorry. My bad.

    (I like the idea of taking the cover from Deus Ex – it worked really well).

    • Moni says:

      Jenson’s face-punch animation is still the best melee attack animation of all time.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Ah, a fellow “merciful soul”. Tap, swing, and out. Very merciful.

      I only saw the “spin ’em round, until their neck snaps” animation once, when I held down “use” too long. Felt bad. Reloaded.

    • John P says:

      What a sad situation we’re in, that PC gamers are getting excited by cover systems now.

      I remember when games didn’t have cover systems, and you were expected to control your own goddamn character without the game sticking you to objects.

      The cinematic imperative truly rules the industry now.

  3. kikito says:

    First, it looked like a Deus Ex re-skin (which isn’t bad on itself).

    The punchy-stabby animation looked a bit too robotic in my opinion. It should last a bit longer and involve the legs.

  4. eroticfishcake says:

    Eh, everything still looks a little too rigid and repetitive. Granted the game won’t be out until early next year but it doesn’t look all that different from ME2.

  5. Avenger says:

    This might be a dumb question but isn’t it weird to still be working on animations? At this stage, the games are far from complete. In this case, not until the end of 2012 at the earliest…

    • TormDK says:

      Game is being released in March 2012, so it’ll be soon(tm) that we get to see for ourselves.

    • Apples says:

      Why? In my experience, graphical bits and bobs like animations are the last things to go in. I don’t know how it works in professional game companies though (yet…)

      edit: actually does it say in the video that they are working on them? It shows them off, but they might have been finished at any point. Although they bloody should still be working on them if that’s the only melee animation…

    • Avenger says:

      Judging by what I’ve seen and heard, considering the March release and the fact that they are yet to release a video focusing on player decision, dialogue, story etc. I am almost sure that we are headed towards another Dragon Age II fiasco. i.e. Action oriented gimmicky combat gameplay padded over zero story depth.

      This… is bad news.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Would you want a video on dialogues though? It would surely spoil the game for you would it not?
      And we already know that there will be 3 modes to the game – Action/Story/RPG and you can choose RPG to have both action and the story.

    • DClark says:

      The gap between Mass Effect 2 and 3 is around 26 months – definitely more than the 16 month gap between Dragon Age: Origins and DA2. Had DA2 had an extra 10 months to work with it might not have been the massive disappointment it turned out to be.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      And how does that differ from ME2?

  6. Trayder says:

    I hate when they talk about stuff like this as if it’s new and/or amazing.
    Yeah, I know it’s new for Mass Effect but why they think it’s significant enough to make half the video about it I have no idea.
    And after all that I’d still rather the crappy style of melee animation just so I don’t lose control constantly during the fights

    • Avenger says:

      The amount of production effort of this video could have easily been used for making better animations and not make a big deal about it. It is the same with the Max Payne 3 video… It almost sounds like they are implying all of the improvements in gaming technology of the last 5 years was invented by them, singlehandedly.

      It worked for Apple though… So I can’t really blame them…

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Well no, it wasn’t invented by them but at least it was recreated by them. It’s very cool for the developer to see the stuff that you made yourself looks as good if not better than the other guy’s stuff. Developers from rival studios are not really keen on sharing how exactly they made the technologies behind their games.

    • Rao Dao Zao says:

      I am also a bit skeptical about this. If Shepard “synchs” to his enemies am I going to lose control and feel a distinct shunt as the game locks into the perfect position? I think I would prefer to have Shepard able to flail wildly at the air and deal no damage than have auto-aim.

    • MSJ says:

      “The amount of production effort of this video could have easily been used for making better animations”


      You were serious, weren’t you?

    • Brun says:

      Well when your publisher won’t let you come up with new and innovative things, you kind of have to find SOMETHING to tout as a feature that distinguishes your game from its prequels – otherwise you’d have to admit that your game is just the same as its predecessors with a weak story underneath it.

  7. CaspianRoach says:

    Well at least they benched the loud armwaving guy from the beginning of these videos and put a shy lass to lead the show. I find her more likable.

    • DaFishes says:

      She sounds like an airline flight attendant. I like her Garrus shirt, though.

  8. Gurrah says:

    New low for EG? Skip to 1:20 Jim said, so I waited for the video to load, skipped to 1:20 and pressed play to get to “the meat” as he put it – a woman dressed in a really tight shirt appears… shame on you!

  9. Premium User Badge

    Maltose says:

    They really need a new sound guy for these videos.

  10. Pemptus says:

    Woo, you can press a button to jab an enemy with the same animation every time. How revolutionary!
    …seriously, marketing? You thought it was a good idea to brag about that?

  11. boywithumbrella says:

    is it my macbook, or is the sound quality in the clip really crap?

  12. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Obligatory “who is that man and where is femshep?” comment.

  13. Mr_Initials says:

    Did she say Dragon age 2 was nominated for Best rpg of the year? I hope that was a joke

    • DClark says:

      Sadly, no (and The Witcher 2 wasn’t even nominated in the RPG section, only the PC section), though I think if DA2 does beat out Skyrim and Deus Ex: HR everyone will know it was only because EA bought the win.

    • DaFishes says:

      That, plus the mention of the Arrival DLC, the worst of the bunch for ME2, being up for an award, causes me to wince.

    • dahauns says:

      Well, it’s the Spike VGAs. What did you expect?

  14. cjlr says:

    Every game needs more and better punching. EVERY GAME.

  15. Ralphomon says:

    Wadsworth’s constant strikes again!

  16. Nim says:

    I remember a time when Bioware’s games were something I looked forward to. That was some years ago.

    What is this pulse nonsense anyway…

    Damn kids,

  17. kio says:

    I won’t condemn them for trying to stir up some interest in the game, but that was a really pointless video. The only joy I can derive from it is muting the video and pretending that they’re talking about fisting animations.

  18. MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

    Wow, the first 1:20 of that video is eye-gougingly terrible. I think they should use that matrixy, digital wipe effect a few more times.

  19. Network Crayon says:

    It’s ironic / Sad that despite really wanting Mass Effect 3 since the end of the second one, possible even a bit before. Every bit of advertising has pushed me steadily away from it, to the point im not really interested in what should be a seminal game. thanks Marketing.

  20. DaFishes says:

    Anyone notice how Bioware promised a femshep trailer in May, and it’s still not here yet?

  21. The Colonel says:

    I feel a little like Neo – when I play games with CHW level design I just end up seeing them as these geometric shapes fitting a small number of gameplay purposes which really ruins the experience since I can’t get absorbed in the world or art properly. I wish they’d stop making games like this :(