Mass Effect: Andromeda is a week away from release, and the media blitz is ten-fold for BioWare at this point.
The latest information revealed comes from PAX East, which occurred this past weekend. Outside of a forty-minute demo of Andromeda gameplay live and on Twitch, BioWare also gave out some interesting details regarding the game's other systems, including multiplayer.
The multiplayer mode is detailed by lead developer Ian Frazier, who notes there are two ways to try multiplayer in Mass Effect: Andromeda - the standard selection from the main menu, and through the single player game with a prompt.
According to an interview with Gamespot, the tie-in between the two modes is the use of strike teams. Early in the game, the player has the option to use AI strike teams to participate in missions in real-time, similar to the War Room table in Dragon Age: Inquisition. These missions can lead to new resources and upgrades for the strike team, with a percent chance to fail depending on the equipment and level of your team.
Frazier notes there is one big exception to this, which have been called 'Apex Missions' in Andromeda, harder missions that will be difficult for the AI strike teams to do without proper leveling. The player, however, can intervene and participate in these missions on their own. According to Frazier, "You can just hit a button, it'll quick-save your single-player game [and] launch you directly into multiplayer where you can solo if you want, you can match-make with friends, [or] you can do a public game and match-match with strangers."
The transition between single and multiplayer will be seamless, and match the scenario presented in the Apex briefing, so night missions against certain types of enemies will occur for the match if the player chooses to go into multiplayer. The player also reaps the benefits by being rewarded for multiplayer and single player.
Frazier noted that the decision for this feature was to provide more freedom of choice for what the player wants to do. "We tried to set it up in a way that there's nothing you can't get within the context of single-player." he said. "You don't have to play multiplayer at all if you don't want to."
This is a marked difference from the multiplayer mode in Mass Effect 3, which required playing the mode to achieve what is considered the game's 'best' ending. BioWare is hoping to avoid that same situation with Andromeda's more seamless approach.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will be released next week, on March 21st for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
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