Wot I Think: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer

By Alec Meer on March 16th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.


Jim’s done singleplayer, I’ve done the From Ashes DLC, and now I take on Mass Effect 3′s vaguely controversial four players vs AI-controlled enemy waves co-op multiplayer mode. I’ve been playing it what might be said to be a little too much over the last week, having taken several characters to level 20 and gotten righteously indignant that I keep unlocking pistols rather than sniper rifles. Allow me to explain.

I lay there, dying and enraged. My last surviving team-mate, a Salarian Infilitrator, stood right next to me. Actually, that’s a lie, intended to cover my indignity – he was standing right on top of me, feet stomping on my face, taking wild potshots at a Cerberus Centurion hiding behind a nearby wall. All he had to do was press one button for a couple of seconds, and I’d be back in the fight, at his side, helping him to win this war and go home with the spoils of victory. I hadn’t wired up a mic for this match, so I couldn’t scream and beg at him. Still, what was required was beyond obvious – yet he would not do it. The seconds ticked away. My blood trickled away.

The Centurion, eventually, expired, and precious moments of my life yet remained. Now, surely, this frog-faced brother-in-arms would come to my aid. He didn’t even look at me. He ran on. Moments later, I furiously shuffled off my mortal Quarian coil. My last sight was a Phantom assassin coolly running her blade through the Salarian’s stomach. That meant this mission was a failure. I could have saved him from that. Why hadn’t he helped me? Why had he damned himself so? This fight was a co-operative one: we had everything to gain by helping each other, and nothing to lose. Once my fury dissipated, I came up with two good reasons for his bizarre and fatal behaviour.

Number 1, that guy was just a dick, and a gloryhound. That covers all the bases, but left me feeling bitter. So, number 2: this is Mass Effect. In Mass Effect, you can choose to be a Renegade, a bad boy/girl, a egomaniac who doesn’t play nice with others and reserves his right to beat, execute or sacrifice anyone he doesn’t feel helps his crusade. Still a dick, yes – but a dick with purpose. Realising that really did make me feel better about the disastrous battle. Less happily, it brought out the Renegade in me. I took a note of that bulgy-eyed bastard’s name, you just bet I did. If I ever encounter him again, he’ll find me to be about as co-operative as a starving grizzly bear.

The real take-home realisation from this silent conflict with an anonymous stranger was that I cared. I’d expected Mass Effect 3 multiplayer to be throwaway and cynical, and primarily existing as a back of the box feature, an anti-trade-in and piracy measure and an additional avenue to flog DLC. It is all of those things too, and it goes almost without saying in the current age of reward-based multiplayer that the foundation of my engagement with these four-player co-op missions was the lizard-brain hunger for upgrades and unlocks (of which there are dozens). But, crucially, I also want to win the fights. Not complete them, not survive long enough to get the majority of the available XP and cash. Win them. Beat the enemy. Be a real hero. Perform dramatic feats, work together to take down giant Cerberus mechs or the walking metal walls that are Geth Primes, or the ever-terrifying Reaper Banshees.

Somewhere, Commander Shepard is off on a quest for mystical artifacts and to tap assorted alien bottom and to make all the known species sit down and sing kumbaya together, but this the real fight: boots on the ground, different races but the same purpose, with no magic doohickeys involved. These are epic fights of survival against mounting odds, not the grindy scripting of ME3 singleplayer’s combat.

That feeling doesn’t last long. The maps are too few, the variety of challenge and foe in short supply, so unlocking new weapons and characters ultimately becomes the main source of newness and thus primary drive to keep playing. There’s a missed opportunity, I think, to up the enemy variety by using the ME lore concept of Reaper indoctrination to justify going up against Turians, Krogan, Asari et al, rather than seeing Cerberus, Geth and Reaper units time and time again. Then again, that would mean co-op wasn’t able to simply recycle the singleplayer units then up the challenge by draping them in vast numbers of extra hitpoints. Initially, I grumbled that taking out, say, a Geth Prime was so much tougher than in singleplayer. No consistency! Everything’s all over the place!

Then I remembered that I wasn’t Commander Shepard anymore. The legendary Shepard, saviour of the galaxy, destroyer of worlds, all that epic jazz. No, I was just some soldier now, some disposable grunt. Of course I wouldn’t be able to take out a Geth Prime solo.

Well, not without one of the one-time-use rocket launchers I could buy. And even then, I can’t buy it directly. Instead, I spend my in-game currency on ‘Packs’, which offer a random grab bag of items, trading card style. Depending on how much you can spend, the odds of getting something splendid like a new character (you only have access to humans by default), weapon, or weapon upgrade (each gun can be ramped up to level 10) vary. Mostly, though, you’ll get one-shot items like Medigels for instant resurrection, the kills absolutely anything rocket launcher or ammo and shield replenishment packs. They’re match changing items, jealously guarded and to be used only in dire straits. That there’s no way to directly purchase any of them saves them from feeling cheaty. Instead, when someone busts out their rocket launcher just as a pack of Geth Primes descend on you, it’s an incredible relief. You know it pains them to use it up, and you know that all it buys you is a few seconds of breathing space. Make the best of them.

(Oh, I should mention that you can buy credits with real money if you want to shortcut to buying a better Pack, but while that’s mercenary on EA’s part, if you do it you’re a lazy idiot. You can earn enough to afford one of the top-tier Spectre packs in just a couple of matches, so long as you play and do relatively well at Silver or Gold difficulty. Bronze difficulty is for numpties anyway).

What I most get out of ME3 multiplayer though is what’s always been sadly absent from Mass Effect singleplayer – playing directly as one of the increasingly iconic alien races, rather than being locked into Shepard’s boots. Krogan, Turian, Salarian, Quarian, Drell, Asari – all humanoid and thus not that different from playing as one of the boggo humans, but they move differently, they have voices that evokes ME’s beloved cast and they have species-specific powers. Sure, there’s no roleplaying or destiny-questing, but I got a surprising kick out of discovering I’d unlocked a Krogan Soldier, then a Drell Vanguard and, my current favourite, a Quarian Infilitrator.

There isn’t too much sense in ME2 and ME3 of getting a giant toolbox of abilities to play with, as it broadly boils down to anti-Armour power, anti-Shield power and grenades, but co-op gradually allows access to a wide range of biotic and tech powers and thus some explosive and tactical fights, depending on what team you end up wading into the fray with. Also, unlike Shepard’s inexplicably suicidal policy of only ever taking two colleagues into battle even when the fate of existence itself is at stake, the headcount rises to four, and that does make a surprising amount of difference in terms of the scale of the fights.

I still haven’t unlocked a Salarian, which means I can’t yet pretend to be my favourite ME character, funny-talkin’, tortured scientist Mordin, so I’m definitely going to keep at ME3 multiplayer until I do. But, after three of four days of exhilarating fights, tragic defeats and heroic victories, I do feel I’ve seen it all many times over. It is a fine addition to the overall ME3 package, but I don’t think it’s got long-term legs unless Bioware do something incredible with the planned DLC.

The controversial singleplayer Galactic Readiness multiplayer contributes to is very much a storm in a teacup, as it doesn’t take long to max it out (though, infuriatingly, it does diminish over time if you don’t keep playing) and, doing my best to steer clear of spoilers here, whatever you wind up with won’t alter the major beats of ME3′s endings anyway. That said though, if you are determined to max out Galactic Readiness/Effective Military Strength, co-op is a far more entertaining way of doing it than that tedious planet-scanning minigame. The whole concept is a misfire though. It would have been far more satisfyingly and coherently achieved via actual quests, not number-hunting. Fortunately, the awkward, cynical meta-game doesn’t actively diminish the co-op in its own right.

In other words – if you’ve been avoiding co-op for any reason, you are missing out on a good time and one that is, in some ways, more faithful to Mass Effect’s nuts’n'bolts concept of a loose alliance of intergalactic races battling against organised invaders than ME3′s lone hero vs mystic spaceships tale is. Essentially it offers an improved version of ME3′s combat, with the cutscenes and scripting removed and ramped-up risk. It gets old fast enough that it most certainly isn’t a reason to buy the game if you don’t care about singleplayer, but I’d say there’s a good week of tight science-fictional action to be milked from it first.

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109 Comments »

  1. CaspianRoach says:

    >My last sight was a Nemesis assassin coolly running her blade through the Salarian’s stomach.
    Nemesis’s don’t have blades, they have sniper rifles. You’re thinking about Phantoms.

  2. Ravelle says:

    “My last sight was a Nemesis assassin coolly running her blade through the Salarian’s stomach” Nemesis are the snipers which can only snipe and run, they won’t ingage in close combat, who you’re thinking of is the Phantom which will cut you like a fish. ;)

  3. engion3 says:

    you cant play co-op games online these days. too many dummies.

    • Ringwraith says:

      My experience with has positive all-round really. No-one I’ve found seems to be self-interested to point of damaging the team, which I was surprised at, as I don’t normally play co-op games with random people for that reason.

      • wccrawford says:

        Mark me down as another positive. I haven’t played much yet, but the few matches I played went really well, with people generally working together and doing well at it.

        I usually avoid multiplayer like the plague, so I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised by this.

      • Verio says:

        Yup, my experience with the MP has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact I’m probably the dumbest player I’ve come across, as my attempts to play a vanguard seem to uniformly end with me charging 1 guy, who actually has 3 guys behind him, who rip me apart. I’m stunned nobody yelled at me during the 4-5 matches I played as a vanguard, as in some cases I was dying twice per wave :/

        I switch to engineer or adept and it’s top honors all day :/

        Either way, it’s been a blast. The last few days I had to force myself to finish the SP because I kept wanting to play MP… I just wish you had a bit more control over the unlocks. Inevitibly I want to play an Engineer and an Adept, and all my unlocks are heavy sniper rifles and assault rifles and their associated upgrades.

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          Maltose says:

          As a vanguard, I found it most helpful to use the charge as a finisher, rather than an opener. Close in on the enemy on foot, and once your shields are about to go down, charge a different enemy to recharge your shields.

          • BarkingDog says:

            Charge and NOVA! then charge again, and spam nova more, and roll around a bit to mix things up, maybe.

    • jalf says:

      Yes you can. As the others have said, it works. It’s fun, and it works well. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s that there’s virtually no inter-player communication (no text chat, and most people don’t use mics either), maybe it’s something else, but there’s no rage-quitting, no insults or trolling or all the other usual plagues of online gaming. (Well, I’m sure someone, somewhere has had a bad experience with ME multiplayer, but it’s really really rare)

      Give it a shot before you judge it.

    • lovedeluxe says:

      Yup- agreed totally.

      Maybe they could include a better tutorial that explains that you aren’t super shep anymore and to get ahead, it’s a team effort – birthday presents are a bonus. Wait that won’t help – to many dummies.

  4. Ravelle says:

    It’s a blast with friends though.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      If only I had any…

      • Vinraith says:

        “Any” won’t even cut it, which is the whole problem with MP modes like this. It doesn’t scale, so you have to have exactly three friends. If you have more, people get left out. If you have less, you either have a vastly more difficult game or you have to pick up some randoms and kill that whole “playing with friends” vibe.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Actually, it does scale, you get less enemies and less of the tougher ones with less people (more noticeable on higher difficulties), although due to everyone’s narrow specialisations and the tendency to get flanked you probably need at least three players to cover all bases.

          • Vinraith says:

            Interesting, I’ve seen “it doesn’t scale” a number of places, maybe it’s just subtle enough on normal difficulties that people aren’t noticing.

            It’s disappointing that it wouldn’t work for two players, that’s by far the easiest thing to get going amongst my friends. We all have full time jobs, and we’re all on somewhat different schedules. Such is life.

          • RakeShark says:

            It’ll work for two players, just don’t expect it to work for the first few dozen attempts you try it. My buddies and I did 3 -man teams at the beginning and always got wiped by wave 6. After a few veteran boxes and some map familiarity, it’s now a surprise when we don’t complete the mission.

          • Nevard says:

            It definitely scales, we’ve tested it.
            The only problem is that with two or three people you will have less variety of powers than four, which is fine on bronze or silver but might give you troubles on gold if your team is great at taking out barriers but doesn’t have much for breaking armour.

        • Bungle says:

          Portal 2 co-op was much worse, as it required two players. Talk about awkwardness on TeamSpeak when three people want to play…

          • Vinraith says:

            Two has the benefit of being easy to come up with, though. Four is usually impossible to coordinate, in my experience.

          • Unaco says:

            @Vinraith,

            4 people is ‘impossible to coordinate’? What? I guess that’s why no one has ever had a successful game of Left4Dead, or Magicka, or the Heist, or Contract Bridge, or Tennis Doubles, a golfing 4-some, 2v2 Basketball, Alien Swarm, etc, etc, etc.

          • Vinraith says:

            @Unaco

            I’m unsure if you’re being deliberately obtuse, here.

            In my personal experience, it’s functionally impossible to get four of my gaming friends on the same server at the same time. We all have full time jobs and other responsibilities, we all have different schedules, only sometimes are we even all interested in playing the same game, so games requiring four players basically don’t get played. L4D and L4D2 got some play, but virtually always with at least on bot ally to fill the gap. Magicka is a blast even with two people, so I’m not sure what it’s in your list.

            Obviously college kids and younger kids undoubtedly have an easier time of it. People that genuinely enjoy playing with randoms (something I can’t fathom) obviously don’t have this problem either. It is not a general statement, it is a statement of personal experience.

          • Unaco says:

            No, not being obtuse. But if you genuinely think that organising 4 people on the same server is “impossible” you should probably step away from the electrical equipment, go back downstairs and make collages with the safety scissors.

          • Vinraith says:

            Deliberately obtuse, condescending, and insulting. Thanks Unaco, you’re an illustrative example of why I only play these games with friends.

          • Unaco says:

            But… you don’t play with friends, do you? Only 1 friend, surely…. what with trying to get 3 friends being ‘impossible’. I’m not trying to insult you, but to claim that getting 4 people on a server is impossible is absolute crap, or you’re a moron… only real explanations.

          • Unaco says:

            I’ll elaborate a little more… For our ArmA ARPS/FOLK sessions, we’re probably split quite evenly between college/Uni/schoolkids, and young professionals (most of them with families and other responsibilities). We regularly get 25-30 (sometimes more) of us on both the ArmA server and the mumble/teamspeak server, every Sunday and Tuesday night.

            But you find getting 4 people on a server is ‘impossible’? I just can’t believe that… unless it’s really super specific circumstances you have (in which case you can’t really blame the game for not being resilient to those circumstances). Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people are able to organise much, much more complicated and complex things than a 4 people coop game every day. To claim it’s impossible and then hold the game and the developers responsible is preposterous.

          • Ragnar says:

            Unaco, what does the one have to do with the other? When I played WoW, I would have regularly have 45+ people online three nights a week for raids, but the game and guild was structured around that. Getting people together for other games is a pain. I only have 4 friends with Sanctum, and only managed to get 4/5 of us all on together once or twice.

            Clearly for you getting 4 people together is easy. For me, it’s difficult. The complaint isn’t that the multiplayer requires multiple players, but that it seems geared for 4 people, and doesn’t scale well for 2-3. L4D had the same problem. Borderlands, on the other hand, scaled great from 1 person up to 4. So clearly the devs could have done a better job on the scaling, such that ME3′s multi would be just as viable with 2 or 3 people as with 4.

      • Chris D says:

        Friends I have.

        Friends who game on PC,like the same games I do and are free when I want to play? Err..No.

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          AmateurScience says:

          Testify. I’m the exact same boat.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Then you know what the obvious solution is right?

          • Chris D says:

            @Ringwraith

            More single player games?

          • Unaco says:

            @Ringwraith,

            Make friends? I dunno why people are complaining about their own shortcomings.

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            AmateurScience says:

            More the shortcomings of our friends! :)

          • skinlo says:

            @Unaco

            Shouldn’t have to.

            ‘Make more friends’ is the lazy way out for shitty developers.

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            JB says:

            “Then you know what the obvious solution is right?”

            The solution is get on the RPS forums and make friends with some of the lovely people there!

          • theblazeuk says:

            Yes, lovely people like Unaco :P

          • caddyB says:

            I should probably get on that forum friendboat.

          • Nevard says:

            “@Unaco
            Shouldn’t have to.
            ‘Make more friends’ is the lazy way out for shitty developers.”

            Ah, I think I have identified why you have trouble finding enough people for multiplayer!

            Also, just to satisfy my curiosity, why does making a multiplayer mode that requires multiple players mean that a developer is lazy?

          • jalf says:

            ‘Make more friends’ is the lazy way out for shitty developers.

            For sure… What should they do instead? Perhaps allow you to play with people who aren’t your friends, and still have a good time?

            Oh… wait…

            More gaming, less bitching, please. It’s hardly the developers fault you don’t have any friends. And who knows, if you drop the attitude, you might one day *gain* some. ;)

          • Unaco says:

            @At all the people complaining that they shouldn’t have to make friends…

            Do you guys complain that Tennis needs a partner? Or that doubles needs 4 people? FFS why can’t you play Tennis with just 2 friends? Why do you need a third? Tennis and its lazy developers.

            Why does a 5-a-side football team need 5 people for goodness sake!? Why can’t you play with just 3? Or if we get this other group, we have 7… why doesn’t it scale up to that? The other team always has 5 people, no matter how many we have. Shitty developers, huh? How hard would it have been to make the game scaleable?

            Why can’t we play Contract Bridge with 3 of us? Lazy, shitty Bridge developers couldn’t be bothered to make it playable for anything other than 4 people, doesn’t scale up or down if we have more or less. Preposterous! They’re probably going to sell 2 player Bridge as DLC no doubt.

        • Kyrius says:

          Wanna be friends? \o/

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      Gap Gen says:

      This; playing with people you know is great. I love my Krogan psycho, and I want to play an entire match with 4 of them sometime. I did die avoidably in one match, but it wasn’t due to the failure to buy a mic but from failing to headbutt a Geth Prime to death in the closing moments of the game.

    • irongamer says:

      Been having a blast with friends. Makes for great fun, teamwork, and epic solo saves. It makes for a nice break between single player sessions.

  5. RakeShark says:

    The ME3 multiplayer feels very much like Star Wars: Republic Commando, just with chest-high wall-cover mechanics and magic/biotics. To me, this is a very good thing.

    Sure it’s over quick and after awhile you’ll bore of it for new shinies, I do kinda think people will come back to it everyso often.

    • Brun says:

      Republic Commando needs a sequel. Bad.

      • deadly.by.design says:

        Surprisingly, yes.

      • Screamer says:

        One of the many things Republic Commandos got right was battle chatter…..it feels as if you squad mates are actually there with you, not like in ME where they are just very quietly looking over your shoulder

        • LionsPhil says:

          Also, they weren’t all insufferable dicks, despite wisecracks.

          At least possibly because they were useful and you could depend on them to do their actual jobs.

    • westyfield says:

      Republic Commando was such a chore at times, it’s one of the most frustrating games I’ve ever played, but that doesn’t stop me from absolutely loving it.
      Seconded on the sequel need.

  6. jellydonut says:

    I think what they should do is develop mini-missions where you go from A to B and then pause in a safe area, like Left 4 Dead.

    • Phantoon says:

      This is correct. More games should be Left4Dead.

      Like Dead Island, for instance, should’ve just been Left4Dead, instead of whatever the hell it was that we got.

  7. Don Andy says:

    From my experience, people don’t revive each other simply because it’s a cooperative gamemode but doesn’t actually promote cooperative play. It’s more of a competition who can rack up the most kills. And if a squadmate goes down that’s one less person that can steal kills from you.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      You would be wrong in this assumption, all the players get all the experience added up, so if Guy1 got 50k exp, Guy2 got 30k, Guy3 got 20k and Guy4 got 5k, all of them will get 105k experience each in the end.
      So one squadmate going down is not beneficial to the team at all; it can even lead to the whole squad dying which gets you lot less exp.

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        AmateurScience says:

        They should definitely make that clearer, and it pleases me to know that :)

        • Ringwraith says:

          Even the personal awards add to the overall total. So there really is nothing to encourage lone wolf play.

          • Dubbill says:

            There’s bonus XP available for carrying out multiple revives. Players should be falling over each other to rez!

      • Jesse L says:

        Totally didn’t realize that. Thank you!

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        Keymonk says:

        Oh, did also not know! Excellent!

    • wccrawford says:

      People have been really good about revives when I played. I died 1 time (forgot to mash spacebar)… And there was one time that I personally revived all 3 others (hero, whoo!) but other than that, it all went really well.

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      mrwonko says:

      You do get extra XP (500?) for reviving 5 teammates (there should be 2 more tiers, but I don’t think I ever reached them). So there’s some incentive to revive, besides survival.

      [Has been mentioned before, oops.]

  8. w576 says:

    I agree with everything you said (great article) but there is a mistake:

    “(each gun can be ramped up to level 5) ”

    Actually, they can be ramped up to level 10!

    • CaspianRoach says:

      Yep, I’ve leveled my Katana shotgun to level 8 in demo, sadly all the demo progress was wiped :(

      • Ringwraith says:

        Well, upgrading the starting weapons is far easier than attempting to upgrade the rarer ones, as you can simply buy tons of the basic packs.
        I wouldn’t like to think how much time it would take to upgrade one of the N7 rarity weapons to X.

  9. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    So no Elcor tank characters unockable? or little round Volusses laying mines and running away from fights? Bioware created these wonderful species, and in three games, they didn’t manage to make them playable? sadface.

    • westyfield says:

      Volus would be way OP, they’d just use their sick biotic powers to destroy the entire Reaper fleet before they even arrived.

      • Strange_guy says:

        Surely you remember there’s only one biotic Volus, though of course one biotic of that vast power is all you need. Playing a regular one wouldn’t be OP at all. Also you forgot the Hanar (I’m hoping I remebered the name right, but if not I’m talking about the polite jellyfish), unless of course Bioware has given them more of a role, I haven’t been following anything that could spoil ME3 and as I’m playing through the first one for the first time (but have watched lets plays of it and ME2- I’ll probably end up first experiencing ME3 through a lets play as well) it could be a while.

        • westyfield says:

          Heh, yeah, I was kinda joking about the Volus. But that lone Volus could still kick the Reapers’ asses any day.

          (And Hanar are the jellyfish guys, no idea how they feature in Mass Effect 3 because I’m only part-way through the first game in my epic back-to-back 1/2/3 playthrough.)

        • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

          MILD SPOILERS NO MAJOR SPOILERS ONLY VERY MILD ONES!
          MILD SPOILERS MILD SPOILERS MILD SPOILERS MILD SPOILERS

          Well, what i liked most about Mass Effect 2 was that bioware DID flesh out their galaxy a lot more, in that they showed us places of interest, like the Moloch of a city on Omega, the Quarian Flotilla and the Krogan Homeworld.

          For ME3 i hoped for more of that, and I got it, but only in very small doses. (Well, we’re busy saving everything, aren’t we?) But surely the volus and elcor (hanar are kinda boring) deserved a LITTLE more screen time than some of the “fed-ex” missions!

          • Jason Moyer says:

            Hanar aren’t boring. One of them almost choked Zaeed to death.

          • Christian O. says:

            This one disagrees with you concerning the Hanar. This one thinks you should watch Blasto 6: Partners in Crime.

  10. Patches the Hyena says:

    I’ve been quite lucky in the revive aspect I suppose. Having at least one Infiltrator in your party (who isn’t a pillock) makes quite a difference. Cloak -> Revive -> Boosted melee is quite satisfying.

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      AmateurScience says:

      I am finding all kinds of uses for cloak in the MP that I haven’t really thought about during SP (infiltrator all the way!), such as cloaking to revive or activate nodes.

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    AmateurScience says:

    I agree that it will (and probably is) starting to get a little old after several days of playing. On the other hand it’s the first time I’ve thought: ‘I’d actually buy a map-pack for this’. Very interesting.

    As Alec says the best moments are when you’re team is truly co-operating to take out enemies. The levels and spawn mechanics are designed in such away as to make flanking relatively straight-forward (and immensely satisfying) and I’ve not had many problems with not being revived (usually it’s because there’s an army of goons between me and my squadmates).

    All in all (and I never thought I would say this) but it’s great, compelling fun.

  12. DoctorBrain says:

    “…when someone busts out their rocket launcher just as a pack of Geth Brutes descend on you…”

    Brutes are Reaper ground troops. There are no Geth Brutes.

  13. Ravelle says:

    Has anyone tried to do a solo run on Bronze? I survived 6 waves without dying with my level 9 quarian infiltrator against Cerberus.

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    Anthile says:

    I see you are a friend of classy character names as well:
    http://i.imgur.com/G1mIL.png

  15. Mordsung says:

    Co-op and team based multiplayer: the fastest way to become a misanthrope.

    I used to be a pretty normal guy who liked people just fine.

    A decade of online gaming has turned me into a hate spewing misanthrope who feeds off the suffering of my fellow man.

    I commonly hope my own team mates die in real life due to their magical ability to do the wrong thing at the wrong time with surprising consistency.

    If playing a videogame was hard, I wouldn’t get so angry. If they were messing up a complex math problem, or maybe if they sucked at an RTS I could forgive them, those are hard.

    But when someone fails at an FPS or, worse, an MMO, it’s awe inspiring. You really have to sit down and think “How can a human being be this bad at one of the easiest activities on earth?”

    I’m honestly amazed when people mess up PvE in an MMO because I don’t know how someone that unintelligent can actually operate a computer, or even construct complete sentences.

  16. Randomer says:

    Is it true that there is no split-screen for multiplayer, either on the PC or on the console box? I don’t give a damn about Galactic Readiness; I just want to jump in and enjoy a good Survival/Horde/Firefight mode with a friend who owns the game.

  17. Ravelle says:

    There’s no local co-op unfortunately, no, I doubt it but I hope they will release the MP separately sometime soon like they did with Dawn of War, my brother loves co-op’ing but isn’t interested in the campaign and series itself.

  18. Premium User Badge

    JB says:

    Yep. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

  19. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    Quarian infiltrators are horrifyingly OP against Geth. Sabotage is so fun to abuse…

  20. reggiep says:

    …but I’d say there’s a good week of tight science-fictional action to be milked from it first.

    And therein lies the fault. It’s not interesting enough of a mode to justify the trickling out of upgrades through booster packs. It’s almost like they gimped it in order to get you to buy the packs with your MS points or what have you. There should be stores where you can buy specific items rather than these random booster packs. It’s just silly and needlessly frustrating.

    • Ravelle says:

      If you could buy specific items people would just buy the best overpowered weapon with real money and ruin the game for others. I like the booster packages because it’s always a surprise what you get.

      • Apolloin says:

        I hate the trading card mechanic, but the fact that it only takes about an hour to earn enough points for even a Spectre pack and the fact that sometimes you get cool things you weren’t directly working towards (Turian Soldier? Cool!) means that I kind of support it here.

        I totally agree with the sentiment that spending real money on these packs is a sign of insanity or too much disposable income. Every level played leads to at LEAST another recruit pack or two. Every completed level is usually one of the mid level packs. It works nicely – even down to having to choose between your bogstandard Assault Rifle that’s up to Mark V and your rare Phaeston assault rifle that’s Mark II.

        • Ravelle says:

          I got three times the Quarian Infiltrator, but the fact that you have more customization options every time you pull the same race/class plus bonus experience is a nice though.

  21. db1331 says:

    Whenever a traditionally SP game tacks on MP, I never even bother to look at it. That goes for Dead Space, BioShock, Uncharted, GTA, etc. With Mass Effect 3 though, I figured since it was tied into the SP, I should at least check it out, despite everything in my body telling me it would be horrible. I fired it up anyways, and I don’t think I stayed in it more than 30 seconds. It was like playing the least-fun aspect of ME 3, the combat, only instead of two functionally-retarded squad mates, you get 3 fully-retarded ones.

    • jalf says:

      You determined all that in 30 seconds?

      • Unaco says:

        I reckon he determined that in -time, negative time. That is, he determined it before he played the 30 seconds. The 30 seconds was just to ‘confirm’ his beliefs.

  22. Heliocentric says:

    Join us on the forums
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?3223-Rachni-Pyjak-Salarian-Mass-Effect-3-Coop
    It’s like having friends but with reviving instead of hugs.

  23. briktal says:

    The RNG can be a little annoying. The “objective” waves are generally a little tougher due to the endless waves of enemies, so getting one on wave 10 is a lot harder round than getting one on wave 7.

    • Sivart13 says:

      But you also get way more money for a Wave 10 mission than any other thing, so it balances a little.

  24. Demiath says:

    Played a lot of multiplayer these last two days to get my Galactic Readiness up to 100 before taking on the last bit of the singleplayer content, and I found the co-op to be a soul-crushingly boring experience. It all works, for sure, but there’s just no point in it given the stilted, anemic shooter gameplay (which loses a lot from not being able to pause the game). My last co-op experience was Syndicate, and that at least had some satisfyingly visceral guns and slickly implemented powers. This just feels empty and pointless.

  25. Greg Wild says:

    I endorse ME3 MP. That is all.

  26. Sivart13 says:

    The multiplayer could be a little better at communicating important facts to the players:

    * The “missions” are the ONLY way to get money, so it’s of vast importance to complete them as fast as possible. If the map pointer shows you you need to disable a gidget on the other side of the map, don’t spend too much time blasting every geth between you and there. The in-game announcer doesn’t emphasize the time bonus, you just have to notice it.

    * You only need to be in the LZ when the timer hits zero, and it’s detrimental to linger in it beforehand because you’ll be crushed as the entire reaper army converges on you. The announcer constantly saying “get to the LZ! get to the LZ!” subverts this and confuses new players.

    * In the “stay in this area to upload” missions, 4 players standing in the upload area is vastly faster than one. The only way to notice this is to look at the little messages in the lower-right.

  27. Tei says:

    The thing with ME3 coop is that you don’t move from point A to B, like in Syndicate coop or L4D, or perhaps Borderlands. You play in a moderate size “arena“. And all maps feel of the same type of arena, with different visual theme, so If you have played one map, you have played all maps.

    The other thing with ME3 coop is that you have to play a stupid long number of hours to unlock the stuff you may want to experience, or have the luck of have a nice set of cool friends to play Silver or Gold. Silver or gold are not a cake, you are facing more enemies and longer HP bars.

    The combat in ME3 is not exactly rewarding. After 200 hours playing the game, the character still “get stuck” in random walls wen you are tryiing to sprint. The same key is used to revive teammates, to use cover, use a ladder and sprint. So is hilarious terrible to revive a teammate next to wall. And normally wen you are reviving people, theres mobs around, and you are geting hit. So is “Gamer vs Terrible BAD Control Scheme” more than Gamer vs Game.

    The other stupid thing about ME3 coop, is that you can’t text chat with other players, so I have no way to even say “Hello” or “Help” to other players.

  28. impish says:

    It has a horrible propensity to keep “unlocking” the same characters and weapons.

    • Greg Wild says:

      That upgrades them.

    • RakeShark says:

      Yeah, getting the “same weapon” upgrades the weapon to mark 2-10, little percentages, but I noticed my starter shotty is pretty lightweight now at mark 7.

      Unlocking the “same characters” gives you additional xp and another customization option. I’ve unlocked 7 of the 8 options for my Quarrian infiltrator, which because of the color options I’ve named “The Christmas Spirit”.

  29. Max.I.Candy says:

    i’m absolutely loving it.
    ive actually stopped playing BF3 and i’m getting my addictive levelling/unlock buzz from this now.
    (also it isnt completely infested with esp wallhack aimbot pay per cheats)

    i bought the game for the 360 (for various reasons) and my experience has been nothing but positive.

    its the perfect way to allow ppl the option to avoid all those boring search-scan-deliver quests and stick to the main/N7 missions in singleplayer.(which i’ll be avoiding on my second playthru).

  30. Premium User Badge

    Ham Solo says:

    Well, be a little more optimistic, if they had tried to revive you, they would have accidently jumped into cover or done a forward roll or use something or whatever other functions may be on the same goddamn button.

    But it really needs more maps, maybe more playmodes, 4 vs 4 with one side being mercenaries or something could be fun.

    I never did a solo run, but with one other good squadmate I did bronze twice.

  31. terry says:

    Played a few hours of this and then got tired of the unimaginative unlock system and the lack of maps and scenarios. It strikes me more as a testbed for what they intend to do with the MMO – I could see small group tactical encounters like this working well as missions in part of a story arc. It’s fun for what it is but not what I look for out of Mass Effect.

  32. Bhazor says:

    So it is exactly like each and every four player co-op shooter out there then?

    • Ringwraith says:

      Due to Mass Effect’s combat system, it’s not.
      Sure, it looks just like any other cover-based shooter, but then you start making people drift around the room or freezing them…

    • RakeShark says:

      And there’s the “Grab the dude from behind cover, pull him over the counter, slam him on the ground in front of you, and face-stab him in the stabby-face with the face-stabbing face-stabber” mechanic, which I could do all day.

      • Ringwraith says:

        That is way too satisfying to do.
        Makes frontal assaults slightly valid as a tactic too.

  33. Premium User Badge

    Rufust Firefly says:

    I really enjoy the multiplayer–in fact, I think I’ve done far more of that than the single-player. Also, BioWare are doing something interesting this weekend: Operation Goliath.

    If you play any silver game with a Reaper enemy and at least one person on the team is extracted at the end of the round, everyone is eligible for an N7 weapon. Also, if a ridiculous number of Brutes are killed, everyone who played will get a special bonus pack.

    I’m really hoping for hanar, and elcor character unlocks, but I doubt they’ll ever happen given the difficulty of shoe-horning them into the current animation system.

    I’d also love an all-LOKI-and-YMIR group of opponents, but mostly to see the explosions.

  34. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    It’s really something to play with friends. Bit of co-ordination with four folks over teamspeak and it’s highly entertaining. And the higher difficulties do add a significant challenge. I really like the fact that it’s a co-op mode you can win; Usually this sort of thing is a “Play til you drop” scenario, which I find gets old fast.

    More content would be welcome, though. My main concern is new maps and enemy types (Should add Collectors and Mercs from ME2, for a start) will be paid DLC, which could splinter the playerbase. a Magicka approach, where only the host needs the DLC, would be appreciated.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Seeing as the fact you have drell/asari justicars/turians/salarians/krogan running around as playable is actually written into the main game itself, it’s entirely possible we’ll end up getting things like bartarians and geth at some point.
      New enemy types might be a bit different though, seeing as you’d need to put in ones that make sense. The merc groups wouldn’t by the game’s timeline.

      • terry says:

        Some people have poked around in the codebase for ME3 and confirm that at least asari and batarian classes are future DLC.