Four years and two months, that's how long it's been since Mass Effect ended the hard sci-fi roleplaying drought. Mass Effect 2 followed a couple years later, fixing much of what — despite the game's lovely graphics and D&D-love-letter gameplay — BioWare got wrong with the original. In less than two months, Mass Effect 3 will bring the story of Commander John Shepard (or whatever you named the protagonist) to a close.
Can't wait "less than two months"? BioWare says it'll release a demo for the upcoming three-quel on February 14. Better still, it won't be a timed platform-exclusive, available for PC, PlayStation and Xbox 360 simultaneously. (Happy Valentine's Day!)
BioWare says the "extensive demo"
...will allow players to experience the all-out galactic war against an ancient alien race known as the Reapers from multiple fronts, including the mind-blowing opening attack on Earth that kicks off the single-player campaign. Players will go deeper into the campaign and also get a taste of the franchise's new co-operative multiplayer mode as they preview the epic story, adrenaline-pumping action and deep customization options that lie ahead when Mass Effect 3 launches on March 6, 2012.
You may have heard Mass Effect 3 supports Kinect, and BioWare says the demo will give you a chance to mess with the game's voice recognition support, too. And if you want to fiddle with the new cooperative-play mode (a first for this formerly solo-play-only series), you can try it via the demo on February 17, but only if you've picked up Battlefield 3 and activated your online pass (I know, kind of a cheap shot, but that's how they get you: "If you want to play X, buy and register something that couldn't be less like it!").