That's not my Shepard

Friday, March 9, 2012 | 01:02 AM | by

Well, I am still very much looking forward to playing Mass Effect 3. It's sitting in my living room, but I've decided not to get into it until Bioware releases a fix for the character import issue. If you haven't heard about this, essentially anyone who made their Commander Shepard in the original game, and kept that same Shepard in Mass Effect 2, cannot import their character's face into Mass Effect 3.

I spent a fair amount of time simply trying to rebuild my Shepard's face from pictures, but like many others I've found that certain features just aren't included in the options. And a somewhat close facsimile just isn't going to cut it. Bioware has stated they're working on a fix, but in all liklihood it will be a week or two before it hits the game, the way Microsoft's patching system works.

I'm anxious to play, but I just can't bring myself to do it without my Shepard. I've played through a dozens of hours with him over the past two games, I just know I'm not going to enjoy the game as much or connect with the character if suddenly he looks totally different.

On the bright side, the multiplayer is fairly entertaining. You basically fight off waves and waves of enemies, trying to survive until extraction. You earn experience, and you earn credits, which you can use to unlock various "booster packs" of random items with a chance to get a rare. It's pretty neat, and will serve as an enjoyable timesink until Bioware lets me close out this story with the only true Shepard I'll acknowledge. The one I've taken through the last two games.

Finding Shepard

Saturday, March 10, 2012 | 05:34 PM | by

A method just popped up online a day or two ago for supposedly working around Bioware's face import issues. It's a little complex, with a bunch of file swapping and registering for/downloading a bunch of stuff. I decided to give it a shot though, to see if there was a shot of getting my Shepard back.

For reference, here's my Shepard in ME1:

Here's my Shepard freshly imported into ME2 from ME1:

And here is what ME3 thinks my Shepard should look like using the vanilla importer:

And here, using the supposed workaround method, is as close as I could get the face to my actual Shepard:

It still just doesn't seem right, but it's close. I'm going to sit with it for a day or so and decide whether or not I can live with it, or if I should hold out hope that Bioware will be able to patch the importer to do its job correctly.


Sunday, March 11, 2012 | 05:39 PM | by

I settled on using the Shepard imposted, and actually, it looks much more like my character in-game. It's still a little off, but it's close enough. As it turns out, there is quite a large disparity between the way characters look on the character creation screen, and the way they look in-game. It's unfortunate, especially for those people like me who are trying to recreate a very specific character. You're not seeing it in the creation screen, but in-game it may look a lot better.

Anyway, here's my Shepard in-game. I'm satisfied enough that its him to start playing. The minor differences I'll chalk up to age and stress.