Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Spilled by Aussie Gaming Mag
There have been hints, muttering, rumors and all manner of teasing comments thrown around in recent months concerning whether or not Mass Effect 3 will have a multiplayer offering. Now, with a preview of Australian magazine PC Powerplay’s next edition up for all to see, the answer is being shouted across the web in glossy cover format.
Cover tagline: MULTIPLAYER COMES TO MASS EFFECT 3: FIGHT ALONGSIDE YOUR FRIENDS AS THE GALAXY GOES TO WAR!
Well, that’s pretty unambiguous. Still, BioWare haven’t actually confirmed it yet, so this is technically still a rumor. However, I think we can safely assume that Mass Effect 3 multiplayer is happening.
Answers like this inevitably lead to more questions: what form will the multiplayer take? Will there be a co-op campaign, or non-story based deathmatches? Or both? The rumor mill grinds on.
The development of Mass Effect 3 has already courted controversy earlier this year as the declaration of a refined combat system brought both delight and dismay to long-standing fans.
Mass Effect has always had its utterly engrossing storytelling abilities to shout about, with many viewing the combat system as a functional but relatively pedestrian affair. News of a faster, more fluid style of combat has been welcomed by those who want to really feel that their battles are a vital part of the campaign, rather than something that has to be endured in order to make it to the next part of the story.
However, there are also the fans who worry that the new combat style will shift the game’s focus from RPG to shooter, a worry that will no doubt be reinforced by the news of a multiplayer feature. From here, it really is a short step before the cries of “dumbing down” are unleashed.
To those fans who worry that Mass Effect 3 will not be the same RPG experience that they know and love from the previous two titles, I predict that you have little to worry about.
The often used argument against a multiplayer feature in a predominantly single-player focused game is that it takes away development time and resources from the core content, in order to artificially try and extend the longevity of the game itself. Sometimes this argument is correct, there are many games that had a multiplayer offering that they really didn’t need (Dead Space 2 springs to mind) and added little value. However, I think Mass Effect 3 will be different.
Since this game will be the grand finale to one of BioWare’s most beloved RPG series, there’s no way that they will compromise on the game’s single-player content just to shovel out a multiplayer feature. No, the single-player campaign should be suitably spectacular and if by some bizarre chance it isn’t, it won’t be due to a lack of time or resources. The delayed Mass Effect 3 release date speaks volumes here, showing that BioWare are determined to do this thing right.
A co-op mode in the game’s main story could present some very interesting opportunities for gamers to make the most of the new combat style, as their friends will almost certainly prove to be handier than the AI. Even if co-op isn’t on the cards, multiplayer is far more likely to add something new and exciting to the game rather than take away from the single-player content.
The current scheduled Mass Effect 3 release date is March 6 2012. Mass Effect 3 is an RPG available for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
UPDATE (10/11/11): BioWare have confirmed that the multiplayer modes for Mass Effect 3 are a series of co-op missions allowing players to create custom-made character and enjoy a new type of Mass Effect experience together.
BioWare hastened to add that this multiplayer feature is entirely optional and it is “possible achieve the optimal, complete ending of the game in Mass Effect 3 through single-player alone.” Huzzah, sounds like the best of both worlds to me!