Canonical consistency in video game universes is kind of a strange thing, given the loose nature of the story-telling and the tendency that most games have to go back and retcon plot points to better fit in with a new direction (Kojima says hello). Out of all the various franchises, Mass Effect has had a rock-solid fictional underpinning, thanks to the tireless work by the writing staff at BioWare. The in-game Codex has hundreds of entries that are incredibly detailed, giving you back story on everything from krogan reproduction to how spaceships prevent static electricity buildup while travelling at lightspeed.
Given the thorough nature of the Mass Effect universe, you might understand why the new novel, Mass Effect: Deception, is getting ripped to shreds for its heaps of inconsistencies. Written by series newcomer William C. Dietz, Deception picks up the story started by previous author and BioWare employee Drew Karpyshyn and manages to fumble even the most basic facts. There’s a Google Document detailing the many ways that Mass Effect: Deception drops the fictional ball, and it’s kind of hilarious to read.
There’s a whole smattering of errors here which makes me wonder who greenlit the novel considering that it glosses over some pretty important parts of Retribution, the previous book. Characters who previously knew each other have magically forgotten that they met, and one character’s neural disorder (a significant aspect of the last novel) is written off as an “adolescent phase”. I’m not typically one to be slavishly adherent to an established canon (except for when Lucas made Mandalorians a pacifist culture), but I have to think that you want to at least maintain some consistency. As you can imagine, there’s quite the poop storm over this book, with one angered fan going as far as to set it on fire.
What do you guys think? Are fans over-reacting? Should the author and the publisher have taken more care? Go!
Source – Errors in ME: Deception