The Average Gamer

Mass Effect 3 – Shepard Ages Backwards?

The Mass Effect 3 single-player demo goes live on PSN and Xbox Live next Tuesday, 14th February with multiplayer available to everyone from the 17th. Hooray!

In this, you’ll get to play through a dialogue section and combat-heavy section of the game, showing off the Kinect functionality, skills trees, weapons, updated melee combat and crucially, the character creator.

Now I don’t know about you but I’m very attached to my Commander Shepard. I spent ages designing her back in 2007 and I’ve been staring at her face through the fate of the galaxy for upwards of 80 hours. So when I realised in this demo that yes, I could play as default FemShep from the trailer, or I could recreate proper Shepard, I naturally…

*shuffles feet*

I may have possibly dug out my Mass Effect 2 disc and started an entire new game just go through the ME1 save file importer and get the face code to my original Shepard. Whaaaat? It’s important.

For those whe don’t know, the custom character code is at the bottom of the design screen. Just note down yours from the ME2 importer screen and type it in here.

Which is exactly what I did. And as far as I can tell, an unexpected side-effect of Cerberus’s regeneration process from ME2 is that Shepard apparently now ages backwards. Here are pics of my character from all three Mass Effect games*.

Who the hell is THAT? Okay, I manually changed her iris colour because the one that showed up looked even weirder than what you can see pictured but the rest is exactly as defined by the code from ME2. The eyes and eyebrows are completely different, the cheekbone definition is gone, the mouth and nose are more downturned, her lip colour is now brown instead of black and apparently she now parts her hair on the left instead of the right. All through the demo I couldn’t help thinking how wrong she looked.

I really hope that the code mappings have just changed. This can’t be the Shepard I’ll get from the full game, can it?

*[Off-screen photos but using exactly the same manual camera settings and ambient lighting on each photo.]

Update 8th March 2012: My copy of Mass Effect 3 arrived today and yup, this is the Shepard face that I’m stuck with. BioWare have acknowledged that there is a problem and say that a fix is on the way. I’ve done what I can with blusher and some lip surgery but the fact is… she’s not MY Shepard :(