One of 2012′s most anticipated games, the Mass Effect 3 launch got off to a bumpy start with a few discouraging glitches and, more famously, an underwhelming (and arguably incomplete) set of endings. However, after BioWare refocused their post-launch efforts into a successful release of the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC, most of the controversy seemed to have passed – allowing the team to lock back into their planned DLC schedule. The Extended Cut bumped back the title’s first campaign DLC, Leviathan (which will hit digital stores in less than a week), but nonetheless BioWare has been churning out plenty of complimentary multiplayer add-ons (including new characters, maps, and weaponry).
Many players expected the stream of new multiplayer content to die-off as time went on – in conjunction with talk of further campaign DLC already in the pipeline. However, it now sounds as if BioWare is still preparing digital content for both single player and multiplayer fans – with the possibility of a new enemy faction for online play.
Members of the BioWare Community team took to Reddit towards the close of Gamescom to answer fan questions. Jessica Merizan, Lead Community Manager for BioWare Edmonton/Montreal, led the discussion – with the caveat that the BioWare delegates had non-disclosure agreements for certain topics. That said, while the group drops plenty of “no comment” answers, they also make a point of providing a few intriguing hints and refuse to outright deny specific lines of inquiry – which, in the games industry, can often mean a more official confirmation is already en route.
You can check out the full list of answered (along with plenty unanswered) questions at Reddit. However, since the thread has become pretty inflated, we’re going to touch on two of the most interesting responses.
Responding to a fan question asking why Harbinger (a pivotal character in Mass Effect 2) was relegated to a bit part in the Mass Effect 3 campaign, and whether the reaper character might fit into the Mass Effect 3 ”Leviathan” DLC story, Merizan offered a subtle confirmation – read: Harbinger will be referenced in “Leviathan”:
“Harby as he’s affectionately called is just one of many many reapers. He was important in ME2 because he was the herald, the reaper who scouted ahead and foreshadowed what was to come. There’s lots of great plots and unfortunately we can’t shed light onto all of them. I can’t say that we won’t expand on Harbinger’s purpose either, so try Leviathan.”
Given that “Leviathan” will cost players $9.99, it’d be pretty reckless for Merizan to recommend playing the DLC to the Reddit commenter – if Harbinger didn’t factor into the storyline. It’ll be interesting to see just how much Harbinger content is in the add-on, since the character was positioned as a major antagonist for Mass Effect 3 – only to appear in a few of the game’s Earth battle cutscenes.
As a result, it’s possible that BioWare may use the post-launch single player DLC to tell other stories that didn’t quite fit into the standard Mass Effect 3 storylines – such as the previously rumored, Omega. Of course it’ll be awhile before we know exactly which stories will get fleshed out with DLC but fellow community team member, Chris Priestly, was quick to confirm that more single player DLC is in production:
“There is definitely more DLC coming for Multiplayer as well as single play, but we can’t reveal the details yet.”
The prospect of further DLC for both singleplayer and multiplayer isn’t exactly a surprise; however, pairing Priestly’s response in connection with question he was actually answering - “Will there be more Mass Effect 3 enemy factions for multiplayer in the future?“ - has already led to speculation that BioWare might also introduce a new multiplayer enemy group (to join Cerberus, the Geth, and the Reapers), possibly in conjunction with a future DLC launch.
Could we see online players face-off against the Collectors or another enemy faction? It’s certainly a possibility. The developer could have easily retooled enemy assets from the prior game (or created all new ones). Although, it’s important to keep in mind that Mass Effect 3 enemies were designed with a “Horde Mode” in mind – which resulted in fairly distinct class-like enemy types for each faction (standard grunts, fast moving close-quarters forces, heavy damage tanks, etc).
That’s where the developers might have an interesting challenge on their hands, designing new enemy characters (since there’s no clear Collector analogue to the Atlas or Brute, for example) to fit the current gameplay format. Depending on the amount of new content produced for the various campaign DLC offerings, it’s possible that BioWare might introduce entirely new enemies (that could then be added to multiplayer) but that’s purely speculation at this point.
In the meantime, gamers can get their Mass Effect 3 fix by tackling the latest multiplayer operation “Alloy” – which charges players and the community with promoting characters to the Galaxy at War (2 personal characters, 50,000 total).
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Mass Effect 3 as well as other movie, TV, and gaming news.
The Mass Effect 3 Leviathan DLC will be released for $9.99 on August 28, for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.