Progress Can Be Viewed On iOS, Facebook
Following on from Bioware's statement yesterday regarding the recent Mass Effect 3 multiplayer announcement, further light has been shed on the controversial mode in a preview snagged from OXM. Bioware saw Mass Effect 3 as the perfect chance to introduce multiplayer, although the team had been planning its inclusion since the first game. Pitting four players against ferocious waves of Cerberus forces, Mass Effect 3's multiplayer allows you to pick from a variety of races and classes, from Krogans to Drell.
Developed by an external team at Bioware Montreal, Mass Effect 3's multiplayer is a co-operative, wave based mode similar to Gears of War's popular Horde. You'll go from battling low-ranking soldiers to "assassin-like Phantoms" and "hulking Atlas mechs" which we've glimpsed in trailers. Each level - or "stage" - has eleven waves you must complete, and each of the multiplayer locations is inherently linked to Shepard's quest in the campaign, with war-torn planets and outposts he passes along his way retrofitted for multiplayer use.
You can pick from a variety of races and classes, be it a standard human Soldier like Shepard, or perhaps a cunning Drell Infiltrator like Thane. Or maybe you'd prefer to go for the fan-favorite Krogan race, who can charge and knock over enemies? You'll earn points from kills and assists, which can be spent on new armor and weapons. At the start of each round, you'll be able to pick your loadout and Biotic abilities, too.
With a level cap of 20, it's unclear how much mileage can be found in ME3's multiplayer. While the mode is inherently wave-based, mission-objectives will be "sprinkled in", such as collecting data-packets or protecting allies as they hack terminals. Should your ally fall under a hail of fire, you can revive them before they bleed out.
So far, so standard. But Mass Effect 3's multiplayer has a unique hook that Bioware hopes will set it apart from the rest of the competition. You see, the single and multiplayer components are linked together by what Bioware has dubbed the "Galaxy at War" mode, a progression system that rewards your progress across both the main-story and in the wave-based multiplayer.
It's entirely optional, but progress in the multiplayer can aid your quest in the single-player. Battling Cerberus forces in specific locations and winning will somehow help Shepard in the main story. However, to unlock the 'Galaxy at War' mode, you must locate 'War Assets' scattered across the main game, which will grant you new squad-mates and such in the multiplayer.
It all sounds very exciting and surprisingly ambitious for a mode we all feared was shoehorned in. Your progress in 'Galaxy at War' will be viewable upon iOS, Facebook and "other devices", too, with Bioware hoping to convince fans they're taking the inclusion of multiplayer very, very seriously. We hope to get hands-on soon and decide for ourselves. [Stick Skills]