"You know Mass Effect, don't you?" asks Graham over IM, neatly ensuring that anything I remember about Mass Effect is instantly expunged from my brain bar the lone figure of Mordin singing I Am The Very Model Of A Scientist Salarian.
"Sure," I say.
"Did you see the Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer stuff?" he says, nudging me towards a news trap. "I've not played it so I thought you could take a look..."
CLANG, went the jaws of the trap, snapping round my leg with incredible force. "Graham don't leave me here! Where are you going???"
While I wave burning torches at the circling, slavering newshounds, here is some information about the Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] multiplayer which comes via Game Informer and their hands-on preview.
The big thing I'm taking away from their article is that the single player and multiplayer modes are interlinked but one does not depend on the other. It sounds like they're going for a softer approach than with Mass Effect 3. In ME3 you had a multiplayer mode where completing those co-op missions impacted your single player ending. As I recall, it wasn't *mandatory* to do the co-op stuff and you could still get the perfect ending but it became difficult to do so and thus the push towards co-op got a bit heavy-handed. That said, I'm pretty sure I didn't feel pushed to do any co-op and I think I took the synthesis ending which means my galactic readiness must have been alright.
With Andromeda the idea seems to be that you shouldn't feel obliged to play multiplayer if you don't want to, but that multiplayer isn't entirely separated from the single player experience either.
Here's the bullet point section from GI:
- The mission funds you obtain in multiplayer have “tendrils going out into the rest of the game,” according to Frazier.
- In the single-player demo we saw, there was an option on the pause menu to jump straight into multiplayer.
- “You will have possibilities to send teams to complete kind of side missions, or to do it yourself in multiplayer,” Condominas says. “That’s the idea.”
Obviously this is just me thinking aloud now, but from that I'm imagining maybe some resources/in-game credits you can get from multiplayer that make some aspects in single-player a bit easier, or maybe just give you cosmetics you can wear as you wander about. There also seems to be the option that reminds me of Dragon Age where you could send people to go do side missions on your behalf. There's also another game I can't think of the name of right now which does something similar - you could send people off from your party to go do things and they would level up a bit. Oh! Pillars Of Eternity! That was it.
Going back to Andromeda, it sounds like there have also been changes to things like cooldown timers (switching from global to individual) and some twiddling to stop people hiding in one spot. The latter is a pretty standard tweak for any PvP or PvE experience. You want players to have to move around rather than camp a single spot. It happened multiple times across Destiny patches and expansions, especially with group PvE stuff where encounters would get remixed and safe zones became noticeably less safe. You can read more about those aspects plus jetpack stuff, prestige and so on over on GI.
Now, can someone let me out of the news trap before I kill anymore innocent newshounds with my singing and torch flailing?