Comic Con 2012: Mass Effect 3 Earth DLC Hands On
BioWare opened the lid on the next batch of multiplayer DLC for Mass Effect 3 very recently, and they let fans a media alike go hands on with the new content at Comic Con.
I am a big fan of the ME3 multiplayer; I think BioWare did a kickass job at updating the combat mechanics for the game and applying that to wave-based survival. The newest update, dubbed “Earth”, is thematically tied to its namesake, offering three new maps set on humanity’s home planet during the Reaper invasion. I got a chance to get a couple matches in on London and Vancouver. London will be familiar to most campaign players as it strongly resembles the final area of the final mission before the assault on the Reaper beam. It’s essentially a four-way junction that offers little in the way of rear cover, based on where the enemies spawn and your teammates take positions. Firebase Vancouver, on the other hand, resembles Firebase Glacier; it’s a circular map set inside a hospital facility with varying levels of terrain and long hallway shootouts. As usual, the map backgrounds are beautiful.
In terms of new classes, each of the six main professions in multiplayer are getting updated with some sweet-looking N7 Operatives, again keeping with the “defend the Earth” theme. Each new class has some pretty nifty new powers; the N7 Engineer (nicknamed the Demolisher) has both an EMP grenade and a homing frag grenade. Better yet, she’s also got a power called Supply Pylon that lets her place a stationary AoE field that refills ally ammo and shields. Then there’s the N7 Fury Adept, whose evasive roll can teleport her through objects. She can also cast a biotic damage-over-time power that will jump from enemy to enemy and combo with other biotic powers to create explosions. Finally, she has a ridiculous melee that teleports her forward and unleashes a biotic sphere, similar to the Asari adepts. The other classes also have thematic new abilities: the N7 Shadow Infiltrator has Kasumi’s Shadow Strike ability, which is incredibly useful and powerful.
All the new additions to the class roster is built for one thing: the addition of Platinum difficulty, which both spawns powerful enemies in earlier waves, but will also add cross-faction enemy spawns in later rounds. Say goodbye to cheesing the Geth on Firebase White as Platinum will add Brutes, Banshees, and Phantoms no matter which enemy faction you’re fighting. Platinum is so hard, in fact, that one of the BioWare developers on site said the team has only internally been able to beat Platinum on Firebase London by holing up at the top of the map’s narrow stairway. Challenge accepted.
The Earth multiplayer DLC will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC next week.