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My name is Wayne Chamberlain and I'm a geek daddy who is into Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, books, movies, video games and talking to creative people about their work in these mediums. And that's what you'll find here, along with news, previews and reviews. I'm a journalist, an editor and co-host of the Star Wars Book Report podcast. So come on in and feel free to geek out in a fun, friendly environment.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Strong vocal cast to be a highlight of Mass Effect 3

Hey, hey, hey. It ain’t Fat Albert in da house, but rather Jedi Aragorn. Back from seeing a loved one become one with the Force (thank you to my friends and family, readers, listeners and followers who offered condolences across the spectrum of social media outlets I use to spread the good word) and ready to embrace all those geeky things that make life worth living here on this third rock from the big, burning ball of gas we circle.
So, let’s get down to business, shall we?
The countdown is on and console gamers like me are eagerly awaiting the third installment in the Mass Effect trilogy.
Mass Effect 3, available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, ships in North America on March 9, while the demo moves on both consoles Valentine's Day.
Developer BioWare looks set to deliver a triumphant finale to this remarkable role-playing game franchise, set around the adventures of Commander Shepard, the first human Spectre agent, as he helps defend the galaxy against an invasion by a terrifying race of machines.
Mass Effect 3's demo hits Feb. 14,
while the game launches on consoles March 9.
ME3 should continue the Canadian company’s legacy of delivering one of the most cinematic gaming experiences around. BioWare goes all out in securing outstanding voice talent for its projects because the good doctors who founded the company – Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk – are big believers in a truly artistic product being delivered to its appreciative audience.
You can see that commitment in games like the previous Mass Effect titles, where Martin Sheen was hired to voice the enigmatic human-centric character, the Illusive Man, as well as BioWare’s latest PC opus, Star Wars: The Old Republic, which features the likes of Jamie Glover (Malgus), Catherine Taber (Padme on The Clone Wars and Vette in the game) David Hayter (the male Jedi Knight, as well as Metal Gear Solid’s Snake), Grey DeLisle, Lacey Chabert, Tom Kane, Deborah Kara Unger … the list goes on and on.
Well, ME3’s voice cast is equally impressive. Sheen returns, as does Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale as the voices of the male and female Shepard, respectively, as well as Adam Baldwin, Seth Green, Tricia Helfer, Keith David, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lance Henriksen, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica).
“We are absolutely thrilled with the passion and emotion the entire cast brought to their performances in Mass Effect 3,” said Casey Hudson, executive producer of the Mass Effect series, in a press release.
“In a story where Earth and the entire galaxy are at war, we needed to take the performances to a level of dramatic power and intensity that we’ve never previously attempted. This extremely talented cast delivered.”
Sure, it’s easy to be snarky about someone like Prinze Jr. joining the cast. Hey, it’s Fred from those lame live-action Scooby Doo movies trying to sound like a bad-ass space marine … but cut the guy some slack. First off, it’s his voice you’re going to be hearing and the guy does have some decent pipes. So at least wait and hear what his character, a guy named Vega, sounds like before you draw the long knives, folks.
“I have always loved science fiction and I have always loved games and Mass Effect is really the first time both come together successfully,” said Prinze, Jr., in a release.
“It is a completely immersive game where you really feel like you’re part of this journey inside this universe. It will make you think, you will care about the character you are playing and you will care about the characters that you bring into battle with you.”
In Mass Effect 3, players will be thrust into an all-out galactic war to save the galaxy from an ancient alien race known only as the Reapers, the release states. Players will assume the role of Commander Shepard, a war-torn veteran who’s willing to do whatever it takes to eliminate this nearly unstoppable foe. With a team of elite, battle-hardened soldiers at your side, each player decides how they will take Earth back, from the weapons and abilities they utilize to the relationships they forge or break. Gamers can get their first taste of the galactic war when the Mass Effect 3 demo launches worldwide on February 14.
For more information on Mass Effect 3, please visit http://masseffect.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect,  or "like" the game on Facebook at http://facebook.com/masseffect.
Me, I can’t wait to get my hands on this baby. BioWare is a master group, like the Pixar of video games, and it’s going to be fun to see what they’ve got up their sleeves for Shepard’s last ride. 

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