The game that first drew my attention to Bioware was Baldur’s Gate. It was released back in 1998, and since then, you can say I’ve been a loyal fan of Bioware. I have praised them for their accomplishments with Baldur’s Gate I & II, Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect 1 & 2. I am, however, not a fan who gives blind loyalty, and I have told Bioware about their failures with Jade Empire and Dragon Age 2.
This is where I pick up with Mass Effect 3 and their recently announced Multiplayer effort. I watched a video from Gametrailers.com where Casey Hudson, Executive Producer on Mass Effect 3, talked about the newly announced 4-player co-op. If you follow that link and jump to 1:58 point, you will hear this:
Because it’s been an integrated design effort, we’ve created something that is a cohesive experience between the multiplayer and the single-player aspects of Mass Effect 3. These places that Commander Shepard is trying to secure across the galaxy, as part of your war assests on the single-player side— you’re fighting to control those on the multiplayer side, and the better you do and the more you control, the better your single-player ending will be.
This is what concerns me: there aren’t enough details on this. This doesn’t tell me if there will be a persistent online world I need to participate in every so often to maintain control, or if these are just something to do like side quests that help you when you reach the end. To his credit, he does say these are not required to reach the maximum potential for your character by the end of Mass Effect 3. However, he never talks specifically about how those multiplayer missions will effect your single-player experience.
This is something we need to start worrying about now as gamers while there’s still time to change the outcome in the end product for Mass Effect 3. Bioware, I want to hear more about these details before they are finalized into the game. You made many changes to Dragon Age II that scorned many gamers and reviewers. It’s hard for us to trust your decisions that dramatically change your games, and Mass Effect 3 multiplayer could be yet another bad decision.
It is this fan’s hope you show us why and how you plan to implement this feature so we can trust you again with these kind of ideas.