Mass Effect 3's Multiplayer Separate from Single Player, Can Impact It
Yesterday, we revealed that Mass Effect 3 will have multiplayer. The game will feature a cooperative mode, but after the announcement, BioWare had to go into damage control to try and curb the backlash from the series' fans. Mass Effect is a single player RPG that tells a grand story, and the fans do not want that to be ruined for the end of the trilogy. Well, fear not, as the multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3 will be entirely separate from the game's single player story, although actions in multiplayer can impact the main campaign. Mass Effect 3 features a Galaxy at War system, which measures your "Galactic Readiness" by measuring how well-prepared Shepard is to face the Reapers. There are plenty of things to do in the single player story to impact that, but you can alternately use the co-op mode to achieve the same level of "Galactic Readiness." The multiplayer is entirely separate from the single player, just you have another option to enhance the single player campaign. You do not need to mess with the multiplayer at all, but those who do may be able to prepare Shepard's squad a little faster.
As for the co-op mode, it features four players as members of a Special Forces squad liberating "key territories from enemy control." You will be able to customize every aspect of your co-op player, even down to the race, weapons, class, and special abilities. You will not be playing as Commander Shepard or any member of his/her squad, but rather a separate team full of players you create. The multiplayer side is being handled by BioWare's new Montreal studio, and so far only features online co-op. Remember, not playing multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 will not take away from the single player campaign, as it can only add to it. This may make the news of multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 a little more palatable, but time will tell how the fans react to it.
Mass Effect 3 will launch on March 6th, 2012, on the PC, PS3, and 360.