A former Microsoft employee is almost certainly working on his resume this week, as Microsoft and Bioware scramble into damage control mode over one of the biggest commercial leaks in recent years. Both single player and multiplayer portions of Mass Effect 3 were accidentally released to lucky Xbox Live gamers, as people signed up to beta test the new XBox Live dashboard update instead received free beta copies of one of 2012’s most highly anticipated games.
The version of Mass Effect 3 released to the general public was found to be missing certain sounds, textures and animations – yet it appears to otherwise be a complete copy of the game.
The big news to come out of this leak has undoubtedly been Bioware’s new novice friendly three game modes, which are used to tackle the single player game. A number of people disliked the streamlined control system from Mass Effect 2, leaning the game more towards a third person shooter style than the normal RPG gameplay Bioware fans are used to. This time around there should be no such problem with the Mass Effect 3 single player sporting Action, Story and RPG Modes. RPG Mode essentially serves as the full Mass Effect 3 experience, while Story Mode functions as the game’s easy mode and the Action Mode strips the game of many of its RPG elements, including dialogue options.
Bioware has taken pains to stress that the leaked beta version of Mass Effect 3 does not reflect the quality of the finished product, nor is it indicative of the game’s full feature-set.