Mass Effect 3’s ‘heroic’ Femshep design will now appear in the whole trilogy – and she’s had a minor makeover

By Alex Donaldson, Tuesday, 2 February 2021 16:00 GMT

In Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, the iconic version of the female Shepard that appeared in Mass Effect 3 will be back-ported to the other games – but she doesn’t look exactly the same as she used to.

The Mass Effect games might have the ability to play as a male or female version of lead protagonist Commander Shepard, but they’ve always had something of a gender imbalance. BioWare aims to at least partially fix that in Mass Effect: Legendary Collection, the remastered trilogy package of all three Shepard games.

As part of the general changes to the games, the ‘iconic’ version of Female Shepard as introduced in Mass Effect 3 will now be available as the ‘default’ Shepard in both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. In fact, bringing the iconic default Femshep into the complete trilogy was “one of the first things” that BioWare did on the project, according to Environment and Character Director Kevin Meek.

This means that Femshep players won’t go through the jarring experience of designing their own character, only to have the choice between sticking with them or making the jarring switch to a much better, hand-modeled version in the third game. Now you can carry that ‘box art’ Shepard from beginning to end – or if you choose, you can ditch her and design a custom look.

Along with simply bringing that Femshep back into other games, the character model has also been changed and tweaked. In truth, the Femshep model probably wasn’t quite as good as the Male one, which was a head-scan of a real-life person, model Mark Vanderloo.

“I think she was a really good example of an ME3 character that had some room for improvement,” character lead Meek explained. “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, pores, and specular breakup…”

“In the end, she’s still very much that same iconic look. I think if you were to just show her in a vacuum you could really forgive someone to not necessarily know the difference. But she’ll catch the light better, and she competes more with the iconic male Shepard in terms of overall quality now.”

Regardless of which gender Shepard you choose, and if you go for the default or do some customization of your own, the Trilogy Remaster also offers other improvements over the original Mass Effect releases.

Back-ported from ME3 alongside the default female Shepard are all of that game’s customization options. The character creator greatly expanded across the course of the trilogy, but you’ll now be able to pick hair, make-up, scars and other customization that was previously only available in ME3 across all three games.

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