Mass Effect 3 multiplayer update: BioWare confirms co-op missions, asks for fans patience (new details added!)

After months and months of rumors, today we got confirmation that Mass Effect 3 has online multiplayer. Looking at the immediate internet reaction, the majority of the comments on our story ranged from doubtful to fairly negative, and it seems like the reaction wasn’t limited to our readers. After the initial response to the news, BioWare explained things a little more, including the first facts about co-op missions, while doing its best to assure fans that the new mode would be worth it.

First up, Mass Effect executive producer Casey Hudson took to his Twitter and laid down some of the first info on the mode, while also trying to relax fans:

“Yes, co-op MP missions for #ME3: they're real, and they're spectacular. Rest assured it's nothing of what you've feared. More soon...”

“Co-op missions” does sound a bit easier to comprehend than the full-on deathmatch battles that the word “multiplayer” conjures in the minds of some. Though it should be noted Casey doesn’t say that the multiplayer is exclusively co-op. Meanwhile, BioWare’s official Twitter account also attempted similar damage control with its fan base:

“There will be a multiplayer component for #ME3. Full details soon, so wait until then before making your decision. We think you'll like it!”

What do you think? Were hardcore fans simply overacting to something they know little about? Or is this just another sign of the times with multiplayer modes being forced on single player franchises just to keep up with the competition? And do you trust BioWare to create a Mass Effect multiplayer experience that meets the franchises high level of quality?


BioWare gave a much more concrete description of the multiplayer modes on its forums. Here's how the four player co-op mode is described:

"4 player co-op multiplayer

Join your friends in the all-out galactic war to take Earth back. The universe of Mass Effect expands with the addition of new co-op multiplayer missions, playable over Xbox Live, PSN and PC internet. Players can choose from a variety of classes and races, form an elite Special Forces squad, and combine their weapons, powers and abilities to devastating effect as they fight together to liberate key territories from enemy control. Success in multi-player will have a direct impact on the outcome of the single player campaign, giving players an alternative method of achieving ultimate victory against the greatest threat mankind – and the entire galaxy – has ever faced.

Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War

As a bonus to the campaign, BioWare is introducing the Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system, a new way for players to manage and experience the galactic war from multiple fronts, including a new 4-player co-op mode. The key to saving the galaxy is the “Galactic Readiness” level, measured by Commander Shepard’s ability to apply every possible asset – people, weapons, resources, armies, fleets – in the final battle against the Reapers. Players can impact their game’s Galactic Readiness level in multiple ways via the Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system, including multiplayer. Other platforms and interfaces will be announced in the coming months. It is important to note that the system is entirely optional and just another way players can have control over your game experience – it is still possible to achieve the optimal, complete ending of the game in Mass Effect 3 through single-player alone."

Continue reading the forum page and you'll see BioWare has an extensive FAQ on the subject. First the team assures fans that first and foremost Mass Effect 3 was designed as a single player game and that's why the multiplayer aspect is totally separate. It's mentioned that the team made the multiplayer only co-op as battling alongside friends was the only thing that made sense for the series. Further, for those of you that think the BioWare developers had to sacrifice their time to make multiplayer maps when they should be working on the campaign, the post reveals that the multiplayer mode was made by a totally separate team at BioWare Montreal. You can read the whole FAQ right here.

So now that BioWare has let loose all these details about the mode, how do you feel? Less concerned? More worried? Or patiently waiting to play it for yourself and make up your mind then?

Oct 10, 2011

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.