Mass Effect Legendary Edition is indeed setting itself up to be legendary by making significant changes to the portrayal of their female characters.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition, an upcoming remake of the iconic Mass Effect series, is supposedly breaking free from its past by making alterations to the way some female characters were viewed.
First of all, some admittedly gratuitous butt shots have been removed, but apparently that’s not all that was remixed. According to new word from the developers, the team has aimed to hold their characters to a more equal standard across the board.
For starters, Character Environment Director Kevin Meek stated that BioWare has remastered the animations for female Shepard. In previous games she shared animations with male Shepard during particular scenes, which led to a few awkward moments, such as the potential for FemShep to manspread in a dress.
Meek also detailed how FemShep has been tweaked to include wrinkles and more natural lighting. In other words, a more humanistic appearance compared to an unrealistically devised character as seen in its predecessors.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition will also implement shot changes to famously ass-heavy cutscenes. As players of Mass Effect 2 in particular will remember, the male gaze was all too apparent. Meek shared:
“Specifically around the animations, we couldn’t really change a lot of those…we can’t necessarily change that animation, but you can raise that camera up slightly to reduce the problem.”
Meanwhile Mac Walters, the game’s Project Director, shared:
“Kevin actually called out some camera cuts that were just… why was that focusing on Miranda’s butt?”
“So in some cases we said, ‘Okay, we can make a change there.’ But ultimately, to change an entire character model or something like that wasn’t really… It was a decision that was made as part of many creative decisions and just showing it at the best possible fidelity that we could going forward is really the choice for all of the art that we had.”
It’s 2021 after all, and modern times call for modern stories. It’s to be expected from BioWare, a company who previously made breakthroughs in the gaming world with its incorporation of same-sex relationships when the original Mass Effect trilogy was contemporary.
Considering that a well-known game developer recently won a court appeal that effectively encouraged gender-discriminatory behaviours to continue, this is certainly a breath of fresh air.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is mere months away and is set to grace your PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5 and Xbox Series S/X on 14 May. Pre-orders are available here.