While we we were excited to see new screens from Mass Effect, we noted that they were probably the worst looking ever released. We've seen enough real time gameplay to brush them off as intern cameraship, but the gaming community really let them have it on just about every forum and blog they popped up on. Bioware has responded today, burying rumors that the game was "dumbed down":
The whole truth of the matter is that the person at BioWare who took those screenshots made a mistake. People in our industry don't admit this much, but we do make mistakes. The person took those screens at the last minute as they were needed for the article. He did take them in game from areas of the game that worked and then he sent them off to Gamespy. He didn't clear them with Casey and the ME team though. Once they showed up, there was "a few people" upset about them going out when they obviously looked so poor. It was our mistake for releasing 3 screenshots that don't accurately reflect the quality that is going into Mass Effect.
Now, in the thread I did explain how the game wasn't optimized yet (which is true) and how things are not finally rendered yet (also true), but this doesn't really do anything to prove to the doubters that the art is Mass Effect isn't dumbed down and does look amazing. So what I did was go and take another screenshot. This one is also directly from the game, but is from an area that is optimized and is almost final. It much more accurately shows the true quality of the art that you'll see in Mass Effect.
It isn't a particularly exciting screenshot. It doesn't have geth shooting at you or a new alien or anything, but it does acurately show how cool the art is. I just wanted everyone to see this, especially those who had some concerns about the final quality, so they would have a better idea of what the game will really be like.
As Linde might say ... crisis averted. While it does make a world of difference, I don't know why they'd intentionally release an anticlimatic screenshot after that debacle covered in logos and text jargon. I think the community would rather seen the same scenes shot with a better method, no? (sigh) So without further ado, here's a guy in space-age chain mail talking to his warrior-barber: