I have an estranged relationship with multiplayer modes in videogames. On the one hand I love games such as Left 4 Dead / Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, the Tekken series, Mario Kart series and co-op offerings in the main parts of games, like Resident Evil 5 and F.E.A.R. 3. On the other hand, where the game’s main content isn’t about bringing more than one human player into the mix – I ain’t so keen.
Perhaps the best example of me shying away from multiplayer that appears to be added to a game due to demand from reviewers and players is the case of Dead Space 2. Now, I absolutely loved the story mode on Dead Space and Dead Space 2, but as I was reviewing the sequel, I had to play the multiplayer. Visceral and EA’s take on multiplayer for DS2 seemed nothing more than an alienified Left 4 Dead without L4D‘s charm.
Since then I have been somewhat apprehensive about going near multiplayer modes in games. Especially in the case of Mass Effect 3 (which I haven’t completed yet) as EA are once again the publishers. Now, while I get that in ME3 the multiplayer does affect the main story mode of the game, I resent the idea of being pushed towards playing a mode that I’m not that keen on playing in story heavy games.
Sure I could ignore the mode, but anything that could affect my character’s chances in dealing with the Reaper threat in the main game means that I want in. This is, after all, a character that I’ve brought through all the way from the first and second games. Anything short of kicking ass is unacceptable.
And so, even though BioWare did claim that you don’t have to play the multiplayer to get the “perfect ending”, it is apparent that it helps:
Your ending(s) are determined by your “Effective Military Strength” (let’s call it EMS for now) bar. Focus on that bar – that is your indicator of how well you will do in the end-game.
You can maximize your EMS just by collecting War Assets in the single-player game. There is a certain threshhold of these you would need to exceed (I can’t get too specific) but I can tell you there are MORE than the required amount that can be gathered in the single-player campaign.
“Galactic Readiness” is a modifier you can improve by playing multiplayer. That is to say, if you play a lot of multiplayer, you will need less War Assets from single-player to fill up your EMS bar (ie it will balance out the requirements to account for you playing in both modes). Single-player game play does not impact that bar.
EMS = success. EMS can be maximized via collecting war assets alone, even if your Galactic Readiness is 50%.
Maybe I will give it a try later this week. Maybe I’ll like it, but I can’t emphasize enough how I tend not to like multiplayer when there’s a whole bunch of story going on. I even disliked the multiplayer in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.