Galaxy At War: Four Player Co-Op Confirmed for Mass Effect 3
Despite routinely over the last few months dismissing rumours of the presence of multiplayer in their massive space opera Mass Effect 3, Bioware has now changed their tune rather spectacularly.
Announced yesterday on the official Bioware Twitter, the announcement comes somewhat out of left field and is an entire reversal on the stance taken by Bioware in the last few months. “There will be a multiplayer component for
#ME3.” the Tweet reads, “Full details soon, so wait until then before making your decision. We think you’ll like it!”
Later in the day, executive producer Casey Hudson also took to Twitter in order to reassure people that: “Yes, co-op MP missions for #ME3: they’re real, and they’re spectacular. Rest assured it’s nothing of what you’ve feared. More soon…”
Very cryptic words indeed, Mr Hudson. The decision by Bioware to include Mass Effect multiplayer, which was rumoured to be on the way last week, will no doubt divide fans of the series. Many are crying out that including multiplayer ruins the single player experience, that, basically, ME3 now runs the risk of going Bioshock 2 on us. On the other hand, perhaps co-op missions will be fun!
Update: Bioware has revealed yet more info about the multiplayer:
Lifting the lid on the multiplayer, Bioware has now revealed that the multiplayer is, in fact, 4 player co-operative missions and a component known as Galaxy at War. It’ll be available for Ps3, Xbox 360 and PC and the following message comes from their official forums:
“Today BioWare and the Mass Effect 3 team are very pleased to announce 4 player co-op multiplayer missions and the Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system for Mass Effect 3 on the PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
4 player co-op multiplayer
Join your friends in the all-out galactic war to take Earth back. The universe of Mass Effect expands with the addition of new co-op multiplayer missions, playable over Xbox Live, PSN and PC internet. Players can choose from a variety of classes and races, form an elite Special Forces squad, and combine their weapons, powers and abilities to devastating effect as they fight together to liberate key territories from enemy control. Success in multi-player will have a direct impact on the outcome of the single player campaign, giving players an alternative method of achieving ultimate victory against the greatest threat mankind â€“ and the entire galaxy â€“ has ever faced.
Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War
As a bonus to the campaign, BioWare is introducing the Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system, a new way for players to manage and experience the galactic war from multiple fronts, including a new 4-player co-op mode. The key to saving the galaxy is the â€œGalactic Readinessâ€ level, measured by Commander Shepardâ€™s ability to apply every possible asset â€“ people, weapons, resources, armies, fleets â€“ in the final battle against the Reapers. Players can impact their gameâ€™s Galactic Readiness level in multiple ways via the Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system, including multiplayer. Other platforms and interfaces will be announced in the coming months. It is important to note that the system is entirely optional and just another way players can have control over your game experience â€“ it is still possible to achieve the optimal, complete ending of the game in Mass Effect 3 through single-player alone.
Why include 4 player Co-op multiplayer in Mass Effect 3?
- Being able to explore and fight alongside your friends in the Mass Effect universe has always been something we thought would be fun and compelling, and many players have asked for it for a long time as well. Mass Effect 3 is the best place for us to introduce multiplayer through co-op because of the premise of the game â€“ all out galactic war.
Why only 4 player co-op? What not a versus mode?
- We have always maintained that we would only add multiplayer into the Mass Effect series if it made sense and did not compromise the power of the single player campaign. Fighting together against a common threat was the multiplayer experience that made the most sense for Mass Effect 3. The way we have designed co-op as a wayto take control of key conflict zones in the galaxy is a natural extension of the premise of Mass Effect 3.
Bioware is also exceptionally keen to state that the multiplayer does not detract from the single player experience, that you will not play as Commander Shepard and co in the multiplayer and that levelling up will be a part of the game. They’re also emphasising the fact that while the multiplayer can affect the storyline depending on what you do, it is also possible to achieve the very best endings simply be ignoring the multiplayer altogether.
I have to say it doesn’t sound anywhere near as bad as I feared. I’ll take co-op Mass Effect over team deathmatch Mass Effect anyday.
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Finally, here’s a rather disturbing picture of Commander Shepard. Why, I’m not sure, but you can’t find a gem like this and not include it.