Only a few hours ago legions of Mass Effect fans had one of their worst nightmares confirmed – there will be multiplayer!
With the initial announcement over, Bioware were keen to get the details out quickly, giving this Wednesday as the date for more official updates. It seems however that even two days is far too long to wait, and details have emerged over at the Bioware forums from Community Manager Chris Priestly.
The main point that is being continually stressed? You guessed it – the inclusion of multiplayer will not detract from the single player experience.
It is important to note that the system is entirely optional and just another way players can have control over your game experience – it is still possible to achieve the optimal, complete ending of the game in Mass Effect 3 through single-player alone.
Co-op was deemed the best option to take (and personally I’m incredibly thankful they went down this route) as it sits well with the overriding story of the game – uniting against a common enemy to save the galaxy.
None of the single player characters, including Commander Shepard, will feature in the co-op mode. Players will instead choose from a variety of races including Krogan, Turian and Asari, each fully customisable and with their own special skill set.
Despite being ‘entirely optional’ co-op will have an impact on the game’s final outcome via the new ‘Galaxy at War’ system for ME3, which will eventually cover more platforms and interfaces to be announced at a later date. What shape these ‘platforms and interfaces’ will take is anyone’s guess at the moment, but it wouldn’t be crazy to imagine that somewhere down the line there might be some social networking/app involvement.
The system itself is designed to measure the ‘Galactic Readiness’ level for the final battle, and sounds like a bit of a helping hand for players who don’t fare so well in the single player campaign. Another percieved slap in the face for the fans? We’ll have to wait and see.