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