Mass Effect Devs Explain Exactly How the Multiplayer Ties to the Andromeda Story Campaign
In a Penny Arcade Expo last week BioWare finally revealed the Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer mode. Since then, details have been trickling out about new playable characters, loot, and more that will be available to players once the game releases. A concern for many fans has been whether or not the game’s full experience relies on some multiplayer engagement and how that affects the overall Andromeda story campaign.
Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer reflects Mass Effect 3 in many ways. This is great news for the most part (especially for fans of the ME3 MP), however, one problem was that in some cases you had to play multiplayer to get the full experience. According to lead designer Ian Frazier, that is no longer the case with Andromeda.
There’s a tie that can exist between single-player and multiplayer–that’s the Strike Teams. At a certain point fairly early in the plot, we say, ‘Hey, there’s this militia [that is] waking up from the cryopods from the Milky Way.’ They can do missions where the Pathfinder isn’t. When Ryder has more important things to do, you get the ability to assign AI Strike Teams to go do these missions. It’s all set in real-time, so it’s going to take an hour, five hours, or whatever for one of these missions to happen. Your teams have a different percent chance to succeed based on their stats and equipment and everything. You can gear them up, you can train them up, you can send them to do these missions, but they’re going to take a while to do it.”
Fans can think of the Strike Mission as a kind of strategy game that runs alongside the main story, but at the same time has its own separate functions and stories. The teams you send will be gone for a time, and their success will depend less on how you play and more on how much time you’ve devoted to their training. With the Mass Effect Andromeda Multiplayer players would have more control over how those missions went, and less waiting time. Frazier continues to explain the gameplay:
Some of these missions are called ‘Apex Missions.’ They’re generally a little harder. You can send your teams to do them, but it’s going be really hard for them unless you’ve really leveled up your teams. Or you can do it yourself in multiplayer. 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.”
Transitioning between single player and Strike Missions would be relatively seamless according to Frazier. The missions will match the context of the story as well meaning that the details they describe are the ones you’ll encounter. This will go a long way to keeping players immersed and connected to the main story as they play alongside it.
If it says it’s a night mission on a certain map against Kett for this objective, that’s what the mission will actually be. When you finish it, you get all the normal multiplayer rewards as if you had picked [multiplayer] from the main menu, but you’ll also get the rewards associated with the mission back in single-player.”
The rewards for these missions will take the form of “Mission Funds”, granting the player the ability to purchase items for their characters in the Andromeda multiplayer mode. Beyond this, there will be Pathfinder rewards as well, giving Ryder things ranging from crafting materials to weapons. While you don’t need to play the missions, there is an obvious benefit if you do.
The idea behind the Andromeda multiplayer mode is to give those who are really into that style of play what they want without taking away from the players who prefer to go solo. Ultimately, developers wanted to be sure that there was nothing within the game that couldn’t be had by playing single-player, ensuring players can have a full experience regardless. A smart move for BioWare, especially with the strong response that the ME3 MP received. Mass Effect Andromeda launches on March 21st for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
What are your thoughts on all of the Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer mode developments? Are you counting down the days until release?Join in on the conversation in the comment section below or start your own on our Disqus! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live gaming and entertainment news 24/7!
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