Is Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer A Detriment To The Single Player Campaign?

One of Mass Effect 3′s more controversial features is the Galaxy at War system, which partly incorporates an iOS game and largely takes advantage of the cooperative multiplayer to raise so-called Galactic Readiness and War Assets that benefit your single player game. BioWare has been careful to make it clear again and again that players need not participate in Multiplayer to achieve the golden ending, but that doing so is far more difficult. How much more difficult is the key question, a question PC Gamer has attempted to answer.

PCG’s Tom Francis has weighed in, first confirming that even after completing all missions, most sidequests and making decisions that seemed to resolve the series’ key conflicts without contradicting his previous decisions, he managed to end up with a particularly bleak ending. This is in part because your war assets only account for about 50% of their potential value if you don’t earn them in multiplayer, which makes the process of getting full readiness difficult. His verdict is that Galaxy at War is dirty business, a serious detriment to the single player campaign that seeks to force players to waste time or money to accomplish what the single player campaign should provide without strings.

I haven’t completed the game yet, nor have I played multiplayer, but our own Phil Hornshaw completed the game and apparently reached the golden ending, and did so with only a minimum of multiplayer. He reports that War Assets are interchangeable with Galactic Readiness, and that it might take longer, but it’s not exactly more difficult to achieve the best ending. Thus, it might just be Francis’ experience. GameFronters, have you managed to beat Mass Effect 3 yet? If so, let us know what you think about the system. Meanwhile, we’ll keep you informed of our experience, as our team of writers completes the game.

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3 Comments on Is Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer A Detriment To The Single Player Campaign?

Phil Hornshaw

On March 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

Having finished: you can circumvent the Readiness rating by simply getting more war assets. It’s really not hard — I maxed out long before I ended the game. It’s easy to play the game and ignore Readiness entirely, or make the two systems work together if you prefer.

Chris Carter

On March 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Having beaten the game, I can say that all three endings really are pretty much the same. You don’t get this extra ten minute must see scene because you padded your Galaxy at War rating. It is entirely possible to get a high Galaxy of War rating with single player.

This is actually the *exact* same thing as wholly preparing yourself for the Omega Relay at the end of Mass Effect 2. To ensure success, you needed to do every loyalty mission, and upgrade your ship quite a bit. Sub in “loyalty and ship” for “Galaxy at War”, and you have Mass Effect 3.

Mass Effect 3 has many issues, but anyone who claims that multiplayer takes away from the campaign hasn’t really thought it through.

Michael Permyakov

On March 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

First off, the bar in the galaxy war readiness menu accessible from The Normandy can be filled out quite easilly. There is no real need to complete every quest in the game and make desisions contradicting with your Shepard’s moral views or ideals in pursuit of maximum military strength. To fill out the aforementioned bar, that is.

However, rumor has it that some endings (or at least a specific bit of a specific ending) is not available unless you gain 5000+ effective military strength. And that number is very hard to achieve without playing the multiplayer part of the game. But it is still possible if in making your decisions you stive exclusively for military strength.

So keeping this in mind, I’d say that playing the multiplayer might just happen to be necessary to get the ‘best’ ending.
It feels kinda forced and… underhanded of sorts.