Why Mass Effect 3’s Multiplayer May Not Be a Bad Thing
Anyone following Bioware’s upcoming 2012 game Mass Effect 3 will know by now that alongside the single player campaign, there is also going to be a cooperative multiplayer experience included. The response to this from fans of the series has been mixed so far, some hate the idea while others are excited about it.
Mass Effect has always been a single player series. Mass Effect, released in 2007 started the series with a bang. It had a totally unique dialogue system, where almost every decision the player made could affect the ending of the game. Players customized their characters, choosing either a female or male Commander Shepard to save the galaxy with.
And along the ride, players could make deep personal connections with other characters in the game. The player could even romance one of the crew members aboard the Normandy, establishing a relationship with a crew member of the opposite sex that would carry on in Mass Effect 2 and 3 (so long as they survived). This wide variety of moral and personal choices led to a unique single player experience for every player, adding tons of replay value.
In 2010, Mass Effect 2 released and did everything Mass Effect had done, bigger and better. There were countless characters, more interesting side quests, copious characterization, myriad romance options, and even more ways the game could end. This brought even more replay value than its predecessor did, all in a single player experience.
When Mass Effect 3‘s multiplayer component was announced, many loyal Mass Effect players felt confused, offended and angry. These players had built such a deep connection with their Shepard avatar, and did not want to see the stellar Mass Effect single player experience sullied by a tacked-on multiplayer aspect. Even though the involvement of Commander Shepard in multiplayer has been denied, people still seem somewhat skeptical about co-op. Here are three main reasons that the multiplayer portion of Mass Effect 3 should not worry people, and may end up being a great addition.
1. Multiplayer is completely optional.
Even though playing the multiplayer can add to the outcome of the story of Mass Effect 3, it is not mandatory; it is completely the choice of the player whether or not to play it. You can view it as a means to expand upon Mass Effect’s adventure, or totally ignore it and act like it does not even exist. Disregarding the multiplayer does not negatively impact the story whatsoever.
2. It could add months of replay value to Mass Effect 3.
Imagine this scenario- you’ve played Mass Effect 3 ten times already, beaten it on Insanity for five out of those ten times. You’ve played through as FemShep and male Shepard; as a Soldier, Infiltrator, Sentinel, Adept, Vanguard, and Engineer. You’ve seen every single ending, romanced every character, and gotten all achievements or trophies. You’ve even bled every planet dry of its resources. Where do you go from there?
To the multiplayer. There is likely a never ending source of biotics, tech and gunfire waiting for you in Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer mode, perfect for anyone who can’t get enough of the series, or simply does not want it to end.
3. More races to play as in any Mass Effect game is a plus.
Shepard is great, but does anyone want to stick with their human character forever? Everyone who played Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 have followed their Commander Shepard through Reaper invasions on the Citadel, hundreds of side missions, and a suicide mission in the heart of the Reaper base. The new dynamic that will be introduced is great for adding even more variety to the already vast game that Mass Effect 3 surely will be. These new races will bring new depth to the gameplay, fresh strategies, and even deeper customization of characters.
Hopefully the Mass Effect epic will continue after the trilogy concludes when Mass Effect 3 is released on March 6, 2012.