According to an ad unearthed by a tipster for the Collector's Edition for Mass Effect 3, the game will ship with an "online multiplayer pass." This appears to confirm the addition of a multiplayer mode for the previously single-player only series. If you need me I'll be over here flipping tables in angst.
The ad should be set to appear in the upcoming issue of XBox World magazine, which has been teasing a brand new feature for the space odyssey. Previously, we had heard rumors of horde/survival or co-op modes being added to the game, though EA and Bioware have both been quick to allay any suspicions of such an addition. While we don't know what particular form this mode will take, this upcoming confirmation adds weight to the idea of a co-op mode.
The biggest worry coming from the addition of a multiplayer is that resources will be taken away from development of the main story in order to build an unnecessary addition. However, I'm not so worried about this. The team is still working hard on the single-player mode - members of the dev team have been Twittering up a storm as recently as this week about their current Insanity mode playthrough tests. Co-op could be fun, depending on its implementation. While horde-style campaigns never seem to last long on the horizon, a competitive-style mode could prove a balancing nightmare. But then again, it would give me a chance to show all you mooks that my Shepard is the best Shepard.
Coming from a console background, online passes make my hair stand on end. Pre-owned games have made my gaming habit sustainable in the past, and the idea of having to pay more money to unlock a major gameplay mode on the disc doesn't sit well with me. Even for original buyers - this adds another layer between you and your game. Implementation issues with Dead Space 2's online passes, for instance, strangled the multiplayer before it had a chance to get off the ground. With installation issues, DRM, and now online passes, there is a lot that can go wrong with you trying to enjoy the game, even if you paid full price for a shiny new copy.
What are your thoughts on this upcoming announcement?