Apparently the interwebs are up in arms about BioWare’s deliberate “self-censorship.” Mass Effect 1 made some controversial headlines when it was first released, especially with FOX News who reported that you had full control of your character during several very graphic sex scenes.
Nothing could of been further from the truth. However with the revelation that both Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins feature less graphic lovemaking, there has been a backlash from the fans – the polar opposite reaction as the media two years ago.
It seems that the shots of our characters and their romantic partners in their underwear (or more) is not good enough for the “mature” gamer. But seriously guys and gals is this really a problem? Is it self-censorship – or is it more about the story and what works for the particular situation?
Granted Dragon Age’s sex scenes were more laughable than sexy but for me the sex scenes in the Mass Effect universe were meant to be more intimate, a punctuation of the impending doom looming ahead. How would that work really with anything graphic or even full frontal nudity? You know whats happening, its not a secret.
BioWare doesn’t see it as a problem. Addressing a forum post claiming that lack of sex and nudity in Mass Effect 2 is a sign of self-censorship, BioWare’s Stanley Woo stated:
“It’s kinda funny that this topic keeps coming up over and over again. People who claim to be old enough and mature enough to handle sex and nudity in a game seem to believe that any lack of sex and nudity in the game is a sign of self-censorship. They generally don’t believe that a game can be called ‘mature’ without explicit sex and/or nudity.”
Woo also put to rest the argument that EA is encouraging BioWare to censor steamy scenes in order to protect sales numbers.
“Let me tell you, folks, that as a developer full of mature individuals, we are also free to not have explicit sex and/or nudity in our games, no matter what you, Fox News, the government, or Bunky the Wonder Clown has to say about it. We have never considered it a ‘problem,’ it is simply a choice we have made and we have every right to make that choice.”
So, you disappointed gamers out there who really wanted a full frontal of Miranda, it seems to me BioWare had their reasons and it had nothing to do with EA or self-censoring due to the Mass Effect 1 controversy.
In addition to the censorship controversy, BioWare has also been addressing complaints of the “tiny text” hampering gamers who are playing through Mass Effect on a standard definition set.
Over on the developer’s official forums, BioWare’s Michael Gamble confirmed they have no plans to address the text display issues – at least not until Mass Effect 3.
“We understand that on some Standard Definition TVs the smallest text in Mass Effect 2 can be difficult to read. While this was not an intentional result, it was a byproduct of enhancements to the user interface. After investigating potential solutions, we have determined that while this issue does affect a small portion of SDTV owners, we are unable to resolve it for Mass Effect 2 through a title update. However, we have taken note of this issue and will take it into consideration as we plan future games in the Mass Effect franchise.”
Surly this is quite annoying for the SD gamer out there but in all honestly, come on guys, don’t pick up a few games on release, save up a bit and drop the $400 or so for a HDTV, believe me its a worthwhile investment. Not only will you see said tiny text but your gaming experience will be, dare I say, 100% better.
Do you think BioWare handled Mass Effect 2‘s sex scenes appropriately?