Mass Effect: Andromeda relays its way towards store shelves March 21st (March 23rd in Europe), but some will be able to board the Tempest a few days early! On March 16th, EA will grant certain players a free ten-hour trial run of Andromeda.
Before users can strip off that N7 jumpsuit and begin skipping merrily throughout the home, there are a few restrictions. First, it's only playable for members of EA Access, which is an Xbox One exclusive on consoles. EA has also included a PC trial offer which will be made available for Origin Access members on the same day. An additional feature EA is providing with the demo is progression saving – everything players complete within the ten-hour trial will carry over to their saves for the full game.
EA Access is a personal subscription service. For $5 a month (or $30 per year), subscribers are given discounts and access to numerous EA games via a “Vault” feature that works similarly to the monthly titles given through PlayStation’s PS Plus program or Xbox’s Games with Gold. Currently, EA Access members can boot up Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Battlefield 3, and Star Wars: Battlefront, all of which are included with the same subscription that will grant access to Andromeda’s free trial in March.
Are five days of early Andromeda access enough to sway you into subscribing to EA’s service? Are you one of the many PS4 owners internally screaming four-letter words? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
My Take: In a generation that has so far been dominated pretty handily by the PS4, exclusivity on a title as big as Mass Effect, albeit temporary, is a pretty big get for Microsoft. I also take this as a strong indication of Andromeda’s overall quality, since EA must have a lot of confidence in the title if they are willing to give players access to it before they fork over their $60. Demos have become obsolete in the eyes of most gaming publishers over the last few years (even causing more harm to sales than good in many cases), so a demo of this size for a title as huge as Mass Effect means fans of the series might be in for a real treat.