There’s no shortage of reasons for fans of third-person action games, science fiction, or role-playing to get excited about the release of Mass Effect 3 this year, with all signs pointing to the game being the blockbuster we all hope it will be. But with concrete details about the fate of Commander Shepard still hard to find, it seems that one thing can be considered inevitable: the female version of Mass Effect 3‘s protagonist will be a redhead.
Not the biggest bombshell, sure, but considering how the decision has been made it is worth taking note of. Because while players were faced with the ability to design their very own space marine, or choose one of two pre-rendered characters, there was no missing the fact that the male version of the franchise’s hero was given more attention. But with Mass Effect 3, the developers decided to give fans the final vote on what kind fo overhaul ‘FemShep’ would receive.
BioWare unveiled a host of differing character designs, and ultimately (and somewhat unsurprisingly) the blonde version won the Facebook vote by a landslide. With voters numbering in the thousands, the developers couldn’t help but take notice, but stopped to look a bit deeper into the choices made by fans. It seems that someone in BioWare’s marketing department has a passion for hairstyles, as they attributed the blonde’s victory to the cut of her hair, not the color.
To make a long story short, round two of FemShep voting began, with the winning design now provided in a rainbow of hair color. BioWare’s marketing director David Silverman said that the votes would be tallied once again at the beginning of PAX Prime 2011, which means that the polls are now closed as far as the team’s concerned. In a stunning twist – and a massive blow to blonde gamers everywhere – the fans have awarded the prize to none other than the Redhead:
With the current Facebook numbers sitting at a hefty 19,515 ‘likes’ for the red haired model, that’s more than the blonde and dirty-blonde versions of the character put together. The raven-haired FemShep made it a fight with 12,800 ‘likes’ but if the development team at BioWare holds to their word, then there’s no doubt that Mass Effect 3‘s female Shepard will be a ginger.
What does this mean for the story? Practically nothing. But it does show that the team behind the game is as committed to delivering a high quality visual performance as the voice actress Jennifer Hale is. Hopefully this is the final vote, and we can go back to wondering important things, like how many romantic encounters we’ll be able to experience in our playthrough. Oh, and there’s that whole war with the Reapers.
What do you think of the final results? Would you have preferred to see another model win, or are you open to having more red-haired heroes in modern gaming?
Mass Effect 3 will release for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on March 6, 2012.
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