The Mass Effect series could quite easily be the best sci-fi games of all time. But as well as an incredibly deep and compelling story, life-like and superbly developed characters, immersive RPG system and enjoyable combat system, Mass Effect 3 has just added something else to the mix…online multiplayer.
So the question is, was this multiplayer extension simply a quick cash-in or is it an enjoyable and addictive experience? Well, we’re pleased to say it’s the latter. We first took to Mass Effect 3 online multiplayer to simply boost our galactic readiness. But after we’d received our “Defender” achievements and completed single player with no regrets (well, maybe we still wish to see other endings) we still found ourselves heading to the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer menu. So what’s so great about it and why should you give it a go? Well, let us give you a break down:
Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Characters
Rather than the military soldiers we’re all so used to playing as, Mass Effect 3 allows you to choose from most of the species you worked with, were good friends with, had relationships with (you floozy, you) and did battle with. This opens-up a huge selection of characters for you to choose from and each has their own special abilities ranging from superior strength, to stealth cloaks and from frag grenades to special biotic abilities that can render groups of enemies, powerless. Characters (and everything else) do not need to be unlocked in a single player campaign, but do need to be unlocked during multiplayer (see “Incentives”, below).
The Weapons in Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer
All multiplayer games need their weapons and we’re sure everyone will agree that Mass Effect 3 has the largest (and coolest) selection of sci-fi weapons, ever! You can not only unlock these weapons, you can also upgrade their damage, handling, capacity and much more (see “Incentives”, below).
Who do you fight in Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer and who do you fight with?
This is where Mass Effect 3 really begins to shine online. It simply can’t just be compared to other ‘Horde’ modes because there is so much variety to the enemies you’ll face. Space troopers with huge mechwarrior-like artillery, (Cerberus) robotic warriors with powerful shields and devastating weaponry, (Geth) zombie-like, possessed creatures that hurtle toward you with much larger, nightmarish and mutated creatures (Reaper army). Mass Effect 3 multiplayer offers a great variation of enemies which always keeps the battles fresh. You can also select which enemy to face or just leave it to fate! The latter can earn you more XP for going in unprepared as you can also equip different ammo and upgrades for specific enemies (see “Incentives”, below).
In order to face these enemies effectively, you’ll be teamed-up with 4 other players (with online co-op support). This works really well as Mass Effect 3 promotes heavy teamwork with a revive system similar to Gears of War and Left 4 Dead. Mass Effect 3 multiplayer is certainly all about the teamwork…and we love it!
Multiplayer locations in Mass Effect 3
Right from the start, you’ll be able to select from a number of battle locations you’ll recognise if you played through single player. These don’t need to be unlocked but most are available with DLC. If you purchased Mass Effect 3 new, you’ll have free DLC (Resurgence) that gives you access to new locations! Future DLC will also add more weapons, characters and locations to Mass Effect multiplayer. We can’t wait!
Multiplayer Incentives in Mass Effect 3
Every bestselling muliplayer game has them. From weapon enhancements to perks, you need to keep the player involved and rewarded for their time and effort.Thankfully Mass Effect has a ton of this in the form of load-out ‘Packs’. With each online game you and your team take part in, you’ll earn credits (surviving the entire mission and playing harder difficulties will earn you more). These credits are then used to buy different packs that vary in price (the higher the price, the more useful the goodies).
But here’s the thing, Recruit, Veteran and Spectre Packs will each contain random items (although the power and rareness of items will relate to the packs price). Just like a pack of stickers, you’ll have no idea what you’ll get. Before you know if, you’ll be addicted to saving-up and purchasing those expensive packs in order to find something useful, uncommon, rare or ultra rare!
So what do these packs contain? The correct question is…what don’t they contain! New characters, new weapons and weapon attachments are just the basic things you’ll be crossing your fingers and toes for. You’ll also find special bonus equipment which can be used in multiplayer battle. These bonuses include emergency ammo clips, rocket launchers, medi-gel, emergency health & shields, ammo for specific enemy types and many more rare pick-ups.
So there it is. Good reasons to dive into Mass Effect 3 online and get blasting, customising and collecting! BioWare have done an amazing job at creating what is pretty much a free multiplayer add-on (when you consider the content of single player and the FREE multiplayer DLC content). This is definitely one to watch, especially with more DLC being planned.
Do you think Mass Effect 3 has what it takes to defeat Gears of War’s ‘Horde’ mode? What about Modern Warefare’s Spec-Ops? Let us know!