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.