Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 4:53 AM by Guest
Never let it be said that BioWare doesn’t make you earn your happy ending. With the release of the Earth DLC for Mass Effect 3‘s multiplayer mode, BioWare has given players three new maps — Rio, an oil-drilling storage platform; Vancouver, and London, both reminiscent of the single-player locations — and a new difficulty level in Platinum mode. Not only are enemies more vicious and unrelenting, but each round starts to feel like a literal wave of enemies when Reapers appear alongside Cerberus troopers. If a team gets far enough, they’ll be facing all three kinds of enemies, Cerberus, Geth, and Reaper, and all the troubles that come with them. Picture if you will, the tactical precision of a Cerberus assault squad, aided and abetted by the heavy weapons of Geth Primes and Pyros as well as the mobile tanks and one-hit kills of Reaper Ravagers and Banshees.
To combat this combined threat, BioWare has also given three new weapons and six new characters, one for each class and all of N7 designation, so you know they’re the highest quality. The Piranha assault shotgun offers arguably the largest clip of all available while maintaining decent power. With the proper mods, bosses will drop before they’ve taken two steps. The Typhoon mini-machine gun pumps out an amazing amount of lead and ends low-level mooks very quickly. And the Acolyte pistol, with its charged shot, specializes in stripping shields, which makes it perfect for N7 Shadows and Furies, who rely on biotics, not ballistics, for damage.
And speaking of the new classes, if they look familiar, they are. N7 Furies are a reskinned Kasumi, Paladins are essentially Cerberus Guardians, and Shadows, Cerberus Phantoms. Their skill lists, however, make for creative kills, despite being filled mostly with known powers. The N7 Devastator Soldier’s self-named Devastator Mode increases accuracy, clip size, and rate-of-fire, making him a powerhouse on the field. He’s also the only class that has a missile launcher as a separate ability, as well as multi-frag grenade launcher.
N7 Fury Adepts have no need for weapons, as they are living weapons themselves. Not only do they have Throw and Dark Channel abilities but the Annihilation Field, a new ability that primes any enemy in range for a biotic explosion, making the Fury a truly fearsome foe.
N7 Shadow Infiltrators have the Tactical Cloak, of course, but what players are interested in are the two new abilities: Shadow Strike and Electric Slash. ME2 veterans will remember the former as one of Kasumi Goto’s abilities and best used against single enemies, especially in high-profile-target rounds. The Electric Slash is the new wrinkle that looks like a Phantom’s dodge but with a new Shockwave-looking mechanic, best used against groups. Theoretically, a player could start a Shadow Strike on a single target at the back of a group and follow up into an Electric Slash to cripple the rest before disappearing behind Tactical Cloak. Gives whole new meaning to the term “hit-and-run tactics.”
N7 Demolisher Engineers live up to their name with their Supply Pylon ability, which grants for its duration extra shields and full reloads of ammo and grenades for nearby allies, a useful feature considering the Demolisher’s other abilities are both grenades. The Arc Grenade, like the Arc Pistol, creates a localized EMP burst that depowers all shields and barriers, while the Homing Grenade does exactly what it says on the tin, causing massive damage for its unlucky recipient.
N7 Paladin Sentinels were given, in addition to the usual fire and ice attacks, a full-body omni-shield, which initially reminded me of the former Shadow Broker’s shield during his boss fight, a shield that you can mod to spit ice or incendiary effects upon opponents. The shield itself is very handy against frontal assaults. Properly modded, it could conceivably stand against heavy troopers like the Ravager or Geth Rocket Launcher. But as it is just a frontal shield, players can still be flanked, so pay attention to your sides. And with the shield as the Paladin’s heavy melee, their Energy Drain ability is a more viable choice. Draining an enemy’s shields and then smacking them with your shield makes quite the devastating one-two punch.
Finally, N7 Slayer Vanguards have, besides their Charge skill, an ability called Phase Disruptor, which takes half their barrier and fires it as a tight-beam laser blast, devastating anyone in its path and looking extremely cool while doing so. Their other new ability, the Biotic Slice, actually looks similar to the Shadow’s Electric Slice with more power behind it. It’s the same Shockwave ability, just on a different character with the power cranked up. All in all, the Slayer looks to be dangerous at any range.
So, what are your thoughts on the new DLC? Do you have a favorite character, weapon combo, or map? Maybe you have a build you want to share. Let us know in the comments section down below, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @zero1gaming, and Like us on Facebook.
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