Say what you will about the ending, Mass Effect 3 was a great game and its amazing multiplayer takes the standards of horde-mode and builds on them to amazing results. It’s rare that you see any multiplayer that is as supported by its makers as Bioware supports Mass Effect 3’s, with several free to download expansions giving players new maps, weapons, upgrades and classes  coupled with the bi-weekly multiplayer Operation event weekends the game just keeps drawing you back into it with the promise of new weapons, challenges and experiences.

Really the main drawbacks have been the repetitive enemies, some class imbalances, no laddering system and that most of the added classes have been varying versions of humans above any other race. Well some of that is about to be addressed.

Freshly announced is the new Retaliation Multiplayer Expansion and is set to launch October 9th. Bundled in is a whole new enemy faction that fans of the series will remember well, the Collectors. In addition to these biomechanical baddies we also have some new opposition from the other enemy factions in the form of the Cerberus Dragoon and the Geth Drones.

Alien races got a bit of love and the Turians are getting a new soldier class alongside a new Infiltrator class.

But wait, the fun doesn’t stop there! Aside from the obvious inclusion of Collector weaponry to collect Bioware is also adding map hazards which will rotate around on various maps at various times keeping players on their toes. Like to play at Firebase White? Well get used to random blizzard conditions cutting your view down to nothing. Other hazards include lightning, acid, meltdowns, swarms and sandstorms. Some of these are map-wide effects while others are localized and can be used as potential traps by players.

Last but not least we have a multiplayer achievement system. Not like Xbox achievements or Playstation Trophies, these are purely in game achievements and the more of them you collect the more stuff you can unlock such as character banners and titles that other players can see. Your use of abilities, kills and weapons are all tracked and you can see how you trend in a manner similar to what we saw from Bungie during their Halo 3 days.

Overall I’m really excited to go up against the Collectors again. While Mass Effect 1 didn’t really pique my interest I loved the Geth enemies and the Collectors took things to a whole new level in Mass Effect 2. While I find the prospect of map hazards intriguing, forcing players into more uncomfortable map locations and such, it’s really all about the buggy eyed ones for me.

See you all on the front lines!