BioWare's aiming for a less invasive way to get Mass Effect: Andromeda (opens in new tab) players to try its multiplayer mode than back in Mass Effect 3. Producer Mike Gamble revealed some new details about how the "Strike Team" multiplayer will feed back into the solo campaign in an interview with Kotaku (opens in new tab).
"There's a system that we use called the Strike Team system, and fundamentally it allows you to go between single-player and multiplayer within the game," Gamble said. "And it's packaged around a meta-story of what's going on in Helios [the cluster of Andromeda that the game begins in]."
Mass Effect 3's wave-survival multiplayer mode directly tied into the single-player story by boosting your "Galactic Readiness" rating: a percentage measure of how well the war against the Reapers was going across the Milky Way. Galactic Readiness in turn affected how the final events of the game played out. Playing the multiplayer mode wasn't required to get the "best" endings, but they were much more work without it.
This was frustrating for players who either couldn't play online or just weren't into it. Especially since the previous Mass Effect games had been 100-percent solo experiences. Suddenly you were expected to play with strangers online? It was a less than ideal introduction for many to what was a surprisingly fun, tactically challenging multiplayer experience.
Back to Andromeda: according to Gamble, you can finish the "meta-story" that Strike Team feeds into without ever playing online. But BioWare still wants to encourage players to give it a try by making the multiplayer as easy to drop into as possible.
"I can tell you that there's a loading screen - it's not entirely seamless - but it won't require you to stop your game and restart in a different mode," Gamble explained. "Because narratively it's all connected, it makes a lot of sense."
So that's good to know, even if we're still in the dark about how the Strike Team mode will actually play. Looking at the multiplayer modes for Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition (opens in new tab), another four-player co-op experience seems like a safe bet. Mass Effect: Andromeda will be the first Mass Effect game to run on EA's Frostbite engine - which also powers the Battlefield series - so it should have plenty of multiplayer shooting expertise to draw from. A squad vs squad competitive mode would be pretty rad too, just saying.
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