Updated Fri, Mar 09, 2012 by Stow
I never thought I’d be writing a section on the multiplayer aspect of a BioWare game. Anyway, what we’ve got here is a glorified Horde mode from Gears of War where 4 people attempt to survive over a sprawling area. Ammo stations are scattered liberally throughout, keeping guns filled and enemies reeling. &However, every few stages will have an objective that resembles king of the hill, or capture-and-hold types throughout the level. This changes the focus from offense to defense, and in the later stages when some of the truly nasty enemies start spawning, can make things super hectic. Your teammates can revive you if you fall, but if you die alone, expect to be executed by the enemy in short order!
Play as any of the races in multiplayer, each with unique abilities and passives.
There is a leveling system just like single player, with similar traits and classes to unlock. You make credits from missions which are used to purchase random goodie boxes that can contain equipment or additional bonuses—of course, these can also be purchased with cold hard cash if you want a quick edge or have money to burn. Your multiplayer stats do affect your single-player game to an extent, so you might not want to neglect this entirely, to avoid spoilers. Stupid as that is, the multiplayer is a great distraction and a good time.
Still, that ugly ‘port’ feeling rears its ugly head when there is a loading screen for host migration as they leave. Not only that, but there's literally no way to chat via text or keyboard in game. Don’t have a mic? Don’t want to wake up everyone else in the house? Sucks to be you.
I love this series, and I still enjoy this game. But I don’t enjoy it because Mass Effect 3 is a great game; I enjoy it because of the scenario and characters built up over the last few years. Standing alone, Mass Effect 3 is a cover shooter with a few decisions and side quests to complete along the way while the Reapers take their sweet time incinerating Earth. As much as I love chilling with the old cast once more, I can’t believe I have to prove myself to the same clans whose asses I’ve saved over the past few games time and time again, and STILL people are like, “Reapers? Don’t know what you’re talking about Shepard.”
So while the writing and pacing may detract a bit from what should be the most epic of space conflicts, you’ll still have a good time blasting the hell out of aliens, robots, and your former employer. It just doesn’t feel like as big of a step forward as the second game was from the first.