There's one important aspect of the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer experience, called "Galaxy at War," that we hadn't heard yet. Well, there are several that we still haven't heard -- like what Galaxy at War is outside of the co-op mode -- but we've just learned of one.
It's the Online Pass content.
The Galaxy at War feature is unlocked via a code included in new copies, EA revealed today. If you don't have the code (because you don't have a new copy) and you want to engage in multiplayer, you'll have to pay extra.
In an updated version of its FAQ, BioWare also clarified that you won't be controlling Shepard and his pals in the multiplayer. "Commander Shepard's part in the war will take place in the single-player campaign, as will that of other beloved characters in the franchise such as Garrus, Ashley, and Liara," BioWare noted. "These characters do not appear in the multiplayer missions." So when you attempt to "romance" your friends' characters, it'll be their originally generated characters, just like in those fanfics you wrote.
Fight the Galactic War from New Fronts and Platforms Including Four-Player Co-Operative Multiplayer
EDMONTON, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Earth has been captured, the galaxy is on the verge of total extinction, and it's up to you as Commander Shepard to assemble the counter offensive and take Earth back. Award-winning developer BioWare, a label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS), announced today that multiplayer will be coming to the critically-acclaimed Mass Effect™ series for the very first time as part of the new Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system. With the Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system, players will fight for the survival of the galaxy against an ancient alien race known only as, Reapers, in both the single player campaign and through a suite of Mass Effect games and applications. Progress made in each of the components of the system, including the new multiplayer mode, will directly link back to the player's main campaign, helping Commander Shepard rally the forces of the galaxy to eliminate the Reaper threat once and for all. The Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War feature can be activated via the Online Pass code found in every new copy of Mass Effect 3. The Mass Effect 3 Online Pass can also be purchased separately on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system.
"The theme of galactic war in Mass Effect 3 presents us with the perfect opportunity to introduce multiplayer into the Mass Effect series," said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series. "Multiplayer not only features amazing combat and deep customization options, but it will give players another way to help the war effort against the Reapers in the main event -- the single player campaign."
Featuring four-player cooperative gameplay, multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 puts players in the role of a team of elite Special Forces soldiers sent to protect resources and assets that can help the war effort against the Reapers. Players will have the option of playing as one of six classes and from six different races: Human, Krogan, Asari, Drell, Salarian and Turian.
Multiplayer and other components of the Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War system provide alternative ways for players to wage the final war against the Reapers. The new system will also connect players to their BioWare Social Network accounts to stay up to date on the latest Mass Effect 3 news and access downloadable content (DLC) and add-ons.
The Mass Effect franchise is one of the most highly decorated series in the history of games, having earned over 200 awards worldwide. Mass Effect 3 arrives on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC in North America on March 6, 2012 and in Europe on March 9, 2012. For more information on Mass Effect 3, please visit http://masseffect.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect or "like" the game on Facebook at http://facebook.com/masseffect.