Readers are lashing out at William C. Deitz’ addition to the Mass Effect ouvre, with his new novel “Deception.” Indeed, they feel deceived! And they are cataloguing this beast-man’s transgressions in an endlessly elaborated upon codex with such terrible granularity that I’ve begun to feel sympathy for the man. I was under the impression that I liked Mass Effect, maybe even liked it a lot, liked it more than most people. But, no. I’m not entirely certain I want to like Mass Effect this much.
Tie-In Fiction seems like a tough racket, all told. It has a mercenary quality and a legacy of literary abortion such that no sensate being could ever entirely trust it. I described the first Mass Effect book as “a volley of Satanic aggression toward the reader,” but it was still “Mass Effect” by definition having been penned by the game’s lead writer. To come in from outside and speak truthfully about that setting without eight or nine years of shared history with the team would be… hard? I’m not sure hard covers it. It’s not impossible, because I’ve seen it done. But it’s not something I would undertake in the absence of concussion or some strange condition whereby I say “yes” when what I actually mean to say is “no.” I don’t see the upside.
I have no idea why it arrived, because we’re not on any Capcom list that I know of, but I’ve very nearly completed Resident Evil: Revelations over the last couple days. The main thing I am told you should avoid when discussing games are pronouncements of the form
If you like X, you should like B
because it’s reductive and lazy, etc. I used “et cetera” there because I was lazy, and I deployed the truncation because I am double, super lazy. Please try to act surprised. But I don’t think Revelations wants to be considered in some special light, and having progressed through the lion’s share of it, I don’t think it warrants it. I want to emphasize the extent to which this is not an insult.
I still like Resident Evil. I don’t know if this is normal anymore, but I do. I’ve been playing these games since they materialized as a vague homage to Alone In The Dark, all the way through internal turbulence, taste shifts in the industry, remakes, all of it. Resident Evil has a catechismal dialectic, even if the spell checker doesn’t recognize the word; it provides stimuli and I input the correct response. Its rod, and its staff, they comfort me.
I don’t wonder what it’s for, or what my relationship to it should be; it’s a good example of itself. If you like X, well… I’m sure you can take it from there.