Rants & Essays

Is Change Always Good? FemShep Redesign Draws Fan Ire

Blonde FemShep

Last week I posted about how BioWare was bowing to fan demand and including the female version of Commander Shepard in their promotional materials for Mass Effect 3. While the decision was initially met with cheers, with BioWare announcing their intention to let fans choose FemShep’s appearance through a Facebook poll, those cheers were quickly met with confusion when the FemSheps on display demonstrated a full scale redesign of the character from Mass Effect 1 & 2. No such redesign had been attempted for ManShep, why did FemShep need a makeover?

The confusion then turned to anger, or at least annoyance as the winning design turned out to be white-washed blonde bimbo option.

Blonde FemShep

Bland, bland, bland...

Now let’s compare old FemShep to the new FemShep to take note of exactly why exactly this redesign is upsetting people:

FemShep side by side

First off, why’s she so skinny? Original FemShep is far from portly, but the new version is downright waif-like. The reduced shoulder guards also serve to emphasize FemShep’s delicate frame. Next comes the boobs. No difference in the size (thank God), but the way the suit is molded emphasizes them by separating them in a completely unnatural way. Then there’s the face. while I’m assuming you’ll still have the option to tweak and customize her eyes, ears, nose, etc, the default nose is notably more “button-like” and the overall face shape is rounder and more classically “feminine”.

Most of this does amount to nitpicking, but I still feel like it’s worth pointing out. The real question will be whether they will still be using one character animation for both Male and Female Shepard, or if they’ll completely puss out on us and use the awful mincing trot from Dragon Age 2.

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