We already knew it was coming, but it wasn't until today that EA and BioWare sent over a press release confirming that Mass Effect 3 will be getting a new DLC called "Earth" that adds three more weapons, additional weapons, a new Platinum difficulty level, and more. Sweetening the deal even further, the add-on will be free on July 17th:
BIOWARE ENLISTS YOUR HELP TO SAVE HUMANITY WITH MASS EFFECT 3: EARTH
The human race faces extinction as the war rages on in our backyard! Fight for humanity’s survival in the latest installment of downloadable content for Mass Effect™ 3 multiplayer! Available to download at no additional charge*, Mass Effect 3: Earth adds three new maps based on three key cities in the galactic war – London, Vancouver and Rio De Janeiro. Players will be introduced to a whole new team of elite N7 forces who will be dispatched to protect civilization, along with an arsenal of lethal new weapons, unique upgrades, the all-new Platinum difficulty level and a brand new in-mission objective.
Mass Effect 3: Earth will be available for download on July 17 on Xbox LIVE® and the Origin™ client software and on PlayStation®Network in North America on July 17 and in Europe on July 18. The entire pack will include:
• Three New Maps – With the fate of the galaxy at stake, Earth’s military efforts have concentrated on three strategic locations. Defend Firebase Rio, home to the N7 training facility, along with Firebase Vancouver and Firebase London in the last stand for mankind.
• New Array of Playable N7 Characters – Step into the boots of the Alliance’s most elite military unit with the N7 Demolisher Engineer, N7 Destroyer Soldier, N7 Fury Adept, N7 Sentinel Paladin, N7 Shadow Infiltrator and N7 Slayer Vanguard.
• New Powerful and Unique Weapons – Lay waste to the enemy by unlocking the N7 Piranha Shotgun, N7 Typhoon Assault Rifle and Acolyte Pistol.
• New Powerful Upgrades – Outfit your weapons with 12 new modifications and fortify your gear with 11 unique upgrades to defeat even the toughest foes.
• New “Platinum” Difficulty – Conquer bronze in your sleep? Take down Silver with one hand? Beat Gold without breaking a sweat? Then grab your friends and test your skills on the brand-new Platinum difficulty.
• New In-Mission Objective – Randomly occurring during waves 3, 6 and 10, this new objective will challenge teams to keep a targeted agent alive by protecting and escorting them to a designated extraction zone on each map.
As part of the Mass Effect 3 Galaxy at War** system, success in the cooperative multiplayer experience in Mass Effect 3 links back to the player’s single-player campaign. Gaining control over each theater of war will increase the player’s Galactic Readiness Rating, and in turn, can influence the player’s overall experience. Participation in the Mass Effect 3 Galaxy at War feature is optional.
The Mass Effect franchise is one of the most highly decorated series in the history of games, having earned over 250 awards from critics around the world. Mass Effect 3 launched in March to universal critical acclaim, receiving over 90 perfect scores. For more information on Mass Effect 3, please visit http://masseffect.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect or "like" the game on Facebook at http://facebook.com/masseffect. Press assets for Mass Effect 3 can be found at www.info.ea.com.
* OFFER EXPIRES JULY 11, 2014. INTERNET CONNECTION AND ORIGIN, XBOX LIVE GOLD, OR PLAYSTATION NETWORK ACCOUNT REQUIRED. VALID ONLY AT THE ORIGIN CLIENT SOFTWARE (WWW.ORIGIN.COM/ABOUT), XBOX LIVE MARKETPLACE OR PLAYSTATION STORE. VALID WHEREVER MASS EFFECT 3 IS SOLD. MASS EFFECT 3 FULL GAME, MASS EFFECT 3 ONLINE PASS AND ORIGIN ACCOUNT REQUIRED TO USE/PLAY DOWNLOAD. OFFER MAY NOT BE SUBSTITUTED, EXCHANGED, SOLD OR REDEEMED FOR CASH OR OTHER GOODS OR SERVICES. MAY NOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER, GIFT CARD, REBATE OR DISCOUNT COUPON. PRODUCT SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED, TAXED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. LIMIT ONE OFFER PER PERSON. YOU MUST MEET THE MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENTS, WHICH VARY BY COUNTRY, TO REGISTER FOR AN ORIGIN ACCOUNT. EA MAY RETIRE ONLINE FEATURES AFTER 30 DAYS NOTICE POSTED ON WWW.EA.COM/2/SERVICE-UPDATES.
** THE MASS EFFECT 3: GALAXY AT WAR FEATURE CAN BE ACTIVATED VIA THE ONLINE PASS CODE FOUND IN EVERY NEW COPY OF MASS EFFECT 3.