Friday, March 30, 2012

Off Topic: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer

For today's Off Topic I want to take a few moments to, well, gush about ME3's multiplayer. Now, I'll admit, when the game was in development I was skeptical about this mode. I didn't want Bioware taking any time or resources away from the game in order to add a multiplayer component to what was so far a single player exclusive series. That said though, the game has convinced me that it deserves to be there. Enough so that my ME3 time lately has been spent in multiplayer instead of finishing my first play through of the game. (I'm still only at Tuchanka, so if you respond please keep spoilers out.) So, why do I like it? Well, there are a few reasons. Let's discuss those below.

Makes Shepard Look Badass
Now, if there is anyone out there who doesn't need to look more badass it is Commander Shepard. However, you get an idea of just how badass Shepard and his/her crew are by playing multiplayer. Why? Well, because you're playing characters with similar abilities to Shepard and his/her crew, but it is a lot harder for you to kill the same enemies in the multiplayer. That alone gives a sense of Shepard's increased abilities. Even better is that some of the abilities that shepard simply has (i.e. high level disruptor, incendiary, and warp ammo) are things you get in limited quantities.

for an example of how powerful Shepard is by comparison, when I first ran into a Brute in the single player game, I solo'd it with Shepard with very little problems fairly quickly. The first brute I ran into in multi-player took all 4 members of the team focusing fire on it, and it still managed to drop 2 of us. For further examples, in multiplayer I've been pinned down and back by 2-3 enemies, as Shepard I just destroy those same types - and bigger - and move on. A Geth Prime is a huge deal in multiplayer. It is a minor annoyance in single player. You get the idea, Shepard is awesome, and multiplayer communicates that well.

Adds To The World
Love or hate the galactic readiness thing, with the multiplayer there I like that it does add to your Single Player galactic readiness. Would I prefer in single player ways to raise that number? Sure, but I like multiplayer adding because it makes it feel like you are out there fighting in the same universe. When I succeed at a mission in multiplayer, things get easier for Shepard and the rest of the galaxy, that is awesome. Furthermore, there are bits of story behind the missions. Nothing huge, but little touches. the missions you get add to that flavor. You need to recover X data, disable X devices, and kill X priority targets. It keeps things flowing, and makes you feel like part of the universe.

Hard To Grief
This is more a design thing, but it is incredibly hard to grief in the ME3 multiplayer. team damage isn't a factor and you can shoot right through an ally and still kill your target. About the worst someone can do to you is join the game and not do anything. However, even that isn't a huge issue as 3 people - if good enough - can still win. Also, you get XP and credits (the two reward structures in the game) for kills, so that person who isn't doing anything has made more enemies to spawn, which you then kill, which can offset the penalty and make losing not as costly.

Those are the 3 big things I like about the multiplayer. If you have ME3 and haven't given multiplayer a try, give it a shot. It is a lot of fun. It also makes me really wish we had a pen and paper RPG for the mass effect universe.

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