Mass Effect Legendary Edition: 10 Things Missing From The Character Creator

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition included a new-and-improved character creation for players to tweak their old models in (or create entirely new galaxy-savers). While much of the content will be familiar to fans who have played the original series, there are a few new tweaks worth noticing.

There’s still an individual character creator for each Mass Effect game, but the hairstyles and Shepard’s appearance have been standardized (as much as possible) throughout. While some fans have adored the new additions, others are bemoaning what could have been. These are a few things that could have appeared on the character creator but didn’t.

10 Can’t Edit The Default

The default Shepards have become iconic figures of the Mass Effect franchise. One change that fans were holding out for and didn’t get was the ability to make tweaks to those default models.

No such luck, though, since the default Shepard still isn’t included in the “Preset” faces. No doubt fans will soon discover the correct face code for both Shepard models and those will spread online, but it’s a shame Bioware didn’t think to build it in themselves.

9 Better Lighting

Long-time Mass Effect players are well aware of this fact but newer fans of the franchise might be more innocent: the lighting in the character creator is terrible. Many players will see the introduction sequence a few times before they’re finally happy with the model they’ve built.

It just doesn’t always look the way they expected it to once they enter the game world. Bioware worked tirelessly to improve the lighting in the trilogy, so why skip the notorious character creation?

8 Makeup For BroShep

In Mass Effect games, women characters often have a certain customization option over their male counterparts: makeup. FemShep can adjust her blush tone, lipstick, and eyeshadow. It may have been normal when Mass Effect first came out but, these days, it feels a bit dated.

More and more, men are using makeup as a form of self-expression or simply to protect their face from sunlight. Even if that is set aside, makeup in video games is often a good way to add more depth to your character for role-playing purposes. Perhaps a player doesn’t consider that dark eyeshadow to be makeup. Maybe it’s actually the dark circles under their eyes from so many late nights on the job. Extending these options to all genders would be a nice improvement.

7 Scars In ME2 or ME3

In the first Mass Effect game, the player could choose to give their Shepard a scar, whether it be small or significant. Once Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 rolled around, though, the scar option had been removed from character customization.

A cool – if slightly less plausible – addition some fans hoped for was facial or neck tattoos for Shepard. Some fans pulled this from the other Bioware game, Dragon Age, where the main character is often able to have some kind of face marking or face paint.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition doesn’t change this. Scars are still present in ME1, but absent in ME2 and ME3 and no tattoo options are available. Fans simply wanted to add more personality to their faces (especially since scars were ephemeral). Several other options would have also helped such as the “dirt” option from Skyrim or the ability to alter your character’s freckle density.

6 More Diverse Character Modeling

This one is more difficult since this is technically a remaster and not a remake. But many fans (critics and die-hards alike) were not thrilled when they saw the same extremely limited options when it comes to Shepard’s overall ethnic background and genetic traits.

Whether playing as male or female Shepard, the overall appearance skews very White/Caucasian. Though some options for Black/African American characters have improved, representation for other ethnicities still seems to be lacking. It’s a shame since the ethnic diversity in Mass Effect: Andromeda seemed a bit deeper.

5 Give FemShep and BroShep Access To All The Hair Options

One notable difference in the Mass Effect games is that the hairstyle options are specifically gendered. The female player character gets access to a certain set, and the male player character has access to a different set. This seems unnecessary at best and gender-normative at worst.

Other games released over the last few years haven’t limited players in this way. Animal Crossing: New Horizons, for example, does seem to organize the options by “feminine” styles and “masculine” styles – but doesn’t restrict the player from choosing whatever they prefer. Again, it’s one more way for players to truly customise their characters.

4 Central Heterochromia

In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the character creator included a special feature in which the player could make their character’s outer iris a different colour than their inner iris. In real life, this phenomenon (and others like it) are called “central heterochromia.”

Fans were enchanted by the possibilities this opened up for their character creation experience! They could use it to make truly unsettling or bizarre eyes. Or they could simply combine two browns or two blues that made their characters’ eyes more to their liking. It would have been a nice addition to the Mass Effect character creation.

3 Can’t Turn Your Character Around

One annoying trait from the original games has remained in the Legendary Edition’s character creator: you can’t spin the character model. While the game does allow gamers to tilt Shepard’s head this way and that, they can’t actually move the entire body around.

This means that the back of the chosen hairstyle – something that players will be staring at for the rest of the game – is still a mystery until the first cutscene runs. We would have accepted a creepy, owl-esque head turn if it meant not having a back-of-the-head lootbox reveal.

2 No Way To Edit After-The-Fact

Players delighted in Larian’s decision to change character appearance as desired in Divinity: Original Sin 2. It’s a feature that’s becoming more and more common. That’s why fans were disappointed to find that there was no way to edit their Shepard’s appearance after the initial character creation.

While some people are speculating that it could be released in future DLC content, most are just disappointed. Lots can go wrong in character creation (such as a swap to new lighting conditions, as previously discussed) or even just the player deciding to shift Shepard’s personality and wanting their appearance to reflect that.

1 Option To Let Shepard Talk

Another feature that Mass Effect: Legendary Edition could have borrowed from Dragon Age: Inquisition was the option to let the character model move their face (by talking). It was especially important for the character to talk in Inquisition because the player could choose between two different voice actors for their character.

While one couldn’t expect Mass Effect to add another voice to Shepard out of the blue, a side effect of watching the model’s mouth move was the ability to check how facial animations would contort your creation.

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