There have been some raised eyebrows at the inclusion of multiplayer in Mass Effect 3,but Bioware has been quick to respond – stating that co-op missions will not impact the quality of the single player gameplay.
“A dedicated team from our recently formed BioWare Montreal studio has been focused on creating the multiplayer game features while the main game continued to be developed by the team in BioWare Edmonton,” reads an official BioWar FAQ.
“Both teams are integrated under the same leadership group that produced Mass Effect 1 and 2, led by Casey Hudson. BioWare remains dedicated to delivering one of the most amazing single-player campaigns gamers have ever experienced.”
“BioWare is dedicated and focused on delivering an engaging, fun, and action-packed experience for Mass Effect 3, one that lives up the BioWare standard. To reach that level of quality, last year BioWare opened a studio in Montreal that is home to designers, programmers, engineers, and other developers. Both studios work together as partners, lead by the core Mass Effect team, unified in a single vision. Under the direction of Casey Hudson and other team veterans, both studios make contributions to both the single player and multiplayer modes in Mass Effect 3. Rest assured that no compromises were made to either of these modes in the development of Mass Effect 3.”
With regards to which characters players will be able to play in the multiplayer, Bioware are not making the series’ most popular characters such as (Commander Shepard, Garrus, Ashley, and Liara) playable in the multiplayer missions. Players will create custom characters from the game’s races, such as the Turians, Krogans and Asari.
It’s important to note that the multiplayer aspect of the game can be treated separately from the single player, Bioware adding: “Mass Effect 3 is a complete, standalone game that will deliver a satisfying story experience, even if you choose not to try multiplayer.”
They go on to say that “success in multi-player will have a direct impact on the outcome of the single player campaign, giving players an alternative method of achieving ultimate victory against the greatest threat mankind.”
So… yes, co-op can affect the story, but only if you want it to.
Check out the full FAQ on Bioware’s forums.