Easily one of the most hotly anticipated games here at Games Catalyst, Mass Effect 3 now has a release date set – March 6, 2012. I’m tempted to book the month off work already…

Reapers are back, invading Earth and forcing you, John Shepard, to save the world/galaxy/universe/local cornershop from certain annihilation. Weapon modding is back with a vengeance, and the omni-tool looks to have grown a super-powered melee attack capability capable of felling many enemies with a single blow at close range.

Garrus Vakarian, Liara T’Soni, Mordin Solus, and all your favourite Mass Effect characters are set to return, in even more detailed form, as well as devious new enemies like the Cannibal. Character levelling up is promised to be more complex, with varied routes opened through experience and development. Also, it is said that the massive Atlas Mechs are going to be controllable…which frankly smacks of super awesome must-have-ness.

The E3 demo shows the awesome scale of Mass Effect 3, a present-Apocalypse London under attack from mile-high Reapers forming one of the game’s early scenes. The size of the enemies and the range of devastation are staggering, the conflict playing out in stunning graphics that show the Mass Effect universe in even better detail, lighting and sheer

When it does launch, you can buy the standard version, or, you can splash out on BioWare’s N7 mega super collector’s version. The package includes tons of bonus content and unlockable items, including in-game appearance packs,  a hardcover art book, a Dark Horse Comic Book, the soundtrack, a lithograph, and a N7 patch.

We hear it also lets you add a robodog to your band of intrepid space-trekking heroes – the ability to have pets in games will always sell it to me at least, especially if it has some cool purpose; presumably not fetching the Intergalactic Times, or forcing tedious side games where you have to take it for walkies and throw space sticks for it to fetch. BioWare are far to savvy to fall for that one…

In the US the box will retail for $79.99, guesses at the European/British RRP are welcome…