We're on the eve of Mass Effect 3's launch. I, unfortunately, won't be playing tonight or until after Spring Break. I ordered online and chose standard shipping. Too bad for me. But to salve my wounds of not continuing the career of FemShep's war against the Reapers at launch, I thought I'd say a few words about the top things I'm looking forward to in Mass Effect 3.
1. Kinect control - Yes, I know it's only voice, but I'm glad to see a AAA title finally integrating voice controls in a way that hopefully works. I still remember the fiasco that was SOCOM on the PS2. And no, I still haven't played Gunstringer.
2. Multiplayer - And not as your Shepard character! Finally I can directly take on the role of a hulking krogan or a sly salarian. And the creators promise that successes (and failures?) in the multiplayer mode will have consequences for the single player campaign. That doubly means I'll have an incentive to play it.
3. Melee combat - I haven't used melee a whole lot in the Mass Effect series. It hasn't seemed all that effective and frankly isn't all that much fun to look at. It lacks a certain visceral je ne sais quoi that chainsaw-bayonetting hordes of Locust has in Gears of War. But during the demo I found a certain thrill in charging up my omni tool and smashing it into foes. The only thing better than glowing green (yellow?) death would be an achievement for glowing green death-ing enemies.
4. The story's final act - I've been in love with Mass Effect ever since first opening the Collector's Edition tin for ME1. I imported my FemShep from ME1 into ME2 and kept the relationship with Liara alive in my heart. Now it's time to see how it all ends. Hopefully, since it's a video game, the series will end with a bang and not a whimper. Too many of my favorite sci-fi universes (Babylon 5, DS9, Firefly) have ended with less than spectacular results. Let's hope BioWare cranks the fun and the storytelling up to 11 for the final installment.
5. The return of old friends - I missed Urdnot Wrex in ME2. Yeah, he was the leader of a clan and you could talk to him, but playing as Grunt just didn't have the same impact. Liara should be back. Hopefully my new second favorite Mordin Solus will return. No, I haven't read anything about who will be back. I want each return to be a surprise.
That's it. That's my top 5. To those of you picking up your copy at midnight, I envy you. Please keep the galaxy safe until I can join you. In the meantime, I'll continue to content myself with another Bioware creation: Star Wars: The Old Republic.
 Sorry, I'm colorblind.
 Still haven't played the Shadowbroker DLC to help Liara in ME2 and maybe renew that relationship in-game.