It’s been a huge, huge couple of weeks for BioWare. Studio co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk retired and today we learned that SWTOR lead designer Daniel Erickson is following in the footsteps of executive producer Rich Vogel who left back in July. To combat the potential negative buzz surrounding the departures after some missteps in their key franchises (see: Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3), Electronic Arts opened the floodgates on a series of major announcements.
They unveiled Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, confirmed the upcoming Mass Effect 3: Omega DLC, announced the release of the Mass Effect trilogy, revealed that a new Mass Effect game is in development in addition to a brand new next-gen franchise. There’s a lot happening and the studio promises to continue supporting there key franchises, especially Mass Effect 3 which has free DLC and updates on the way in additional continued multiplayer event weekends.
Since the release of Mass Effect 3, BioWare has continued to expand the game’s multiplayer offerings, which at launch represented more of a limited proof of concept and has since grown to include a variety of new maps, new weapons, loads of new character classes and even a few new features and modes. That growth continues with next week with Mass Effect 3′s biggest multiplayer DLC pack yet: Retaliation.
Mass Effect 3: Retaliation augments existing maps by added new hazardous elements to them and more importantly, it adds a new enemy faction that we on Game Rant said they should add when the game launched: the Collectors. It also introduces a new challenge system that’ll reward players based on completion in the form of customization options with player banners.
The Retaliation DLC is entirely free and also adds two new Turian classes – check out the official features:
- New “Hazard” Versions of Existing Maps – Wage war across six maps as a regular rotation of Firebases will be introduced to different hazards and traps. Survive the onslaught of Acid, Lightening,Meltdowns, Sandstorms, Swarms and Whiteouts!
- New Deadly Enemy Faction – Prepare to face off against the Collector Praetorian, Scion, Abomination,Trooper, and Captain. Reports have also come in that Cerberus has enlisted the Dragoon to their ranks and the Geth are deploying new Drones to the battlefield.
- New Unlockable Weapons – The Collectors have also brought deadly new weapons to the fight: the Collector Assault Rifle, Sub-Machine Gun, and Sniper Rifle. Unlock these weapons and new equipment upgrades to build to your arsenal.
- New Class Kits to Unlock – A host of new characters have joined the war to fight this new threat, including the Turian Havoc Soldier and Turian Ghost Infiltrator. Additional class kits will be added as the weeks progress.
- New Powerful Upgrades – Outfit your weapons with three new ammo modifications and fortify your gear with five unique upgrades to defeat even the toughest foes.
- New Multiplayer Challenge Feature – Think you are the best soldier in the Alliance? Make sure to track your progress in the new “Challenges” database. Complete various multiplayer assignments and feats of strength to unlock titles and banners to display in-game, and then compare your progress against your friends.
If you’ve been out of the fight for some time now and want to get in some practice before the DLC hits, this weekend would be the prime time with Operation: Overdrive, the latest multiplayer weekend event, and a very simple one to complete at that.
Operation OVERDRIVE (October 5th-7th)
Based on intel recovered during Operation PATRIOT, we are anticipating a massive strike from the Reapers on multiple fronts. Our information officers and special-ops teams stationed behind enemy lines require immediate extraction.
- Squad Goal: Full extraction on any map at any difficulty in 20 minutes or less. Squads can be any size.
- Allied Goal: Complete 200,000 extraction waves on any difficulty. Squads can be any size. Full extraction not required.
- Squad Goal Success: All squad members awarded a Commendation Pack
- Allied Goal Success: All players awarded a Victory Pack
Are you still playing Mass Effect 3 and if not, will the DLC and event weekends draw you back in?
Mass Effect 3: Retaliation releases on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 9 in North America & October 10 in the UK.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.