Mass Effect Month: Day 2 – Battle of the Shepards

We’re back with our month-long Mass Effect challenge! For previous days, click here.

Mass Effect Month, Day 2: Do you like m!Shep or fem!Shep better? Why?

I mean, they’re practically the same character with just a different skin on them, so they’re both pretty awesome, aren’t they?

But I really love fem!Shep, I’m not going to lie.

 

Shepard

Honestly, there’s no real Earth-shattering reason I like the female Shepard over the male Shepard model. I really love Jennifer Hale’s voice, and although Mark Meer did a decent job, no one could touch Ms. Hale in regards to quality of performance.

Besides that, I suppose it was nice to be able to play as a female character who really had no reason – quite literally – to be female. She could have just as easily been a man, and the story would have progressed similarly. I think from a macro view, that’s a great female character – one that isn’t a woman “for a reason.” And, in the case of a super-soldier like Shepard, it at least made sense for them to both be equal in regards to physical performance and aggression. Also, her armor actually looks like armor.

Image result for female shepard

From a more self-indulgent perspective… C’mon. Samantha Traynor.

samantha2

Do you prefer to play as m!Shep or fem!Shep? What draws you to him or her? Let me know in the comments!

I should go,
~ Athena

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23 comments

  1. I agree that Jennifer Hale gave a better performance, in general, but I sometimes have difficulty playing fem!Shep because of her flirty attitude towards Vega and her really odd interactions with Jacob.

    So, my best experience has been with a fem!Shep, but I tend to imagine my characters as male before I play because I know I’ll have an easier time translating my vision into the game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of fem!Shep’s interactions definitely left me scratching my head – she threw herself at Kaiden, Jacob, and Vega, didn’t she? sigh. At least with Vega, I dismissed it as she knew he was off-limits and so it was just friendly flirting back and forth, but.. yeah I get you.

      That’s fair! The best thing about Mass Effect is playing the way that makes your own space opera come to life!!

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  2. Well, I think the REAL Shep is not the one created at the start. The REAL Shep reveals behind all those dialogs variants taken and decicions made. And the appearence – it’s awful, just awful! Without tons of mods m-Shep looks like a serial rapist with his sweaty-glowing face and spinning eyes and the fem-Shep looks like a crack-addict with those red eyes and strange skin rash over the face (not even close to them freckles) and even strangier shadows running over her face! Well, I’m tough, but even I get freaked out by Bioware’s madskills. Look at them collectioneers, them husks or banshees – they’re perfectly modeled, textured and shaded! Even secondary characters look way better then both Sheps, even mister Vega with his papier-mache muscles! And you know what? Bioware made their next mass-effect’s characters even worse. (Sorry for all that frustration)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry to hear you had such a hard time with your Shepard(s)! I didn’t have any of those glitch issues with my Sheps, but I do agree that m!Shep could look a little creepy sometimes. I’m not sure what you mean about red eyes and shadows… Like when Shep went renegade? Either way, it sounds like you had a really frustrating time.

      I’m not a developer, so if I may ask a sort of ignorant question… customizable characters never seem to look as “good” as their NPC comrades (with the possible exception of their default). Is that because the code is too complex to have the same level of detail/texturing/etc. for all customization options?

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      1. The problem is.. Well, they made default Sheps look worse then some of custom set-ups. Well, you are able to make custom character far more realistic/human-like/soldier-like — especially if you install additional mods for the game. Why did the Bioware not put some work in this direction of development — it just makes me wonder. Having different ‘dummy’ face models in game is not that hard to implement through code, no that hard problems with details/textures/etc, especially with Bioware’s resources (their funds, their crew).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I juuuust started this series last night, and it is good hear fem!Shepard has the AmbiGaming Seal of Approval. 😀

    Also, “her armor actually looks like armor”! That is the bane of my videogame experience right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I played the trilogy on one male character. But after making a female one to reply, I can honestly say the female voice actor is WAY better than the male one. Much more emotion. The guy sounds downright bored by comparison 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  5. FemShep all the way. Playing as FemShep always makes me engage more within the game. Whereas with MShep, I usually just feel like I’m playing a character in the game, kind of like with Nathan Drake or Laura Croft. I don’t really project myself onto them; neither do I with MShep. I guess with FemShep, it’s personal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I initially preferred male sheppard, I guess simply because I’m a man and I wanted to create myself or some image of me. I thought the voice acting was done well, and i think the face of my male sheppard changed throughout the trilogy, I wish i had screen shots, by ME3 my sheppard intentionally looked absurd, but still loved and took the game seriously.

    When the day comes, I do plan on replaying the trilogy as renegade female sheppard, for a completely different experience so to speak. Although playing as female from how you describe it isn’t all that different, but I’d imagine the romance options are where it would become very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair enough! That’s the great part about character creation.

      My Shepard changed, too, even though I tried to keep her as similar-looking as possible. I guess as the graphics changed, she did, too haha. But I’ve seen some of the weird-looking Shepards online…. they’re amazing!! hahaha

      The romance options are a bit different, and the voice acting is also a bit different, but no one in the Mass Effect universe treats you any differently for being a woman, which is nice in its own way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s interesting. Whenever I approach Mass effect I think there may be the occasional jerk who’ll treat me different because of gender and that would bring different challenges to the table. I always imagined playing as female Sheppard that I’d be like “you think you can say and do that because I’m a woman?!”. And then proceed to beat them up or something. Perfect for my vision of female renegade Sheppard 🙂

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  7. I like Fem Shep because one, Jennifer Hale. Also, it’s just refreshing to play a female space marine who is treated exactly the same as her male counterparts (from what I can tell) in a setting that’s phenomenal with diversity. At no point is Shepherd excluded from anything due to her femaleness. If she is underestimated it’s due to her being a human, not playing ball with Cerberus or some other non-gendered reason. You can also romance female characters still. I know Liara but I’m unsure about Tali if Shep is Fem. I hope so though. The game does a great with Cortez mourning his husband. It’s not a thing or treated as less than any other loss.

    It’s just awesome to see that changing a character’s gender does nothing to change how people react to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do like that sexism seems to be “dead” in the Mass Effect universe, and yet handles things like classism and racism in such a thoughtful way. Anyway…

      Liara is a female romance option, as is Samantha Traynor in ME3. Tali unfortunately is not, even though there is some dialogue in ME3 (ME2? Yikes I can’t remember which one) about her being okay with “linking suits” with femShep before she gets all awkward and stops talking that made me scratch my head a bit… But she’s canonically straight, which is a perfectly legitimate lifestyle 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really does. I love the parenthood of the asari and how that really makes you think about gender since they really only have one, but still have fathers and mothers. Incidentally, that one asari bartender with the krogan father was hands down my favorite NPC.

        Ah that makes sense! I can’t even think about how the quarians would, er, procreate with any other species given how easily they’d be compromised, but then again, I think they just do the same thing if their suits are damaged. I STILL want to know what they look like…

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  8. I don’t really have a preference. I like Femshep’s voice acting and hair options better, but Broshep’s animation fits his body a lot better. I think it depends more on what character I’d like to run that playthrough, which is dependent on how I feel when I’m just starting it out.

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  9. I went with female Shepard so I could turn her into Ellen Shepard, haha. In general, I don’t really care what gender I’m playing as, but if female is an option I usually go with that (at least on my first playthrough). The more options games give us, the better!

    Liked by 1 person

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