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Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Announcement Is An Apology

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Announcement Is An Apology

It’s been rumoured since before the original Mass Effect even began development (possibly) and BioWare employees have been dodging the question with an unflinching ‘we don’t comment on rumours’ line for what feels like an eternity (definitely) but finally, finally, finally it’s been confirmed.

Mass Effect 3 will have multiplayer.

But it wasn’t the all-singing, all-dancing party you’d expect it to be from a company which has had to keep its multiplayer secret quiet for so long.

“I know the immediate reaction by some is to panic and think of how this will ruin the Mass Effect series or whatever,” said BioWare’s Chris Priestly. Um, what?

“PLEASE do not over react or assume the worst until you actually hear details on this feature and how it will work,” he continued. Huh?

“I urge people to have cautious optimism or wary negativity until you get the real details.”

Not exactly a fiesta of smiles, high-fives and champagne corks whizzing past Ray Muzyka’s head.

In many ways, their reaction is understandable. Mass Effect had built its name on being a personal single-player adventure, which puts you in charge of your own fate and destiny. The thought of multiplayer being introduced into that fragile mix had fans clattering their keyboards in anger long before this announcement was made.

Still, what a weird thing, to be so apologetic and assume reactions before they’ve happened.

Weirder still was the F.A.Q. accompanying the announcement, which makes yet more assumptions and sees BioWare asking themselves questions before dodging them.

The quick version of the above, if you’re lazy and pushed for time, is this:

– Four player co-op separate from main campaign
– No ‘Versus’ modes
– Separate BioWare studio is making multiplayer “under the direction of Casey Hudson and other team veterans”
– Multiplayer features ‘custom characters’, not the known names such as Garrus, Ashley, etc

But, as said, BioWare asks itself questions it then doesn’t answer.

“What if I am not good at / do not like multiplayer? Will my readiness rating go down?” asks Unseen BioWare Man.

“ME3 is a story about a war against overwhelming force where the most you can hope for us survival,” they answer. “The more you do to fight that war, the more you can change that story into a more optimistic one. You can reach the highest levels of success in the single player experience alone, but Galaxy at War gives you alternative ways to get there. It’s about choice, and allowing players to find their own ways to stay immersed in the Mass Effect universe.”

Right… but… what if I’m not good at or don’t like multiplayer?

Personally, I’m not really fussed either way on this multiplayer announcement. That it doesn’t impact on single player is all I wanted to know and multiplayer will likely be sampled, enjoyed then ignored as I focus on the main event. I suspect it’ll be the same for others too.

Yet reading between the lines here, it almost seems like BioWare feels the same way, apologising for something that hasn’t even happened yet.

What a weird announcement.

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  • Conor

    Any form of multiplayer in Mass effect is a bad idea.