Today’s WTF: Fans Tear Mass Effect Novel a New One

mass effect deception errors

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

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

7 thoughts on “Today’s WTF: Fans Tear Mass Effect Novel a New One”

  1. I am pretty pissed over this, especially since the book series to this point has been very good, and the Mass Effect universe is so rich and interesting that it angers me to see so many discrepancies in the novel. It doesn’t help that this guy wrote The Flood, which is the worse Halo novel.

  2. [quote comment=”18573″]I am pretty pissed over this, especially since the book series to this point has been very good, and the Mass Effect universe is so rich and interesting that it angers me to see so many discrepancies in the novel. It doesn’t help that this guy wrote The Flood, which is the worse Halo novel.[/quote]

    To be fair…The Flood is the one that just retells the story of Halo: CE, right?

  3. Yeah, that’s the one. It also added some stuff about what happened to the marines and ODSTs that landed on Halo with the Chief and Keyes’ confrontation with the Proto-Gravemind, but other than that it was pretty stale. The book is mostly about the Chief killing stuff.

  4. I just always assume movies and books based on video games are going to be pretty awful. I wasn’t pissed when The Rock was in Doom, I expected it.

  5. Yay! The Flood bashing! Rubbish book.

    I didn’t like it. It was just a bunch of chapters put together in a relatively coherent order. 😉

    The only thing that kept me going through it was to just get some backstory on the marines and the ODSTs.
    Did Bioware not look at that as evidence Dietz SHOULDN’T have written the novel?

  6. @ Deception: The fans have every right to be angry with a novel that’s so inaccurate. The reason they’re reading the novel is to focus on Mass Effect’s story and universe, so it needs to be 100% canonical. I’m sure the fans will say this was just one of Shepard’s bad dreams and shun it like an unwanted child.
    I have to admit though, the lolz accrued from the error document were worth it.

    @ The Flood: OOOOH yeah, that book was bad. I liked the addition of the Marines’ stories on Halo, but it was like 3 chapters and it wasn’t memorable at all. The entire book is just explaining what happens in Halo Combat Evolved. It’s like a walkthrough or something. At least the other novels were great, especially the first one.

Comments are closed.