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Does Mass Effect 3 really need multiplayer?

Debate: Will BioWare blow us away or suffer from divided focus?

Mass Effect 3 multiplayer was confirmed by an Aussie mag earlier today, which means it's happened again...

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A single-player series that has excelled both in terms of sales, critical acclaim and fan fever has been given the multiplayer treatment and we know there will be a fair few Mass Effect fans among the CVG Massive that wonder why.

This is, after all, a franchise that is known for the level of depth in its campaigns, one that offers not just a game world but a game galaxy.

With its strong RPG action elements giving players crazy amounts of choice and the replayability that comes with it, there is a strong argument against the need for any multiplayer at all.

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Cast your eye towards a studio like Rocksteady, which has shunned multiplayer in Batman: Arkham City for fear of it affecting the quality of the single-player campaign, and you'll see the approving applause that decision was met with.

It's a rare example of restraint though. Even the likes of Uncharted - which is praised for its high-end, cinematic, narrative production values even more than for its admittedly stellar gameplay - was given multiplayer in only its second outing.

Having said that, Uncharted 2's single player section certainly didn't suffer from the inclusion of multiplayer, which actually turned out to be a very fun and worth addition rather than some bolt-on box feature.

And if you've played Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, you'll know just how well a multiplayer package can complement a game's campaign if the same philosophies and sensibilities are kept close at heart.

It's always a worry when a studio puts extra pressure on itself with something like multiplayer when all fans are really looking for is a great solitary adventure.

Mass Effect has arguably provided that at a higher level than most, which begs the question as to whether the franchise even needs an online mode.

The more concerning question, though, is whether or not time spent developing multiplayer will mean that Mass Effect 3's main missions will fall short of the bar BioWare has set itself in the past.

Does Mass Effect 3 need multiplayer? Are you confident that BioWare can blow us away with the feature or is the series' story set to suffer thanks to divided focus? Let us know in the comments below...

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