In just a few painful weeks, Commander Shepard’s swan song will play out in gamers’ living rooms and bedrooms (in most cases, on a screen of some sort) throughout the world. Between full fledged installments of Mass Effect however, the lore of the series has been evolving across a string of four different novels: Mass Effect: Revelation, Mass Effect: Ascension, Mass Effect: Retribution, and most recently, Mass Effect: Deception.
The first three were written by Drew Karpyshyn – a lead writer on the games themselves – and have cultivated a steady following among hardy Mass Effect fans. Mass Effect: Deception, however, features the debut of a new author to the series, William C. Dietz. And while it officially releases on January 31, fans who have already sifted through early copies of the book are finding it to have the most ironic title since Jerry Sandusky’s Touched.
Kotaku first reported on a Google Docs page spreading quickly around the ME community where readers of the book are lambasting some rather obvious mistakes. The list has already reached triple digits (albeit, some are criticisms are more nitpicky than others), and you do have to wonder if BioWare wasn’t too busy working on Mass Effect 3 to hire someone for a thorough fact-checking job.
Oh well. Consider the Internet your humble servants, Bioware. Here’s just a smattering of the treasures compiled so far:
27. Two volus are described as wearing masks that don’t completely cover their faces – This would result in instant death for a volus, as they must wear completely sealed environmental suits that provide both the ammonia atmosphere and high pressure they require to survive, and keep them isolated from the oxygen-nitrogen mixture breathed by other species, which is poisonous to them. [Error: Lore]
4. Aria Learns that Cerberus killed her daughter, but continues working for them in Invasion – The reason Cerberus is able to work a deal with Aria in Retribution is because they promise info on her daughter’s killer. In Invasion, which takes place after Deception, Aria continues to work with Cerberus and even allows them access to the Omega 4 Relay. But before that happens, she discovers that Kai Leng was the one who killed her daughter, and vows never to work with Cerberus again. [Error: Timeline]
8. Characters use advanced biotic powers with no prior training - After getting her “implants” changed Gillian is able to produce Reave and Charge, powers that were before advanced and mostly exclusive to Shepard. Hendel later uses a Singularity with ease, despite never having that power and being surprised when Gillian herself used it in Ascension. [Error: Techonlogy]
As Kotaku also discovered, the barbequing hasn’t just stopped at words. Some fans are literally applying their Mass Effect: Deception novels to an open flame, like this YouTube user who also pans the novel for poor writing and character development.
We should be fair to Dietz though (Because let’s face it, he’s not hearing the end of this for a long time). His previous works include Halo: The Flood and two tie-in novels to Insomniac’s Resistance games – all three of which have been enjoyed by some of the Game Rant staff. As writers, we wish him the best in his next pursuit… we’re just not sure if it’s going to be within Mass Effect canon.
Ranters, are you avid readers of Mass Effect fiction? Does the news of Deception’s deceptions have you reconsidering a purchase?
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