Video games: EA’s ‘Mass Effect 3’ launches with multiplayer feature

By Matt Hellman

Video games: EA’s ‘Mass Effect 3’ launches with multiplayer feature

BioWare, a label of Electronic Arts Inc., released its new action role-playing game (RPG) ‘Mass Effect 3’ today.

Its trailer debuted Feb. 19.

As a continuation of its prequel, ‘Mass Effect 2’, the story-based game follows the theme of saving Earth from the alien race known as the Reapers.

“With ‘Mass Effect 3’, we’re taking players on a more personal journey, even though the scope is bigger than ever — an all-out galactic war,” Casey Hudson, executive producer of the Mass Effect series, said in a June EA press release announcing the game’s release date.

‘Mass Effect 3’ features a multiplayer mode as a new feature to the series, allowing for co-operative play that links back to the main player’s campaign.

“I’m cautious about the multiplayer option since the series itself is predominantly a single-player franchise and introducing multi-player abilities could take away a bit from the game,” Baylor U. sophomore , an avid gamer who is familiar with the series, said.

“BioWare is trying to make an effort to appeal to the different tastes of gamers. I’m interested to see what the final product will be,” Behren said

The game will also feature a new twist to the role-playing format by offering three pregame selections: the action mode that allows the player to focus on the action while having a pre-set story line, the story mode which emphasizes decision and conversation selections, and the “Role-Playing Mode” that follows the same game play as the rest of the series.

‘Mass Effect 3’ will combine intense action, in-depth plot and complex relationship role-playing in order to intrigue and involve players in building suspense that will make them want to keep playing, Dr. , Baylor assistant professor in the film and digital media department, said.

“Certainly, a game that has suspenseful elements can be more enjoyable than a game without those elements, as long as the player eventually triumphs,” Shafer said. “Suspense is an important predictor of the enjoyment of both audiovisual media (like TV and movies) and interactive media like .”

‘Mass Effect 2’, along with other predecessors designed by BioWare, has some negative aspects, such as repetitiveness in the layouts of maps — something Mass Effect 3 is expected to have resolved, Behren said.

“I’m expecting it to be a powerful conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy,” Behren said.

“I think ‘Mass Effect 3’ will be the most anticipated game of 2012, but there is a lot of competition.”

Also released today is the N7 Collector’s Edition of ‘Mass Effect 3’, which offers bonus in-game items along with the standard options and other collectible items.

“With ‘Mass Effect 3’, we are delivering blockbuster action and heart-wrenching emotion on a scale that far exceeds anything we’ve ever done before,” Hudson said.

The game sells for $59.99 before tax on PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

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