Mass Effect 3 Demo Impressions: Cooperative Multiplayer, PC Version

The PC Version

What is included in the demo is at least some look at Mass Effect 3′s PC version, which will be available through Electronic Arts’ Origin platform on the same day as its console release. As one might expect, the PC version looks a fair deal better than its Xbox 360 counterpart, aiming is easier and more fluid, and the controls actually map quite well to the keyboard.

Where an Xbox or Playstation controller is limited by the number of buttons available, forcing players to enter those annoying menu wheels over and over and over again, the capability of playing with a keyboard means all your special powers are mapped to the number keys automatically. That’s some good thinking on BioWare’s part, and playing two of the three demos back-to-back, I actually preferred the PC version to the Xbox 360 version (despite my having been playing the ME series on Xbox since it was an exclusive when the first game was released).

But like most PC games that also drop on console, one can definitely feel the console influence on the PC version of Mass Effect 3. There are a few graphical options to be had, for example, but not many — players have a chance to turn on or off anti-aliasing and shadows, but that’s about it. And while the game does look better with a PC providing the power for its graphics, realistically, it doesn’t look that much better (although that could just be the sometimes unfortunate artistic choices made for the series, like overly heavy shadows and creepy face textures).

Played side-by-side, even a dedicated Mass Effect Xboxer like myself had to admit that the PC version controlled and felt just better in just about every respect, but it’s still worth noting that, at least as far as the demo is concerned, BioWare and EA haven’t gone out of their way to provide a lot of PC support for the game. Hopefully the full retail release will see more graphical options and other PC-centric tweaks. We’ll have to wait until March to find out.

Check out Ross Lincoln’s hands-on impressions with the single-player portion of the demo and his rundown of everything that’s new within it.

Follow Hornshaw and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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7 Comments on Mass Effect 3 Demo Impressions: Cooperative Multiplayer, PC Version

William B

On February 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Just like a normal Bioware game, there is a program that allows you to change Video settings. You can find it in the Binaries folder. Just to clear that up.

Nick b

On February 16, 2012 at 2:21 am

I actually really really loved the multiplayer. It’s addictive, and the whole levelling up stuff is great fun. It’s also a challenge, but playing with friends is always fun.


On February 16, 2012 at 6:42 am

The multiplayer is actually really good, I’m not a big fan of horde mode/spec ops/zombies mode but this mp mode is actually REALLY fun.

There are random objectives placed that happen every couple of waves, the fact that there is a semi-loot system, customization.

Not to mention it’s not like horde mode/spec ops/zombies where you can just camp a long hallway and win, AI is brutal and the action is consistent.

I’ve already got rating 45 and I’ve only started playing last night.


On February 17, 2012 at 4:28 pm

The multiplayer is awesome, I think you’re just nitpicking on a demo. Of course it’s not going to tie in to the story massively yet because otherwise it would spoil the entire thing!


On February 18, 2012 at 10:56 am

this multplayer is amazing! I don’t think Boiware could have done it any other way. I’m addicted to this demo, and i expect much more from the full game!


On February 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

The multiplayer was the better part of the demo; however, I do think something other than horde would be good. Nothing but Horde wouldn’t give me the sense that what you’re doing in Galaxy at War really matters, in universe.

Shin Gallon

On February 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I do hope there’s a way to avoid Origin when the game comes out. I have less than no interest in the multiplayer, and really only want to see my Shepard through the end of his story, for good or ill.
Of course the game controls better on PC, mouse aiming is objectively better than joystick aiming (there’s a reason FPS games on console always have aim assist, something rightfully considered cheating on PC games).