Mass Effect 3 has certainly had its name in the press over the last six months (not always in the best light, mainly due to the controversial ending), but BioWare’s not just going to let Mass Effect fade away so easily. BioWare has been very steady with its releases of Mass Effect 3 multiplayer DLC at the low, low cost absolutely free, and they aren’t letting up any time soon. The Mass Effect 3 Retaliation Pack is easily the biggest multiplayer content release BioWare has put out since Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer itself, adding a new enemy faction, weapons, characters, and additions to existing maps. Here’s the word from BioWare on newest entry in the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer.
New Enemy Faction
Prepare to face off against the Collector Praetorian, Scion, Abomination, Trooper, and Captain. Reports have also come in that Cerberus has enlisted the Dragoon to its ranks, and the Geth are deploying new Drones to the battlefield.
New Class Kits to Unlock
A host of new characters have joined the war to fight this new threat, including the Turian Havoc Soldier and Turian Ghost Infiltrator, with many more being added on a regular basis.
New “Hazard” Versions of Existing Maps
Wage war across six maps, featuring new environmental hazards and traps. A regular rotation of Firebases will be introduced to different hazards as they come under attack. Survive the onslaught of Acid, Lightning, Meltdowns, Sandstorms, Swarms, and Whiteouts!
New Unlockable Weapons
The Collectors have also brought deadly new weapons to the fight: the Collector Assault Rifle, Sub-Machine Gun, and Sniper Rifle. Unlock these weapons and new equipment upgrades to build to your arsenal.
New Powerful Upgrades
Outfit your weapons with new ammo modifications and fortify your gear with unique upgrades to defeat even the toughest foes.
New Multiplayer Challenge Feature
Think you are the best soldier in the Alliance? Make sure to track your progress in the new “Challenges” database. Complete various multiplayer assignments and feats of strength to unlock titles and banners to display in-game, and then compare your progress against your friends.
The “Challenges” database tracks various in-game statistics, such as your N7 Typhoon usage. To earn challenge points, you’ll need to complete mini-goals. For example, accumulate 140,000 points while using the Typhoon in multiplayer, and you’ll be rewarded with 10 challenge points. What can you do with challenge points? Challenge points are used to unlock cool in-game multiplayer bonuses, such as new titles and banners. Want other players to know that you’re a Council Operative? You can do that. Want to be the envy of your friends with a flashy new banner to display in the player lobby? You can do that, too! Challenge points lead to unlocks, and unlocks allow you to personalize your multiplayer experience.
So yeah, Retaliation is a huge update by Mass Effect standards. The biggest part of it all is that the Collectors are back! Yes, the mysterious Collectors from Mass Effect 2 appear to be back with a vengeance. I knew that with the limited amount of enemies left in the Mass Effect universe that aren’t on your side, something had to give, and it did with Retaliation. It’ll be nice slaughtering them in droves, no doubt. It appears that Harbinger will only voice the Retaliation trailer, and not the battles, which is a little disappointing; he made the Collector’s that much more formidable. However, look a little closer, and you’ll see that the other factions are adding a little bit to their rosters. The Cerberus Dragoon and new, improved Geth Drones are on their way to the battlefield, adding a nice variety to the Mass Effect well that is, let’s face it, drying up a little quickly.
Let’s take a look at the new classes heading Mass Effect‘s way. Turian tech specialists had to be waiting in the wings, and fortunately, they are, along with a new Soldier class. The Infiltrator class is bound to be an interesting play. The line “with many more being added on a regular basis” is a little confusing, though. Does that mean more are unlocked over time? It’s also nice that there are Collector edits to existing maps, which will make the concept of fighting the Collectors again fit snuggly into the existing canon. You’ll also see the traditional new batch of weapons and upgrades, but a bigger update is the challenge feature that’s being detailed. It’s nice to see that BioWare isn’t leaving the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer in the dark, and hopefully we’ll see some equally-sized content in the future, because what they’re doing now in the Mass Effect universe does just fine.