We might as well just give up now. The future isn't going to be full of happiness, world peace and Back to the Future,inspired hoverboards. If BioWare has anything to say about it, we're all in for a world of hurt. In Mass Effect 3, things go completely off the rails and straight to hell. A nasty alien race called the Reapers are heading to Earth, and you return to your role as Commander Shepard of the Normandy space vessel just as these bad boys begin their invasion. The game follows the same action/RPG formula as its predecessors, though things have gotten a little more explosive. As in previous games, you can earn skill points as you progress and defeat Husks, Cerberus soldiers and other enemies, and they can be spent on a skill tree so that various abilities and power,ups can be upgraded. Your AI,controlled squad can also be levelled up in the same way, and each space squaddie has their own skills that are dependent on their character class. Kaidan is able to use a Barrier technique which can help shield you in space, as well as an Overload function that can take out enemy armour. Conversation trees and upgrades aside, though, expect things to get hairy when you have to pull your gun and start cracking out those special abilities! But, while Mass Effect 3 does feel like a further step towards a more action,oriented experience, that doesn't mean that its lost any of its impact. The graphics and atmosphere are, as always, absolutely spectacular, and the iconic Mass Effect spectrum of colours and use of lighting is put to fantastic use in your first interplanetary mission. If Mass Effect 2 was BioWare's Empire Strikes Back, expect the third game in the series to have a dash of Return of the Jedi. In other words, expect something epic.