Mass Effect: Legendary Edition represents a chance for BioWare to retroactively fix things with Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 that the studio didn’t account for when first developing those games. As we learned while attending a presentation for the remaster, that includes the depiction of female Commander Shepard.
“We definitely wanted to make sure that we were able to bring her back as an option in the trilogy,” environment & character artist Kevin Meek said. “In fact, that was one of the very first things we did.”
Meek cites female Shepard as one of the few characters in Mass Effect 3 who stands to use some improvements in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. “We’ve done another pass on her where we’ve done everything from slightly modifying some larger forms of her face or adding some medium and fine details like wrinkles and pores and specular breakup,” he said.
Beyond these added details, both female and male Shepard will have additional character customization options in the Legendary Edition. “We also knew that other players who found the custom character creator–especially in the earlier games–might have had limited options. Options for things like eye color or makeup or hairstyles get expanded throughout the trilogy so you might be able to make something you really connect with in Mass Effect 3 but [are] not able to reproduce that look back in Mass Effect 1 or 2 again,” Meek said.
He continued: “So one of the first things we really wanted to do was, throughout the trilogy, unify the options–if something exists in 3, we want it to exist in 1 and we want that to be able to be consistent. And we also really wanted to expand choices for things like skin color and hairstyles–which weren’t wide enough initially to support the diversity of our playerbase or give fans the opportunity to create that Shepard that they really wanted to play as. So in the Legendary Edition, when you create your Shepard–whether you want to go for an iconic look or custom look, you’ll be able to create a character that is more representative of and consistent across the entire trilogy.”
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition’s release date on Xbox One, PS4, and PC is set for May 14. Xbox Series X|S and PS5 will also support the remaster through backwards compatibility, enhancing all three games with faster load times. For more, check out our rundown on all of the improvements in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.
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