Mass Effect 3 is still a day away in the US and four days away in the UK (unless you happen to know of some way to make your PC's IP address appear to based in Hong Kong, in which case you could play the game right now) but we are left with another option if we're craving immediate Biowarian intergalactic adventures. If you don't have a subscription to Star Wars: The Old But Mysteriously Similar To The New Republic but know someone who does, you could be in luck. Starting tomorrow is the Friends Trial, which means subs can invite in chums for a week of free play and access to everything the game contains up until level 15.
Which is a decent opportunity to sample the game without having to drop thirty big ones on a boxed copy first. If you do find it's to your taste, apparently you'll be offered a purchase of the full client at a discounted price - subscriptions will remain full-whack, however.
Some may speculate that this is a sign that the infamously expensive-to-make MMO is having to make its first efforts to shore up its playerbase, but it could equally be said that it's simply canny extended promotion now the launch hullabaloo has died down.
Also, patch 1.2 is due next month, and offers "new high level group content and community-requested features including PvP Warzone Rankings and Guild Banks, along with enhancements to the game’s innovative Legacy system. This update also provides improved UI customization as well as gameplay fixes and the latest optimizations to combat balance." Here's a spot more detail on the high level stuff for ya:
· Flashpoint: Lost Island continues the Kaon Under Siege Flashpoint from Game Update 1.1 – Rise of the Rakghouls. Players must survive a menacing island of mystery on Ord Mantell as they hunt for clues to the Rakghoul virus outbreak that ravaged the Tion Hegemony. But the answers to this riddle may prove fatal!
· Operation: Explosive Conflict sends groups of eight or sixteen Imperial or Republic players to a new zone on the planet of Denova, where traitors and mercenaries are selling the rare explosive mineral baradium to the highest bidder. Players will battle through hordes of Droids, mercenaries and deadly creatures all fighting for control of the planet and its valuable resources.
· Warzone: Novare Coast pits two teams in an epic battle to control multiple mortar locations and use them to bombard vulnerable enemy bases. Like the Huttball Warzone, Novare Coast can be played Republic vs. Empire or with players of the same faction fighting each other in a thrilling contest of wills to determine each side’s greatest champions.
So.... still no playable Jawas, then? WHAT ARE YOU PLAYING AT, BIOWARE?