Fans Find Glaring Mistakes In The New ‘Mass Effect’ Novel

Published 3 years ago by , Updated January 31st, 2012 at 5:59 pm,

Mass Effect Novel Contains Multiple Errors

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?

Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple

Source: Errors in Mass Effect: Deception (Google Docs) [via Kotaku]

TAGS: BioWare, Electronic Arts, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect 4

  • iRamble

    I am soooooo glad I found out about this before I got the book, I was planning on my monthly trip to B&N happen this week or next and pick up this, and now I know.

    Also The Flood by Dietz was complete s*** compared to the prequel and sequel by Nylund. And the other Halo novels. (Except for that new one, I haven’t read that one yet.)

    • Andrew Dyce

      I’ll agree with you that Dietz’s novel wasn’t as good as Nylund’s were, but at least he managed to stay in canon. Seems like he never actually spent the time to see how ME’s science fiction was different from anyone else’s. Or, you know, who the characters are.

  • Adkon

    I have read and enjoyed the previous novels. Was looking forward to this one as well. Maybe I will wait for the rerelease when everything is fixed…..nahhhhh who am I kidding. I’ll get it tonight

    • Andrew Dyce

      Lol, if you do let me know if it’s as bad as people are saying?

  • Sw00p

    This actually is a HUGE deal to me. I read the complete list of errors, and I am so disappointed with it that I no longer plan to buy the book. I don’t want to spend my time or money reading something that doesn’t fit the canon properly and would most likely only upset me. I wish they had done a fact check, as I was really looking forward to this next book. But at least I still have Dragon Age: Asunder :)

  • Andrew Dyce

    Damn, I was really looking forward to this one too. The previous novels did a fantastic job expanding the universe and providing insight into the Reapers and some of the most intriguing – and least explored – of the game’s environments and cities. I guess that’s what happens when you have the series writer pen the novels too.

    I was expecting to still pick this one up, but after reading the full list, I really don’t think this thing should be canon. Can’t believe I may avoid this altogether. Oh well, Karen Traviss has my back with like, three novel series.

  • Maugrim

    Please read at least the 50 page excerpt before purchasing, it really is as bad as is being said!

  • steamcamel

    ‘Deception’ .. at least it lives up to its title.

  • WebFoo

    I would *SO* rather have this book suck than ME3 itself…. fingers crossed.

  • Zombitologist

    I liked the book gave it a three out of five, but it really felt like Dietz read Retribution and got a summary of Ascension before writing this book. The largest most confusing error to me was the three year gap between Retribution(which took place directly after ME2) and this book, but there were several moments where the author forgot that. Did it really take Aria three years to hold a funeral for her daughter? Oh well, it was a Mass Effect book and I didn’t get completely bored.