After paving the way for a pair of stellar Star Wars games with Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, BioWare took that genre and gameplay to the next level, creating the original sci-fi epic, Mass Effect. Years later, all of that planning and all of those years of development are finally about to pay off.

Aaryn Flynn, GM at BioWare’s Edmonton Studio says it best when describing Mass Effect 3 as everything its predecessors have been setting up for and more. Originally acclaimed as Game Rant’s most anticipated game of 2011, Mass Effect 3 received a four-month delay into spring 2012 and part of that was due to its expansion into the multiplayer arena.

It’s been speculated upon for well over a year and finally confirmed earlier this month: Mass Effect 3 features multiplayer. Rumors, followed by leaked information finally led to BioWare putting out official word on the big news and it didn’t take long for details to start rolling out, indicating that ME3’s multiplayer would be a 4-player co-op mode.

This new mode is called Galaxy at War and understandably, some fans were concerned this was a directive pushed upon BioWare by EA and their need to include multiplayer and online passes to better monetize all of their major franchises. That’s not (entirely) the case and BioWare has been looking into adding in the social experience with the franchise for years.

The Mass Effect series is about story and characters first and foremost and the worst thing that could happen is attention being taken away from that to force in multiplayer. If you’re concerned or have been complaining about the addition of multiplayer, it’s time to stop. BioWare not only hired additional staff just to implement multiplayer features, but the game had quite a bit of added dev time thanks to its delay.

Most importantly, the new multiplayer mode doesn’t take away anything from the single-player experience and it’s 100% optional. Should for some strange reason, you never want to enjoy the Mass Effect universe with friends, you don’t have too. It just adds another way to experience the game. Flynn says it best:

“There was a statement made that the better you do in multiplayer, the better you are at single-player – and I don’t think that’s right… The approach we’re taking is that multiplayer is very optional for all of our fans and players. It’s a way to achieve certain things in a different way then you could if you did just the single-player campaign.”

Optional. It’s optional. Head to CVG for the full interview with Aaryn Flynn where he also discusses how they decided upon this particular multiplayer mode and to have it driven by story just like the main campaign.

We’re excited about playing non-human characters and leveling them up to help save (or doom) the galaxy. Are you?

Mass Effect 3 releases for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on March 6, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: CVG

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