In Omega, the new downloadable add-on for BioWare’s science fiction role-playing shooter Mass Effect 3, two never before playable characters steal the show.
Sure, Shepard is the main man/woman, but fans will be most interested in the two new party members you get to control.
The first of these is Aria T’Loak, the frowning asari mob boss who, in her view, is the rightful owner of Omega, the space station last seen in Mass Effect 2.
Aria is a powerful biotic - one of the most powerful, BioWare Montreal producer Fabrice Condominas tells Eurogamer. And her abilities, created specifically for her use, reflect that power. Flare is “probably one of the most powerful” biotic explosive attacks in the game and is great for clearing groups of enemies. Lash sends a biotic lash out onto the battlefield, attracting enemies to her and doing heavy damage. Lash is particularly useful against shielded enemies - a single attack can drop a shields in an instant. So powerful is Aria that BioWare had to rebalance the combat gameplay to cope.
But it is the second new party member that will attract the most attention. Her name is Nyreen Kandros, the turian leader of the Talon mercenary group and the first female turian to be seen in the Mass Effect video games.
Nyreen is ex-turian military, but, despite this, she is a biotic (turian military hierarchy prohibits biotic powers). Her powers aren’t as devastating as Aria’s, but she’s still useful in combat. Her Biotic Grenade ability does exactly what it says on the tin, and Biotic Protector raises a magic shield, useful for keeping her alive when the chips are down.
Multiplayer players! If you haven’t already, check out the revamped manifest page. It’s so pretty with the new challenges, character builds and stats that tell you how much of your life has been spent on mp (way too much, mp time has beaten my most played games on steam).
What’s Included in the Retaliation Pack?
New Enemy Faction
Prepare to face off against the Collector Praetorian, Scion, Abomination, Trooper, and Captain. Reports have also come in that Cerberus has enlisted the Dragoon to their ranks and the Geth are deploying new Drones to the battlefield.
New Class Kits to Unlock
A host of new characters have joined the war to fight this new threat, including the Turian Havoc Soldier, Turian Ghost Infiltrator, with many more being added on a regular basis.
New “Hazard” Versions of Existing Maps
Wage war across six maps, featuring new environmental hazards and traps. A regular rotation of Firebases will be introduced to different hazards as they come under attack. Survive the onslaught of Acid, Lightening, Meltdowns, Sandstorms, Swarms and Whiteouts!
New Unlockable Weapons
The Collectors have also brought deadly new weapons to the fight: the Collector Assault Rifle, Sub-Machine Gun, and Sniper Rifle. Unlock these weapons and new equipment upgrades to build to your arsenal.
New Powerful Upgrades
Outfit your weapons with new ammo modifications and fortify your gear with unique upgrades to defeat even the toughest foes.
New Multiplayer Challenge Feature
Think you are the best soldier in the Alliance? Make sure to track your progress in the new “Challenges” database. Complete various multiplayer assignments and feats of strength to unlock titles and banners to display in-game, and then compare your progress against your friend.
How does it work?
The “Challenges” database tracks various in-game statistics, such as your N7 Typhoon usage. To earn challenge points, you’ll need to complete mini-goals. For example, accumulate 140,000 points while using the Typhoon in multiplayer and you’ll be rewarded with 10 challenge points.
What Can You Do With Challenge Points?
Challenge points are used to unlock cool in-game multiplayer bonuses, such as new titles and banners. Want other players to know that you’re a Council Operative? You can do that. Want to be the envy of your friends with a flashy new banner to display in the player lobby? You can do that, too!
Challenge points lead to unlocks, and unlocks allow you to personalize your multiplayer experience. Now, you’ve got some work to do, Soldier!
Some of the included features:
New Multiplayer kits including:
- Turian Havoc Soldier
- Turian Ghost Infiltrator
- and more
6 maps with new environmental hazards and traps including:
- Firebase Ghost
- Firebase Dagger
- Firebase Giant
Three new weapons
- Collector Assault Rifle
- Collector Sniper Rifle
- Collector SMG
Three new Ammo types
- Explosive rounds
- Phasic Rounds
- Drill Rounds
Five new Gear Items
- Medi-Gel Transmitter
- Armored Compartments
- Responer Loadout
- Survivor Loadout
- Assault Loadout
(It’s being released Oct 9! Gotta save up credits!)
Mass Effect 3: Retaliation Trailer
Based on intel recovered during Operation PATRIOT, we are anticipating a massive strike from the Reapers on multiple fronts. Our information officers and special-ops teams stationed behind enemy lines require immediate extraction.
Squad Goal: Full extraction on any map at any difficulty in 20 minutes or less. Squads can be any size.
Allied Goal: Complete 200,000 extraction waves on any difficulty. Squads can be any size. Full extraction not required.
Special Circumstance: None
Squad Goal Success: All squad members awarded a Commendation Pack
Allied Goal Success: All players awarded a Victory Pack
A new patch will be coming this week for Mass Effect 3 which will improve your gaming experience!
On X360 and PS3, you will be prompted to update your software, just confirm and wait for it to complete. On PC you will need to install the patch through Origin before you launch Mass Effect 3. Wait for it to complete installation before playing.
We expect the patch to be available Thursday this week, but will update when we have more information.
- Fixed tutorial tip that didn’t properly display an unbound command
- Fixed an issue in multiplayer where if a character has DLC weapons equipped, and the DLC associated to the weapons is deleted, the weapon loadout screen displayed no weapons
- Sabotage power evolution 6 increased tech damage bonus no longer stacks
- Fixed a rare crash in the final mission level involving the firing of the Cain at the Hades Cannon.
- Fixed the Encumbrance Bar from not updating correctly for the Earth DLC weapon mods
- Fixed weapons with natural piercing from having their damage reduced with piercing mods equipped
- Incinerate power evolution 5 now gives a damage bonus to frozen and chilled enemies
- Krogan Vanguard Rage bonuses now work properly
- Fixed Shepard’s shadow from not appearing after entering and exiting an Atlas
- Fixed quitting/disconnecting while holding Retrieve Object that could cause the Retrieve Object to disappear
- Fixed users logging off or disconnecting during gameplay from not being able to return online until rebooting the game
- Players can no longer grab Geth Pyros over cover
- Fixed issue in which enemies surviving a detonated Stasis blast became invulnerable
- Attempting to equip similar weapon mods will now present a ‘Slot Occupied’ message
- Asari Justicar passive power evolution 3 power damage and force bonus now works properly
- Disruptor Rounds consumable (all ranks) damage multiplier against shields and barriers increased from 100% to 400%
- Particle Rifle no longer replenishes ammo from ammo boxes and supply pylons
- Fixed an issue when using Biotic Charge before death that caused the match to be unplayable afterwards
- Fixed pathing for Banshees so they don’t get stuck in a teleport routine
- Fixed Asari Justicar from not being able to activate Biotic Sphere within range of large enemies
- Fixed dropping Retrieve Objects that could potentially fall under the level
- All Batarian and Krogan kits will now stagger less than other kits
- Ops Survival Packs now grant a one second damage immunity when consumed
- Singularity power re-designed:
- Singularity no longer has a maximum number of charges and will only be destroyed when the time runs out
- Performing a biotic combo on someone floating in the singularity no longer ends the singularity
- Base cooldown changed to 8 seconds
- Base duration of the singularity changed to 8 seconds
- Base power now does 100 points of damage per second to all targets that are in range, even if not floating in the singularity
- Base power sets up biotic combos on everyone that comes into range (only 1 combo added per enemy per cast of singularity)
- Rank 3 changed to a damage over time bonus (used to be a radius and duration bonus)
- Evolve 1 changed to singularity duration bonus (used to be a hold duration bonus and number of charges increase)
- Evolve 5 changed to damage over time bonus (used to be a radius increase mechanic)
- Evolve 6 now detonates biotic combos when the singularity explodes
- Fixed an issue with the Banshee being able to sync-kill players farther than she should be able to
- Fixed an issue with Firebase Jade giving partial extractions when all players are already inside the extraction zone
- Fixed SMG Ultralight Materials Mod not having impact on power recharge speed
- Fixed Armor Piercing Ammo not applying penetration bonus to secondary weapon
- Fixed player death camera beginning before a sync kill is complete
- Fixed an issue with talent points remaining after a character promotion
- Melee creatures will now completely ignore pets (drones, decoys, etc.) rather than just having a chance to ignore them
- Fixed an issue with Private Lobbies not staying private after the match has begun
- Krysae no longer ignores enemy shield gates
- Fixed various weapon sound-replications for clients
- Concussive Shot changes:
- Evolution 3 damage and force bonus now applies to frozen and chilled targets
- Evolution 5 changed to increase damage by 50% and radius by 1 meter (used to take on the properties of your ammo power, but this did not work)
- Evolution 6 damage bonus to organics increased from 100% to 200% over 10 seconds
- Fixed issue where enemies in Stasis surviving a biotic detonation would become un-synchronized for clients
- Fixed Leviathan DLC Weapon Mods not carrying over to New Game +
- Marksman will instantly reload weapon ammunition when activated
- N7 Shadow Sword Mastery power evolution 5 and 6 now apply to Shadow Strike damage
- Fixed Atlas rocket applying damage over time on N7 Paladins using the Omni-Shield
- Fixed automatic revive at a specific spot in Firebase White
- Fixed an issue with ammo boxes causing players to be unable to fire weapons after attempting to refill grenades
- Fixed an issue with the Krysae Sniper rifle not functioning properly on squad members (Firefight pack)
- Can now headshot Banshees, Geth Primes, and Brutes for an extra 40% weapon damage.
- Can now shoot the Atlas’ exhaust port on his back for an extra 40% weapon damage.
- Fixed the health bar position of Tactical Scan on Swarmers
- Fixed an issue with enemies approaching a downed player to execute, but showing mercy and leaving
- Fixed seeking projectile powers occasionally failing to impact targets even though it appeared to impact
- Successfully extracting from a match gives 10% bonus credits. This reward does not depend on your squad members – you must extra personally to get the reward.
- Fixed an issue that caused the Retrieve Objective wave to not recognize the recovery of the object when it enters the retrieve zone
- Fixed bleedout effect that was disappearing when another player used an Ops Survival Pack
- Fixed Decoy that was blocking the use of ladders to NPCs and squadmates
- Fixed Flamer power of Vorcha from being activated simultaneously with the Reegar Carbine
- Fixed icons of powers disappearing from the Character Screen
- Fixed an issue with Ken/Gabby and Tali/Garrus ambient dialogues not triggering in Normandy engineering
- Fixed an issue in which purchasing multiplayer card pack purchases would not complete
-Can now headshot Banshees, Geth Primes, and Brutes for an extra 40% weapon damage.
-Can now shoot the Atlas’ exhaust port on his back for an extra 40% weapon damage.
- Fixed an exploit that allowed players to be invincible and invisible to enemies
- Fixed an exploit where players were able to use rockets from other weapons
- Fixed an issue on PS3 where after accepting an invite, a player could get stuck in a multiplayer screen by entering the store from the promo screen and then exiting without purchase
- Fixed a crash when pressing PS button during the game’s boot sequence
- Fixed the hint popup to update mouse left click and right click bindings
- Fixed an issue that made Origin users display their game as joinable when their game is full
- Fixed a crash on Firebase Rio caused by heavy melee
- Fixed a rare crash (black screen) on Xbox 360: Upon booting up the game and attempting to reach the title screen, players will now be able to get to title screen to recover their save games. Progress to locked achievements will be reset. Achievements already unlocked will remain unaffected.
Cerberus continues to put pressure on our troops, hindering our fight against the Reapers. Our allies have committed their top military units to target Cerberus’ most valuable assets: their Atlas Mechs.
Squad Goal: Extraction on any difficulty with all squad members as the same non-human race. Requires 2 or more players in squad.
Allied Goal: Kill 600,000 Atlas Mechs on any map at any difficulty.
Special Circumstances: Escort Drones travel speed reduced.
Squad Goal Success: All squad members awarded a Commendation Pack.
Allied Goal Success: All players awarded a Victory Pack.
Operation OLYMPUS (August 10th-12th)
Increased Reaper activity has been reported around London. Operation OLYMPUS will focus large-scale strikes on the Reapers to buy the Resistance time to investigate.
Squad Goal: Full extraction from Firebase London using any Kit on any difficulty
Allied Goal: Using any Kit/ Map combination against any enemy, complete wave 10 on a combined community total of 200,000 Bronze missions, 175,000 Silver missions and 70,000 Gold missions.
Special Circumstance: None
Squad Goal Success: All squad members awarded a Commendation Pack
Allied Goal Success: All players awarded a Victory Pack
To assist with the Allied Goal, we will be providing an Allied Goal status Update on Saturday at 7pm PDT
*Chris Priestly says that Platinum games counts towards the Gold missions total.
* Kit means any race/class/loadout. So anything goes this weekend! =)
New SP DLCs - Leviathan & Firefight!
Something lurks in the dark corners of space, something powerful enough to kill a Reaper. Shepard must discover the most closely guarded secret in the galaxy before the Reapers silence it forever. Discover more about the origins of the Reapers as you race across the galaxy to find the Leviathan. Unravel the dark history of the Reaper Race before it is too late. Coming later this summer there is no war, only the harvest.
Taking place during the events of Mass Effect 3, players will be thrust into the darkest corners of space where they will hunt a mysterious being rumored to be powerful enough to destroy a Reaper. As they race against time, they will begin to unravel the secret of the Leviathan. Explore uncharted systems and new areas on the Citadel, interact with brand new characters, unlock the AT-12 Raider shotgun and M-55 Argus Assault Rifle and discover more about the mysterious history of the Reapers. Available for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 for $10 or 800 MS points.
Players will soon be able to arm themselves with the Firefight Pack, a new Single Player Weapon Pack available for download August 7 for $2 or 160 MS points. The Firefight Pack will feature two powerful new weapons and five bonus weapons to use in the fight to Take Back Earth!
Indra Sniper Rifle: Fully automatic sniper rifle.
- The Indra’s low-powered scope leaves it most effective at medium range, but many soldiers believe this limitation is offset by the gun’s rapid rate of fire. The Indra is the first military-grade, fully automatic sniper rifle. It has an extremely efficient heat-sink system that allows a surprisingly large number of shots to be fired before the weapon ejects its thermal clip.
Krysae Sniper Rifle: Heavy turian sniper rifle with explosive rounds and an automatic scope for all-range fighting.
- This turian antimateriel rifle is modified to kill Reaper enemies. The Krysae’s scope uses a rangefinder that adjusts to keep the target in proper proportion to the shooter, which comes in useful when the sniper is forced into close range. Its specialized ammunition is both armor-piercing and explosive. In a desperate move, the turians released its specifications over the extranet so that nearly anyone with a fabricator could manufacture this weapon to help the war effort.
Reegar Carbine: Quarian electrical weapon that’s best at close range.
- This electrical weapon improves upon the arc pistol’s design by generating a sustained current on its target. This weapon is named for the quarian Reegar family, whose marines have served valiantly against the geth.
Harrier Assault Rifle: Full-auto Cerberus rifle with low recoil and heat generation.
- These Cerberus-modified Mattock rifles are fully automatic. Cerberus gunsmiths reined in the recoil issues, resulting in a gun that stays on target but delivers slightly less punch per round than a standard Mattock. As such, the weapon is typically utilized by Cerberus’s elite troops who train constantly to make every burst count.
Geth SMG: Fully-automatic geth submachine gun. Its rate of fire increases when the trigger is held.
- This submachine gun works on the same principles as the Spitfire: it shoots superconducting toroids that break apart on impact, retaining an electrical charge that flash-converts the shrapnel into plasma. Unlike the Spitfire, however, this smaller geth weapon has been modified to take thermal clips. Holding down the trigger speeds up its rate of fire, rapidly depleting the gun’s heat sink in exchange for nearly continuous fire.
Blood Pack Punisher SMG: Submachine gun with a secondary barrel that fires armor-piercing rounds.
- The Punisher features a secondary barrel that fires one armor-piercing round per main-barrel burst. It was developed by Blood Pack gunsmiths who found that their vorcha recruits frequently forgot to optimize ammo loads in the heat of combat. This configuration makes the process automatic and highly effective at penetrating armor.
Adas Anti-Synthetic Assault Rifle: Electrical weapon that’s effective against shields and synthetic targets.
- Named in memory of the quarians killed in the Morning War on the planet Adas, this weapon’s electrical attack has been optimized for medium- to long-range firefights. Alliance marines take issue with calling it a “rifle” since, technically, it has no rifling in its barrel. The quarians shrug this off, as quarian weapon terminology rarely translates flawlessly into human languages.