Commander Shepard will be more lifelike and “dynamic” in Mass Effect 3, peeking, rolling and punching like it’s nobody’s business.

A new BioWare Pulse is kicking around the tubes and that means it’s time to skip past about a minute and a half of yammering to get to the bit we’re interested in. [Seriously, right around 1:30 is a good place to start if you want to keep the signal-to-noise ratio at a reasonable level.] This time around it’s a look at Commander Shepard himself, who will be “more dynamic” than in the previous games as he roams around the battlefield and beats the crap out of everything he sees.

In Mass Effect 3, Shepard will be able to take advantage of “advanced combat techniques” such as rolling out of cover, making 90-degree cover turns and actually looking around corners as a signal to players that he can move to other areas. In “heavy melee” combat, mentioned in the previous Mass Effect 3 video, Shepard will take advantage of a new synchronization system which will automatically line him up with his opponent, ensuring a perfect punch to the throat every time and making heavy melee moves much more reliable.

Enemy “reactivity” to attacks and damage has also been improved. “You feel like everything you do to the enemies is causing a realistic impact on them,” explained gameplay designer Eric Fagnan. “If you hit them from the side, they’ll stumble to the side, if you hit them in the back, they’ll stumble forward; this works with all our melee, all our weapons and all our powers.”

The first thought that entered my head when I saw Shepard’s new moves is that he looks an awful lot like Adam Jensen these days. The second was, why does an omni-blade flip out like a switchblade and sound like a ginsu knife punching through a can?

Mass Effect 3 comes out on March 6, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

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