What a bizarre twist to the idea of multiplayer.
Most of you are probably happily playing your Mass Effects right now, the furthest thought from your brain being that maybe there is more to do than just the single player campaign. Well, there is.
Perhaps this is all old news to you, as not only reviews have been pointing this out, but apparently Penny-Arcade even gratuitously detailed it a few weeks ago. Rarely do I miss stuff like this, but considering how hectic some things have been for me lately I’m not too surprsed.
Turns out the multiplayer portion of the game does indeed enhance the outcome you can have by the end of the game. Not to mention the iPhone and iPad apps that you can play in addition. A lot of the info we got about it was complete gibberish to me weeks ago as I opted not to play the demo, potentially sullying my actual experience. I’ll re-post the quote here, which is pretty much everything you need to know about the system and now makes much more sense in the context of the actual game:
An addition to this system is the Galaxy at War, which shows the player who controls which territories on the Galaxy Map and gives players an opportunity to enhance the total military strength of the galaxy by participating in optional things like Multiplayer, the iPhone app and the iPad game. You can get best possible outcome in the game by just playing single player if you want, as long as you are willing to do a lot of the side missions and content. However, maybe you only want to do a critical path run of the single player. Well, by playing multiplayer you also increase your galactic readiness rating can affect the final outcome. Using the iPhone Datapad app and the iPad Infiltrator game will also tie into Galaxy at War and update this final rating.
As a result, you can play the game how you want and not be negatively punished if you don’t want to play multiplayer or don’t own any iOS devices. You can do a little bit of all the four pieces and be able to get the best possible outcome. Or you can play a ton of multiplayer and just the critical single player stuff. Or just single player and all the side missions. We designed the system to give players choices, but also tie all the products together in a meaningful way beyond ‘unlock a new gun in single player.’ Galaxy at War is a really fun, interesting meta-game that is part of Mass Effect 3 and we think players will love it when they get the final game.
In other news with all the excitement I had for opening my Mass Effect 3 packaging I completely forgot that Amazon gave me a code for some unlockable gun. Now I’m not even sure if it would be good, oh well.