EA/Origin Access subscribers can now play Mass Effect Andromeda's opening hours - though the early access trial is getting a mixed response.
The trial includes Andromeda's first two missions, which introduce players to their new galactic home.
There's time for a crash landing, an introduction to Andromeda's alien races, a look at the new Citadel-like hub and your fancy new ship. There's open-area exploration on foot and in your land vehicle, a chance to try combat and complete side-missions. You can meet squadmates, crew and other more nefarious characters. You can even start flirting if someone has already caught your eye.
Online reaction to the trial, however, has crystallised around the animation of certain characters and the appearance of graphical bugs.
Browse social media today and there are galleries of GIFs and YouTube compilations - some highlighting bugs which are genuinely distracting, some pointing to instances where players haven't liked the game's animation quality:
i dont think ill ever get tired of trashing the new Mass Effect pic.twitter.com/jwXxdaRCtU— Nathan Ranney (@RatCasket) March 16, 2017
whos even making this pic.twitter.com/nYzqAX1sb1— Nathan Ranney (@RatCasket) March 16, 2017
More like Mass Effect: Androids because— Nibel (@Nibellion) March 16, 2017
Andromeda isn't a mess - I posted my thoughts on the EA Access trial content already, and it was mostly positive stuff - though the game looks that way from these reactions.
There's no doubting the bugs are present - the one I encountered on my playthrough saw an alien suspended, static in midair, and it was truly immersion-breaking.
But, for character animation, we've not seen anything much different to other games of the same genre - your Skyrims or Fallouts, huge, dialogue-stuffed experiences where you can customise your character.
Regardless, BioWare is certainly aware of the heat Andromeda has gotten over the past 24 hours:
We appreciate the critiques (and memes!), but I am very happy to see how much y'all like the game after 10 hours...and...it gets even better— Michael Gamble (@GambleMike) March 16, 2017
Mass Effect Andromeda's review embargo lifts next Monday - we'll be able to share our thoughts on the full game, rather than just its first five hours, then.