BioWare on tactical targeting in Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 Cerberus

Mass Effect 3's combat is going to be harder that either of the previous games, BioWare's Casey Hudson tells us. You're fighting the Reapers, vast robot gods, but they're not the footsoldiers. They combine their technology with the species we know from the previous games, making horrible deformed cyborgs. Tom asked Casey how these differ from the troops we're used to fighting, and how the new enemies force you to think about where you shoot.

PC Gamer: When you're fighting the Reaper-ised version of a species, how is that different to fighting the normal versions of them?

Casey Hudson: It's quite different, that's where we're putting a lot of our fun new special activities, around these new abilities that they have. 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. You start thinking about tactically, “is it better to work on this character first, or fight the guys first to get them all cleared out? Because it's going to suck their health if I try and fight them both?”

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.

PC Gamer: You guys were talking about a Reaper creature with a sac that bursts if you shoot it, and smaller creatures come out - do you have any other favourite examples of location specific damage stuff like that?

Casey Hudson: Yeah, I think two of them. One of them is the Atlas that you saw, so it's the big kind of mech thing. 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 and the machine's dead. Or likewise if you kill the machine, then the guy can hop out and you fight him. So there's some fun stuff in there in terms of fighting a machine that's actually piloted by a guy.

And then the sac thing, that's where the Reaper-ised Rachni has a few of these sacs on him, so as you're fighting him – in terms of location based damage – you really don't want to hit one of those things, because then it unleashes the little creatures that are inside that scuttle along and try and climb up you. Those are a couple of the more fun ones.

Casey also told us Tali will return as a full time squad member , and that there'll be no new love interests in the third game . We'll have another chunk of Mass Effect 3 details tomorrow. You can subscribe to all our Mass Effect 3 news and previews if you use an RSS reader .