E3 2011 may be over, but there was plenty of gaming news made during the week, including not only new devices from Sony and Nintendo, but several highly-anticipated games like Mass Effect 3. Hayley Tsukayama reported:

Many companies are showing off the third games in their big series at E3 — Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Ninja Gaiden, Battlefield — and Bioware is no different, with its much-anticipated Mass Effect 3 title on its way to stores March 6, 2012.

In this game, Commander Shepard is defending against an attack on Earth, though IGN assured players that he’ll still be commanding his ship, The Normandy. As with Mass Effect 2, decisions you made in the previous game will affect the direction of the new storyline.

The conclusion of the Mass Effect trilogy, the final game seems to focus more on combat, according to Brett Molina at USA Today. Some elements of gameplay have changed, reports say: Shepard moves much faster when seeking cover, and game developers have added hand grenades to the mix of weapons at a player’s disposal.

Also announcing their third installment was 2K Boston, makers of the ‘BioShock’ series, who revealed that Bioshock Infinite will hit shelves in 2012. As Faster Forward explained:

BioShock Infinite is not a sequel to the other games in the series — in fact, it’s an entirely new story that pulls on the themes and design elements of those that came before.

And there are some key differences. Players get right into the middle of the action in this game, as opposed to dealing with the fallout from a major conflict, said lead designer Ken Levine in an interview with Spike TV.

And rather than spend their time in the dark, underwater city that was the setting of BioShock and BioShock 2, in BioShock Infinite, players get to explore the floating city of Columbia. Columbia is an idealized city based on the principles of the American dream that’s on the verge of cracking wide open.

Nintendo also announced the latest in their wildly-popular Zelda series, called The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. As Hayley Tsukayama reported:

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Nintendo’s classic Zelda series, and the company is releasing a new game, Zelda: Skyward Sword as part of its silver anniversary celebration.

In the game, our hero Link has to return to his home in the Skyworld, giving players the chance to hop on a bird and soar through sky, using game mechanics familiar to anyone who has played Wii Sports Resort.

The gameplay looks comfortingly familiar for Zelda fans, though it takes advantage of the more sensitive Wii Motion Plus for sword fights. Your sword can also be used to detect hidden items.

IGN’s Richard George criticized endurance bar in the new game — run it for too long and the Link slows down, out of breath — but had good things to say about it overall.

The game is slated to debut some time this year for the Wii, but will not be making the jump to the new Wii U.

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