Here we are. Mass Effect 3 is finally unleashed on the world. Having been a devout fan of the entire series, I was excited to finish the fight with my Commander Shepard. Having digitally pre-ordered the game on Electronic Arts' Origin platform, I immediately started a new campaign and selected my latest save file from Mass Effect 2.
Before me was a list of all the major choices I had made in the second game. The list contained who died, who I romanced, what I'd destroyed, and more. I clicked to go to the next screen and saw the following.
I panicked. I had backed up and restored my save. Having read about issues with importing saves from the cloud on Xbox 360, I thought this might be the cause. So I went to open the character in Mass Effect 2 and make a new save. Of course, I did not have the roughly four gigabytes of downloadable content I would need to load the save. So I waited an hour and a half, loaded my game, and made a new file.
Care to guess what happened next?
I was livid. After buying into Bioware's promise of experiencing the trilogy with the same character, I was dumbfounded as to how this issue could arise. After venting my frustration on Twitter, I searched for some sort of official response from Bioware or EA.
Official Twitter feeds offered nothing. All they had were various announcements regarding launch events. A quick Google search revealed scores of people with the same problem. The supposed root? If a character is imported from Mass Effect to Mass Effect 2 and then to Mass Effect 3, this error might occur.
Excuse me, what!?
So the people who are the most loyal and excited fans, who have been with the series from the beginning, are the ones potentially affected by this?
But here's the thing. I don't know if this is actually true. While Jeff Grubb asked me and several others to highlight the issue on GamesBeat, he still could find no official response from Bioware.
So now we have Twitter, message boards, and sites filled with news about how Mass Effect 3 is partially broken for some of its loyal fans. Meanwhile, the official Twitter feed progresses like it was programmed to tweet about various midnight launches.
In 2012, social networks allow for direct communication between developers and their fans. Ditto for gamers and journalists. So why has this issue never been mentioned, and why does it still need to be addressed? Every moment Bioware leaves this alone, more and more speculation builds.
And it's a shame. The game is absolutely fantastic. But I'm playing through it with someone who kind of looks like my Commander Shepard.