Yesterday, in the mix of numerous April Fools jokes, one other video was also released to the public over on NeoGaf. The video in question was apparently Alpha test footage of Mass Effect Andromeda, and, if the rumor is true, is the first look of some gameplay of Andromeda to be seen by the public.
The fifty second video is mostly a visual effects demonstration, showing off different assets in-game and how they would function in the Frostbite engine. We see lightning and rain effects, an exploding barrel animation, and a meteorite impact zone effect. The major highlights come from two specific scenes, one that showcases the jet pack, first teased in the Mass Effect Andromeda reveal at E3 last year, in a working state. The second is an in-game cutscene that highlights pollen plume effects. The cut-scene itself involves a human, a Krogan, and what appears to be the player’s squad.
The video above is one of the few youtube videos left online with the footage, as most have been taken down by copyright claims from Electronic Arts, which may give further credence to this leak’s legitimacy. According to the thread on NeoGaf, several have pointed out that this footage appears to be from late 2014, and in its alpha state we see some aspects of Mass Effect Andromeda that have been leaked before here. Those include a blonde female squad-mate, Krogans, an open world reminiscent of the first Mass Effect, and updated motion capture work. For those wondering about the animations, it is important to remember that if real this would be early internal footage without the refinement and polish that the final release would be expected to have.
Another aspect that can be spotted is the HUD, which was first teased in a tweet by ex-BioWare employee Chris Wynn back on N7 Day last year. The HUD on the PC screen closely matches the HUD seen in the footage.
— Chris Wynn (@The1Wynn) November 7, 2015
If the leak is true, it is the first visual showcase of Mass Effect Andromeda. Previous leaks have come from surveys about the title, which have implied and directly stated different plot and gameplay elements which may be involved in the final product. At this time, there is still no in-game footage officially shown by BioWare and Electronic Art. With a release expected in early 2017 though, is likely Andromeda will be present and at the forefront of the EA Play Event a few days before E3 this year.
There is the possibility that the entire video is a hoax, in particular the fact that the video was posted on April 1st. If it is, it is frankly a well made and elaborate hoax that was definitely months in the making, considering how the footage is put together.
If not, and it’s a legitimate leak, it’s certainly an interesting look behind the scenes at how Andromeda is progressing. Since this is claimed to be footage from 2014, I can only guess what the current state of the game looks like, as Andromeda moves closer to its release date in early 2017. What do you think though? Leave your comments below.