BioWare says there’s no fix for tiny text in Mass Effect 2

Friday, 5 February 2010 22:19 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


Those playing Mass Effect 2 on standard definition televisions and having a hard time reading the smaller text in the game are a bit s.o.l., as there is no way to fix it.

According to BioWare, it can’t be fixed with a patch.

“We understand that on some (SDTVs) the smallest text in Mass Effect 2 can be difficult to read,” project manager Michael Gamble wrote on the official forums. “While this was not an intentional result, it was a byproduct of the enhancements to the user interface.

“After investigating potential solutions, we have determined that while this issue does affect a small portion of SDTV owners, we are unable to resolve it for Mass Effect 2 through a title update.”

Gamble said the issue will be looked into with Mass Effect 3, which is expected sometime around 2012.

The earth will be gone by then, surely, so it won’t matter unless there’s Xbox 360s in Hell.

Via Eurogamer.


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  1. The_Deleted

    There is a fix…it’s called checking the game for SDTV’S before going gold.

    “The earth will be gone by then, surely, so it won’t matter unless there’s Xbox 360s in Hell.”
    It’s not called the Red Ring of Death for nothing…

    #1 5 years ago
  2. onlineatron

    When are they gonna add a fix for the lack of weaponary, armour and dull planet scanning mini game… Oh and lame ‘find team mates’ plot.

    I’ve been playing nigh on 20 hours and I’m on the second wave of squad building.

    Despite It’s numerous bugs and issues… Mass Effect was paced so much better and I loved it so much more.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Michael O’Connor

    “There is a fix…it’s called checking the game for SDTV’S before going gold.”

    There’s an even better fix. Buy a HD TV.

    HD TVs are standard now to the point that you can’t even buy a cathode ray tube TV anymore in 90% of shops, and they’re vastly cheaper now than they used to be. You can easily get a decent 32″ TV for about €300.

    “When are they gonna add a fix for the lack of weaponary, armour and dull planet scanning mini game… Oh and lame ‘find team mates’ plot.”

    Better to have five sets of armour than 500, and spending 10 minutes selling what you own just so you don’t have to scroll through your inventory for five minutes when you get an upgrade.

    And don’t even get me started on the planet stuff in the first game… do you *really* want to go back to that? Do you *really* want to drive around in the Mako on planets with absolutely no personality whatsoever?

    Take off your rose tinted glasses.

    Mass Effect 2′s magic is just how much side content there is, much of which is done to as high a quality as the main story, which is unheard of in this genre.

    “Mass Effect was paced so much better and I loved it so much more.”

    The Mako says hello again.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. onlineatron

    They went to the extreme with the Mako stuff, instead of fixing it they removed.the whole thing and replaced it with a lame arse mini game.

    I’m being negative… But naive, rose tinted? No.

    I’m enjoying Mass Effect 2 but I can’t help but think that It’s not the Mass Effect I fell in love with… despite It’s flaws.

    That’s my perogative… No need to go on the defensiveas my opinion varies from yours.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    “I’m enjoying Mass Effect 2 but I can’t help but think that It’s not the Mass Effect I fell in love with… despite It’s flaws.”

    I know where you’re coming from. I described is as a highly polished Mass Effect… but without a lot of the soul. I still believe it’s the better of the two games though, but it loses a lot in the transition.

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight

    There will be a “mako” but it won’t be in a form the original game had it. (thank god) Its called the Hammerhead and it is being released mid February along with missions for it.

    I agree with O’Connor Mass Effect 2 is just leaps and bounds better then the previous game.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. onlineatron

    Also I appreciate the breth of side missions and their quality… But, for me, it comes at the cost of the main story. Granted I’m only at Illios… so the story could pick up but so far It’s not interested me much, 20 hours in and I’m not interested :(

    #7 5 years ago
  8. The_Deleted

    HD TVs are standard now to the point that you can’t even buy a cathode ray tube TV anymore in 90% of shops, and they’re vastly cheaper now than they used to be. You can easily get a decent 32″ TV for about €300.#

    Doesn’t dictate that everyone can afford one.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Neolucifer

    The mako was quite hated , and thus had to go . What’s the point of keeping an hated feature , even if revamped ?

    If they need more rpg elements it has to be elsewhere or in the fighting mechanics , not in some lame *ss grind fest .

    And the whole sd tv complaint is definitely stupid . Moronic even and without excuse .
    If you can’t afford an hdtv , you still most likely got a pc monitor you can hook up to your console for the cost of a single game , be it vga or dvi . And if it’s an hdmi monitor then it becomes simple .

    #9 5 years ago
  10. The Hindle

    What ending did you guys get ifyou have finished it yet

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Psychotext

    I got the one where the space rabbits sexually assaulted Miranda. Harrowing stuff.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    What ending? There is only one. Your decisions don’t really change it. Okay, maybe it’s 2. It’s either destroying the base or use it against the upcoming enemy.

    The only things that matter are:
    With who did you sleep?
    Did you lose any comrades?
    Did you make it?
    Destroy or keep?

    #12 5 years ago
  13. DeSpiritusBellum

    Going a bit off-topic, but I really need to vent: I’ve found that myself and pretty much every other gamer I know are completely dumbfounded by how so many reviewers can be so utterly blind to the consistently flawed and lacking design of Mass Effect 2. The story seems to have been made up in about half an hour, and basically shits all over it’s prequel, the gameplay mechanics are (almost without exception) plagiarized from Ubisofts third person console shooters (Mass Effect – Modern Warfighter: Vegas, anyone?) they’ve added quicktime-inspired functions to their cutscenes (making them complete cunts) and the research and mining aspect of the game rewards you with nothing but a creeping notion that you’re wasting your life doing menial labor inside a game, without even the slightest sense of accomplishment or reward.

    Apart from that, I genuinely can’t remember playing a game that had as many serious suspension of disbelief problems as Mass Effect 2.

    I don’t know if Bioware has been handing out smoking hot, Eastern European hookers to every aggregate-boosting reviewer out there, but something is horribly, horribly wrong when a game that flawed and underwhelming can even inch close to a 9.


    I don’t know what kind of fantasy world you’re living in, but demanding that your paying customers spend an additional 300 euros worth on accesories just because you fucked up the text in your game is NOT good business sense, nor is it impressive craftsmanship. It’s absurd to defend a company for comitting such a blatant error, let alone that is so easily diagnosed to begin with.

    Secondly, while I can agree with armor being fairly boring, the lack of weaponry essentially boils down to a lack of gameplay, given that you’re offered so little variety in the way you take down your enemies. And mind you that weapons are also some of the easiest things to load into a game.

    Thirdly, 80-90% of the resource gathering in the first game was done completely automatically, simply by pressing a button on the planetary interface. It was just as boring then as it is now, and it certainly seems the developers have gone the extra mile to make it even more intrusive and timewasting this time around. We don’t get to press a button, we have to perform the same task over and over and over again if we want research options. Completely ridiculous.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Psychotext

    Oh come on… quick time events? Nothing like it. You get a choice to use a rather cool paragon or a renegade action by selecting an option. You get the best part of three seconds to make the selection too, so there’s nothing quick about it.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. DeSpiritusBellum

    Psychotext: Gamers are conditioned to cutscenes being just that, cutSCENES. As a result, 9 out of 10 gamers, who aren’t rabid Indigo Prophecy fans, are going to sit back, have a breather and watch the show. That has lead me to waste at least three such opportunities and opt back to a savegame, just so I could boost my Renegade options.

    It’s a ridiculously bad design choice, just as it has been dubbed in every other game that has tried these things. It just doesn’t work, and any developer worth his salt would know it by now.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Psychotext

    Sounds to me that it’s more like an obsessive compulsive thing. You don’t need to hit any of the special renegade or paragon options to completely max out either one. Nor will you run into a conversation option that’s greyed, providing you’ve followed one path or the other and not tried to mix them up. They’re bonuses.

    That we’re “conditioned” to it, doesn’t make it the right way to go. By that argument we shouldn’t have branching conversation options within cutscenes either because it’s going to involve our interaction.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Neolucifer


    What’s even the point of playing the game if you dont have the proper material ? It’s hardly the same as some so called “accessories” .

    That’s like complaining about a lack of visibility in both text and distance in a pc game , because yours could only 640 or 800*600 , when clearly it wasnt designed for it .
    From their launch (ps3/360)seeing every game with ugly and burry text police were obvious and big clue about what to do .

    What i mostly find amazing , are people I’ve seen who could at least use a vga box instead , but refusing to , when supposedly too expensive , and an extra cost that shouldnt be .
    Yet happy to pay for many other more expensive extras (xb live , headsets , extra pads , fighting stick , guitar hero accessories , soon natal and ps wand , eytoy and 360 cam etc etc)

    As for mass effect , my problems were always the rpg element being too dumbed down or made too invisible , aside from obnoxious things such as mako grind .

    #17 5 years ago
  18. DeSpiritusBellum

    Psychotext: You can call pretty much any critic of anything obsessive compulsive. However, just because you don’t critique the quality of the design yourself, it doesn’t mean that others wouldn’t, or shouldn’t.

    I have no way of knowing whether missing these functions will hurt my gameplay or not, because the game doesn’t tell me anything about that. Some would argue that that’s a flaw onto itself, if what you’re saying is right.

    It’s never going to be a question of challenging convention or not, it’s always going to come down to how well you justify that challenge. In this case, these types of quicktime-inspired functions (quicktime-inspired, mind) have been tried in several other, primarily japanese games, and been found lacking every single time. I don’t see how Mass Effect 2 does anything better than those games, or even attempts to, and as such I don’t see what their justification for that challenge would be, except “This looks cool on paper – We’ll do it, and people will like it this time because we’re Bioware!”

    Call me obsessive compulsive, but that’s not good enough for me.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. DeSpiritusBellum

    Neolucifer: I’m neither a tech buff or a very dedicated console gamer (I’ve opted for ME2 on PC) but I have two “old” tvs that I’m still quite content with, so I really don’t see the comparison between the quality of a 2 year old tv and a marginally better contemporary tv, versus a 12-15 year old computer and a present day one. I’ve watched plenty of flatscreens out and about, but none of the shows really got better on any them from where I was sat, and I’m not excluded from watching any of them on my old tvs, either.

    Between buying my music, books and games, I really don’t feel like dishing out for a tv that offers a marginally better visual quality, especially not if it’s only to accomodate a game developer that I’m already throwing money at.

    To me, that’s not a very outrageous or neo-luddite stance, and I have to maintain that making a game that excludes any real quantity of your audience, when there’s no actual justification for it (I doubt the font-o-philes out there would mind that much) is just bad practice.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Psychotext

    The fact that you felt the need to reload just in case you missed something was obsessive compulsive, not your criticism or opinion of the game.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. DeSpiritusBellum

    Psychotext: I’m sorry, I misunderstood.

    I still don’t agree though. Wouldn’t you feel a little cheated if you missed out on what could be a cool moment, ie the renegade moment of shooting a guy in the face versus the dialogue option of telling him to stop his shenanigans and start going to bed early?

    #21 5 years ago
  22. Pyrix

    I imagine it isn’t nearly as bad as Dead Rising’s text on SDTVs though, that was truly horrendous.

    One option if you cannot afford a HDTV is simply to use a computer monitor, which is what I do. The adaptor is cheap and if you have a spare monitor, or computer which isn’t in frequent use, then it is a great way to get games looking better without delving into the pockets for a HDTV.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Psychotext

    @DeSpiritusBellum: No, I wouldn’t feel cheated. Do you feel like you might be missing out on Paragon stuff when you’re being a Renegade?

    On a related note, I’m starting to see why people hated the Dead Rising save system. I’ve never really understood the feeling that you have to do everything though.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Neolucifer


    And yet again you dont even have to buy a new tv to enjoy HD console gaming since for the price of a game , maybe even less now , you can hook up the console to your pc screen , which most likely , as any usual pc monitor easily output 720p .

    It doesnt even require any particular kind of tech knowledge just to plug the proper vga or dvi cables and powering up the vga box .

    And yet again i see people use money or things (games related) that are actually extra and not as must a pre requisite to truly enjoy their games with comfort , and pretend they can’t do otherwise .

    The choice is made and fine , but let’s not pretend they have none .

    And the whole “i dont see the difference” i dont buy it .
    it is clearly apparent , as much as playing a pc game in low res then high res .
    With text quality alone there is clear (forced) difference , only worse apparently here with ME2 and some games prompting the same remarks .
    The rest is just rationalisation to justifity not buying an hdtv , wich is fine , as it is well again an option .

    #24 5 years ago
  25. DeSpiritusBellum

    Psychotext: No I don’t, because I’m one of those types who always tries to create the perfect manifestation of Satan when given the choice in videogames. That’s not to say I wouldn’t try it in a different playthrough, but to me roleplaying games are about tailoring your character and his actions to the kind of experience you want, at least when offered that opportunity. So when you inadvertently stray from the path, I don’t think it’s weird to want to correct it.

    Neolucifer: That’s fair enough, I just think the developers should be accomodating the consumers rather than expecting their consumers to accomodate them, even if it is a minor gripe. You’re right though, I didn’t consider the monitor option at all. That would be my fix.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. Soong

    Also, sometimes it’s not clear what is going on when you’re playing on a black and white telly – it’s an outrage! They should have been checking the game for black and white tellies before going gold. Bastards.

    But seriously guys, at a certain point the world simply has to move on. Yeah some people are still holding on to their precious SD sets, but times have changed. You can’t even buy a SDTV anymore, I see no reason for developers to support a dead format.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. DarkElfa

    The people who bitch about their issues with 60 dollar games on a 300 dollar console not being watchable on a 250 dollar TV should be shot. It like the people who put 2400 dollar rims on a 600 dollar pinto. Spend the money on whats most important to what you want to do first. A great TV is far more important to good gaming than a console. Would you buy a Ferrari if you didn’t have anything to drive it on but gravel roads?

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Neolucifer

    That’s even what i’m using right now , an vga box on a 24” monitor .

    Precisely because i refused to buy any cheap hdtv or a good one too soon .
    But i do know i wouldnt have made the jump with access to hd personally . And i will soon , meanwhile my setup is great .

    #28 5 years ago
  29. JonFE

    Thing is, DarkElfa, that people do not replace their TV’s unless they are broken beyond repair, whereas they will replace their console when their last one dries out of new releases or a shiny new game only available on the next-gen consoles blinds them…

    #29 5 years ago
  30. JonFE

    BTW Psychotext, would you mind passing me next month’s Lotto numbers along with your copy of Dead Rising 2, if you’re finished with it?

    Thanks a bunch!

    #30 5 years ago
  31. Psychotext

    /has given away that he’s posting from the future again
    /logs out of historical web

    #31 5 years ago
  32. JonFE

    Just avoid meeting your present-time self and everything will be OK, McPsy 8)

    #32 5 years ago
  33. Michael O’Connor

    “They went to the extreme with the Mako stuff, instead of fixing it they removed.the whole thing and replaced it with a lame arse mini game.”

    Then I’m sure you’ll love the Hammerhead DLC.

    “It’s a ridiculously bad design choice.”

    Have to disagree with this entirely. It’s far from a QTE. I can give two examples where it actually helped heightened the experiences. Both Jack and Miranda’s loyalty mission have blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Paragon moments.

    I wasn’t fast enough to react in one of them, and I suffered the consequences for it because I didn’t respond fast enough, which mirrors the situation occurring on screens.

    Another scene on Tuchanka had me dealing with a character who kept baiting me, and I *felt* annoyed by this character. The designers clearly knew he would annoy people, and lo and behold, while he was rambling on a Renegade option came up, and because I was feeling miffed by this character, I reacted instinctively and choose it. Krogan bastard got a swift headbutt that shut him up fast.

    How is this a *bad* mechanics? It’s exactly the opposite! It creates a sense of reactionary tension within the storytelling. If you are too slow to react, the situation will change accordingly. If you were too slow to react and save someone, it’s *your* fault they are dead. Live with it. Don’t blame the game for your own failing.

    If you reloaded your game just so you could max out your Renegade bar, I think you’ve missed the whole point of BioWare games completely…

    “Doesn’t dictate that everyone can afford one.”

    As someone else said, if you can afford a $60 game on a $250 console (and especially if you have a LIVE account), you are capable of saving for an HD TV.

    “No need to go on the defensiveas my opinion varies from yours.”

    Some people *enjoying* arguing points and making critical observations of things. That doesn’t mean we are “on the defensive”. Quite the opposite in fact, it’s more like going on the *offensive*.

    “I don’t know what kind of fantasy world you’re living in, but demanding that your paying customers spend an additional 300 euros worth on accesories just because you fucked up the text in your game is NOT good business sense, nor is it impressive craftsmanship.”

    It’s called redundant technology. Do you see anyone releasing VHS movies anymore? No? Do you know why? It’s the same for SD TVs. And yes, SD TV *are* redundant technology, and have been for well over 2 or 3 years.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. Bulk Slash

    With who did you sleep?

    Tali, Jack and Kelly. I’m playing through again now, hopefully I won’t piss Miranda off this time and have her ignore me for the rest of the game.

    Did you lose any comrades?

    Yes, quite a few: Grunt, Mordin, Legion and *sob* Miranda.

    Did you make it?


    Destroy or keep?


    I really love Mass Effect 2, it’s a possible GOTY for me. I thought the first was good, but I felt the RPG elements seemed at odds with the real-time combat, if I aim at something it should be my skill not some stat that decides if I hit them. The changes in ME2 are all for the better I think.

    The only bits I’m not keen on are the mining and hacking mini-games. The mining is just the sort of mindless tedium I’d expect from an MMO.

    #34 5 years ago
  35. MushroomStamp

    I’m playing on HD and loving it ;) 54″ at 1080p of HD goodness :) gotta pay :)

    #35 5 years ago
  36. Uncontested

    Loved the game but yeah.. I felt like they stole the plot from dragon age (build your forces) and save the world… well except not really..

    It was more like stop these pretty insignificant evil people that are in the big scheme of things not really doing that much since even if you didnt stop them there are still a sh!t ton of those other bad guys waiting so that we can get to the third game already where you face the real bad guys..

    if that make sense.. haha

    #36 5 years ago
  37. Psychotext

    That’s not entirely true… think back to the enemy’s ship, and what was going to be done with it. I can’t post more because it’s a pretty significant spoiler.

    Sure, there’s a bigger enemy, but that one was quite capable of screwing the universe up on their own.

    #37 5 years ago
  38. Phoenixblight

    Agreed Psycho. Without Sheperd and his team of misfits humans would be that of the Dodo.

    #38 5 years ago
  39. Dralen

    If you can afford a games console you should be able to afford a HDTV. Console game prices are super pricey, and yes they are worth, it but they’re still alot of money.

    #39 5 years ago
  40. The_Deleted

    All this talk of ‘Just buy a better TV’ is hugely ignorant. Just because we have a console does not mean want / should or can afford a TV. I’m not saying they aren’t redundant tech. They are. But a lot of people are still to upgrade for any number of reasons. Not everyone has the money they once had anymore…

    #40 5 years ago
  41. Retroid

    I’m appalled by the use of colour in this game, I’m playing this on the 10″ B&W portable I got as an Xmas present when I was 9.

    #41 5 years ago
  42. Mafro


    #42 5 years ago
  43. Neolucifer


    enough already , anyone who can afford games every month can afford a vga box , it’s that simple .

    #43 5 years ago
  44. The_Deleted

    I’m appalled by the use of colour in this game, I’m playing this on the 10″ B&W portable I got as an Xmas present when I was 9.

    So not the same thing.

    #44 5 years ago
  45. Retroid

    When I bought a 360 – January 2006, so four years ago – we didn’t have an HDTV in the house yet we had several monitors and I used a VGA cable.

    Now we have three HDTVs (granted, one of them is 19″) and a few monitors.

    Perhaps I’ve just always been lucky like that, but I have to wonder how people can still find ways to play in SD when SDTVs haven’t been sold in, what, three years or more?

    #45 5 years ago
  46. Psychotext

    In fairness, it’s not like they all blow up after 5 years. That little feature is reserved for modern TVs. :D

    #46 5 years ago
  47. Retroid

    Most CRTs I’ve had blew up after ten years :)

    #47 5 years ago
  48. Psychotext

    See, that’s double the quality!

    #48 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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