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Keep an eye out for the upcoming issue of Xbox World magazine, set to ship on October 25th. Within that issue, BioWare will unveil a "killer new feature" in Mass Effect 3.
What could this alleged KNF be? Perhaps the oft-rumored multiplayer mode, as CVG speculates.
Update 1 - In a somewhat related piece of news from Xbox360Achievements.org, a South African gaming magazine recently featured an ad for ME3 which states that the N7 Collector's Edition will include an "Online Multiplayer Pass". There are no details on what this might be. Whatever it really is, this "pass" is certainly more fuel for the fire.
Update 2 - It looks like multiplayer is confirmed. According to a preview of an Australian gaming magazine:
“That's right - Mass Effect 3 is getting multiplayer! We travel to BioWare's office in Edmonton for hands-on time with the series' first foray into online gameplay, and chat with Mass Effect Series Producer and Mass Effect 3 Project Director Casey Hudson about the decision to go multiplayer in the epic battle for the galaxy.”
Update 3 - BioWare has verified that ME3 will have multiplayer via Twitter, and more details will be revealed in the next few days. In addition, OXM has revealed that its next cover story will focus on ME3's multplayer mode.
Update 4 - BioWare will host a special episode of BioWareTV at 10am on October 12th which will answer questions about the multiplayer mode. BioWare asks fans to reserve judgment until more info is available.
Update 5 - BioWare's Chris Priestly explains 4-player co-op missions and Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War, an interface system in Mass Effect 3 where players can "manage and experience the galactic war from multiple fronts".
- Co-op looks like Horde-style encounters, with players fighting off waves of indoctrinated Cerberus forces on battlefields seen in the single-player campaign.
- Other objectives during missions will be available, like retrieving data packets from around the map and protecting an ally while they hack.
- Players can be downed, but revived by allies.
- Performance in co-op rewards "War Assets" for the Galaxy at War system. Players can purchase allies, fleets, and radar stations (presumably boosting the Galactic Readiness level) to assist Shepard in the final battle.
- Progress is tracked by a color-coded map which will be viewable on iOS devices and Facebook, and each platform will have its own "hooks".
- Six classes to choose from, based on the standard ME classes (Soldier, Vanguard, etc.).
- Six races to choose from:
- Each class and race will have special abilities. Soldiers can use the Omni-Blade, krogan can charge enemies.
- Level 20 cap for co-op character progression.