Mass Effect 3 and Linked Multiplayer

Mass Effect 3 presents an interesting conundrum. For a lot of people that play games with both singleplayer and multiplayer components, they often spend their time ignoring one or the other. They do the campaign once and never play it again, or they just ignore it entirely in favor of the multiplayer modes. Or they’re like me, and they’ll be strange enough to pick up Call of duty and only play the main campaign without ever touching the multiplayer. You can see that I’m an RPG player, primarily.


Mass Effect 3 is an RPG, and an ending for a series, so there’s been a lot of investment for me in it as a single player franchise. I’ve enjoyed playing it with friends watching and stuff like that, but I never imagined they’d add a multiplayer component. Yet, in Mass Effect 3 lo and behold, there was a multiplayer component! In fact, it wasn’t just any old multiplayer, it was multiplayer which was required to get the best possible ending!


Wait… what?


Yes. Mass Effect 3 required you to play its multiplayer if you wanted to get the highest possible preparation for the ending of the game. As someone who’d  worked really hard to get my perfect Paragon save with all those resources collected and everyone safe on the suicide mission in the 2nd game, I was more than a little angry. I didn’t want to have to play through this game mode just to get my perfect game even more perfect, but I sucked it up and did it, and I actually had a lot of fun.


My visceral, negative reaction got me thinking, though. I know I was just being surly as someone who didn’t want my game progress to be affected by bad teammates in a multiplayer mode, but what about other people that want to play the game? I could easily imagine a lot of different scenarios where they might not have internet access at all, but were able to get the game prior to that situation. Are those people just sort of screwed in getting the perfect save?

Yes, they are. It’s an unfortunate component of systems which require an online component like that, and I believe the awkwardness of that interdependency is what lead to the multiplayer of Dragon Age: Inquisition being so completely different. It removed the multiplayer affecting the single player, thank goodness. Game developers have to be careful when experimenting with new systems, as they might affect people in ways they don’t foresee.

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