hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Mass Effect 3

Preview: Mass Effect 3 (co-op)

11:00 AM on 10.27.2011 // Samit Sarkar

Almost as soon as BioWare finally confirmed Mass Effect 3's long-rumored cooperative multiplayer mode earlier this month, they released a multiplayer FAQ to try and mitigate the predictable Internet backlash. I've never played a minute of a Mass Effect game (relax, they're on my list), so I didn't initially have an opinion one way or the other. And even so, I try not to judge games before I've had a chance to play them.

I got that chance at an EA press event in New York two weeks ago. In this case, the vocal dissenters might actually be on to something.

1

Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3, PC)
Developer: BioWare Edmonton (single-player) / BioWare Montreal (multiplayer)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release: March 6, 2012 (NA) / March 9, 2012 (EU)

The Mass Effect franchise isn't one that I'd been planning to jump into with the third game, but according to BioWare marketing director David Silverman, that's absolutely possible with Mass Effect 3 -- in fact, it has been a major consideration for BioWare during the game's development, and it factored into the decision to bring a co-op mode into the series. Having laid the foundation with greatly improved combat, BioWare Montreal has created a way for gamers to play Mass Effect as a shooter with their friends, remain immersed in the franchise's rich fiction, and work toward a better campaign ending.

In Mass Effect 3, the Reapers have returned to make war on the entire universe. Commander Shepard and his/her allies are going to have their hands pretty full with that threat, obviously, but you can help them out by taking the fight to the Reapers cooperatively. The co-op mode is the main part of "Galaxy at War," a setup in which you prepare for a counterattack against the Reapers. In co-op, this is accomplished by traveling to hotbeds of conflict scattered throughout the galaxy in an effort to marshal resources for the war effort. These supplies will manifest themselves as Shepard's "Galactic Readiness" rating, which will factor into his success against the Reapers in Mass Effect 3's final battle. (Fear not, co-op haters: You can eschew this mode entirely and still obtain the "best" ending to the story.)

2

The "Horde"-style mode sees you join up to three other players to face twelve increasingly difficult waves of enemies in each galactic hotspot, with the final surge being the one in which your crew makes its escape. It's not as simple as killing all the enemies in sight; secondary objectives include picking up data packets and defending a teammate while they perform a hack.

You won't be playing as any of your favorite Mass Effect characters, but instead will be forging your own legend. In creating your co-op warrior, you can choose from six different races (Human, Asari, Drell, Krogan, Salarian, and Turian) -- each of which has a unique ability, such as a Krogan charge -- and the same six classes that are available in the campaign. Progression is capped at level 20, and you can upgrade your character's weapons, armor, and powers along the way. Maxed-out co-op characters provide a buff to Shepard's forces in the form of a "squad leader."

If most of this sounds rather rote to you, then we're on the same page. Based on my very limited co-op playtime -- I was only able to play for about ten minutes -- I think I can best describe the mode as... pedestrian. Admittedly, I might have enjoyed it more if I were familiar with the Mass Effect universe, but except for the aliens' various special abilities spicing up combat encounters, I didn't see anything particularly interesting, let alone remarkable. Ignoring some noticeable AI bugs (this was a pre-alpha demo), the mode just felt generic to me: I was shooting aliens in a futuristic sci-fi setting, and I didn't think that was engaging enough on its own.

3

Don't get me wrong: the mode isn't bad or anything. It's impressive that BioWare has upgraded the series' combat to the point where a co-op mode such as this, one that's played as a third-person shooter, is even viable. And it's possible -- likely, even -- that Mass Effect fans will find its progression and overarching story context compelling. Maybe there's some strategic interplay between the races/classes, or some mind-blowing stuff that BioWare is keeping under wraps. But I didn't get enough of a sense of that in my short demo, and with the fiction's trappings stripped away, the mode's moment-to-moment gunplay seemed merely competent. From what I've heard, Mass Effect 2 was outstanding; competence from its successor shouldn't suffice.

Photo Gallery: (4 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Samit Sarkar,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
♪You've gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to blame them, know when to walk away, know when to run ♪#fart
nanashi avatarnanashi
PStoid #30 records today, you still have a little time to ask questions!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I can now play the first 20 measures of Little Trinketry at full speed. It ends when you start playing chords with the right hand. Also something about carts #passdatgas [youtube]http://youtu.be/40fulS_olU8[/youtube]
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
According to fart scientists, the rate of intestinal gas escaping through the anus increases when regular sleep patterns are not observed.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I farted a lot during Mad Max Fury Road. I blamed them on the engines.
Dreggsao avatarDreggsao
A fart says more than a thousand words.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
A fart a day keeps the doctor away.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why can't we have more Lovecraftian horror games? It's such a great setting, but nobody ever uses it.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Best purchase I've made in a long time. This little remote controlled BB-8 robot by Sphero is amazing. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/bb8%202.jpg~original[/IMG]
gajknight avatargajknight
I fart, therefore I am.
extatix avatarextatix
Working on my next collection blog and holy shit, I should sell some stuff already.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
My first word was "fart".
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Philosophical question: if the only way to get Batman: Arkham Knight to run decently on my laptop is to lower all the settings and have it run windowed, am I really playing it?
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm farting right now.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I farted in Gamestop today and wasn't blamed!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
I have never farted. #TrueLies
From Must Git Gud avatarFrom Must Git Gud
Getting banned soon!
VIRGO avatarVIRGO
Here's to hoping Nintendo makes mobile games as compelling as Pac-Man 256...
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I hate when a new game comes out and D-toid gets flooded with stuff about a game I don't know anything about and I'm just stuck here, sitting with myself and my freeware games...
Dreggsao avatarDreggsao
It is the middle of the night and Yu-Gi-OH is on TV. Are children with insomnia so common these days?
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Mass Effect 3


  May 15

BioWare announces most popular Commander Shepard names

I like 'Josh Homme Shepard,' but that's kind of dumb, I guess


  Apr 25

Pew pew pew! Check out these new Mass Effect replica guns

Project Triforce makes some slick, expensive stuff


  Feb 25

Details on Mass Effect 3's final free DLC pack Reckoning

The fifth, final, and free multiplayer expansion


  Oct 19

RIP Commander Shepard

Who will step up? The Asari? The Turians?


  Sep 07

Mass Effect anime delayed

Won't be making it into your N7 stockings this Christmas


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -