Earlier this month, EA and BioWare delighted fans when they revealed that fans would be able to play Mass Effect: Andromeda early via subscription service EA Access. Fans were positively giddy at the fact that they could get their hands on the upcoming sci-fi RPG ahead of its release date towards the end of March, though many had questions about how this early access period would work. Would they have access to all of Mass Effect: Andromeda ahead of time, or would just a small section be available?
Putting much of the confusion to rest, EA has now revealed how the Mass Effect: Andromeda early access program will work. The publisher has revealed that Mass Effect: Andromeda will be available as a 10-hour trial, similar to the way that the Battlefield 1 and FIFA 17 EA Access trials worked. The trial will go live on March 16, five days before the game’s North American release date of March 21 and it will also allow players to carry their progress from the trial over to the full game.
EA Access on Xbox One (and Origin Access, the PC equivalent) are paid for, meaning that having early access to the game will cost fans a few dollars. Access subscriptions do come with access to free games via the EA Vault, though, including Star Wars Battlefront which was added last year. Of course, this also means that PlayStation 4 users will be left out in the cold since EA Access isn’t available on the hardware.
Many fans will no doubt be disappointed that the trial isn’t any longer. 10 hours likely won’t be enough to finish Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s story and players won’t be able to learn much about the game’s new, big bad or about the human race’s quest to find a new home in the stars. Andromeda‘s romance gameplay, which has been described as more organic than in the original trilogy of games, probably won’t feature much in the 10-hour trial either.
However, 10 hours should be more than enough time for players to get their heads around the game’s core mechanics. For example, Mass Effect: Andromeda includes crafting as well as melee weapons as players build their own gear from scrap. There will be plenty of opportunities to explore the new ship, the Tempest, too. The ship doesn’t feature any loading screens, meaning that, as players look around, checking out the Pathfinder quarters, the bridge and gaze out of the window as they plan their travel, there won’t be much waiting around.
Mass Effect: Andromeda launches on March 21, 2017, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.