BioWare’s poster boy for Mass Effect has always been the male Commander Shepard and up until now he’s always been straight. If you chose to play as a lass, the opportunity to fornicate grew in size because for whatever reason, a female Shepard is a bi-sexual Shepard. For the third release, everyone’s fair game with both male and female leads having the chance to knock boots with the same sex. Casey Hudson tweeted (via Videogamer) the news over the weekend saying: “Happy to confirm #ME3 supports wider options for love interests incl. same-sex for m&f chars, reactive to how you interact w/them in-game=.”
A little bit of internet searching later and I found that Hudson revealed more to PC Gamer adding the choice of partners will only be those you’ve already met on your travels not anyone new the series. Liara was one of the popular companions from Mass Effect 1 but wasn’t an ‘option’ in the second game but did make a come back as part of the brilliant Shadow Broker DLC. Hudson said that Mass Effect 3 will know if you stayed true to her or indeed whoever you partnered up with in the first game and has the characters react to you accordingly. If you knows that then presumably it’ll know whether you chose the promiscuous route and poor old Shepard will be in for a grilling in ME3.
A neat idea and one that makes sense for the fiction but a bit harsh when considering you are rewarded an achievement for completing the ‘romance quest’ in Mass Effect 2. Anyone hunting for those 25 points could get boned in the third game – and not like that either. I would imagine this will have a greater impact on Xbox 360 and PC players since the first game never came to the PS3 other than in a digital comic form.
BioWare have previously said that the male Shepard was written to be straight because that’s just his character type but it makes you wonder if they’ll be exploring the idea of abused minority groups in ME3 like they did in the second Dragon Age. Within Hawke’s adventure, the mages were seen as the abnormal and should be converted rather than allowed to live with their magic. See the link? Problem is, you can’t please everyone and both straight gamers and gay gamers were angry at DA2‘s concept of sexuality. One forum poster claimed BioWare were ignoring the straight gamer while another suggested gay characters were being stereotyped as being sex-mad. So where does that leave Mass Effect 3? Probably right were BioWare intends it to be as the voice of a handful of upset people won’t effect the bigger picture. Kind of ironic huh? Regardless of that, I’m just fearful of how I’ll be treated when my male Shepard has to explain to Liara and Tali what he’s been up to over the two games…