Long rumoured and, for anybody following at home, quite obviously true, BioWare has today announced via their official forums various multiplayer components for next year's Mass Effect 3, a first for the predominately single player focused series. If you're thinking "deathmatch!', you're completely wrong. Instead, Mass Effect 3's multiplayer will be focused on two components; four player co-operative missions, and something BioWare are dubbing the 'Galaxy at War' mode.
Developed out of BioWare Montreal (which BioWare specifically notes is not the main single player campaign, of which is instead housed at Edmonton), the four player co-operative mode will allow, you guessed it, four players to team up and take on assorted missions together under the backdrop of the major galactic war that serves as the backbone for Mass Effect 3's story. Though the single player mode is dedicated to Commander Shepard's story, as well as his various companions, the co-operative mode will allow players to create their own unique soldier from a variety of classes and races, including Turian, Krogan, Asari and more. The levelling and weapon upgrade systems from the single player will also be a part of building your online character.
These co-operative missions will tie into the aforementioned Galaxy at War feature, which is somewhat of a hub for all multiplayer and networking activities, tracking global progression of co-operative mission success to simulate the tides of the overall galactic battle. As a bonus, this Galaxy at War mode will optionally tie into the single player campaign, with co-operative mission success having an impact on the various battles that take place during the solo missions. BioWare promises that the Galaxy at War feature also has other goodies to play and interact with, but are keeping mum on extras for now.
So there we have it, multiplayer in Mass Effect 3. Fans should expect more news on the co-operative missions and the Galaxy at War feature in the very near future.