I enjoyed Mass Effect 1's gameplay, but was not as fond of Mass Effect 2's shift to the Cover-Based Shooter. And while waiting for ME3, I ended up getting into Left 4 Dead in a big way. As a result, I had mixed expectations about ME3's multi. As it turns out, it's fun. I enjoy L4D because it's Co Op Multiplayer, which suits Team Moms like me; I like winning, but I have no desire to defeat others. ME3 takes the same approach, plunking you and three other players onto a map to fight off eleven waves of mobs. Waves 3, 6 and 10 have a randomly-assigned objective ("kill 4 specific enemies," "Hold The Line," "Capture two flags"), which adds some variety. Friendly fire is disabled, and I haven't seen much griefing; in fact, my own incompetence was probably the closest anyone got. You have stripped-down versions of the six basic classes, with three powers each; non-human race/class pairs have to be unlocked by Random Drop, and appropriately have better powers. The maps themselves are well-staged and creative, and cover-based shooting actually compliments the biotics and tech powers. Bioware are continuing to release more guns, maps and characters, and hosting weekend events that change the spawn frequency of certain mobs for the next week. Matches can be completed in about 15 minutes, less if you lose. It's fast-paced, exciting and quite enjoyable. The problem is advancing. Players who have an edge in equipment or classes will gain more kills, EXP and Credits, which gives you an edge in classes and equipment. Without Forced Level Grinding—or Bioware Points—progress will be slow. On top of that, Credits and EXP are awarded only upon completion of a mission. If you get disconnected, you get nothing... and there are no warnings about latency, or options to reconnect. It's pure luck whether you actually get the rewards you've earned. ME3's multi doesn't have the depth of L4D, and you need at least 20 levels of credits before you can really compete. But you know what? It's fun. Once you've beat the revised endings, give it a shot.
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