BioWare details Mass Effect 3′s Galaxy at War system

Tuesday, 11th October 2011 04:09 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Yep: it’s online. BioWare’s detailed how Mass Effect 3′s four-way co-op will impact the main campaign (optionally), how development affected single-player (it didn’t), and how many Shepards you can have running around (none).

In a post on the BioWare forums, Chris Priestly revealed that the co-op missions, while not not part of the solo experience, “will have a direct impact on the outcome of the single player campaign, giving players an alternative method of achieving ultimate victory” against the Reapers.

This ability to influence the outcome of the story is called the Galaxy at War system, and will impact your solo campaign’s “Galactic Readiness” level.

The co-op missions apparently form just one part of this system, with “other platforms and interfaces” to be announced soon.

“It is important to note that the system is entirely optional and just another way players can have control over your game experience – it is still possible to achieve the optimal, complete ending of the game in Mass Effect 3 through single-player alone,” Priestly assured readers.

In an extensive FAQ, BioWare addressed common criticisms of the the undetailed multiplayer, commenting that it had gone for co-op over versus modes so that multiplayer “made sense and did not compromise the power of the single player campaign”.

“Our priority and focus with Mass Effect 3 has and always will be to deliver a complete and satisfying single player experience,” the post reads, going on to comment that no development resources were reassigned as a result.

“A dedicated team from our recently formed BioWare Montreal studio has been focused on creating the multiplayer game features while the main game continued to be developed by the team in BioWare Edmonton. Both teams are integrated under the same leadership group that produced Mass Effect 1 and 2, led by Casey Hudson.”

Speaking of leadership, the beloved Commander Shepard does not make an appearance in the multiplayer missions.

“Commander Shepard’s part in the war will take place in the single-player campaign, as will that of other beloved characters in the franchise such as Garrus, Ashley, and Liara…these characters do not appear in the multiplayer missions.

“In multiplayer, players will create custom characters to fight on different and unique fronts in the war. This will include the ability to play as favorites like Turians, Krogans, Asari and more… each with their own unique set of abilities.”

Mass Effect 3 is due in early 2012 on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.



  1. djjoejoe

    So seems like more of a horde mode kinda situation maybe? How well people are doing vs AI impacts tangential but visible combat events during that single player mission? I have no idea, this is really neat though whatever it turns out to actually be.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Malmer

    Of course it impacted the single player. If the new team from Montreal had been using the same time and money to create side-quests the game would have been better for it. Now we get a multi player mode that probably is good, but utterly pointless. Mass Effect is a single player game. There are other MP-games out there that will no doubt be better anyways. Mass Effect doesn’t need MP. Got a feeling people will try it out and then go back to gears and call of duty.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. revolting

    Reading the original post on the Bioware forum, that actually sounds kind of neat. I’m glad to see they’ve put more effort into it than just slap on team deathmatch. I quite like the sound of this.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Fin


    God, just shut up would you. If it comes out and the SP is below par, you can complain all you want.
    Up until then, don’t randomly assume that the SP will be worse, or the MP pointless.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. endgame

    yup 2! stfu troll! what they r doing sounds awesome! now I’ll be able to play ME with friends. joy!! :D

    #5 3 years ago
  6. daytripper

    that actually sounds decent and looking forward to seeing more. i suspect many will create their own quarian for multiplayer, just so other players will ask to see their face and boobs.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. viralshag


    #7 3 years ago
  8. daytripper

    we’ll have to team up viral to save the galaxy or maybe go for a taco with a customised asari

    #8 3 years ago
  9. viralshag

    Sounds great… Although I’m definitely rolling Krogan or Turian. :D

    Edit: I <3 Tali.


    #9 3 years ago
  10. daytripper

    i’m going for the 400 ms points conrad verner dlc multiplayer skin

    another point, i think this will be three discs on xbox 360, hope so anyway, more mass effect the better.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. GrimRita

    I used to really hate the idea of co-op modes online until I played Left 4 Dead 2 but so long as they have some sort of control on rage quitters, I’d be happy – oh and that its not a port on the PC!

    #11 3 years ago
  12. viralshag

    Last one was only two, right? Weak sauce. I expect at least 5 discs wort of game. Anything less and I consider it a waste of money. I don’t even want a case, I want ME3 to come in a disc spindle.

    Conrad’s a G.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. daytripper

    yeah two discs, mass effect’s my favourite new ip this gen

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Malmer

    @4,@5: Obviously I’m an old fart who don’t like MP, so I’ll shut up then and let you ppl be happy over the MP. :)

    I guess the SP will still be awesome though (like the previous ME games). The era of the single player only game is over. Guess I have to accept that. *Sad*

    #14 3 years ago
  15. OrbitMonkey

    I can see Asari’s being very popular ;) All sounds very good, can’t wait :)

    #15 3 years ago
  16. IsaiahWolf93

    I actually want this game now… The fact that you can play as different species with your friends sounds amazing! :D Turians all the way!

    #16 3 years ago
  17. IL DUCE

    4 player co-op…Custom characters…I’m in

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Phoenixblight

    I am all for this, its a completely different entity from the single player and I can pick to play other races which is neat.

    #18 3 years ago

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