Gameplay from the multiplayer mode of "Mass Effect 3."

Gameplay from the multiplayer mode of "Mass Effect 3." Credit: EA

Online team survival modes are really picking up as of late. Games like “Left 4 Dead” and “Call of Duty's” multiplayer modes saw me logging on the most time than any of the other game modes. I guess it's easier to play online against bots instead of other players simply  because you don't see yourself shouting "he's glitching" or "she's moding" with frustration at the TV.

The latest game to follow with this mode is a new comer to online multi-player but no stranger to critical success, “Mass Effect 3” by award-winning developer BioWare.

I like how BioWare didn't just take on a random multi-player mode just to have one. Instead, what you do online will effect your Mass Effect experience offline as well. The war effort against the Reapers during the single player campaign will be in the hands of you as returning Commander Shepard, however online you enter hot zones throughout the galaxy in an effort to grind out a galactic point system toward the campaign itself.

It reminded me of “The Clone Wars” and the individual battlegrounds and stories that come with them all the while the primary focus was on the movies from the Star Wars prequels. Those battles mattered, and even more, so do the ones you will stage in " Mass Effect 3."

When you head to the online arena you chose one of six classes from seven different races to fight the good fight as a Special Forces solider. Utilizing new dodging, melee, and cover mechanics you and up to three of your buddies will work together against enemies encountered in the single player mode. These enemies will come in droves from different pawn points. As your team progresses, the baddies get harder and harder to gun down. But when they do, it will lead to a final boss.

Teamwork skills are essential in the multiplayer mode of “Mass Effect 3.” Bioware has also made the enemies much more difficult. Your blind side can be near fatal if ignored by your comrades. Luckily, there is a revival mechanic built into the gameplay. If you do get taken down, you better hope a team member is nearby to get you back into the action.

Overall, the online co-op was fun and adds an arcade-like breather from the richly detailed game.

Look for “Mass Effect 3” to hit shelves in March 2012, for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

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