Yesterday we were able to confirm that Mass Effect 3 has multiplayer. Unfortunately for the series’ millions of fans, no specifics were revealed. The veil has since been pulled back thanks to a posting by BioWare on their official forums, and the word is that the game will contain a four player co-op mode that is separate from the main campaign.
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 – and the entire galaxy – has ever faced.
Co-op will not be influenced at all by imported save files from the first two games. However, as hinted at in the above quote from the developer, playing through the multiplayer will somehow affect the single player campaign.
Players will not have access to Commander Shepard or the supporting cast while playing the co-op. Instead, gamers will design custom characters from races such as the Turians, Krogans and Asari. Weapon upgrades and a leveling system of some sort will be detailed in the coming months leading up to release.
The four player co-op is apparently part of a larger system known as “Galaxy at War.” The developer says that it will allow “players to manage and experience the galactic war from multiple fronts.” Galaxy at War measures players’ “Galactic Readiness,” which is affected by how various assets are taken advantage of. Use of the system is completely optional.
BioWare was quick to note that the multiplayer is being developed up at the dev’s Montreal studio by an entirely different team than the one working on the single player. In addition, they confirmed that there will be DLC of some sort for the game.
Mass Effect 3 will release for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on March 6th, 2012.