Today is Friday, 19th April 2024

BioWare Reveals Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Co-op Details


People have been salivating over Mass Effect 3 for months now ever since the trailer came out for the game.

Then BioWare dropped a bombshell; the game would include multiplayer. Some celebrated it. For many, though, it set off alarm bells. BioWare is a company known for developing and delivering polished single player experiences; what were they going to gain tacking on an afterthought deathmatch mode?

Details have emerged on a forum posting regarding the multiplayer. Detail #1: it’s not deathmatch. That should already relieve a lot of souls waiting for ME3. What we’re looking at is a mode called Galaxy at War, and it includes a 4-player co-op mode that has players creating custom characters (again) for the purpose of filling out a 4-man elite special forces squad tasked with fighting the myriad battles for survival that Shepard can’t be there for. Here’s the thing: the options for creating your character don’t limit you to creating a male or female human. Oh no. You can finally make the alien characters you saw but only wished you could make. Turians, Asari, Krogan, assumably Drell, Salarian, maybe Quarian and Geth and probably drawing from the racial outlines defined by Team Shepard’s representative party member, these races and their racial abilities are finally available for you to play as. Add the various classes that are available (which are assumably going to get a few additions and overhauls between 2 and 3) and you should have a system that more closely mirrors BioWare’s Dragon Age character system (which itself takes from D&D character systems). It would be safe to assume that the RPG elements in single player carry over in some form to the co-op mode, like acquiring weapons and armor, leveling up to add skills to your commando’s repertoire, cosmetic changes that can be unlocked with experience, etc.

Don’t like it? You don’t have to play it. The co-op mode is designed to have an impact on the single-player mode by affecting what’s called a “Galactic Readiness Level”, representing how secure and prepared the galaxy is against the impending Reaper invasion. The co-op mode is designed to only ever add to the level, not subtract, and for that matter, you can ignore it entirely and raise the Readiness level in single player alone or by yet unannounced elements in the Galaxy at War system. That perfect single-player game mode is still possible, but co-op online with three others is a very viable mode of gameplay.

Not only responding to certain fan demands from the internet, but BioWare probably also figures this would be a good way to convert some pirates who were staying in the shadows with Mass Effect’s entirely single player experience. Whatever the case, this Galaxy at War system looks to be getting pretty big. You can safely assume BioWare will be gathering server data. Who knows? Maybe enough people playing will see BioWare releasing some new content for the game. If we can be assured that one ending of the game will be Shepard cutting off the head of the Reaper invasion almost single-handedly, perhaps we might see large player numbers online driving the introduction of an alternate ending where the races of the galaxy, represented by players’ co-op characters, blunt and break the Reaper invasion with Shepard serving as a sometime battlefield commander, but ultimately as an inspiring figure. An all-for-one as opposed to a one-for-all sort of inspiring victory.

Pure speculation at this point. More news as it comes along.

Original BioWare Community forum posting

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