I’m going to apologize for this wall of text with a lack of images, as I couldn’t really find anything that I hadn’t used already. After quite a few hours logged on the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer since the release of the Earth DLC, I can say that I’m pleasantly surprised by the amount of effort and new material pumped into this installment of content. Thus far, I have only unlocked 4 of the 6 new classes and 2 of the 3 new guns, with a lot of additional gear bonuses and weapon mods that I won’t begin to tabulate. The new maps each give a sense of impending doom with reapers falling from the sky in each, although I have to say that Vancouver is rather massive for a Mass Effect multiplayer map. It was incredibly large and hard to really get a grasp of while playing. Anyway, let’s move along to covering the details of each part of the DLC, starting with characters.
Let’s start with my favorite class, the N7 Destroyer. With a T5-V battle suit and shoulder mounted missile launcher, I figured this new soldier class would be rather tame and boring compared to the flashier new classes when they were first released. Admittedly, I was looking forward to the Fury and the Slayer when the DLC details were first leaked last week. However, after getting a fair bit of time playing as the Slayer, Shadow, and Demolisher, I quickly found out that many of the new classes weren’t my cup of tea. I actually just unlocked the Destroyer while playing a few quick silver matches yesterday, whereas I unlocked the other three on the release day.
Moving along, after I unlocked the Destroyer, I found out that it’s an amazing class to play. While the rocket isn’t necessarily the best of abilities, its biggest downfall being that it decreases your shielding by 50% while active, the multi-frag grenade launcher ability is one of the best straight up DPS skills I’ve seen in the game. Combine that with his already high base health and shield (1000 if I’m not mistaken), and you’ve got a recipe for carnage and mayhem on any and all map types. With a whopping 1650 shield after activating the staple battle suit ability, your character has a permanent marksman type ability with no duration limit and a bigger set of bonuses from increased clip capacity to reduced recoil and higher accuracy. I had the chance to combine it with the Cerberus Harrier and the results are devastating. Bringing the Harrier up to 31 rounds without the extra mag weapon mod made it viable for me to use both the armor piercing and barrel mods, making my weapon an unstoppable force of unbelievable power. This makes my favorite class of the DLC thus far the Destroyer.
I also managed to get a lot of gameplay in with the Demolisher, as it was the first of the new classes that I managed to snag on release day. With two types of powerful grenades and a supply ability that essentially allows you to set up anywhere on the map and camp, this class just seemed like it was made for the standard Firebase White/Geth/Gold runs that everyone is looking for when they want to grind for credits. The Supply Pylon ability is what makes this class so incredibly fun to play and fun to play with. While increasing allied shields by 25% when they stand at its radius, the supply pylon also restocks grenades and ammo by dropping thermal clips and spare grenades every few seconds. When combined with an objective like hacking, the demolisher allows the group to fight more comfortably without having to worry about running to ammo crates to stock up on mags and other ordnance.
I’m going to say it right here that I don’t really like playing as a shadow all that much, which is coincidentally very funny as I’ve already managed to snag my 3rd shadow character card without getting any of the other classes I’m missing. With a biotic/electric sword and a teleportation ability, the shadow makes for an interesting infiltrator to say the least. With a shockwave-esque ability that has an immensely longer range, the shadow allows the player to continuously clip the wall to score kills, making it a very effective gold class. Additionally, the damage dealt by the swords also seems to be higher than the norm for other biotic abilities. It plays like any other infiltrator otherwise, ducking in and out of combat when necessary and only showing up when they can ensure the kill. Additionally, the Shadow resembles the Cerberus Phantom to a certain degree, so don’t be surprised when your allies sometimes blow their cooldowns trying to kill you when you start out.
Finally, the vanguard class of the new DLC. I can’t say much more than the fact that the phase disruptor skill isn’t worth speccing into, and it plays just like the Shadow to a certain degree. You can’t really play the Slayer as the class it was meant to be (the vanguard), because his shields are just so incredibly low that it makes Manguard play very risky. Held together with what may possibly by paper clips and gum, the Slayer’s shields like to drop much faster than the other vanguard classes. There also seem to be many glitches running amok concerning this class, but I haven’t experienced anything yet.
I didn’t really get a chance to play with this, but the boxes gave me enough to end up with an Acolyte 6 by the end of my ridiculous bout of credit grinding. With a fairly decent charge and a higher tier of damage than most other heavy pistols, the Acolyte is a fair pick for those who don’t already own a Carnifex or a Paladin. It deals damage on par with the two, but the fact that you have to charge to fire it turned me off to this pistol until some sort of change is made.
This turned out to be my new best friend when combined with a smart choke and the Destroyer class. With an 8 round clip and relatively quick firing rate, the Piranha shreds enemies unfortunate enough to come within a few feet of your character. It’s an incredibly powerful shotgun that has a nice thick feel to it, with a higher recoil than most other shotguns. While its no Reegar Carbine by comparison, it does well enough to get the job done a lot better than the other shotguns.