News: BioWare wanted to add multiplayer to Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 – but couldn’t work out a way to make it fit the story until they began work on the third game.
It was something of a controversial decision when BioWare announced that Mass Effect 3, the conclusion of a singleplayer series, would feature a multiplayer mode. But Mass Effect, it turns out, was never conceived as a purely singleplayer game. The reason no multiplayer options existed in the first two games was quite simple: BioWare were still trying to work out how to make it work.
“We’ve been trying to figure out how to put multiplayer in Mass Effect since Mass Effect 1. And we want to make sure that the player has a main character in this universe that is part of an uncompromised singleplayer experience. And that’s why we couldn’t figure out how that made sense with the story of Mass Effect 1,” said executive producer Casey Hudson.
“The same thing applied in Mass Effect 2. You’re basically by yourself even more than Mass Effect 1, and the multiplayer just didn’t really make sense.”
Mass Effect 3′s story takes place on a larger scale, however: “everyone across the galaxy is fighting the same war that Shepard is,” Hudson said in a huge interview with Gamasutra.
“So we can finally see that there was a story to it, and that we wouldn’t do the thing that people are afraid that we would do, where you’re running around and there are 16 Commander Shepards trying to shoot each other for some bizarre reason.”
Mass Effect 3 launched in North America yesterday to critical acclaim. But it also fell foul of negative Metacritic reviews which complained that the game was a ‘dumbing down’ of the RPG, and that its day-one DLC was an unscrupulous move from BioWare and parent company EA.
The game launches on Friday in the UK, and our review will be online then.