Everything We Know About Mass Effect 3
- Combat and Gameplay
- Multiplayer and Galaxy at War
- RPG Elements
- The Mass Effect Universe
- The Story
- Technical Details
Multiplayer, Infiltrator and Galaxy at War
The most controversial feature of Mass Effect 3 is the inclusion of Multiplayer. Whether or not a game like Mass Effect even needs a multiplayer is moot – that ship has sailed – but the concern that the single player campaign might be hurt by it has been oft expressed by fans. BioWare has sought to ease concerns with the Galaxy at War system, an optional gameplay element with ties to ME3 multiplayer and to a related iOS game called Mass Effect: Infiltrator, that aims to give the player a greater sense of what’s at stake.
Galaxy at War
Galaxy at War is strategic outline of the Mass Effect Galaxy during the war with the Reapers, giving players up to date information about the progress of the Reaper invasion as they play through the game. It involves a color coded map of Reaper and Citadel-allied territory, as well as measuring “Galactic Readiness”, essentially Shepard’s influence and ability to access needed resources, and “War Assets”, which are the resources themselves.
Players can impact Galaxy at War stats by playing either the Multiplayer, or the iOs game. It is not required, and BioWare has long asserted that players may skip both games and simply play through the Mass Effect 3 single player campaign normally, and still achieve the golden ending. However, playing through Galaxy at War will supposedly buff the single player campaign, making certain aspects of it easier.
Mass Effect: Infiltrator
Infiltrator is a third person shooter for iOs devices, due for release shortly after Mass Effect 3. Players will take on the role of a turncoat Cerberus operative named Randall Ezno, who devotes himself to freeing victims of Cerberus experiments. Presumably this game will appear tangential to Shepard’s interactions with Cerberus in Mass Effect 3, and will add additional context to certain events. Completion of game missions will grant players additional War Assets.
Mass Effect three’s multiplayer is intended to augment the overall experience rather than diverge too sharply. Similar to Gears of War 3′s multiplayer, players must work together to achieve objectives. The demo largely featured variations on Horde Mode, though it’s almost certain that more modes will be featured in the final game. Players are able to customize their characters with the same classes that are found in the single player campaign, and access a variety of different weapons, some of which are exclusive to the multiplayer. Perhaps the biggest draw is the chance to play as one of the Mass Effect universe’s nonhuman races, including Salarians and Turians.
It remains to be seen whether multiplayer will add value to the player’s experience, though playing will supposedly speed up single player progress. For a more in depth look, please see our hands on review of Cooperative Multiplayer.