Mass Effect 3 Gets Massier With Multiplayer

This is not cooperative play.

You know what single-player RPG trilogy Mass Effect was missing? Multiplayer! Of course. The poorly kept secret has now been confirmed to exist by Aussie mag, PC Powerplay, as noticed by Eurogamer. Although it looks like it might be a bit early to start getting to wound up in any particular direction, since the information contained within the magazine is still unknown. It seems likely that there’s going to be some manner of co-op mode, but as something separate from the main game (where two Commander Shepards might be a touch strange). In other words, any multi-wooing elements shouldn’t effect the core game. BioWare are smarter than to let that happen.


  1. tomemozok says:

    Cool,Been waiting to own some of my friends with a charge and a shotgun in their faces :D
    Vanguard FTW! :D

    • Chandos says:

      The Fall of House Bioware: from awesome RPGs to Co-op shooters on crappy engines… unless it is all about co-op roleplaying…

      ok I can see it now: Shepherd is reunited with a long lost twin and they decide to save the galaxy together. Only their success depends on their ability to complete each other’s sentences in cutscenes, dress identically, and modify weaponry for deadly twin combos.

  2. JackShandy says:

    No co-op romances, then? Shame.

    I’m playing Baldur’s Gate 2 right now. Remember that? That was a really good game.

    • Avish says:

      Also playing BG2 at the moment.

      So much content, it’s overwhelming. In a good way.

    • JackShandy says:

      I know! I trudged through BG1 a bit before quitting, but I booted this up and I’m just amazed at how many plot hooks and fully-spoken NPC’s are leaping out at me from every corner.

    • KillahMate says:

      I’m now legally obligated to mention (in case you don’t know) Spellhold Studios, where you can find a megaton of BG1/2 (and other RPG) mods, specifically stuff like BiG World Project, which combines BG1 and 2 and both expansions into one single massive game on the BG2 engine, with higher resolution/widescreen options and about 50 hours of the best new quests, companions, spells, equipment, banter packs, visuals and creatures the modding community has to offer. All of it optional and installable piecemeal. Hope you like it.

      Edit: Also all the bugs in all the games patched out, of course. You can just combine the games, patch the bugs and add the hi res option without installing any additional content if you want. Or any other combination.

    • Harlander says:

      Does this mega-combination somehow alleviate the early-mid-game boringness of BG1, though?

    • KillahMate says:

      Depending on what you mean – the early game combat balance is tweaked to something less annoying, and a series of included mods significantly populates the early game areas with interesting people, quests and stuff (within reason, I think – not like a dump of new material, it just feels more alive). Is that what you had in mind?

      Edit: Oh, also BiG comes with several recommended prepackaged selections, so you don’t have to pick and choose each mod, just decide what kind of experience you want.

    • JackShandy says:

      I saw that, actually, and it sounds like the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard. But I can’t even imagine I’ll have time to complete BG2, let alone both of them in sequence.

    • FCA says:

      To get rid of the “boringness” of early-midgame, try some tactical mods. I can really recommend Sword Coast stratagems.

    • IchigoRXC says:

      I must also vouch for Big World Project. It builds upon the original Baldurs gate series, where you can run the first game and expansion, in the second games engine. Not only that, but the customisation is huge, the amount of Kits available now is phenomonal and there are some really well thought out joinable NPC’s. Added romances, characters returning from the first game to the second, rekitting the original NPC’s. I am at the moment in the process of adding to this plethora of content with my own kits and hopefully an NPC as well. Tis such a fatastic game. :D

  3. Kaira- says:

    Might be mighty interesting. There can never be too many (lite/action/whatchamacallit) co-op RPGs.

  4. Symitri says:

    This will only end well if I can play an elcor spectre.

    • Electric Dragon says:

      Blasto, the hanar Spectre (as advertised by the PA in Ilium)! “This one has forgotten whether its heatsink is over capacity. It wonders whether the criminal scum considers itself fortunate?”

  5. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Who’s this John Walker fellow? Another new hire to the RPS team?

  6. Avish says:

    Sorry for the pessimism, but co-op usually means mediocre single player.

    It’s a shame they chose to add more features instead of creating a better game…

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Can’t say for sure, until it has been released, but yes, this news did set off an alarm in my mind.

    • ShadowBlade says:

      I personally think that any game would be better with co-op. I can just imagine having another player in something like Fallout, Witcher, Oblivion, Far-Cry 2, etc.

      I dunno about anyone else, but any game is instantly far more likely to see play-time when co-op is present. Maybe i’ll play ME if they chuck in a co-op feature. It was the only thing that got me to play Gears of War on PC :)

      Not enough games have co-op. Not enough.

    • soldant says:

      My concern is that it’ll dilute the story and make it too disjointed and impersonal. The game is always about Your Shepard. I can’t see co-op making much sense (after all you can’t have two Sheps) unless the other player takes control of a companion, which frankly seems ridiculous.

    • Koozer says:

      TImesplitters, Jazz Jackrabbit 2 and Magicka disagree.

    • Vinraith says:


      None of those were what you’d call “story heavy.”

    • greenbananas says:

      I share Avish’s pessimism. Knowing the suspects (Bioware and EA) and their habits of late, I have to.

      Co-op in this makes little sense and it’s theoretically wasting time that could be used to build up the game content, but then we’ve all seen stranger things happen.

      At this point I’d be pleasantly surprised to find the engame proper isn’t paid DLC to be released a year after the game.

    • runtheplacered says:

      “I can’t see co-op making much sense (after all you can’t have two Sheps) unless the other player takes control of a companion, which frankly seems ridiculous.”

      So apparently you, and everyone else in this particular reply thread, have not played Portal 2? You can easily do coop by just having a story that’s running separate but parallel with the main story. Problem solved.

    • greenbananas says:


      Er… Portal 2 isn’t the third in a series of single player third person shooters with RPG aspirations.

    • AmateurScience says:

      Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 had 6 player co-op multiplayer and an asymmetrical party (i.e. someone had to play the main protagonist character) and if I’m not mistaken it’s widely considered to be an altogether spiffing game, Neverwinter Nights too.

      Bioware have form here so I wouldn’t worry too much.

  7. rustybroomhandle says:

    Ew. Bioware is completely EA’s plaything now, it would appear. I suspect that the decision to add multiplayer was made by the EA suits and somehow strongarmed it into the game.

    I’m betting it’s an added lame attempt to prevent people from selling their game shortly after finishing it.

    From what I hear, the Dead Space 2 multiplayer was pretty weak.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I guess you didnt read Eurogamer interview with good doctors. :
      link to

      In the interview one of the saddest thing ever in history of gaming was said :

      “One thing we commonly see is when fans don’t like something we do, they put in the comments, ‘Oh those EA guys, they’re making BioWare do…’ And I always chuckle because we are EA,…”

      We are EA

      RIP Bioware

    • coldvvvave says:

      @”We are EA”

      Diego, we are not Anatoliy.

      ( I wonder how many people get the reference)

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      @coldvvvave: You do realize where you’re posting, right? I mean, anyone who doesn’t get that reference clearly can not feel the glory of the flesh and doesn’t belong here.

    • DaFishes says:

      Yup, EA is milking BioWare dry. This is part of their plan to appeal to a wider audience for ME3. The wider audience being existing shooter fans.

      BioWare is scrambling to do damage control on Twitter. It’s pretty hilarious.

  8. pakoito says:

    Let’s Outsource Multiplayer!

  9. Buckermann says:

    Fox News Breaking News:
    Science fiction sex-simulator to have mass orgies with unregistered aliens!

  10. Sinkytown says:

    I was hoping for competitive multiplayer. The TPS mechanics, weapons, classes and abilities are there, and I don’t think it’d be difficult to implement.

  11. Casimir Effect says:

    It’s like the whole world wants me to become an Angry Internet Man.

    This is only going to pull resources from the SP. And if you see the words “Drop-in, Drop-out co-op” mentioned anywhere, get ready for them to announce the requirement of an Always On Internet Connection.

    • coldvvvave says:

      Was it possible to play without Cerberus Network always online?

    • Hirmetrium says:

      Ok fine, I’ll bite.

      Word on the street is that it isn’t bioware making it. One of the previous rumours is that an alternate or backup EA studio is working on the MP component, to leave Bioware working on the main story.

      The truth of that statement will likely be revealed later, but this tip sounds like it is internal, so I will not disagree with ye :)

    • karthink says:

      coldvvvave: Yes, I played ME2 with no internet access.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      If that’s the case then it’s better, so long as the MP is then entirely removed from the SP. SP and co-op campaign cannot be entirely distinct from one another so even if it was an outside studio doing the co-op side of things it would impact on what Bioware does in SP.

      I just don’t see why this was needed. Are there not enough co-op games? Let’s see: Gears of War, Rainbow 6 Vegas, Hunted, Portal 2, Borderlands, Army of Two, Killzone, Resistance, Halo, MW2 (specops), Dungeon Siege 3, almost every MMORPG ever (to cover the PC angle).

    • V. Profane says:

      As a big fan of ME1 and a rather less enthusiastic one of ME2, I can safely say I’ll be waiting for a discounted, collected edition of ME3.

    • shizamon says:

      @ V. Profane
      Yeah really. Man did ME2 piss me off. I remember it clear as day, Shepard dies, Mission complete screens, no inventory, WTF?!

      Won’t be buying, as Bioware keep going the wrong direction in my opinion.

  12. caddyB says:

    Multiplayer on Mass Effect 3?
    Heavy risk…..
    But the prize…

  13. McDan says:

    Yeah this could be good, I love mass effect, a lot. But I remain undecided on this, and what will happen to the awesome pause functionality from when you’re choosing powers from the menu? I really liked that. Perhaps it could be like the wasteland legends missions from rage? That could be good, like playing through the first contact war, or in a ship of the Turian fleet boarded by geth at the battle of the Citadel.

  14. karthink says:

    Well, just mentioned it on the forums:

    I’m not surprised, but I am a little disappointed. I don’t care for multiplayer in general, but this means some of the resources that could have gone into making the game better have gone into making co-op. There might not be much overlap, but every bit counts.

    Another reason it’s a bit grating is that I have a deep connection with the Mass Effect setting games; the basic pointlessness of multiplayer (in PvP modes) or cognitive dissonance of co-op is at odds with the highly personal, directed nature of the story. It’s not my right to demand anything from Bioware, I know, but I feel a little chagrined nevertheless.

    On a side note, every little bit of gameplay information released is encouraging. Better gunplay, more customization, new powers, maneuverability. (I’m staying away from story spoilers.)

  15. rustybroomhandle says:

    Co-op is fine if you don’t care about the story and characters and have no interest in getting absorbed in the world you are escaping to.

    I’m a single-player snob, ’tis true.

    I’m assuming there won’t be co-op dialogue. :) Mass Effect is a character and story driven game, and that’s its strength. Everything beyond that is largely unoriginal and generic. Multiplayer here just seems like an afterthought.

    As long as it does not take away from the single player game though I guess it’s ok for it to exist. Still seems superfluous.

  16. TheApologist says:

    A totally separate multi-player shoot-bang mode like Uncharted’s would be fine – i.e. it doesn’t get in the way.

    Though it seems to me that the combat in Uncharted is a far better fit. From what I have played of ME3, it would struggle to sustain a community playing multiplayer.

    • mejoff says:

      “From what I have played of ME3”

      Wait, what?

    • IchigoRXC says:

      ME3 was at the Eurogamer Expo in London. 360 version ofcourse… *rolls eyes* worse yet, the new CS was there… on the 360…

    • TheApologist says:

      There was a level put on show at the Eurogamer Expo. No major changes from ME2 in the way the combat played out that I could see. Bit more automation on the companion’s powers, maybe.

      Edit: @IchigoRXC – just beat me to it!

  17. The Hammer says:

    I think we already sorta know what the multiplayer portion will consist of! Back in June RPS posted an article detailing rumours.

    “Mass Effect 3 is strongly rumoured to feature a four-player co-op mode. Eurogamer understands this four-player, online-enabled co-op mode is “standalone” and features “competitive elements”.

    This co-op portion of the game is “said” not comprise a portion of “the” single-player campaign, and will be its own thing.”

    link to

    Which sounds… good!

    • Shooop says:

      Given that the combat is the weakest part of the series I can’t see any valid reason for any of that to exist.

      They should be playing to its strengths, not throwing things in that sound like good ideas for a few moments.

  18. reticulate says:

    I posit that the various writers of RPS are, in fact, various parts of John Walker’s personality.

    • reticulate says:

      Well that’s one of my more significant reply fails in recent history.

      I’ll just call it non sequitur humour AND COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO ANY COMMENTS ABOVE.

  19. Rii says:

    Huh … PC Powerplay. I used to subscribe to that. And then the internet came. Sad.

    • reticulate says:

      I also was a PCPP subscriber in ages past.

      I remember them being totally besotted with Total Annihilation, and they figured that one right.

    • Tunips says:

      Yeah, I’ve got every issue from #40 to getting broadband.
      And Issue #29, for no clear reason – but it was a faint memory of this issue that tickled me to pick up Vangers from a bargain rack at the chemist, thereby providing me with one of my favourite games.

  20. coldvvvave says:

    Separate from main story mode? But why? I’d love to play it with two friends as a three-character party. The only problem is to decide who is going to be Shepard, but I’m not a femshep fan so, I couldn’t care less. i’d be fine with Garrus, Jacob( fanbase hates him, I don’t) or Mordin.

    • Erlend M says:

      I came here to say this! I think it would be pretty fun to play the shooty bits of ME as co-op, although the talky bits would be a little boring.

  21. konrad_ha says:

    Mass Effect is the new Need for Speed.

  22. Milky1985 says:

    Blizzard say that they cannot have single player diablo 3 because peopel will want to bring their SP character online (its a rubbish reason but am using it to make a point so bear with me)

    Isn’t that gonig to massivly effect this, peopel will be expecting to take “their” shepard into any online which could cause hell with there sp gaem due to basically multiplayer setups.

  23. aircool says:

    Mass Effect + Multiplayer + Lightsabres = SWTOR, surely?

    • johann tor says:

      Back in the days before ME1, when Bioware were still at it alone and the game was pitched as an XBOX 360 exclusive, I distinctly remember them making noises about it being a mix of persistent world MMO and epic storytelling that would be regularly updated. It seems that they realized they couldn’t do the MMO thing on the XBOX 360, so they just expanded on the ‘epic’ idea, then said the heck with it will do it on the PC as well. Right about then there were the acquisition shenaningans (do you remember?) by EA and suddenly they were in a position both to return to the MMO ideas and sell them to Lucasarts.

  24. bleeters says:

    Oh, for God’s sake.

  25. jealouspirate says:

    Eh… not happy about this. Not surprised, but not happy. Why does every game need multiplayer these days? Can’t we just have some singleplayer stuff left? Even if it is standalone, this kind of stuff just pulls resources (and vision) from the core game. I’d much rather they spent the money on improving their core experience.

    What does Mass Effect want to be, anyway? They already delayed this game to turn it into a standard 3rd person shooter , and now the multiplayer? With all the changes each iteration has had, you really get the impression that Bioware isn’t sure what it wants here.

    Also: you just know that short standalone co-op missions are absolutely ripe for tons of DLC. Make a ton of short missions, sell them individually. Guns, armor, character skins… hats.

  26. Dariune says:

    I wouldnt be THAT worried if it was another game made by another company.

    But Bioware arent exactly making sterling games these days (IMO). ME2 wasnt as good as ME1 (IMO) and DA2 was really poor. Goes without saying that their DLC have been a bit of a disaster too (IMO)

    So given that the efforts they seem to be putting in their games are already dwindling. And given that their main focus is profit (Not unreasonable) i am fairly sure that the single player will suffer for this feature that i personally am not interested in.

    Going to wait for a whole lot of reviews before i buy this game. If i buy this game.

    • Iskariot says:

      That is exactly my attitude on this.
      I do not trust Bioware anymore with this IP.
      They are going to ruin it.
      Adding multiplayer is proof of the fact that they have lost track of what this IP is actually about.
      This third and final part of the Sheperd story does not need multi player. They should pour whatever resources they have in to the best single player action RPG they can make. This trilogy should end with a bang.
      Bioware already stated that more games in this IP will follow. Add multi player to those games. Multi player is not needed here. It obviously does not belong. It is a waste of money and nobody has asked for it.

    • TheApologist says:

      There is a more optimistic view, which is that most people felt ME2 was on the whole better than ME1, and the team that makes Dragon Age are separate (according to my memory of developer interviews).

      So it’s pretty possible for Dragon Age to take a nose-dive, and for ME to carry forward its pretty popularly recieved course. Of course, I accept that if you don’t like ME2 so well that doesn’t really hold…

    • Llewyn says:

      It depends which “most people” you ask though, as always. Did most people who played and enjoyed ME enjoy ME2 more? I don’t know, and I’m not sure anyone else does either. I don’t doubt that more people enjoyed ME2 than ME, but I also don’t doubt that more people enjoyed the last Battlefield game than ME2; this doesn’t mean that moving to a 64-player FPS is necessarily the right progression path for the franchise.

    • greenbananas says:

      I too, thought ME1 was better than 2 and the idea I’m left with is that people who like RPGs usually prefer 1 as well (probably because the only thing 2 did better was the shooting part).

    • shizamon says:

      Put me on the list for liking ME1 much much more than ME2. Much more epic story, cared about the crew and characters, and by the gods every atmosphere you happened upon wasn’t freaking 70% nitrogen.

      Shooting was fine in ME1, wasn’t meant to be socom.

    • grrpanda says:

      I’m in the camp that as a whole, ME2 was better than ME1. ME2’s relatively bare gear system was heads and tails better than the deluge of worthless junk ME1 tried to drown you with though I’m hoping ME3 finds a happy medium and decides that making ammo into a passive ability rather than equipment is not such a great idea.

      ME2 also had significantly less driving than ME1 did which was a plus considering that all the driving in ME1 was done on planets that were more or less devoid of life of any kind despite what the environment would indicate.

      As far as the plot and companions go, it was a wash for me though I didn’t see the need for Grunt when he seemed almost identical to Wrex.

  27. Iskariot says:

    I would be perfectly happy if this multi player component was released as a DLC after 6 months or so, instead of actual important story related content like they did with ME2.
    I would be even happier if they forgot about multi player.

    Please concentrate on the single player game instead of giving us a half-assed, watered down multi player component that nobody really wants, and please do not give us a game that is cut into little disconnected pieces of DLC that are released after we already played through the game at least twice.

    Make this final part of this SINGLE PLAYER game into something really memorable. Give us an awesome and massive single player story and leave this multi player shit out. Do not waste resources on this.
    Most of us do not ask for it. There is enough multi player stuff out there.
    Release it as a separate Mass Effect multiplayer game for all I care. I will not be buying or playing mp anyway.

  28. Josh W says:

    How about they make it so you can romance each other?
    In the middle of firefights!

  29. terry says:

    Cool, an option I’ll never use!

  30. ResonanceCascade says:

    I’ve noticed a disturbing trend of reviewers automatically knocking a game just because it doesn’t have multiplayer — which is unfathomably stupid. I wonder if that has anything to do with serieseses like Bioshock and Mass Effect shoehorning it in.

  31. sinister agent says:

    Finally, an opportunity to play as Man With Euthanasia Conundrum, and spend 17 hours standing motionless on a distant planet, waiting for a space adventurer-looking type to ask me what’s wrong.

  32. Kaldor says:

    I just wonder: Why Australia? Have they not only some of the most strict and random anti-game laws but doesn’t a game also cost a fortune there?

  33. Kaldor says:

    I just wonder: Why Australia? Have they not only some of the most strict and random anti-game laws but doesn’t a game also cost a fortune there? (And somehow my comments have difficulty getting through the system so this might end up as a double post.)

  34. Kernkraftritter says:

    Gentlemen, do you really believe that a class-based, special-ability-driven, team-powered man-/alien-/robotshoot in UE3 (because that’s what Mass Effect is, gameplay-wise) presents an inadequate foundation for a multiplayer game? Honestly?
    Co-Op might just as well mean something along the lines of Section 8: Prejudice’s “Swarm Mode” in which players defeat wave after wave of bots, instead of some plot tie-in.

    And for that whole “drains manpower from the single player effort” argument: The problem in ME2 was rather that it had more levels than clever ideas for levels than any lack of content in the closest sense or polish. So having to focus on a smallers scale might actually be a good thing.

  35. PatrickSwayze says:

    Rather have death match than co-op.

    Species / Class / Weapons would make for some awesome load out tinkering.

    I for one would be a Soldiers still, and bring out the big guns continually.

  36. Unaco says:

    Good to see them willing to try something new and different. Hope it works out for them and the gamers.

  37. Shooop says:

    Chances are it’s now another crappy third-person shooter with a romance simulator.

    Who doesn’t love EA now?

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