Posts Tagged ‘Multiplayer’

BioWare Details Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Information Revealed

Multiplayer aspects in video games almost feels like it’s tacked on anymore. Many games have the general run of the mill online multiplayer option because, in video games, they want to keep you playing. Games like COD or MW thrive on their multiplayer. In fact in those instances there are people who don’t even touch the single player. However the multiplayer aspects of video games never actually impacts the single player story. It’s just kind of there. This is not to say that it’s not well received or enjoyed, it’s just that in the grand scheme of the in game world it’s totally meaningless.

Mass Effect 3 wallpaper

I'm more excited than I should be about their character creator

BioWare, however, is taking this very concept and putting it to task. Yesterday we were informed that Mass Effect 3 would have online multiplayer. We even went so far as to wager a few hopes from the initial concept. When looking at previous RPG outings into the world of multiplayer we see a very paltry showing of ill conceived attempts to bring a deeper experience. It’s difficult to pull in good multiplayer to an RPG because these are video games based around a story and this story is what drives players to keep playing. To have a successful multiplayer you need to cater to the story. So this is what BioWare has revealed that they intend to do in their official forum.

What is the Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer?

Mass Effect 3 takes place in a galaxy that is about to be overrun by Reapers and  between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 our very own Commander Shepard has been working to rally the systems together to help fight the impending threat. In Mass Effect 3 they are implementing a system known as “Galaxy at War” where you create your own Special Forces agent to team up in 4 player co-op missions. You have a variety of classes and races to choose from, so you can pretty much build your own Mordin if you wanted to.

In Galaxy at War you and your Special Forces teams work together to free territories from enemy control. As you wage this battle to free the galaxy what transpires takes an effect on your in game world. Remember that Shepard is fighting to save the galaxy and with a threat like this he’s not going to be able to do it alone. As you free territories in multiplayer you help your chances of success in the single player campaign. Mass Effect 3 has just said “You games that say ‘Here’s your world, and then here’s your multiplayer world,’ need to step your game up. It’s all one world. Let it flourish or die.”

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Characters and Progressions

Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer

This. This is who I want to make for Multiplayer.

The big question is always “What familiar faces from the Mass Effect Universe will we see?” BioWare has stated that in the multiplayer aspect you won’t see any of them. They exist in the single player campaign and are pretty wrapped up with helping Shepard out getting done what needs to be done. However (as stated earlier) can you create your own character from one of the races on the Citadel. If you wanted to create a wicked Krogan tank then by all means tank away. If you wanted to create an Asari then do it. Each race will have their own abilities and skills so with the wealth of potential in the Mass Effect world our hopes are currently high.

As you play you will also able to progress your characters and weapons. This is to be expected but the details of this have yet to be revealed. One could assume that it will operate in a way similar to the single player character progressions. Whether or not your weapon upgrades carry through after each territory mission is one aspect I am personally hotly interested in. I always feel let down after I build a great weapon in a round only to have it taken away when it ends.

Now this is not to say that you must engage in the multiplayer aspect to successfully complete the single player campaign. You can still execute the ideal ending through single player alone. However it seems that the multiplayer component will help to make things a little easier. The forum also sates that this will not be the only way to help achieve victory, but just one possible way and that there are other methods you will employ to do so.

 The key to saving the galaxy is the “Galactic Readiness” level, measured by Commander Shepard’s ability to apply every possible asset – people, weapons, resources, armies, fleets – in the final battle against the Reapers. Players can impact their game’s Galactic Readiness level in multiple ways via the Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system, including multiplayer. Other platforms and interfaces will be announced in the coming months. It is important to note that the system is entirely optional and just another way players can have control over your game experience – it is still possible to achieve the optimal, complete ending of the game in Mass Effect 3 through single-player alone.

So what else is in store for us in the Mass Effect world remains to be seen. However this has most definitely caused us at PtC to perk up and take notice. While we frequently enjoy multiplayer this gives us definite cause and reason to engage it in. This could put a weight behind the entire offering that other games have yet to pull off. As of right now everything is still relatively unknown. Either way:

Shut Up and Take my Money

Yeah this says it better than I could.

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Mass Effect 3 Will Feature Multiplayer

Stop the presses!  …or, the typing, anyways.  It’s been confirmed by a multitude of sources that the final installment in Commander Shepard’s story, Mass Effect 3, will feature a multiplayer mode.  The details are slim, but the teasing tagline is ‘Multiplayer Comes to Mass Effect 3: Fight Alongside Your Friends as the Galaxy Goes to War’.

ME3MultiplayerAnnouncement

The Confirmation.

Now this tiny tidbit of information is hardly enough to quell our satisfaction, but it seems this is all we’re going to get for now.  However, what does this mean for Mass Effect 3?  Let the speculation begin!

First of all, I’d like to know how such a feature could even be implemented in a game like Mass Effect.  A game that is & has been so heavily focused on a single player suddenly shifting to include multiplayer?  I just don’t see how the two will mix.  We all have grown attached to our own protagonist, Commander Shepard.  While our Shepards are unique in that we all made different choices and they don’t all look the same, I highly doubt that a bunch of Commander Shepards running around saving the galaxy in one world makes sense.  But then again, I don’t think I want to play as anyone new, because I haven’t spent as much time emotionally investing myself in his or her story.  It would be interesting if BioWare tried to work in playable companions, but do I really want to be Liara over my Shepard?  No.

ME3 Sniper

Was BioWare's first teaser trailer of Mass Effect 3 actually a hint of multiplayer?!

Then, of course, there’s the concern that the time and monetary investment in implementing such a feature will take away from what makes the game great; the single player campaign, Shepard’s story.  While I am a bit concerned about this, I’m not overly worried.  I’m pretty sure BioWare understands how important this final installment is to everyone and that they’ll be sure to take care of the main story and give it the attention it deserves.  I’m willing to show a little faith in BioWare on this one.

My question is, will the multiplayer aspect have an effect on the single player game?  And honestly, what is the goal of having Mass Effect 3 contain multiplayer?  To create a feeling of greater replayability?  To keep up with the latest trends?  It should be implemented for the right reasons, otherwise it will feel very tacked on.  If they were to somehow tie the the single player story in with the multiplayer option, it might feel more appropriate.  But they have to make sure the game is still playable for those who don’t have the option to play online.

I’m eager to hear what else comes out about the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer aspect, and appropriately wary, as well.

-Kat

Update: BioWare has gone ahead and released some information about the upcoming multiplayer in Mass Effect 3.

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Video Games that Miss the Multiplayer Mark

Love a game or hate it there is one thing in particular that brings every user back for more. The thrill of adventure.

Video games have multiplayer, anymore that’s almost a given. Multiplayer gives people the chance to go out and pit themselves against other people from around the world or it allows for a collaborative effort to achieve victory. But there are some games that either miss the mark, or totaly skip the online process altogether.

There are plenty of games that feature an elite group that is special in its power and abilities. These groups are revered through out the world that they inhabit and rightly so. In many instances they allow for tremendous character customaization that allow for you to literally recreate yourself in that world and develop and grow your powers until you become an unstopable force of nature.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Who doesn't get warm fuzzies from this?

Okay before we get hit with a teeming mass of nerd rage let me just say that I’ve been a Ghostbusters fan since the movie came out. The game was like a culmination of my entire childhood gloriously shooting forth like an overcharged proton stream of pleasure. My fiance (Meg) lives in constant fear of the morning that I awake and begin singing the Ghostbusters theme song becuase she know’s its a pretty fair bett I will be planted in front of a television slinging traps like Mel Gibson slings racial slurs.

Even the multiplayer is fantastic. There is just one tiny, ever so minute flaw. I wanted to be a Ghostbuster. Sure, the Rookie was interesting, looked like a nice guy, someone that I could relate to, go out, grab a slice and a brew with. But he wasn’t me. I like me. I think I would make a great Ghostbuster.

I sincerely hope they make a sequel and allow for character customization. I may very well need to change my shorts if I ever hear that news. My poor family would be inundated with photos of me when I brought down a most wanted ghost, or that time I managed to bag 20 ghosts without damaging any property. Sure…they would hate it, but I would be in pure nerd heaven. The only thing better would be Bill Murray sitting next to me giving me a high five and a one liner.

Dragon Age: Origins / Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening

Dragon Age: Origins was a fantastic concept, you join an army of Grey Wardens only to have it wiped out at the start of the game. Sadly, you are left with two in all of Ferelden to face the blight. But when the game is done what is left? The same story told with different choices and outcomes but no additionaly play through ever really felt like the first.

The blight wasn’t totally destroyed and neither were the Grey Wardens (as shown in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening). I was so hoping for Dragon Age II to announce that once and it would allow for your Grey Warden to join the rest of his Bretheren to fight the blight in a whole new world, allowing for Grey Wardens from all over the world to work together.

Games such as Resistance 2 stood out with fantastic multiplayer that was objective / mission based and required players to work as a team to meet a common goal. It wasn’t just about killing everything that got in front of you, it was about using your skills and assets to work as a team to accomplish something.

Dragon Age could have beneifted greatly from this style of online play. I mean lets face it, I spent how much time building up my Grey Warden for what? To say, “Hey lookie there…I get to make a new one!”

I was part of an elite group of soldiers and never really got to see any others (save for 3) until I had to buy an expansion. It never quite felt like a true army.

However the inlcusion of some multiplayer where Grey Wardens from all over the land came together to stop a growing mass of Darkspawn before things really got out of hand would have made it even more personal and significantly upped the continued play of the game. It would have allowed for a Grey Warden to live on past the blight. Heck…even a little tenting could take place

Solid multiplayer would have taken a fantastic game and sent it shooting deep within the annals of gaming history with the brute force and all of the concern of a run away train. It could very well have set a benchmark for all games to come.

Any Star Wars Game

Star Wars - Old Republic Sith

That just looks like trouble

Thank friggin goodness for Old Republic. Yes, it doesn’t really do well in this setting becuase it is in fact an MMORPG but to date almost all single player Star Wars games miss the mark.

You have Jedi, you have Sith, you have Bounty Hunters, the Mandalorian, and more than we have words with. You have an entire galaxy populated with elite groups of warriors. Even as high level as Empire and Rebellion have great potential for online multiplayer perfection.

Again, the impending release of Star Wars: Old Repubilc should have every Start Wars fanboy gamer in absolute heaven.

Mass Effect

Similarly it would have been fun to be able to experience the full potential of a Spectre force. Though by nature Mass Effect’s Spectres were supposed to work alone it would have been fun to see a gathering of Spectres on the Citadel station hearing a call to arms from a near by system. A job that only a small band of Spectres can take on.

Since Mass Effect seemed to go a big rubbery one over using elevators as a loading screen you could even get a briefing on the mission while you rode the elevator to the Normandy.

Once on planet Spectres could start out together in an intial push until things quiet down a bit. Then each has their own misison to accomplish. As they split you still hear chatter and can see one another at various points. Once individual tasks were complete a full scale epic final push would take place. Completion would urn you pride, failure…mockery in Spectre History.

Transformers: War for Cybertron

While not my favorite game, I am just a sucker for Transformers. They are almost as fantastic to me as Ghostbusters.

Once I heard I could make my own Transformer for online play Meg heard me excited tell her that and began to worry that this would be just like Ghostbusters: The Video Game. “I’m not going to see you for a few weeks am I?”

While the customization wasn’t quite as impressive as I had hoped it was still customization. I mean it’s not like I can very well expect them to offer an vehicle line up on par with Gran Turismo to choose from. It’s good, it’s solid, and it works.

But where’s the fun? It’s fairly standard, online play. I’m not knockin’ it, but it just didn’t live up quite as much to it’s potential. It’s kinda sad to say but when it comes to online fun, LittleBig Planet can run circles around Transformers: War for Cybertron. That’s right when it comes to online play Sackboy can kick Prime right in the Autobot twig and giggle berries.

But why do some game companies not engage in multiplayer when there is so much possibility? Well there’s a mutlitude of reasons. Some being time, money, and desire to focus on the single player game at hand. Sometimes for the company, a full tilt boogey single player game is infinately more important to them than offers a rich and rewarding experience. But what then when the characters have a yerning to live on past their single player campaign. What then when we want to run the right past the finale and into continued glory?

Maybe someday all games will (by default) allow for a fantastic multiplayer experience or at a mimimum pull an Assassins Creed and say “While it wasn’t in the original game, here’s the good mutliplayer aspect.”

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