Mass Effect 3: Retaliation Impressions

I, like many others, was sceptical about Bioware’s announcement of an online multiplayer being included with Mass Effect 3. What made it even worse was the fact that they giving the multiplayer a direct influence over the single player game, thus making it a requirement for players who wanted the absolute best ending they could manage at the end of the trilogy. All the drama and complaining died away when the game actually came out though, because as it turns out the multiplayer was actually pretty good. Not only that, it was kind of addictive too. Also, everyone had much bigger complaints, like the ending for example. I’m not going to get into that though.

Move on five months and the multiplayer has gone through four major updates and a ton of weekend operations. It’s obvious that Bioware want to keep people interested in the multiplayer, because just around about the time when everyone seems to be getting bored of the game, we get a new content pack and new classes to play with. The Retaliation pack is the most recent release and by far the biggest one since the game’s release. Not only does it introduce new classes and weapons, but it adds a new challenge option and ability for players to customise their player cards with titles unlocked from the challenges.

Instead of introducing new levels, the game has added ‘hazard’ variants of pre existing levels. On release, there are only two available hazards, a Sandtorm on Firebase Dagger and a Meltdown on Firebase Reactor. The Sandstorm greatly reduces viability on a level which usually is a snipers haven, This makes the stage much trickier as not only is the player’s ability to take out enemies at range reduced, but it also means the team can get flanked without even realising it.  The Reactor actually adds a level of strategy to gameplay rather than restricting the player’s ability to play optimally. With the reactor in meltdown, occasionally, the core will lockdown to vent, killing everything inside. Players can actually set this off themselves after a certain amount of heat has built, meaning players can herd more difficult enemies into the reactor for some easy kills. There are four more Hazard variants that will be released into the game over time.

 Another new addition is the inclusion of a forth enemy team; the Collectors. The Collectors are much the same as their appeared in Mass Effect 2, the majority of their force is made up of the Collector drones and abominations, which are basicly husks that self destruct. The Scions and Praetorians return too, but are powered down from their boss status in the second game. There are some unique gameplay elements introduced with the collectors, the enemy type of seeker swarm is introduced which can be easy to miss due to their cloud like from which ruin your cooldowns and your shields. Some enemies will also take on a possessed state, in which their strength and powers are increased.

After playing the multiplayer for so long, it’s nice to have some elements of the unknown introduced with the Collectors, even if it is only going to be for a brief time untill strategies are formed. The Geth and Cerberus teams have also gained an additional unit to their teams adding a little extra complexity to these teams.

When these DLCs are released though, there is only thing I am really interested in, and that’s what new player classes will be introduced. There was an image with quite a large number of new characters leaked recently. I had some doubts as to how genuine it was, but it seems that it was real as there are 16 to be released. As of the release of Retaliation  there are only four of the classes available, with the rest becoming playable after a period of time.

The four available upon release are two elite Turian Troops; the Havoc (Solider) and Ghost (Infiltrator), and two Volus; an Engineer and Adept. The Volus are a surprise for everyone who knows anything about the Mass Effect universe, because aside from never seeing a combat competent Volus throughout the entire trilogy, they are just so small and cowardly that I thought that they had to be a joke class when I found out about them.

Already, the Turians have become known as beasts in combat and are on par with the most powerful of the N7 classes. The Volus, surpisingly, are quite good too. They work differently from the other classes are fulfil more of a support role in combat. I’ll cover both classes more thoroughly as I’ve had time to play them some more and give some tips and hints on strategy.

Bioware have managed to drag me back to the multilayer every time I’m about to give up on it, I’ve not ever seen a game get so much attention and get updated so frequently  after release for this long. I don’t know how long they can keep me interested, but with the promise of 12 more classes to come, I think I’ll be playing this well into the Christmas season, even with all the other released on the horizon.

Best of all, all of these DLCs have been free and there really is no reason for anyone not to download them and get themselves back into Mass Effect. I’ll be playing this over the coming few days and week learning the new classes, if anyone wants to join me for a few rounds then put a message below. I’ll be following this up with a breakdown of the four new classes soon, so keep your eyes peeled.


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