Blog Magical Wasteland takes a look at the final version of Mass Effect and analyses what didn't make the final cut. Writing of a "hard landing" against its ship date, Bioware appears to have left quite a bit on the cutting room floor. Whether due to time constraints or artistic trimming, the game ultimately arrived with an item system thats simplicity belies the RPG's storytelling complexity. And speaking of storytelling, Magical Wasteland proposes that a major plot point, still somewhat evident in the Mass Effect's dialog tree, was tossed out the window. Gameplay features shown in the X06 preview trailer are nowhere to be seen in the retail copy. Plus, it's certainly not bug-free.
It wouldn't be the first game to ship sans features shown at trade events or in early screens, as the author points to numerous peer titles that are guilty of the same thing. These include big names like Halo 2, Xenogears and Half-Life 2, among others.
While this may read like a nitpicking analysis, it actually turns out to be a well-written insight in the realities of game development, written from a developer's perspective. For those wondering what an alternate reality version of Mass Effect might have been, given more time in the incubator, look here.
How to Tell a Hard Landing, with Mass Effect [Magical Wasteland]