Collect ‘Em All: Mass Effect 3’s ‘Retaliation’ DLC

By Nathan Grayson on October 6th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

This camera angle makes me feel like the Turian's about to fall over backward and really embarrass itself.

Oh those crazy Collectors. What won’t they take? Entire colonies, the last pudding cup in the cafeteria, lives, your favorite parking spot, that coat you’d been waiting to nab on sale, etc, etc, etc. They’ll just never stop. Well, unless you force them to. That’s the idea behind Mass Effect 3‘s upcoming and still rather miraculously free “Retaliation” multiplayer DLC. The Collectors have invaded, and it’s up to you to put them in their place. Which is not your place. Which is where they are anyway. The jerks. Happily, Retaliation also brings with it a suite of other goodies, including new weapons, new characters, “hazard” maps, and a challenge point system. Gaze upon it with your feeble human eyes after the break. Unless the Collectors took those too.

On top of those pleasantly writhing masses in all their snowflake-like beauty, you’re also getting two fairly major new features. First off, pre-existing maps are gaining “hazard” variants, which include traps and environmental nastiness like acid, lightning, meltdowns, sandstorms, swarms and whiteouts.

Challenges, meanwhile, add a new meta-game to the proceedings. Here’s a brief rundown:

“The Challenges database tracks various in-game statistics, such as your N7 Typhoon usage. To earn challenge points, you’ll need to complete mini-goals. For example, accumulate 140,000 points while using the Typhoon in multiplayer and you’ll be rewarded with 10 challenge points… 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.”

So basically, it sounds like an achievement system, except with rewards that are a bit more tangible than a simple numeric score. I doubt it’ll have people turning a blind eye to fall’s selection of multiplayer delights and flocking back to Mass Effect in droves, but at least it’s something new to do. Frankly, I’m just impressed that BioWare’s still regularly supporting what people thought was going to be a flimsy throwaway feature dreamed up by the mad machinations of some marketing committee. Admittedly, I’ve pretty much had my fill of Horde Mode: Mass Effect edition, but I can’t fault BioWare for continuing to build.

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50 Comments »

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  1. jumblesale says:

    “pudding cup”

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      The great thing about the word pudding is it can also be used as an insult. As in “don’t be such a pudding”

  2. karthink says:

    Bioware also realeased a new patch for Mass Effect 3 that tweaks a lot of abilities, including completely scrapping the singularity power and starting over.

    None of that is making it into the singleplayer, though. I was looking forward to replaying ME3 as an adept with a beefed up singularity. Shame.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      does it affect shielded targets now?

      I’m still butthurt about the ending but I might reinstall just for a working singularity.

      • lhl says:

        The new singularity is seriously great. It primes everything once (like a tiny warp bubble/annihilation field), lifts unshielded baddies, does pretty decent DoT, and is super fast to cast. Really enjoying the Human Adept (even better w/ the 400% vs shields that Disruptor Ammo does now)

  3. JoeGuy says:

    *Spoiler*

    Weren’t they destroyed in ME2? So what is the reasoning behind it if the ME3 multiplayer is taking place during the Reaper invasion? I know MP isn’t exactly shackled to cannon, but the impression on launch was the MP was influencing and concurrently happening in the ME3 SP Universe.

    Sorry if that sounds super nerdy!

    • karthink says:

      There are a lot of things about ME I would like to shackle to cannon. And then fire.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      The Reapers managed to clone a species that had been extinct for 2 millenia (if you killed the rachni queen). It`s not too much of a stretch that Harby still had some Collector DNA stored just in case, since they were useful as elite shock troopers. Hell, I still have nightmares about that fucking Praetorian, which is being brought back as a superheavy unit that the AI will inevitably treat the way human beings treat individual bullets in a minigun. Also, even more geth drone spam. Yay.

      • JoeGuy says:

        I can understand Sci-Fi explanations and all that lol but I my point was more it is not within the story cannon so unless it’s specifically explained as a “forget about it, its just multiplayer” then they effectively tell you, you pretty much accomplished nothing bar offing a half constructed Reaper in Mass Effect 2.

        • Spider Jerusalem says:

          canon.

          /end pendant

          • JoeGuy says:

            Spell check has failed me again!! But any input on the topic and not an extra ‘n’ letter failing me?

        • lhl says:

          Apparently you didn’t kill them all. There are mentions of Collector attacks in some of the codex entries in ME3. If you wiped them all out, then the Reapers made/brought new ones. Not to come bring back the ending (we’re all over it, right?) but you know you sort of didn’t accomplish anything in ME2 no matter what happened w/ the Collectors?

          • JoeGuy says:

            Ha, I guess its just if the Collector’s were destroyed entirely in ME2 it would at least have felt like more of a worthwhile plot to tackle (after the fact) and the character driven middle arc does give you more to care about and a base for your “everything you hold dear is gonna’ die” third installment in the story too, Mass Effect 3’s emotional highs/lows would be pretty barren without Mass Effect 2’s characters and progression.

    • MountAndGames says:

      In defence of this DLC (looks like a great addition to a well designed multiplayer mode, definately be playing it when i have internet that lets me play online again), the collector base was destroyed, we have no way of knowing how many collector ships were out… collecting… elsewhere in the galaxy. What mattered was that the collector harvest was crippled, it was always too much to ask for shepard to wipe out the entire species. The collector’s project was destroyed, so the mission was a success. I’d say its understandable that the reapers would start cloning more collectors from survivors as soon as the invasion continued, unlike normal husks, they’d been genetically altered over millennia to be more effective than the crude husks they made from humans/asari etc, including direct control and some intelligence in using weapons etc. So the reapers would obviously use any they could create to accelerate the extermination.

    • Kestilla says:

      I think-

      That you’re overthinking this. I don’t play multiplayer, despite whatever Bioware may have partially marketed it as, and say hey, this doesn’t fit the story. I go, I want to play a Prothean. Does it make sense? Not in relation to the SP.

      And then I say, and this is the really important part… Multiplayer reminds me of the greatness that is Mass Effect without the sheer, painful-to-the-core ending of the singleplayer campaign. It reminds me of fighting at Virmire, of the krogans, of Thane being awesome, and of the superb sidemissions we got in ME2, like the loyalty ones for crewmembers, and it does all of that because it’s sci-fi coop combat where I get to play my favorite races and fight my favorite bad guys, and short of a new Mass Effect game that doesn’t drain my will to live and literally make me depressed (because it seems the franchise ended with 3, not just the game itself, unless they creatively retcon the whole damn thing), the multiplayer is just flat great and I love it.

      Plus it’s an inkling of the old coop multiplayer we used to get in Bioware titles before they got all NOOOOOOOoooooooo and denied that coop sells giant heaps of games. Like in Baldur’s Gate where you could take control of a friend’s party members and explore the game with them. So it’s Mass Effect and Bioware nostalgia in one, and I hope they separate it more from the SP game so they can do some flat out fun things with the classes and gameplay. Like make a Left 4 Dead type gamemode where you fight through areas to achieve specific objectives, or relive old scenarios like the Archangel building defense with bad guys trying to break in through the basement and everywhere else.

  4. Branthog says:

    Oh, wow. I can’t think of anything I’d be less interested in doing, right now, than playing ME3 DLC. As far as I’m concerned, I finished that story. It was an unsatisfying, half-assed, shitty finish that required dozens of people across the internet to get together and devise a rationalization for the ending and then a half hour video to convey that to everyone else, rather than somehow at least implying some of that in the end of the game itself, sure, but . . . still unsatisfying.

    I can’t think of anything that would get me to care about the Mass Effect franchise, again. It was a fine enough romp and it’s done and I’ve moved on.

    • Premium User Badge

      00looper00 says:

      You do realise that this dlc is for the multiplayer, right?
      Personally, i’ve played SP through once, and spent all the rest of my playtime on MP.
      Its surprisingly good. Not sure that my addiction is more based around trying to unlock everything though.
      Its a bit like Timesplitters in that regard.

      • phylum sinter says:

        I have a lot of fun with the MP too – say what you want about the fumbling of the universe’s goings-on (and your “effect” in them… HA!), but beyond all that the reason i think Mass Effect 3 is a step up from 2 is the combat has gotten tweaked to near perfection for what it is, i don’t think there’s another game like it – and to be able to play that in horde mode with others online has been a blast for me that has easily tripled the total hours i’ve had fun in the game.

        Without having found fun in it, i would likely have been bitter about my purchase upon completing the single player, but seeing all this service from Bioware to keep the combat mechanics alive, the MP incentives expanded, and the variety of baddies (canon or not) continuing to grow is a seriously awesome thing — a thing that i’d love to see happen with more AAA titles. It doesn’t happen nearly enough.

        Come on… Dishonored?

        • Kestilla says:

          I’ve spent a ton of hours playing MP with friends too. Not rabidly pursuing collectables but rampaging as a Krogan and shouting a perversion of their homeworld’s name, “FOR CHOOCHONKRAWR!” repeatedly is just a riot!

          And that the DLC is free, what the bleep is there to complain about? Branthog seems to have just missed one of the greatest parts of the game.

          Also, ironically, despite any bitterness toward DLC, you have to admit the Leviathan DLC is fantastic. And you know what’s sad about that? It’s not only better than any other mission packaged with the base game, but it costs $10 to get the kind of quality SIDE MISSION Mass Effect 3 absolutely did not contain in any way.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    I was playing this heavily, but like MMO’s this suffers from too much progression not enough play. I admire its support, I only wish I still enjoyed it.

    • Kestilla says:

      You mean to say it’s lacking for content. I’m surprised they’re not only still supporting it, but so completely, too. This is a huge upgrade, honestly. If we see more stuff like this, you may change your mind.

  6. Premium User Badge

    cspkg says:

    Multiplayer got more of my time than the campaign (which in retrospect I quite enjoyed). In the end I only came back for the challenge weekends, but when Bioware failed to give me my hard-earned commendation packs, it was curtains for our little love affair/grind fest.

    Good on Bioware for keeping up this support. I may give this another look when the Collectors are back, but it looks like it will only take an hour or two of my time.

    I’m currently having way too much fun in MW3 ‘kill confirmed’ mode and getting used to the Resident Evil 6 split screen (xbawks) with my wife.

    • Premium User Badge

      welverin says:

      Did you at least try contacting them about the packs? Customer service is good about straightening that out.

      Of course they advanced in how they deal with things quite a bit, now there’s a link for submitting a ticket, probably to cut down on the number of calls and emails for these things.

  7. Paul says:

    Yeah I destroyed them yesterday and all of my crew survived. So what the hell. Just started playing Mass Effect 3 today (after those fuckheads from EA fixed up their server). It is insane that I cannot holster my weapon, or even aim it low when not in action. Fucking consoles and their limitations.

    • Chufty says:

      You can’t…. holster your weapon?? AND IT’S ALL THE EVIL XBOX’S FAULT?? You’re right, that is insane.

      You should get that seen to.

      • orcane says:

        Make fun of him all you want but that’s their reason why holstering animations are replaced with loading screens between combat and non-combat areas in ME3 – memory limitations on consoles.

        • Premium User Badge

          Joshua says:

          Nevermind them being in Mass Effect 1 – Which was designed and used to be a XBOX Exclusive Title before it was ported to the PC 6 months later by an entirely different company.

          • orcane says:

            The first game is basically running on fumes on the Xbox 360, if statements by Bioware employees are any indication. But you can’t compare that anyway because technically the games are very different – ME2 had holstering too, and that game is much closer, but for all we know any of the additions to ME3 could put the game over the limit.

        • Kestilla says:

          Why do PC users sometimes express dislike toward the consoles? Because they’re thinly-veiled identity as a crappy old-tech (next gen *cough*) PC that you void warranty if you open (non-upgradeable *cough*) which affects our quality of gaming and if they didn’t we wouldn’t care? Maybe. Maybe…

          Console users have to swap CDs to finish the game. Can you remember the last time you had to swap a disc? Hope that limitation doesn’t travel across the mystical cross-platform pathway back from the grave to drag us all down. I joke, of course.

          But plenty of other bad things do/have/will in the future.

  8. Rich says:

    ‘That’s the idea behind Mass Effect 3‘s upcoming and still rather miraculously free” – at this point I was really quite excited – ‘“Retaliation” multiplayer DLC.’. Oh well that’s blown it.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      EC was free…

      • Rich says:

        I consider the endings DLC to be more akin to a patch, i.e. fixing something that was incomplete at release. However, I take Stijn’s point.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stijn says:

      It’s still cool. I can think of a lot of prominent games where you’d have to pay for such new content.

      • Premium User Badge

        welverin says:

        They sell item pack in game, for that to work you have to keep people playing and giving away dlc does that.

        I would think long term that’s more profitable than charging for the dlc, because time you release something new there will be people who don’t buy which reduces your player base.

        • Kestilla says:

          Actually there’s a ton of new content here, including new maps and characters. Item shops like Bioware is running work / depend on the rabid fanbase of people who are willing to spend lots of money to unlock everything they put out. For the rest of us, we get free new maps and game features, and plenty of new toys from the item packs we get just by playing the game to have fun.

          This isn’t anywhere near as bad as other companies have done, and it is rewarding / enticing to unlock new items. and see how that affects how you play as opposed to your friends who have unlocked different sets of items. If everything were unlocked from the start, it’s questionable whether anyone would still be playing, which is the age-old formula of progression which even makes human life interesting. No progression equals boredom, and in this case, they throw an awful lot of loot at you, and a lot of free new content, too.

  9. Ny24 says:

    Why are you guys hating so much on ME3 Multiplayer? It’s a great addition and even if you don’t like it or if you don’t have any more interest in playing it, it’s still a FREE addition. I’m really looking forward to starting up multiplayer again in a few weeks and if I am honest I have played the game more in multiplayer than singleplayer. Even if it wasn’t as good. Still good.

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      yeah multiplayer is really nice. i don’t think i’ll play it again but it’s nice to know they put out free stuffes.

    • Rich says:

      My gripe has always been the galactic readiness nonsense which attempts to push people towards playing the mutliplayer. Add to that the crappy EA servers that I’ve only been able to connect to twice, for about 10 minutes at a time*, and the start-crippled-unless-you-want-to-spend-more-money micro-payment system and you’ll find me less than enthusiastic about the whole bloody thing.

      *No it’s not my connection. I have perfectly good 10mb/s cable internet access.

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        The Readiness has been fixed by EC, so you only need to play the campaign for the best endings. As for the servers, I`ve never had any problems with them, oddly enough, and the starter guns and classes are sufficient to get by on bronze difficulty. Once you hit gold and above the DLC classes are a must though.

        • phylum sinter says:

          How much is there ABOVE gold?

          • lhl says:

            Well, seeing as they added Platinum, exactly 25% of the difficulty is above Gold. Gold and Platinum is 50%. Buying commons (Recruit Packs), uncommons (Veteran Packs), and rares (Spectre Packs, Premium Spectre Packs) is pretty easy/fun.

            You can easily max out commons and uncommons in a few hours playing Bronze and Silver and like @EPICTHEFAIL said, those guns work great at those levels. Many of the best guns are rares, which isn’t too bad to level up once you start playing Gold. The ultra-rares is where it gets grindy and tedious.

            If you’re still playing then, doing speed runs and weird challenges is most of the fun – really looking forward to the extra challenge tracking as a formalization of that sort of stuff (like the Badass Rank in BL2, I think these additional metagame loops/progressions are fantastic for keeping things lively).

            The biggest new w/ the ME3MP though is the megapatch released last week – it’s long overdue and fixes longstanding bugs (like since the Demo in February), but… it really fixes just about everything. Well, maybe not EA’s horrible auth servers… we’ll see about that.

            I’ve been playing a lot less lately, but the BSN MP forums are pretty lively and the Bioware MP devs have been a lot more active as of late – they’ve done a much better job than the SP folk in engaging w/ the community (well, in between a huge period of radio silence, presumably related to the whole SP cluster).

      • Ny24 says:

        Okay, your points are valid. Still, the galactic readiness only has psychological impact on players, because it is easily possible to get the “best” ending within the single player campaign only. In addition, the pay options in Mass Effect are so unproportionally out of range for non-millionaires that playing and completing missions are the only options for getting new weapons anyway.

        • Kestilla says:

          And yet if we were all to see the statistics, I bet you it would be stunning just how much certain individuals have spent on item packs alone. Bioware is making a small fortune on this, I’m sure. I call these schemes – stupidity tax!

          • Ny24 says:

            … and I really like that idea that some guys are financing my free content additions.

  10. MadTinkerer says:

    ” Frankly, I’m just impressed that BioWare’s still regularly supporting what people thought was going to be a flimsy throwaway feature dreamed up by the mad machinations of some marketing committee.”

    At this point, I’m wondering why they don’t hold all this DLC back and release it as a full multiplayer spin-off title like Starseige: Tribes or Unreal Tournament instead. Not that I’m complaining, as I don’t own ME3 yet (holding out for the PS3 version because, indeed, I’d rather buy the console version than sign up for “Origin”) so it doesn’t really affect me either way, but it really is two separate games at this point.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Because all of the new classes/weapons are released via the upgrade pack slot machine store they have running. You buy Spectre packs with earned credits or DING DING DING real money!

      A feed drip is far more effective for maximizing both the amount of money that can be milked out of multiplayer and the length of the draw.

      • Kestilla says:

        Plus, there’s the side benefit of the multiplayer being an additional attraction, rather than the main attraction. How would Mass Effect multiplayer stack up against Modern Warfare in the online shooter market? It would flop, terrible. It would get panned by reviewers who say there just isn’t enough there to justify the price.

        Whereas in this current scenario, people play the singleplayer game which makes them want to play the multiplayer, and people play the multiplayer which makes them want to replay the singleplayer or try out new DLC (Leviathan, Omega). It’s a revolving door of involvement in the Mass Effect franchise which wouldn’t work if the two components were separated, and people who were never interested in the multiplayer never would have played it if it had been sold in its own box.

        Here, the multiplayer is an extra feature developed by a different team of developers (who were in fact working on a standalone game around the time of Mass Effect 2 before Bioware decided to consolidate the projects), and only adds to what you get in the box with no extra marketing or related fees. Win/Win/Win.

        http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Mass_Effect_Team_Assault

  11. TsunamiWombat says:

    I dunno, frankly I was so butthurt about the endings I uninstalled after that abysmal Extended Version patch and the way Bioware handled the whole thing.

    Anything much new in the MP that I don’t have to play the spectre slot machine for thats interesting, to prompt me to reinstall?

    • lhl says:

      The new challenges, level hazards, and enemy types look fun, but if you don’t enjoy playing the game (the actual shooting things in the face mechanics, not the SP-destroyed lore), then it’s probably not going to be worth reinstalling…

  12. Vinraith says:

    The lack of SP DLC for ME3 is really very disappointing. That so many resources have been wasted on a mode I’ll never play even the moreso.