It's official, ladies and gentlemen, as BioWare has now released the official portrayal of Mass Effect 3's female Commander Shepard. Any doubts that the blonde/brunette/redhead debate was a sign that the development and marketing team wasn't taking the game seriously should be put to rest, as this FemShep looks more than ready to take the fight to the Reapers in ME3.
The fan vote made it clear that Shepard fans prefer redheads, but the concept images that the publisher had released for fans to deliberate over haven't got anything on the latest marketing image.
The picture made its way online from PAX Prime 2011, and is apparently the very same picture that will don the Collector's Edition of Mass Effect 3. BioWare had promised to give said honor to the female portrayal of humanity's last hope, as well as a trailer all her own. Hopefully now that the team knows exactly what their Shepard will look like, we can see more marketing sooner rather than later.
Redheads may not be that common among mythology's greatest heroes, but if this first look at Commander Shepard is a sign of her character, that may change very soon. Have a look for yourself:
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Now that the debate can end, hopefully we can all agree that this new Shepard is giving the kind of time and dedication that she's deserved. There's no shortage of players who have spent two games with a female version of the space marine, yet all advertising to date has more or less given them the cold shoulder. After the recent surge of discussion and enthusiasm around FemShep, it's hard to argue that she's garnered more attention than her male counterpart.
And that's the most important thing here. Any dedicated fan who voted (perhaps more than once) for their favorite character design wasn't basing their decision on attractiveness or hair color. If we're going to be spending the length of an incredibly heart-wrenching narrative with this version, then there are dozens of things to look for. The amount of drama and fatigue that BioWare's artists have managed to communicate in the above image is proof of how much fans have to look forward to.
What do you think of the design? Does it get you even more excited for the conclusion to Shepard's story, or would you rather here more about the game's various new mechanics? At the end of the day, we're just happy to see another female protagonist that embodies the very opposite of a damsel in distress.
Mass Effect 3 will be facing players with more than a few choices when it's released on March 6, 2012 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
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