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Mass Effect - Review, Retraction and Sales Numbers

by Dhruin, 2008-01-04 08:40:57

A week back the Mercury News wrote a review with some harsh criticism of BioWare's Mass Effect:

I think the long development cycle was actually part of its problem. BioWare, the Canadian developer recently bought by EA, spent more than 3.5 years working on the game. The team rolled off the development of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic role-playing game for the original Xbox. That 2003 game had an original storyline with deep dialogue interspersed with player-controlled third-person sword play and combat. The team adopted some of the same style of that game, another flaw, in my opinion. I think the Mass Effect guys were stuck in the game play of 2003 and they never emerged with superior game play in 2007. I mean, come on! This is the year of Halo 3. If they had game play that resembled anything close to a tenth of the game play of Halo 3, this would have been the game of the year. But it’s not even close.

...but today there's an apology and partial retraction.  I haven't played the game but if I understand the comments, it seems the reviewer hadn't actually used the character upgrades (perhaps explaining their preference for Halo 3?):

The dumb thing about the way I played the game, as many pointed out, is that I didn’t make use of my Talent Points. I started the game doing so, but while on Feros, I didn’t pay attention to all the Talent Points I was accumulating after every encounter. Those points just sat there. They were waiting for me to assign them to specific character trait improvements. Without doing this, it didn’t matter that I was paying close attention to my inventory and upgrading my weapons as soon as I got better stuff (by hitting X in the equipment screen).

Included is an apology for only playing for eight hours instead of the claimed 12, which makes me wonder if fans are watching the Live profiles of reviewers with dubious criticisms.

In semi-related news, GameBanshee noticed a post at Major Nelson that gives updated Mass Effect sales of 1.6M.

Information about

Mass Effect

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: Xbox 360
Release: Released