“Mass Effect 2” bugs and glitches

by on Apr.07, 2010, under Xbox 360 Commentary

Here’s a list of interesting bugs and issues discovered during my initial play-through of Mass Effect 2 in early February this year. While none of them are game-breaking in nature, their presence does highlight just how difficult it is to buff and polish this latest generation of role-playing games.

  • Most of your team member’s appear to be budding amateur geologists. This secondary career is  showcased by their literal fixation to rocks and other geological features that adorn many of the mission environments. In most cases, the only way to dislodge them is to leave them behind, whereupon they’ll suddenly lose interest with the large feldspar outcrop they’re tinkering with and teleport back to your hero(ine)s location.
  • Commander Shepard also possesses an interesting and undocumented biotic skill called Area Levitation. This skill can be occasionally triggered by climbing to the peak of a small hill and changing weapons. The end result is a rather embarrassed player character and team members floating 1/2 a meter above the ground.
  • I’m not at all impressed with the Illusive Man’s recruitment policies either. While he’s been generous enough to allocate a personal assistant for our alter-ego, Ensign Kelly routinely announces that there’s new e-mail awaiting my attention, oblivious to the fact that I’d just finished checking my in-box. Perhaps if she spent a bit less time staring at her terminal surfing the extranet and looked up from time to time, she’d function a bit more effectively.
  • The design team also forgot to affix an ‘Out of Order’ sign to the bridge door of the SSV Strontium Mule.  Any miscreant keen to gain access to the command deck can do so by simply attempting to bypass the door’s security and then immediately canceling the attempt. The door will then obligingly open.
  • There are a number of bugged terminals/computer screens that have incredibly sensitive scroll-bars, making perusing lengthy text a tedious activity. Unfortunately, Windows 2183 doesn’t have a control applet to change this hard-coded setting.
  • On occasion, it is possible to see interactive items highlighted through floors or walls. This is especially noticeable in some multi-level environments, giving Shepard advance warning on what s(he) can expect to encounter down the next flight of stairs.
  • It is possible to break the Gia Parasini mission on Illium given the right? conditions. Talking to the Asari merchant, Hermia, gives you access to a nice range of technological doodads that no self-respecting hero(ine) should turn down.  Unfortunately, if you then talk to Gia to obtain her investigate Hermia quest, our previously voluble smuggler clams up, preventing access to the dialogue choices necessary to complete the task. The only way to resolve this is to reload the game, and talk to Gia before you place any tactical nuke orders with Hermia.
  • Finally, it would appear that the previous history of Samara’s past are being banned under Asari Justicar law until her death. This is evidenced during the culmination of her loyalty quest, when all in-game audio disappears for a minute or two. Fortunately, Samara is rapidly approaching the end of an Asari’s average life-span, meaning that the dialogue exchange with her daughter may be available soon from the relevant Asari government agency. Alternatively, Bioware may see fit to release a patch to resolve this major issue sooner rather than later!

Spare time permitting, you can look forward to a full review of the game later this month.

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