Mass Effect 3 Private Beta Unintentionally Released With Xbox Live Preview Update

Mass Effect 3 Private Beta Unintentionally Released With Xbox Live Preview Update

That’s certainly what it looks like, going by these screenshots. Weighing in at a hefty but manageable 1.81GB, the private beta has provided a number of users a glimpse of the game well ahead of its March 2012 release.

According to the NeoGAF thread where the images were uploaded, the beta is missing textures and sound effects and is by no means the full experience as BioWare intended it. A poster with access to the download mentions there’s a difficulty level “below casual for people who really don’t like the combat” and “a mode that selects dialog automatically for people who don’t like the talking bits.” I’m hoping these are simply jokes, but something tells me they might not be.

Let us know if you’re able to download it. Currently, it appears it’s only showing up for US users that are a part of the Xbox Live Preview Program.

More shots can be found below, and at the NeoGAF link.

Mass Effect 3 Private Beta Unintentionally Released With Xbox Live Preview Update
Mass Effect 3 Private Beta Unintentionally Released With Xbox Live Preview Update
Mass Effect 3 Private Beta Unintentionally Released With Xbox Live Preview Update
Mass Effect 3 Private Beta Unintentionally Released With Xbox Live Preview Update

Images: NeoGAF

Mass Effect 3 beta accidentally open to Xbox Preview [Tons Of New Info In OP] [NeoGAF, via GamingEverything]


  • > a mode that selects dialog automatically for people who don’t like the talking bits

    That’s literally what defines my mass effect experience! Are there many people that don’t like the conversations in ME?

    • After I beat ME1 and ME2 a few times I would just skip the dialogue (mainly because I knew it all already.

  • “a mode that selects dialog automatically for people who don’t like the talking bits.”

    If this mode is for real, I’m definitely not buying the game. Whilst in and of itself, It sounds like a harmless concession, it signals that Bioware is targeting a market I’m not compatible with. Other, broader concessions would have to be made for that market as well.

    Its like the old saying “try and please everyone, please no one”.

    • Let me get this straight: They’ve added an option you disapprove of so you won’t buy what might be one of the best games of next year?

      They have a right to try to appeal to the largest audience that they can and they aren’t removing anything that we’ve all enjoyed in the previous MEs, So what is the problem.?

      Gamers can be really childish sometimes.

      • you’re right, Bioware have the right to target whatever audience they choose, and at the same time, Thom has the choice to not buy the game if he doesn’t like the look of it, what’s it to you?

        • Thanks Morkai. I don’t see what’s childish about my position. They can have whatever options they like, however, this particular option does suggest the role-playing elements are basically disposable (which has been a definite trend in the last few Bioware games). As an RPG fan I don’t think I’m the target market for the product any more, and accordingly, I’ll buy something more to my tastes.

          Honestly, the only reason I commented is because literally every time I hear news about this game, I’m disappointed. I loved the first, liked the second, and am pretty blaise about the third.

        • He said he wont buy it because of some unconfirmed new options that don’t affect normal game play if they aren’t activated. Buy it. Don’t buy it. That is your choice. Although I do find it odd to decide on whether or not to buy something based on unconfirmed news 5 or so months out from release.

          You asked “What’s it to me?”Nothing. But this is a comment section and we do have the ability to reply to others. So unless I am misunderstanding the point of the comments function on this site, I think discussing points of view are completely acceptable.

          • Read my post – I said IF this is for real I won’t buy it. Strong wording, but I stand by it for the reasons I explained. I have not made any decision based on an unconfirmed rumour – I have simply stated my position if it is true.

            Also, I’m not sure this is a rumour anyway. This is something that apparently anyone in the US can and have accessed. It may not make it to the final product (hence my pending judgement), but it is in this private beta.

          • I get what you’re saying, but it doesn’t mean the elements are disposable. The difference is between choosing Shepard at the beginning if you’re more of an action fan, or choosing everything for Shep if you’re more of an RPG fan. Most people probably keep to the same alignment for most of the game anyway.

            What I’m saying is that it doesn’t necessarily mean the game is dumbed down; it’s best to wait until you see some gameplay and read reviews before saying that. That said, as someone who preferred ME1, you may not be in the target market, as they do seem to be targeting more those people who preferred ME2. Still, it can’t hurt to check up on the game once it’s released.

          • My point exactly. Too many assumptions about the game and how it would play based off of 2 options that might be added to the game. You can’t make sweeping generalisations about the game.

          • It’s real, and it’s a feature they intend to put in the final game, subject to tweaking.

            All it does is adjust the difficulty setting to easier-than-Casual (for ‘Story’) and make conversations in cutscenes linear by choosing an option for you (in ‘Action’). The RPG setting plays like normal ME/ME2.

            Watch the videos before you decide to never buy the game. The gameplay and cutscenes are stunning. An optional choice that some players might appreciate isn’t indicative of ‘dumbing down’ the entire thing.

      • let me clear this up as someone who has the beta their are four story modes even an exclusive rpg mode for the fans so basically you can play the game however you want bioware really has pleased everyone dnt trash a game that you havent played its awesome

    • Or how about the saying, “Get off your high horse.” Seriously? you enjoyed the first 2 installments but you’re gonna give this one a pass because it includes something that is optional that is not to your liking? It’s not gonna change how you play the game.

      • Calm down and re-read my post. As I said initially, my problem is that I think they’re going to have to change other aspects of the game to suit the audience that would use this feature.

        The feature itself will be optional (much like the co-op), but there have been some pretty clear signals that the call of duty crowd is in and the RPG crowd is out. There’s nothing wrong with that, except I would be buying the game for the RPG elements. I had the same problem with DA2, which played too much like God of War, and though I liked ME2, I missed the story and RPG elements from the first.

        So yeah – I’m definitely not going to pre-order this game, because these options suggest the game won’t suit my tastes. Usually by the third game in the trilogy you know what your getting. Right now I don’t.

        • “…the call of duty crowd is in and the RPG crowd is out.”

          How can you make that statement? They have one optional game-mode where the dialogue sections are predetermined (NOT OMITTED), so it’s just like any other action game (see Uncharted, MGS, etc.) where you don’t have control over what the character says in cutscenes/dialogue. This is presumably where you decided the RPG crowd is out.

          They also have a game-mode that is the exact reverse. The combat sequences are reduced so that there will only be one outcome, that Shep will win. Note that this is EXACTLY like the dialogue in the other game-mode, where there is just one outcome (a predetermined selection). So by your logic, at this point the CoD crowd is out too.

          You really think that Bioware would design this game so poorly as to alienate either of it’s core pools of fans? These (optional) features are indicative INCLUSIVE design, not EXCLUSIVE. They’re trying to EXPAND their audience, not lose them.

  • Ugh maintstream marketing driven focus testing strikes again. Seriously, automatic conversations? Fuck me if that ain’t proof of the endless dumbing down of games I don’t know what is.

  • I don’t see what the issue is with the automatic conversations/dumbing down of combat as OPTIONS. Personally I’ll be playing such that I can do it all myself, but I think these options would be FANTASTIC for easing my non-gamer girlfriend into games like this!

    • Exactly. It also allows a more cinematic experience for people if they want it. It’s an incredibly infinitesimal addition that does not mean that they are aiming the game at the ‘dumbed down’ market, it just means that they can attract more people by doing something that /has no effect on their normal market./ Besides, on my second or third playthrough I might use it so it feels like a kick-ass movie. after feeling like a kick-ass game.

      • This is true.

        I guess I’m just viscerally reacting to anything that lets people shut off the awesome dialogue and story. It’s bewildering that anybody would choose not to make conversation choices.

  • Anyone else annoyed and dissapointed by the ‘New weapon unlocked’ screen? Was hoping it’d go back to ME1 style weapon looting. :c

    • I don’t… I mainly play paragon but I choose renegade or neutral if it makes more sense or the paragon path just seems like an illogical choice for Shepard to make.

  • Dang! I didn’t sign up for this dashboard preview because the one I was in last year prevented me from being able to party chat with friends who didn’t have the update – didn’t seem wise so close to MW3.


  • Where is the mode that automatically chooses dialog AND automatic combat? Game of the Future: PLAYS ITSELF WHILE YOU WATCH.

  • Considering Mass Effect’s combat is piss-easy even on the higher levels, I don’t see how they can make casual difficulty any more easy.

    And “for those who don’t really like combat”?

    What’s the point of playing a shooter?

          • Good deflection, I agree: Half-Life’s lore seems pretty neat, but I find it’s delivery mechanism lacking.

          • I think that’s the idea, however. You take out as much as you look for in games like Half Life, which I enjoy. So many games spend so much time telling you exactly what’s happening that they forget that, in real life, people don’t just sit down and tell you these things. Half the time they don’t know the full story themselves.

            The ability to take as much out of a story as you desire is something Half Life 2 (in my opinion) was on the verge of. In that respect it’s not so much a story (it doesn’t tell you everything, which is a core part of its lore), as it is an experience. Piecing together the elements of the narrative is another game in itself for those who care.

          • Actually I do agree with you and their style is quite refreshing. It worked brilliantly for me with HL1 thanks to the fact the ridiculous unexplainable nature of things unfolded before you. With the exception of the G-Man, the world was just as clueless as you.

            But with HL2 I finished it and then thought, “Wait, I don’t even know what’s going on!” It’s like the first season of LOST:There’s a lot you don’t know and plenty of questions, and when you get to the end of that season… none of them are answered.

  • I REALLY hope that “hide helmet” option is to hide it during cutscenes. It really, really annoyed me that choosing to use a helmet meant hiding your face during all sorts of moments in ME2 (eg when you meet the reporter from the first game who gives you a kiss on the cheek… or rather, on the helmet…). Dragon Age did it perfectly, I hope they’ve just copied that.

    • Agreed, I used it a lot in ME1, whenever I was somewhere safe (citadel) I’d turn it off and when out on the field, helmet up.

  • Nobody’s mentioned it yet, so…

    I saw the entire beta through videos, and it’s amazing.

    ME3 looks and sounds incredible, especially with Clint Mansell’s music.

  • hmmm, So it seems they’re using the ammo system from ME2, hopefully the powers work like ME1 though where each power has a seperate cooldown

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