Mass Effect 3's demo includes access to Xbox Live Gold, enabling all players to sample the game's online multiplayer.

Microsoft will provide a limited time Gold subscription with the download, BioWare confirmed via its official forum.

BioWare did not explain specifics, but presumably players will be granted temporary Gold access via a code included in the demo, redeemable for a short-term period of online play.

Whether this offer will affect Microsoft's usual policy of limiting Xbox Live demos to Gold members during their first week of release was also not mentioned.

BioWare's Mass Effect 3 demo is scheduled to hit Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC on 14th February. It also includes a single-player mission from the start of the game's campaign where the dreaded Reapers invade Earth.

Gamers who have activated Battlefield 3's online pass get access to the demo's multiplayer offering straight away. Everyone else can join in on 17th February, three days later. So if you've never played Battlefield 3 online, don't redeem your free Xbox Live until then.

Mass Effect 3 arrives in stores on 9th March.