Internal beta for Mass Effect 3 accidentally leaked through XBL fall preview

Saturday, 5th November 2011 13:35 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

An internal, private beta for Mass Effect 3 was leaked onto Xbox Live yesterday, giving users participating in the XBL fall update preview a look at a rough version of the game.

Warning: Some of the information posted below could be considered spoilers for some. Viewer discretion is advised.

Noticed by various outlets via a post on NeoGAF, the beta included both single-player and multiplayer portions, but was devoid of animations, sounds, and textures.

Here’s official word on the matter from Bioware’s Jesse Houston:

“As most of you know by now, this evening an accidental leak occurred of some early Mass Effect 3 beta code. Microsoft has advised us that through human error at their end, content which was meant for internal beta testing was flagged incorrectly and released to individuals who had signed up for the beta of the Xbox Live dashboard update. It has since been taken down and deactivated.

“We’d like to stress that the leaked code is in a rough, unfinished state and was not meant for public release. The content is not final, and is not reflective of the quality of the finished, polished game due for release [in March].”

According to Houston, a feature present in the leaked build was a set of game play modes currently in development and referred to as “action mode”, “story mode” and “RPG mode”.

“We want to stress that these features are still in the early stages of development and will receive considerable iteration and refinement,” he said. “These modes are designed to give players an even finer degree of control over their game experience than ever before. Whether it be someone who finds the combat difficult but wants to experience the amazing story, someone who wants to focus on the action and combat game play, or fans who want the rich, story-driven RPG Mass Effect experience they’ve come to love – Mass Effect 3 will support all of these options.

“We’ll have more info in the days ahead.”

Here were the details noted by those who got a look at the leak:

  • Action Mode: For those who want to emphasize action and combat and minimize story management. Action mode will set automatic replies in conversation and a normal difficulty.
  • Story Mode: For those who want to emphasize story immersion and minimize combat pressure. Story mode will set manually-selectable replies in conversation and a minimal combat difficulty.
  • RPG Mode: For those who want to explore both realms of story and combat. RPG mode will set manually-selectable replies in conversation and a normal combat difficulty.
  • The “Galaxy At War” online mode is handled through EA’s Origin service.
  • Players can upload “valuable feedback” to BioWare that helps them “fix bugs and improve future content.”
  • The beta includes the Earth stage with Anderson shown during E3.

Some shots from the internal beta can be found over on Gematsu, and the entire GAF thread is through here, with a few videos as well.

Mass Effect 3 is out March 6 in the US and March 9 in the UK for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.



  1. Droid


    #1 3 years ago
  2. Edo

    I can already see eyes rolling about this feature.First multiplayer and now this…well…they sure are trying really hard to make this game more “accessible”.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. pleasant_cabbage

    Don’t see the problem. Pick ‘rpg’ if that’s to your liking.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Night Hunter

    @3: Won’t stop people from hating ;)

    #4 3 years ago
  5. freedoms_stain

    Having the option to be more shooter or more Rpg orientated is better than creating a hybrid that satisfies fans of neither genre or taking a purest route one way or the other blowing off one whole section of the market. Given contrary feedback they got from 2 I can perfectly understand why they’ve done this and anyone who complains is a fuckwit.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. IL DUCE

    @4 Only because they have no lives and nothing better to do than hate everything that’s not exactly what they want…

    #6 3 years ago

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