And I don’t care! Mass Effect 3’s cooperative multiplayer is amazing and it is largely due to the fact that Mass Effect 3, as a game, is the best Mass Effect that Bioware has delivered. Brush aside all the story drama and you’re left with the best Mass Effect video game in the trilogy. Why? Well it’s quite simple really: Mass Effect 3’s controls are as tight as ever. The gunplay is unmatched when compared to its predecessors and the cover system is the best it has ever been. The mechanical foundation of Mass Effect 3 is solid and this helped in developing a solid multiplayer experience.
I know there are people that are not fans of multiplayer and that’s fine. Mass Effect 3, though, is a cooperative experience with 4 player squads. Each player gets to choose the class and race of the character they take into battle. Soldier, Adept, Vanguard, Engineer, Sentinel and Infiltrator are all available to choose from and the different races have their own unique abilities. The key is to put a squad together that compliments the weaknesses of your team. Each class has its inherent strengths and weaknesses and the squad that compliments their fellow teammates will be the best armed for success. The depth of Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer is why I feel it is so successful.
Mass Effect 3 features the most successful marriage of solid shooter and deep rpg mechanics and the multiplayer is no different. Every class has 3 powers plus character training and fitness. Just like in the campaign, every skill can be upgraded through six tiers. Tiers 4-6 are the most influential as each evolution option can drastically effect the attributes of each skill. While character training will effect weapon and power damage, fitness training will upgrade health, shields and melee damage. The level cap for each class is 20 and every level earned goes towards your N7 ranking. Once the level cap is reached, there is an option to promote the class to the war assets which resets all characters in the respective class.
Multiplayer doesn’t just feature the same depth of character creation exhibited in the single player campaign, it also features all of the weapons available. The Mantis to the Javelin sniper rifles are available as well as the Mattock, Vindicator, Carnifex, Paladin, Claymore and so on. Even the N7 weapons available in the collector’s edition are now available through the commendation packs which are provided after the successful completion of the special N7 operations.
The N7 operations are another reason why Mass Effect’s multiplayer is so interesting. These are special objective events put together by the folks at Bioware. Every other week Alliance command will provide squad and allied objectives for the weekend. Usually the event runs from Friday evening to the end of Sunday. Objectives have included killing a set number of specific enemies, promoting classes and completing specific objective rounds. The N7 operations have been an ingenius method of maintaining interest in Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer as have the two DLC packs that have come out so far.
The multiplayer DLC packs are the most solid reason to play Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer. There really is no better time to start playing than now as the two DLC packs are both free. Each packs contains new character classes as well as new maps and weapons. Since the original release of the game they’ve added two new Quarrians (engineer and infiltrator), Vorcha (sentinel and solder), a Krogan Battlemaster (vanguard), Battarians (soldier and sentinel), two Cerberus defectors (adept and vanguard, two Geth (engineer and infiltrator) and an Asari Justicar (adept). Four new maps have also been added which include the moon of Palaven, Thessia and Sur`Kesh. Bioware and EA have kept the content of the game fresh and free and you just can’t argue with free ninety free. Mass Effect’s single player has always been the draw but I promise you, the new multiplayer has been so strong I’ve found it hard to go back for a second campaing run so far. It’s that good. In fact, this weekend, there’s a N7 operation going on. Hopefully I’ll see you on the battlefield.
So it has been a while since this post went up and I thought I’d share how things are on the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer front these days. Bioware has made some pretty significant changes over the past 5 months. There have been new DLC packs that included new characters and weapons and even a new enemy force in the form of the Collectors. The biggest addition however, are the in-game challenges and milestones. Now practically everything is tracked and compiled. Just like in many games today, points accumulated are tracked and updates will pop up and provide periodic updates of challenge progress. Challenges range from weapon usage to class/race specific extractions. Once a challenge is completed a profile background is unlocked allowing players to display the banner proudly in the multiplayer lobby.
The challenges themselves are easily managed and tracked within the games multiplayer menus or through the new N7HQ on Bioware’s social site. The social site allows players to track their challenge progress as well as their class loadouts, N7 ranking and inventory. It’s all there, making it easier than ever to obsess over the items of gear not yet acquired. The “bounty weekends” are back to being an every weekend affair. The global allied goal being ditched for a personal challenge. Instead of the community having to kill so many enemies, or promoting so many characters, each individual player must complete the set objective to receive a “commendation pack.” The new individual challenges range from accumulating a certain number of damage points using fire based powers such as “Incinerate” or achieving 3 extractions with an Engineer class character. The commendation pack as it did previously grants one N7 weapon card that were only available in the collector’s edition.
Several new characters have been released over a period of time since the release of the last DLC pack Retalliation. These include the Asari Valkyrie (sentinel), Geth Trooper (soldier), Vorcha Hunter (engineer), Turian Havoc (soldier), Turian Ghost (infiltrator), Batarian Brawler (vanguard) and Krogan Shaman (adept). Bioware has also addressed many of the exploit glitches and addressed many of the online stability issues the game had previously suffered from. Overall the game runs smoother, although still not perfectly, and has been rebalanced for a more enjoyable experience overall.