Even though the default Commander Shepard - male or female - bears the heroic visage that many gamers desire to save the galaxy with, every iteration of the Mass Effect trilogy has offered customization tools for gamers to create the vaunted Spectre in their own image. Importing a custom face with angry eyes or a reptilian jaw was a cinch between Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2, but a launch day bug for Mass Effect 3 created an unsettling surprise for longtime fans.
Before the clock even wound down on the game's worldwide midnight releases, we reported that gamers trying to import their custom appearances from ME1 or ME2 were being greeted with instructions to recreate everything from scratch. Though it's possible to recapture the same looks of previous games through a good memory and arduous slider tweaking, there will always be the looming fear that your Omar Little scar is offset by a few centimeters.
The bug has persisted ever since. And only now has BioWare announced that a patch is imminent to save face on the nosy issue.
BioWare community manager Chris Priestly, in updating an earlier posting from the developer's forums where "patience" was urged, has more on how the fix is in the works:
We have fixed the issue of faces not correctly importing into Mass Effect 3. It will be included as part of the next Mass Effect 3 patch.
The not completely good news is that I do not yet have a confirmed date for when the patch will be available. A new patch gets heavily tested by BioWare, EA, Microsoft and Sony before it can be released to the public. We all want to be sure that it fixes the issues it is supposed to fix and doesn't start any new issues (this is called testing or certification testing ). If a patch fails during testing, it is sent back, fixed again and retested until it passes. Then it is released to gamers. Until we know that the patch has passed certification testing, I don't want to give even a rough idea of the date, to prevent disappointment should it need further testing.
So I'm sorry I don't have the full answer you all want and are waiting for yet. When I can give you the date when the patch will be available I will.
It's a good gesture that BioWare hasn't given up on the problem, but unfortunately, it comes at a time when most gamers have already reached the conclusion of the game - at the very least, they're well into hoarding War Assets for the final assault against the Reapers. Any emotional attachment that was wrapped up in the old faces has likely worn off by now, and the most value for a patch will likely go to late adopters of the trilogy as whole.
The certification process that Priestly alluded to also means that Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners will have to wait a lot longer for the patch than PC owners (due to Sony and Microsoft oversight). And if a date hasn't even been announced on any platform yet - they could be waiting a long time. (On the bright side, maybe we'll all have our desired faces when the DLC ending finishes things good and proper!)
Certainly, though, there are greater levels of gaming ineptitude than face importation not working from sequel to sequel. With some of the opinions being distilled about the aforementioned Mass Effect 3 ending right now, no doubt many fans feel that a problem like this is the least of quite a few evils.
Mass Effect 3 is available now for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Be sure to check out our review and further post-release coverage.
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