The final Mass Effect 3 multiplayer add-on pack is being released today. BioWare says that today’s Reckoning DLC will be the fifth and last free piece of downloadable content for ME3’s multiplayer mode.
As usual, BioWare is being tight-lipped about the details of Reckoning. If you do enough digging, you might be able to piece together what you’ll get when you download the DLC. But why do that when we’ve already compiled all the info and rumours about Reckoning for you.
Only five characters have been officially announced by BioWare but there will be a sixth one as part of the DLC. It was teased as part of the trailer for the DLC. Let’s go over what we already know about the new kits that are a part of this add-on pack.
Geth Juggernaut Soldier – The new geth unit is listed first because it might just be the most interesting. Okay, it’s probably not because the rest sound like BioWare has put a decent amount of effort into them but this one definitely has some unique properties to it.
The Juggernaut, which looks like a Prime but is technically based on the old ME1 enemy type, is going to be a walking tank. It will have limited mobility in that it can’t sprint, roll or take cover. However, it will make up for that with the highest health and shields of any kit and high stagger resistance. BioWare’s Eric Fagnan hinted that the Juggernaut may even come with sync kill (insta-kill) immunity. Oh, and it can regenerate its shields by using its heavy melee.
As for powers, the kit is supposed to come with the existing geth turret power and two new ones. The first is Hex Shield which is a return of the classic Geth barrier that blocks incoming enemy fire. Basically, it’s create your own soft cover. The other new power is Siege Pulse which appears to be a high-powered long-range shot that has to be charged similar to the annoyingly high-damage shots that Juggernauts made in ME1.
Turian Cabal Vanguard – The female turian has made an appearance in multiplayer. And like Nyreen from the Omega DLC, the multiplayer version of a female turian also comes with biotic powers. The interesting thing is all three of her powers are new to the game according to Eric Fagnan. I find that kind of odd considering that it’s a vanguard and all of ME3’s previous vanguards had biotic charge (including the volus).
There is a Biotic Charge type power called Poison Strike which allows the Cabal to slash through an enemy line and cause biotic damage and poison damage over time. Unlike biotic charge, Poison Strike goes straight through everything for the length of the strike rather than crashing into the targeted enemy. Nightshade Blades is a limited use power that runs off grenade capacity. It’s a projectile weapon similar to the Batarian Ballistic Blades but with paralysis and poison damage over time effects. The final power is Biotic Focus which will increase melee damage and movement speed while decreasing damage taken.
Krogan Warlord Sentinel – BIOTIC HAMMER! Do I really need to say more about the new krogan kit? Well, I can say that the hammer can be buffed with various effects in a manner similar to the Slayer/Shadow’s swords and Paladin’s shield.
The Warlord also has a unique Krogan Rage mechanic. This includes allowing your rage charge-up kills to include Hammer kills similar to how the Krogan Vanguard can charge-up using Biotic Charge kills. At its base, you can trigger rage with two kills in 45 seconds rather than the standard three, though that can be upgraded to trigger rage with one kill. The Warlord’s rage also gives you health regeneration which is a throwback to ME1’s health regenerating Krogan.
The Hammer accounts for two of the Warlord’s powers. There is Biotic Hammer and Electric Hammer. Each charges the Warlord’s hammer with a special effects and damage bonuses. The Biotic Hammer is a single charge that hits a single target very hard. The Electric Hammer has multiple charges that has area of effect damage with bonus damage to shields and barriers. To activate a hammer power, you activate the power then use the hammer as a melee attack. It also has Tech Armor which is status quo for sentinel class kits.
Alliance Infiltration Unit Infiltrator – For all the complaining about the lack of salarians and non-human female characters in multiplayer, you know who was clinically under-represented in ME3’s multiplayer? The galaxy’s android population. Okay, that’s because the android population of the Mass Effect universe is one!
But we get our own multiplayer EDI (seriously, it looks like EDI). I’d hazard that calling it an Alliance Infiltration Unit Infiltrator would be a bit redundant but that’s what we’ve got. Anyway, it has a Tactical Cloak variant that gives a shotgun damage bonus instead of sniper rifles and Snap Freeze. Its unique power is Repair Matrix which is a grenade based power which acts as an instant revival should you get downed. The trick is that you have to cast it about 15 or so seconds before you get dropped. On top of that, you get shield recharge, melee and movement speed bonuses while Repair Matrix is active.
Talon Mercenary Engineer – The Talon Mercenary looked to be a human character. As the trailer at the bottom of the post shows, he has an omni-crossbow power. His light melee is a scattershot of arrows and heavy melee is a focused crossbow shot.
All his powers are based on grenade capacity rather than cooldown but he does self-recharge grenades over time and that can be sped up using his passive power. He has a powerful trip mine that works as you’d expect. He also has special arrow powers that you load up by selecting and fire like a melee. You have the choice of concussive and armor-piercing arrows which also work just like they sound. Activating a powered arrow gives you a couple of shots before they revert to standard arrows.
Awakened Collector Adept – At the end of the trailer (and also at the end of the livestream), there’s a teaser of a Collector with green eyes. It doesn’t look like a Prothean character which is good because the volus backlash would be nothing compared to prothean backlash.
The Collector Adept’s three powers are dark channel (which we have seen before), seeker swarm and dark sphere. The latter two are new powers but we know how Seeker Swarm works when fired against us. I would guess it’ll have a damage over time effect as well as a paralysis.stasis effect. I’m not sure what Dark Sphere is but I’d hope that it will detonate biotic explosions since Dark Channel can prime explosions.
The Reckoning DLC introduces seven new weapons in multiplayer but, unlike the characters’ powers, the majority of these weapons aren’t new to the game. Most have already been released over on the single-player side of things and are now getting a go in multiplayer. The exceptions are the Lancer Assault Rifle and the Geth Spitfire Assault Rifle.
The descriptions of the weapons below are based on their single-player campaign characteristics under the assumption that their functionality won’t be fundamentally changed.
Venom Shotgun – The Venom is a salarian shotgun that’s very similar to the Scorpion pistol. It acts like a grenade launcher in that it fires an explosive round that detonates on impact. It has a charged fire mode that fires a shot of five small bombs that detonate on impact. Apparently, in single-player, a fully-charged shot with the shotgun extender barrel and incendiary ammo can one-shot enemies like brutes and phantoms. Sounds like the sort of thing that will get some balancing before hitting multiplayer.
Blood Pack Executioner Pistol – If you’re a fan of the Claymore but would like something a little lighter for your caster classes, meet the Executioner Pistol. This is basically a pistol version of the M-300 Claymore shotgun. The big difference is that the Executioner is lighter and has less punch. The principles of a one-shot clip that hits hard is still there, though. If you can reload cancel, you might have some fun with pistols again.
Chakram Launcher Assault Rifle – This is a charging assault rifle which would have been an issue until the recent v1.05 patch that eliminated the missile glitch. The Chakram Launcher is similar to the Arc Pistol in that it doesn’t do a lot of damage without charging but packs a good punch when fully-charged. When at full blast, the rounds explode about one second after impact with a decent damage bonus.
Blood Pack Punisher SMG – This is heavy by SMG standards but makes up for it by melting through armor. It has a special armor-piercing round that it fires every eight rounds. This special round is indicated by a backfire and kickback effect. It’s not great at a long distance but adding an SMG high-velocity barrel and/or using a character with warp or proximity mine should melt through big enemies. I think my turian soldier found a new favourite toy.
Adas Anti-Synthetic Assault Rifle – This is a quarian assault rifle so you know roughly what you’re getting into. The single-player version of the gun has quasi-explosive rounds which do splash damage to surrounding enemies which makes it good for crowd control. It’s has a damage multiplier for synthetic enemies but we’ll have to see if that holds in multiplayer or if it will be a shield-melting specialist like the Reegar Carbine Shotgun but intended for ranged usage.
Geth Spitfire Assault Rifle – If you recall the Rannoch missions during the single-player campaign, the Geth Spitfire was a heavy weapon you could pickup to help you out of tough spots. Presumably, the Spitfire AR would have the same accelerated fire mechanic of the Spitfire Heavy Weapon and Geth Plasma SMG. It’s the heaviest gun put in the game and has the added effect of slowing the movement of the character using it. This one is supposed to be an ultra-rare card in the in-game store.
M-7 Lancer Assault Rifle – The M-7 Lancer AR is a throwback to the assault rifles of Mass Effect 1. I don’t think that means that it’ll look the same as the rest of the assault rifles and have terrible accuracy. That does mean that the Lancer will have an ME1 style cooldown mechanic rather than fixed clip size like the majority of weapons of ME2 and ME3.
M-11 Surpressor Pistol – This wasn’t officially announced but it was featured on the livestream. It’s a lower damage pistol but makes up for it by having a higher headshot damage multiplier than any other weapon in the game.
The official BioWare announcement confirmed that there would be at least two weapon mods introduced. The first is an assault rifle omni-blade. That’s pretty much self-explanatory for anyone who’s played the game. However, I have an assault rifle omni-blade in my inventory according to BioWare’s online N7 multiplayer manifest. I’m guessing that is a typo or a mistake unless they’ve come up with a way to reinvent the wheel.
The second confirmed new mod is the Geth Scanner. This is an application of Geth Hunter Mode’s ability to see through walls without having your shields cut in half or getting any damage boosts. If it’s like many of the cool new mods introduced in the Retaliation DLC, it’ll come with a weight penalty for weapon it’s attached to. This is a gear bonus which means you can use it with any kit and weapon setup.
During the livestream, I saw a new piece of gear called the Batarian Gauntlet that turns your heavy melee into a batarian style falcon punch.
Over on the BioWare forums, Senior QA man Bryan Johnson confirmed that there will be new ultralight material mods for Shotguns and Sniper Rifles. I don’t like that these powerful weapons can be made lighter and used on caster classes while keeping recharge times low. I thought that part of the fun was balancing power recharge times with the power of weapons. But to keep the balance, pistols and SMGs will come with weapon mods that will boost your power damage so you’ll have a more difficult choice to make at the weapon select screen.
An alleged leak of new multiplayer challenge banners shows that there will be new banners specific to each alien race. These include Chieftain for the Krogan, Calibrator for Turians, Matriarch for Asari, Scientist Salarian, Geth Prime and Admiral for Human kits. There is also a Punisher banner for the Reckoning DLC additions. I’d suggest that these are fake but it would me hard to fake character model pictures we haven’t seen before.
Sorry but we’re not getting any. The official Mass Effect 3 Twitter account told a poor soul that we’re not getting any extra maps. So much for the leaked description’s promise of some new hazard maps.
Now, let’s wrap this up with the official Reckoning trailer. If you’re on the Xbox 360, you can download the DLC now. PS3 users and the PC Gaming Master Race have to wait until later today.