Yesterday, news broke that Mass Effect 3 would indeed have a multiplayer component, though details were scarce.  Today, we know a lot more and knowing is half the battle what we know is awesome.  Mass Effect 3 will include cooperative multiplayer maps and a Galaxy at War mode for up to four players, which will impact the success of your single player game.  The four-player mode can influence your Galactic Readiness level, which will improve your chances of achieving the optimal ending of the game.  BioWare is assuring fans that the multiplayer experience is completely optional and avoiding it will not inhibit your single player experience. 

While some may be disappointed that you cannot take control of popular characters like Garrus or Tali, players will create custom characters to use in the multiplayer experience.  Gamers can choose from a variety of classes and races, such as the Turians, Krogans and Asari and "combine their weapons, powers and abilities to devastating effect."  Fans must be relieved that there will not be any deathmatch or competitive modes, which would just feel wrong in the Mass Effect world.  The addition of co-op modes is going to make an already incredible video game series even better.  Check out BioWare's forum post for more details on the multiplayer announcement.

[via Kotaku]