This blog has gone again and again on the virtues of the Mass Effect game. I have discussed some of the game’s downsides, too. In this point I want to focus on these downsides, particularly those that do not relate to the contents of the game itself. I doing so because think I can identify a trend.
Let us run a list of the issues I have identified thus far:
- Multiplayer mode requires a special activation code. You get a code when you buy a new copy of the game, but your ability to resell the game is severely hampered by the $15 asking price for a multiplayer code. In effect, this activation code acts like most other forms of DRM, preventing buyers of the game from truly owning it.
- DLC (downloadable contents) may be released on time in the USA, but at least for Australian PS3 users they are released at least two days after their advertised release date. It's nice to receive additional contents, but why should non Americans be left in the dark and treated as after fact?
- Mass Effect 2 merchandise (as per the above photo) is being sold as Mass Effect 3 merchandise.
- Mass Effect 3 merchandise are sold together with special codes that are supposed to unlock special features in the game’s multiplayer mode. These features have literal cash value on them, dollar prices and all. However, although the merchandise is sold without any disclaimers, I was told after the fact and after much chasing up that these codes only work for the PC and Xbox environments; in other words, they are worthless for PS3 users.
In case you haven’t: Electronic Arts, the distributer of Mass Effect, seems to have an insatiable appetite for its customers’ cash. So much so that commonly accepted codes of ethics fail to stand in its way. It’s quite a pity games as good as the Mass Effect series have to come our way through companies as nasty as this.