Mass Effect 2 to Mass Effect 3: Differences and Similarities
We don’t know everything you can expect to have been changed between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, but we can make some educated guesses based on what we’ve seen so far, what Casey Hudson and the other developers at BioWare have said and what made its way into the demo. Keep in mind that many of these remain or best guesses, but here’s what newness we expect to show up in Mass Effect 3.
Galaxy at War and Multiplayer
Obviously the biggest change to Mass Effect 3 is its additional multiplayer mode. Things get a bit trippy here: the demo we saw of the mode that was released last week suggested a Horde mode style title in which four players battle waves of enemies and occasionally complete objectives while racing the clock. However, BioWare has alluded to a more story-driven experience, in which players take on missions more akin to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3′s Spec Ops missions. We haven’t seen those in action yet.
That said, we do know that much of the options you get in single-player mode will make their way in to multiplayer to round out the experience, like adjustable loadouts. We also know players will get to earn and unlock various character classes and alien races.
We also know that all that multiplayer action, along with tie-in mobile apps on Apple’s iOS platform and Google’s Android, will work together in a system called Galaxy at War. Points earned in doing stuff in Galaxy at War will be applied to players’ main Shepard storylines; the Galaxy at War bit is meant to portray what everybody else is doing to prepare for the imminent Reaper invasion while Shepard is off doing whatever Shepard does. The more points you earn in Galaxy at War, the more prepared the galaxy is to be at war, which translates into a more successful stand against the Reapers in the end game, as we understand it.
There was some weapons modding to be done back in Mass Effect, but the system was pretty summarily scrapped by the time ME2 rolled around. But players were upset by the scaling back of RPG elements in the second installment of the series, which led to BioWare listening to feedback and working a few of those elements back in. The most robust, it seems, is a new weapon modding system, which will give players a whole lot of freedom to customize their loadouts.
Players will be able to change up a whole lot of things about their guns at specific modding stations available throughout the game. You’ll be able to change the barrel, scope, “weapon mod” and ammo type for each gun you carry, altering its stats and infusing it with different bonuses. It also appeared in the demo that players will no longer be limited to class-specific weapons; we’re not sure if the weapon system will be more like Mass Effect, in which players could use non-class weapons but at a significant disadvantage.