The latest issue of Xbox World 360 Magazine is blowing the lid off of Mass Effect 3's top secret multiplayer mode. Or more accurately, they're just printing what they heard from some random unnamed sources.
Well, if you believe the rumours - which we certainly do - Mass Effect 3 will have multiplayer. According to various sources, there will be a batch of 3 player co-op missions that run parallel to the main story, with each player assuming the role of a single squad mate. It seems likely that this will happen, and it'll form part of EA's Online Pass system. However developers have been known to ditch multiplayer during development in the past, if it doesn't work...
Bioware denied there was multiplayer in the game way back when it was first announced, but 9 months is a long time: plans change, people grow, John Riccitiello needs a new yacht made out of gold. The rumors are pegging the reveal at Gamescom, the German gaming trade fair, later this month, so we don't have long to wait if they're true.
My first impression is "Sure, why not?" The action is only half of the game though, and I can't imagine these little scenarios would be all that deep or impact the story. If they could somehow affect the rest of the game I'd be a little more intrigued - maybe a few squadmates leave Shepard on the Normandy to go on a sidequest, bring back intel, or do something to change the events of the singleplayer game. I'm not sure exactly how that would work for two distinct gamers playing their individual games very differently, or with characters at different levels. Ah well, I'm not wasting anymore brain on something that might not actually exist. Best case: this will be a fun new way to play a game I enjoy. Worst case: it's something I can just ignore after downloading an EA Pass for whatever other electronic trinkets they're giving away.