With just over two weeks to go until Mass Effect: Andromeda is unleashed on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, excitement levels for BioWare’s sci-fi RPG are, unsurprisingly, reaching fever pitch, but if 15 days is just too long for you to wait, EA’s got you covered with an early access trial due to kick off next week, March 16. From that date, all EA and Origin Access members will have the opportunity to go hands-on with Andromeda over a 10-hour period, with both single and multiplayer elements available to put through their paces.
But if you were intending to approach the trial with a speed run in mind, think again – BioWare producer Fernando Melo has confirmed that story progression will be restricted to some degree. Melo provides no explanation for why the limitation has been put in place, but it’s a common practice that EA has employed in the past for other early access trials, including Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and Unravel.
@Xartain you can play it all in sp if you want, but it is gated (you can't cont story after a point, but can explore or restart for ex)
— Fernando Melo (@DiscoBabaloo) March 5, 2017
“You can play it all in sp if you want, but it is gated (you can’t cont story after a point, but can explore or restart for ex),” says Melo, so it’s probably a good idea to take in all the sights rather than attempt to breeze past them as fast as possible. Alternatively, if you do make it to the cut-off point before hitting the 10-hour deadline, feel free to check out Andromeda‘s multiplayer mode, which is included in the early access period. All progress made and experience earned throughout the duration of the trial will be carried over to the full release.
Sadly, if you were banking on being able to put Andromeda‘s multiplayer through its paces with BioWare’s previously announced online beta, the developer confirmed last week that it has been scrapped. However, if you’re intending to attend PAX East next week, you’ll be able to play it there.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is out March 21 in North America and March 23 in Europe. As part of its build-up to release, BioWare’s started an ongoing video series providing an in-depth look at each of its individual gameplay elements. Last week’s video, which you can find here, is all about exploration.