Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer test cancelled

As the marketing cannons volley and thunder to the left, right, and front to clear a path for the launch of Mass Effect Andromeda [official site] later this month, I’m trying to pick out the pertinent bits. Such as: for those who signed up for the multiplayer test, hoping to have a crack before launch, I bring bad news. BioWare have scrapped the planned ‘multiplayer tech test’ because reasons. In other Andromeda titbits, hey, the gang of the Ian Games Network have put out a 17-minute singleplayer gameplay video (with story bits edited out) but it’s not too great.

“Long story but right decision for how close we are to live,” producer Fernando Melo said across a string of tweets. He apologised for the cancellation, saying “I know many were looking forward to it (as were we)”. He assures that the multiplayer “has had the most extensive user testing we’ve ever done”. Voila. No multiplayer tech test. BioWare stress that they’ll be letting PAX East attendees play but hey, that’s not me. Titbit One knocked off.

Titbit Two. Here, Ian Games Network are so very special and get to share big chunks of the game early. This video is seventeen minutes of gameplay from the loyalty mission of Asari rogue chum Peebee, which presumably places it at least a fair way into the game. Showing a loyalty mission seems weird, considering they’re meant to reveal personal stories, but IGN have helpfully clipped out story bits to avoid spoilers. So it’s a story-focused mission without the story. Odd choice. What we’re left with is combat, combat quips, a bit of skill tree fiddling, and the awkward dialogue of NPC explaining what the player should do. Observe:

Mass Effect games never have been much fun to watch others play either. After reading about Holly Nielsen’s hands-on time, yeah, I’m still cautiously optimistic. Given how few games studios are competing to scratch my high-budget space opera itch, I suppose I’ll jolly well take what I’m jolly well given. Wah wahhh.

18 Comments

  1. LexW1 says:

    Alice, my wife would VERY much disagree with you on the following:

    “Mass Effect games never have been much fun to watch others play either.”

    She’s never played ME outside of ME3’s multiplayer, but she loves watching ME so much she asked me to make sure my PCs speakers were working (they aren’t) when ME:A came out, because she enjoyed the previous series so much (particularly Shepard herself).

    But, watching strangers? That’s probably less fun I admit.

    Also, to be fair, they never suggested there would be a PC MP test/beta, and you couldn’t ever sign up for one. You could only sign up for PS4/Xbone MP beta. It’s still sad that they stopped it, but I suspect EA might have encouraged them hoping to sell more “EA Access” subscriptions (as you will be able to play for 10 hours, 10 days before release – I’m guessing it’ll actually be more like 7 days because I think they’ll push it to the 16th, but we’ll see).

    • italianprick says:

      Actually one producer of the game have said on twitter that there is a chance that the game will not appear on EA Access since there will be a extensive day one patch that might not be ready on time for it.

      • LexW1 says:

        Oh my, do you know which one? Looking at various ME people twitters I can only see that the “day 1” patch is on the 16th, but the PC EA Access isn’t until the 17th (whereas consoles are earlier).

      • MasterPrudent says:

        I’ve seen them say that the day 1 patch may or may not be ready for early access but I haven’t seen anyone suggest it will be pulled from early access if they can’t get the day 1 patch out early enough.

  2. AliC says:

    Today I learned that “titbit” is as valid as “tidbit”. Going to continue preferring the latter though I think. Old habits.

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      Drib says:

      The lady cared more than tidbit when she got her titbit.

    • Themadcow says:

      Today I learned that the I in IGN stands for Imagine and not Interactive as I’d assumed.

  3. brucethemoose says:

    On one hand, not having a public beta is normal behavior.

    Still, we haven’t seen much about MP yet… This isn’t one of those games where the review NDA lifts after the game is released, is it?

    • MasterPrudent says:

      Dunno about the embargo but they’re going to be letting people play the multiplayer at PAX.

  4. Horg says:

    I wasn’t expecting much, the ME series being as formulaic as it is, but that demo exceeded my expectations for disappointment. There was some awful AI on display, both friendly and hostile, and the players interaction with the rest of his party was almost non existent. The other two squad members did little other than bounce off the environment and occasionally die, and it seemed as if the player was doing all the heavy lifting in the combat encounters. If it wasn’t necessary for the story they could honestly just ditch the squad play aspect entirely and focus on improving the solo shooter mechanics. They need some work by the look of things, the guns on display had some disappointing sound assets, seemed to lack tactile feedback such as recoil, and the physics impact against enemy models was somewhat lacking. When filling your game with robots, making them explode in the most satisfying way possible is priority number one. Game design 101, BioWare : |

    • LexW1 says:

      What’s really weird is ME2/3 have incredibly satisfying near-nuclear robot explosions. They’re terrifying.

      You’re wrong re: squadmembers though, the Krogan is absolutely wrecking face.

      • brucethemoose says:

        Yeah, the YMIR Mech explosion was particularly satisfying:

        Also agree about the squadmates. Expecting them to play at a human level without being super cheaty is unrealistic, but the Krogan is doing well enough.

  5. Auldman says:

    There’s been a lot of heat about the AI in this clip. I tend to view this as the fault of the IGN player. I know in past ME games/Bioware games you had a certain amount of control over the squadmate. If this guy didn’t order his squadmates to cover that’s on him. I have to think this was just lazy game-play on the IGN guy’s part but it certainly did BioWare no favors.

    • baud001 says:

      I disagree for the player having to place the squadmates in cover in both ME 2 & 3, I had never had to do this and they rarely got killed, even in the hardest difficulty. On the other hand, I had to direct their fire/power usage for them to be useful.

      Still, the IGN guy was pretty bad and it did no favor to the game.

    • ooshp says:

      That seems to be the done thing for trailers these days anyhow, even if they’re made internally. Dishonored 2 and DX:MD both had godawful gameplay trailers played by someone completely incompetent.

  6. Wulfram says:

    The tech test was only ever going to be for those console thingummies anyway, not PC.

  7. Zenicetus says:

    I know I’m too weak to avoid buying this (after 24 hours of hearing that it’s not a bug farm), but I still have to rant about the architecture in that first image above.

    That looks EXACTLY like the architectural style in the first ME series. What is it doing in the Andromeda Galaxy? Maybe the storyline will have some explanation for it, but at first glance it just look like lazy re-use of art assets and lack of imagination. There had better be some truly alien environments in this game.

  8. Marblehead says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ll never buy another bioware game. DA2, DAI, ME3 all disappointed. Squandered their early reputation and headed in wrong direction imho.