Huge free Mass Effect 3 expansion sees return of the Collectors

Retaliation multiplayer DLC available next week.

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A huge new Mass Effect 3 multiplayer expansion will see the return of the Collectors - the enemy race Shepard fought in Mass Effect 2.

Mass Effect 3: Retaliation will be available to download for free from 9th October (likely meaning a 10th October release date here on PlayStation 3).

It is the biggest multiplayer DLC pack yet, with six new maps (triple the usual quota) and 16 new characters, including the Krogan Shaman Adept, Asari Huntress Infiltrator, Turian Havoc Soldier and Batarian Brawler Vanguard.

There's also new set of Collector-themed weapons, new ammo types and new gear items. A new Challenge feature rewards specific objectives with challenge points, to be spent on multiplayer titles and banners. Existing maps have also been updated with "hazard" versions, where you'll have to contend with "Acid, Lightening, Meltdowns, Sandstorms, Swarms and Whiteouts".

But the star of the show will be the Collectors themselves - it's the first time a new enemy type has been added since Mass Effect 3 launched, and the first new race added that did not appear in the main story campaign.

The insectoid Collectors - or a portion of them, at any rate - were last seen getting squashed at the end of Mass Effect 2. The story of their return may well be expanded upon in upcoming Mass Effect 3: Omega single-player DLC.

Collectors will be available to fight in Praetorian, Scion, Abomination, Trooper, and Captain flavours. It appears as if other enemy groups have been given an update too, with a new Dragoon class added to Cerberus fighters, and a new Drone type added to the geth.

Footage of all the new features in action lies below.

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