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Mass Effect 3 trials and tribulations


When it comes to game companies, BioWare is my favourite developer. I don’t even want to think about the number of hours I’ve sunk into their games over the years. In the last couple of years, the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series have captivated me like no other. Whether it’s the Warden or Commander Shepard, my imagination has worked overtime living in these worlds.

Last week, Mass Effect 3 was finally released. I, like millions around the globe, looked forward to the conclusion of Shepard’s story. The trailers BioWare put out only made the desire heighten. For 2 fantastic games, we guided and moulded our individual Shepard. I even ordered 2 copies of the Collector’s Edition, as a memento the entire series.

I got home with my copy in tow on Friday and went through the setup procedure. A bit different thanks to Origin, but nothing too major. The amount of DLC was long to download, thanks to my slow internet connection at home. Nonetheless, I let it finish first so I could dive into the game in one go. By the time I was ready to play, I had read about a bug on the BioWare forums that affected characters imported from earlier ME games. The faces of said imports either errored out or produced vastly different results compared to ME2. I hoped that I wouldn’t be hit by this, as my Shepard was chosen from one of the presets in ME1 and then modified to suit me.

Lo and behold, the bug affected me as well. My Shepard has green eyes, ginger hair, no beard and is a white character. The import face I was offered had brown eyes, brown hair, brown skin and a scruffy beard. Needless to say, I didn’t continue. I tried to customise the import to match what I had looked like in ME2, but I gave up after a while as it was nowhere near close to what I had. Instead I’ve had to delay playing the game and satisfy myself with multiplayer instead.

There is currently a 150 page thread on the BioWare forums about this bug. BioWare are aware of the bug, but there is precious little feedback on when/if the bug can be fixed. I have to admit that I am not impressed, as something this major should have not slipped by Quality Assurance. One of the unique and fantastic aspects of the ME universe is that you would carry your same Shep through the entire trilogy. To have it fail at the start of ME3 feels like someone either overlooked the bug or didn’t test properly.

All in all, I am not impressed. I am prepared to wait for a final verdict on whether this will be fixed or not, but what I really want is just some feedback from BioWare. Just a quick note to say they’ve made progress, or something to let us know. Many people will put up with the bug if they know it’s being worked on and there is feedback. Silence on the other hand only inflames the situation. I hope that for BioWare’s sake, they take this to heart and communicate more about this sort of situation. BioWare has many passionate fans thanks to their wonderful games, but they need to be more open with the fans if they want to keep the fans.

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  1. shepard
    March 15, 2012 at 08:42

    I am or was one of biowares biggest fans. Ive played both the previous mass effects countless times and also spent hundreds of hours playing star wars. I am disappointed to say that bioware have proved time and time again that money matters more to them. Day 1 dlc possibly removed from me3 in order to sell, the option to use real money to buy ingame upgrades, the face import making me unable to play my shepards story and unwilling to play as a ‘stranger’ also the issue in star wars tor when it came time for the monthly sbscrptions to renew and the unsubscribe button disappeared from peoples accounts and when people posted in the forums on a way around it to enable people to unsubscribe they were reprimanded.

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