The Shepardess

25 07 2011

We recently learned that the marketing material for Mass Effect 3 will not only feature the default male version of Commander Shepard, but also the female version. Thanks in part to Jennifer Hale’s terrific voice acting, this version of the character has slowly become a standard-bearer for female protagonists in games, although only 18% of players choose to save the galaxy as a woman rather than a man.

The default faces of male and female Shepard from Mass Effect 1 and 2.

At first it seemed that the woman depicted on posters, trailers and the collector’s edition box art would be the default female setting of Shepard from Mass Effects 1 & 2, but a new Facebook poll from Bioware suggests that they want to redefine that character by letting fans choose a new face for the marketing. Predictably, there have already been a few peeved notes written here and there that some, perhaps all, of the six options presented appear to be younger and more generically attractive than the previous default version (number 5 is getting the most flak), and that she should look more like the battle-hardened special forces member that Shepard is. Predictably again, the response to this is that DudeShep’s face is based on a male model – so why shouldn’t default FemShep be very good looking too?

I’m not too bothered which one wins the poll – my Shepard has always been the default male version – but I’m definitely intrigued to hear what other people around the internet think about it beyond the many, many comments spawned by the pictures on Facebook itself.

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