The latest title update for Mass Effect 3, now at version 1.02, has come with a set of problems that has resulted in some games crashing upon loading, making the title unplayable. The issue appears to be affecting the Xbox 360 version primarily, but some PlayStation 3 users are reporting similar issues. The patch in question was designed to fix the face importing issue in the title, as some users who designed a custom face were unable to import it into the new title.
Some players that have installed the 4MB update have been unable to pass the main menu, with the game often either entering an unending load cycle or crashing the console entirely. Users quickly took to Twitter and BioWare’s official forum with complaints shortly after the update went live and reported all the problems they faced when booting up the game. However, not all users were hit with the problem right away as some were unable to load past the main menu hours later. Other users find the problem to be intermittent.
BioWare has responded to the complaints, claiming they are “aware of issues” and have made an appeal to users for information to help solve the problems. Users have found their own temporary fixes for the game in the meantime, including clearing the cache, swapping game discs and loading Mass Effect 3 while disconnected to Xbox Live. However, no option appears to work universally.
Analysis: I, for one, have run into this issue twice and on the PlayStation 3 to boot. It occurred once when I was attempting to load the main menu like other users have complained about and another time during gameplay, but the latter may not be directly related to this issue. As both occurrences happened during load sequences, requiring me to turn off the console, I was risking a possible reset of my entire hard drive and losing everything. Thankfully, all was well and I haven’t run into another problem since, and this was a good five to ten hours of gameplay ago.
The progress of technology really is a double-edged sword in this generation. With our consoles being constantly connected to the Internet, games that are released with issues can now be patched up and become the final product the studio can be proud of. This is great obviously and can benefit the people who the play the games. However, many studios now abuse this by releasing a game that’s broken, with the title becoming an actual finished product months after release. The fact that something like the face importing feature was an issue in a game like Mass Effect is inexplicable and a poor showing by BioWare.
I realize that big titles are going to come with bugs and issues. I mean, just look at Bethesda’s library of recent titles for proof of that. For the most part, I don’t mind the bugs; heck, they can be hilarious and incredibly fun to play around with. However, ones that make it impossible to even play the game are an exception, and one has to wonder how something this big slipped through the cracks. Hopefully, BioWare can fix the issue shortly and release another patch for users.