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Posted by on Mar 9, 2012

Sometimes, A Face Really Does Matter in a Video Game

Sometimes, A Face Really Does Matter in a Video Game

As most are probably aware, Mass Effect 3 is out and it is all the rage with fans of the series. My early impressions on the game are solid, and I feel that Bioware has really put a feather in the cap of this fantastic trilogy. The gunplay is solid and refined from the last game, and Bioware has even been kind enough to bring back some of the equipment elements from the first game, like upgraded weapons and add-ons to boost weapon attributes.

While it sounds like I am enjoying the hell out of myself with this fantastic title, I am a bit upset with my play. Not with Mass Effect 3 as a whole, but more because of my appearance as Shepard. You see, there is a bit of a bug affecting a group of players where your character’s appearance will cause an error when importing into Mass Effect 3. I was one of those people greeted with this error after anxiously opening my copy of Mass Effect 3. I selected to pull in my save, which had been crafted carefully over two previous games, and I got an error that my face could not be imported into the game and that I needed to redo my Shepard.

This was a slap to the face to me as a player. It seems strange, but Bioware and the Mass Effect franchise have imprinted a vision of Shepard that is my own. When I go to forums, or see screenshots of Mass Effect 3, I never really identify with the Shepard’s in those photos, because they are not my creation. My Shepard has plunged through the depths of the Reaper that was known as Sovereign, saved the human race from the Collectors. Along the way, she found people like Conrad Verner and others that needed Shepard to help them out when it came to their problems.

It is strange to think that something as simple as a face could cause me so much grief and anger, and to be honest, the rest of the stuff from my previous games is there. Mass Effect 3 knows I have been loyal to Liara, and that I sacrificed Kaiden for the greater good. It knows that I have forged a bond between Tali and an unlikely character named Legion. It shouldn’t matter what Shepard looks like, when all the data is there to back it up, but it does matter to me, and many others. Sure, I moved on, but I feel dirty as I play through Mass Effect 3, because the Shepard on the screen is not my Shepard, but some knock-off, like the Physical Ed teacher stepping in to teach Calculus. Sure, there is someone there, but you aren’t going to learn anything from them.

Bioware has stated that they seem to know what is causing the glitch, and that they are working on a fix for all three versions, but that fix is late for my first impressions on the game. I love everything that I find in Mass Effect 3, but I will never feel like I have finished Mass Effect until my true Shepard finally makes her debut into the game. Then the real playthrough of Mass Effect 3 can truly begin.

Are you missing out on your real Shepard? Let us know if you encountered the glitch and whether it has affected your play of Mass Effect 3.

Joseph Haygood

When not writing news and reviews for GGS Gamer, or hosting the truly terrible You Like the Worst Stuff podcast, I am actively seeking an on-call arch-nemesis.

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  1. I didn’t encounter the glitch as such but the customisation options on offer in ME3 are so incongruent with those in ME1 and 2 that even if the import is successful your Shepard looks totally different. I ended up mostly recreating mine as well and despite her looking ropey in character creation, in-game it is most definitely my totally badass black lippy-wearing Femshep.

  2. I always used the default FemShep face and in 3 they changed it so I went here and searched “Commander Shepard” – got the code and all I had to do was adjust her hair color a bit.

  3. I encountered that glitch, but after much customization I was able to reassemble with some minor differences my original gangsta fem Shepard. Yeah, it sucks, just gotta move on. The huge thorn in everyones arse and wallet is the DLC. I think we’re all feelin the pain.

  4. I’m waiting to play until the bug is fixed. Apparently a patch went out, but it didn’t fix my problem. I tried to recreate “my” sheppard, but it just looks like he had bad plastic surgery.

  5. You complimented the gun play. That mediocre, boring, tedious, tedious,, tedious, gun play. Mass Effect 3 wasn’t a good game, unlike the first installment in the series.