Details have begun to roll in on BioWare’s oft-discussed, controversial Mass Effect 3 multiplayer mode, “Galaxy at War”. While we at TA didn’t get our hands on the mode (…yet) , we do want to bring you some of the details and highlights that have begun to float around in that delicious Internet ether.
First and foremost is the obvious, “Galaxy at War” is an (up to) four-player co-op mode akin to Gears of War’s Horde mode or Halo’s Firefight. You and up to three of your friends will battle back waves of enemies ranging from Cerberus Commandos to Collectors to Husks and Reaper variants. Instead of playing as the (always excellent) Commander Shepard, gamers will get the chance to create their own character from the established races (Krogan, Asari, Turian, Drell, etc.) and classes. It is important to note that, if you’re unable to find gamers willing to play with you, the game will give you AI teammates and adjust the difficulty accordingly.
While this, in and of itself, may not seem ground breaking (and it isn’t), “Galaxy at War” will spice things up by adding special objectives into waves. Evidently, these objectives can range from defending certain areas, disabling enemy devices and so on.
Killing enemies and accomplishing objectives earns your character money and experience. Money can be used to purchase and upgrade weapons (your character has a primary weapon and a backup) while experience levels up your character and their three, special abilities. Once your character has progressed to a certain point, you’ll have the option of importing him/her into your single player campaign where you can use him/her as a war asset in the greater battle against the Reapers. Details on how these war assets are used is yet to be revealed.
Death is (evidently) inevitable in "Galaxy at War", but it’s not game-ending. If your character as culled away as the weakest of the bunch, you’ll be sitting out for the rest of the wave, but, provided your teammates suck less than you, you will be brought back at the start of the next wave.
In another interesting twist, this seems to be a true TEAM mode, as, even though you’re scored individually, the score that you carry over to your single player campaign is derived from the combined efforts of your team. Ergo, being a team player pays off more than being a cowboy.
Press opinions seem to be a bit split, but generally positive at this point and time and a few bugs were evidently present in some play sessions, but BioWare has more than enough time to iron these out before Mass Effect 3 overtakes your 360 on March 6th in North America and on March 9th across Europe.