It doesn’t take an expert to recognize that multiplayer has become nearly a necessity for a modern game to achieve triple-A status, at least for any game centered around combat or shooting. With BioWare‘s shift from RPG to third-person shooter with the Mass Effect franchise, rumors of a multiplayer component in Mass Effect 3 have been swirling since the game was first confirmed. Well, we knew the rumors wouldn’t be stopping anytime soon, but the latest reveal is offering some compelling evidence for the presence of multiplayer in Mass Effect 3. At least, in one way or another.
The notions of multiplayer being added all stemmed from BioWare hiring multiplayer programmers last year to help engineer a ‘multiplayer environment’ for the Mass Effect series. That was more proof than anyone needed to know that the developers of the science-fiction RPG were thinking about multiplayer, since nearly every current studio is thinking the same thing to some degree.
Just months ago we learned that BioWare Montreal was possibly working on a co-op mode for the Mass Effect series, but whether that was for Mass Effect 3 specifically, or a future game in the franchise was unclear. Now, thanks to a leaked cover of Xbox World 360 it seems the multiplayer can be confirmed for ME3. Exactly what capacity remains to be seen. Have a look:
Now that we can seemingly put our doubts in the past, we have to wonder exactly how the multiplayer will fit into the overall story and mechanics of the game. We’ve already explained why we think Mass Effect multiplayer would work, but whether the modes will be the standard team deathmatch formula, a Gears of War-style Horde mode, or cooperative elements is anyone’s guess.
Whichever one is the case, a multiplayer element will certainly help Electronic Arts in their quest to make Mass Effect appeal to a larger audience. For long-time fans though, it’s fairly certain that the various weapons and combat mechanics of the series – not to mention the new twists – have a good chance of bringing something new to online multiplayer.
Plenty more rumors have begun circulating since the cover was revealed, describing the multiplayer as a co-op campaign, or even DLC to be released post-launch. At this point nothing can be deemed ‘official,’ but with Mass Effect 3 releasing simultaneously across all three major platforms, now would be the time to introduce new content. Who knows, maybe BioWare softened the blow to Microsoft with the loss of an exclusive by promising first access for ME3 multiplayer?
We’ll keep you posted on any official announcements, when and if the developer or publisher choose to make them. Mass Effect 3 will be released on March 6, for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
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