When the Mass Effect franchise returns in March 2017 with Mass Effect: Andromeda, multiplayer, which debuted in Mass Effect 3, will return alongside with it. As you’d expect, BioWare has quite a few changes in store for the mode, including how it effects the game’s campaign.
Multiplayer will once again have ties to the campaign, but Lead Designer Ian Frazier recently told Game Informer that BioWare isn’t going to make those ties as forced as they were last time around. While multiplayer wasn’t required for players to complete Mass Effect 3’s campaign, it directly affected their “galactic readiness,” the rating for which determined what sort of ending players received. That’s no longer the case in Andromeda.
“You will have possibilities to send teams to complete kind of side missions, or to do it yourself in multiplayer,” Producer Fabrice Condominas told Game Informer. “That’s the idea.”
For those players who do wish to jump into multiplayer, the aforementioned possibilities will be in the form of multiplayer mission funds that Lead Designer Ian Frazier said have “tendrils going out in to the rest of the game.” The developers didn’t detail how exactly those funds can be utilized in the campaign, but Frazier took care to echo Condominas’ comment that attaining these funds via multiplayer is not something that will be forced onto players.
“If you feel cheated, we’ve done something wrong,” he concluded.
And the ties to Andromeda’s campaign are far from the only changes coming to multiplayer. Jetpacks, new powers, tweaks to power cooldowns — each power now has an individual cooldown instead of a shared one — and new enemy strategies are all designed to get players out of cover and engaged in open combat more often.
“Everything is more fluid, fast-paced, there’s a lot of action going on,” explained Condominas. “The controls are also more responsive. All of that is on purpose; we really wanted to increase the dynamism and how accessible it is while retaining the depth and going more into layers.”