Mass Effect Andromeda ten-hour trial available now

perhaps you can gaze into these eyes for ten hours and discover the mysteries and desires that rest within

If you’ve been holding off on Mass Effect Andromeda [official site], which is entirely understandable whether you’re a fan of the series or not, perhaps a ten hour free trial is just what you need to decide whether the trip is worth your time and money. Previously available to EA Access subscribers, the trial is now open to everyone. It gives you ten hours of play-time, which you can spend in singleplayer (up to the first planet) or multiplayer, and saves will carry over to the full game if you choose to buy it. You’ll need Origin, EA’s digital storefront, and post-trial, the game is currently £24.99.

If you have been casting wary glances in the direction of Andromeda rather than rushing to buy it, this is a fine opportunity to take it for a spin and judging by our John’s review, if you don’t like the first ten hours you aren’t going to think much of the next sixty, so it should be enough to give you a good idea of the tone and quality.

I prefer a traditional demo (remember those?) but I have experience with these EA trials and they are an actual ten hours of play rather than ten hours from the moment of activation. That happened to me once – I activated a trial in the morning, did some work, went back and it had expired because the clock was ticking even when the game wasn’t even active on my computer. NOT GOOD.

Efforts are being made to improve the game, from the usual kind of post-release fixes to writing edits and new romances (though not New Romantics; a New Romantic sci-fi RPG is something I would play).

I’ve played so many games in my lifetime that I sometimes think I’ve played them all. Still haven’t seen more than the first five hours of Mass Effect 1 though so if you want alien smooching opinions, I’m the wrong person to ask. It’s all geek to me.

29 Comments

  1. dorobo says:

    Not gonna waist my time on this crap! Id rather play MONTARO :P

  2. Hoot says:

    If you’re thinking of buying the game, I highly recommend playing the trial first.

    It did an amazing job of convincing me that I shouldn’t buy it. Even at 90% off. It’s truly the worst game to come out of Bioware. Juvenile script, vapid characters, wonky animations (admittedly this has been patched up but the patch notes are highly, highly underwhelming) and a UI designed by a guy who has XBOX controllers for hands and has never even been in the same room as a PC, let alone used one.

    As a complete side note : if you have the money and you need a new game the ignore this Andromeda trash and just buy The Witcher 3. I’ve just finished it and it is downright amazing. Having characters that actually speak in real English dialects is refreshing and the writing and characters are superb. Gameplay isn’t bad either! :p

    • LexW1 says:

      I’m pretty sure everyone who is going to play TW3, owns TW3, at this point. I would also say that while it is a good game overall, the gameplay is not great, and the loot/gear system is antithetical to the entire personality and modus operandi of Geralt, as well as bizarre in the context of the setting. Still, in the extremely unlikely event you don’t own it, it is worth playing. There is the slight aura of men’s mag-ishness to it, like all the Witcher games, but at least it’s more GQ-ish, as compared to the FHM of TW2, and Nuts magazine of TW1.

      Re: Andromeda, I finished it, and actually enjoyed it (in a sort of 7/10-ish way), but it is an incredibly deeply flawed game. It’s particularly sad that the first 10 hours are pretty much the worst 10 hours of the game, too, on just about every level. It’s totally bizarre design and has a hilariously perverse effect, because the free trial on EA Access and now free trial for everyone are REALLY unlikely to sell people on the game, as they show off absolutely nothing good about it beyond perhaps the graphics (and even that’s questionable). You have the tutorial planet, which has a lot of dodgy writing even by ME:A standards, doesn’t really show off the gameplay (you don’t have many abilities or weapons, nor a fundamental mechanic), then a lot of getting whinged at by bureaucrats (who you can’t really yell at, unlike Shepard), then the starting planet, which is basically Arizona + radiation (why make the starting planet super-dull? Goddamn, it’s like they wanted to fail), and you have dumb meetings with two companions, then when you get to the one bit of the starting planet that’s kind of cool (the vault), the demo ends before you can go in…

      I just don’t even know what to say to them. They’d have been much better off doing something like creating a special mid-game demo or something.

      • Anti-Skub says:

        Considering that just this morning I finished playing the Witcher 3 after I bought it last month and I was talking to a friend about it online who just went and bought it on my recommendation about an hour ago…you’d be dead wrong.

        Worth remembering that The Witcher 3 ran like crap on good systems when it came out.There are plenty of people who will just now be upgrading to the point where they feel it runs acceptably.

        I, personally, saved it until I could run it on ultra/2k/60+FPS and I also never play big RPGs like that until they’ve finished releasing content for them. Only played Fallout 4 at the start of the year for that reason.

        • LexW1 says:

          I’m pretty skeptical that there are as many people in your situation as you’re asserting, but I guess anything is possible.

          • ColonelFlanders says:

            My friend has also just bought it on my recommendation, as has my other friend who just upgraded his graphics card.

        • jellydonut says:

          I only started Witcher 3 recently and it’s not captivating me at all. Maybe I’m the odd one out but I can’t see anything in it that a typical Mass Effect fan would enjoy.

      • Viral Frog says:

        I’d just like to point out that I fully intend to play through the Witcher 3… but I won’t buy it at the price it’s been going for lately. Even in a sale, it’s too much. I’ll probably purchase and play through TW3 in a year or two, when it’s not so ridiculously priced.

        From what I’ve seen of ME:A, I have absolutely no intention to purchase the game. I’d like to retain my admiration for the franchise, not destroy it.

        • Hoot says:

          I understand, I had it bought for me on release by an ex-girlfriend. But I waited until a 60% off sale to get the DLC pack.

          I will say though that it’s been on sale (even the GOTY edition recently which includes ALL DLC – and was given for free to owners of the base game and separate DLC just so they could tidy up their install if they wanted to) many times and for the amount of content, and the quality of that content, it’s well worth the money.

          Main game + all sidequests took me around 70 hours to beat. If people are accurate about DLC content then I’ve still got the 10 hour Hearts of Stone and the 30 hour Blood and Wine left to go.

          • Viral Frog says:

            I have noticed it go on sale quite frequently. And 70 hours of gameplay is nothing to shake a stick at for a low price. But I’m used to spending, say, $14.99(+ tax because I live in the state that Valve is based in) on a game and playing for over 80+ hours. So I’ve somewhat unintentionally conditioned myself to not buy games over $15 unless I know I’m going to get a minimum of 80 hours out of them. These games that I tend to get this type of playtime out of are rarely story driven. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever passed 40 hours of actual play time on a story driven game.

            Another downside is that I have a pretty sizeable back log. Admittedly, most of the games I’m not even interested in and just acquired through bundles for the titles I really wanted. But it does lend to choice paralysis. I find myself often ignoring story driven games for those with little plot and more replayability simply because I have too many to choose from. I’d hate to spend more than $15 for a game only to not play it at all, or to abandon it without seeing it through to the end.

        • hfm says:

          The Witcher 3 is worth the price at full retail. It was that good.

          That being said I’m playing through Dragon Age: Inquisition right now and I’m really liking that as well. It’s no TW3, but I am digging it. I’m about 110hrs in and I think I’ve got just a bit of main game and two DLC’s left. (I’m about to finish Jaws of Hakkon, I’m at “the gate”.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Yeah, heard it compared to DA: Inquisition. In didn’t get part the introductory area of DA:I as I think i sprained something rolling my eyes so hard.

      • MooseMuffin says:

        IMO, its substantially worse than DA:I

        • nunka says:

          Having re-played both of them recently (what can I say… I’m a masochist), I’ve got to agree. Inquisition holds up a lot better the second time around, once you’ve learned to avoid most of the open world gunk.

      • hfm says:

        I’m playing through DA:I now. It hits it’s stride when you can start leaving The Hinterlands. I actually do like The Hinterlands as an area, but it’s nice when you start going back and forth to different areas. I was a little underwhelmed when I first played it back when it was released and only got maybe 3-5 hrs in. But I jumped back in recently and now I’m 110hrs in, almost one DLC done, two left, and a little of the main quest to go (not quite sure EXACTLY how much, but it can’t be too much.) I’m nearly out of side quests. I am really digging it. It’s way better than I was expecting it to be when I decided to give it another go.

    • Von Uber says:

      The game has been patched massively since you played the trial 3 odd months ago. I enjoyed it for what that is worth.

  3. Maxheadroom says:

    Such a shame. Loved the original trilogy and was going to pick it up once all the wonky animations were fixed (middling reviews aside I figured the next instalments would improve and continue the story arc), but EA putting the whole franchise on ice has killed any interest of me picking it up at all.

    Not even inclined to download this trial. Frankly I don’t have the 10 hours to waste on something EA have no interest in supporting anymore

    Sorry, that’s way too much negativity for a Friday :)

  4. LexW1 says:

    Adam, the article is a bit unclear – I think you’re trying to say EA trials ARE 10 hours of ACTUALLY playing the game (or at least having it loaded and logged in and so on), which is correct, but the way you immediately launch into a complaint about some trial which started and then burned time even though you weren’t playing (which is how, for example, the FFXIV trial worked last time I tried it), and it sounds like you may be referencing the EA trials, especially with the all-caps NOT GOOD bit. Maybe separate that out or make it clear you’re referring to some other trial?

    • Ghostwise says:

      This bit also confused me for a second or so, but then I pressed the Paragon interrupt whilst it was still flashing.

    • Cvszn says:

      FFXIV’s trial is unlimited until level 20 or 25 now.

  5. Nicodemus says:

    As mentioned above, the first 10 odd hours and the starting planet are the worst bit about the game. Once you get past that it actually begins to get better and the writing is a lot stronger as the story develops. It’s by no means perfect and I was ready to uninstall the game after about 8 hours of play but after persevering with it I enjoyed it. It’s a solid 6 or 7 out of 10 game but it has it’s moments where it’s a 3 or 4.

    • Jane Doe says:

      That’s odd. For me it was the exact opposite. The first few hours are actually fun and somewhat exciting, if you are prepared to forgive the awful conversations. New galaxy, new wonders, new car. It all beckons you to dive into it and become an actual explorer.

      Until you meet the 35413th bi-pedal alien race that immediatly forges an alliance with you. Not to mention that they look like overgrown fungus. From that point forward and the revelation that the core mechanic is to jump from hyroglyph to hyroglyph to unlock a fixed number of vaults, the game turns into an awful grind.

  6. TotallyUseless says:

    Try yes!

    Buy no, unless it’s on 80% discount.

  7. Zenicetus says:

    Yeah, it was the opposite for me too. The first few hours showcase some pretty awful shipboard dialog, but at least getting down on the tutorial planet and then the first settlement planet gives a taste of movement, gunplay, and driving around that feels pretty good. At first, anyway.

    What kills the game is that the dialog never gets better, the quests turn into a grind, the combat is repetitive, and you out-level the skill tree and crafting content if you finish the game and do most of the side-quests. None of that is apparent in the first 10 hours, except the juvenile dialog.

    I finished it anyway because I’m a fool for space games. It’s not a game I recommend if you value your time, and have other decent games to play.

    Edit: Reply fail, was supposed to be reply to Nicodemus post above.

  8. Von Uber says:

    With patch 1.09 out they have re-done a lot of the animations and cutscenes, and even made changes to the open world (hazard ratings for example).

    In my opinion, it is what the game should have been launched as. I enjoyed my playthrough at anyrate, and I do find a lot of the criticism massively overblown.

  9. zapatapon says:

    Am I the only one to think that the alien in the article image totally looks like Geoff Keighley from the infamous doritosgate picture?

  10. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    It’s not a terrible game… but it’s not a good game either. One of those 7/10 I enjoy playing but can’t recommend. And I expect more from Bioware.

    • NZLion says:

      This is among the most accurate reviews I’ve read.
      I put in 140 hours. Enjoyed parts of it, still consider it much weaker than earlier entries in the franchise. I was disappointed that the DLC got canned, as there was enough fun there that I would like to have a reason to go back.

  11. kse1977 says:

    Well to each their own. I bought the game during a sale for 30 dollars and pumped over 100 hours into it. I enjoyed the game for what it was. Obviously the graphics issues had been mostly patched by the time I got it, but the complaints about writing are funny as Mass Effect was never exactly Hemmingway. Every time I read complaints about the dialogue I wonder where those thoughts were in the original trilogy. Sure it was a little tighter with the writing, but it was never all that well-written.

    I will say that the party in the original trilogy, as in your companions, was better. This time around I wasn’t as enamored with my choices and would have preferred some Mass Effect 2 styled dlc party members dropped in.

    The game itself is essentially Mass Effect in the DA:I engine and style. Huge maps with white icons that give you areas to look at exploring. For all the complaints about mining, it wasn’t even all that necessary this time around.

    Perhaps folks had rose-tinted glasses on for the original trilogy, or perhaps they just expected far more evolution for the series, but Mass Effect Andromeda was exactly what I expected, more space combat, random quests and a romance system essentially identical to the previous few games. Sure they did away with the Paragon/Renegade system and I never even really thought about it’s absence.