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'Mass Effect' adds multiplayer mode

'Mass Effect' adds multiplayer mode

October 13th, 2011 by DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Writer in News

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Commander Shepard is getting a little help from his - or her - friends.

The third installment of "Mass Effect" will include a multiplayer mode for the first time in BioWare's sprawling sci-fi video game series. The cooperative four-player mode will be separate from the single-player campaign, which focuses on protagonist Commander Shepard - who can be portrayed as either a man or a woman - working to stop the alien Reapers.

"It's an opportunity for players to have a different way to participate in the all-out galactic war that's going on in "Mass Effect 3,"' BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn said at an Electronic Arts Inc. trade show last month. "It's a chance to experience other battles that are going on while Shepard is working to stop the Reaper invasion on Earth."

In the multiplayer mode, gamers will be tasked with taking down waves of encroaching enemy forces as elite soldiers representing one of six different species: the Asari, Humans, Turians, Salarians, Krogan and Drell. The co-op mode will allow players to upgrade their special abilities and customize their weapons with credits earned in the multiplayer game.

"Mass Effect 3" is scheduled for release March 6 for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The original "Mass Effect" was released in 2007, and "Mass Effect 2" debuted in 2010. Other gaming franchises that have featured similar multiplayer survival co-op modes to "Mass Effect 3" include the respective Horde and Firefight modes from "Gears of War" and "Halo."