A New Look At Mass Effect 3’s New Character, James Vega

A New Look At Mass Effect 3’s New Character, James Vega

Mass Effect 3 executive producer Casey Hudson dropped this rendering of new team member James Vega, as a community reward celebrating his 10,000th Twitter follower. Whoever’s No. 10,000, thank you for that.

Vega debuts in ME3 and is meant to represent the perspective of a new player coming to the story. As a character, he occupies something of an antihero role, an experienced soldier with a realpolitik sense of the galaxy and its underworld.

Ursus-Veritas, who sent along the tip, notes he looks a ton better than his original reveal, in the ‘Alternate Appearance’ outfit to be included in the collector’s edition.


  • Yeah but see, now because of everything about the sexuality of mass effect, I see this picture and remember that everyone is LGBT in space and it’s creeping me out 🙁

  • Yeah but see, now because of everything about the sexuality of mass effect, I see this picture and remember that everyone is LGBT in space and it’s creeping me out 🙁

    Maybe it wouldn’t bother me if he wasn’t a creepy looking dude to start with =_=

    • He looks like a male stripper. Velcro pants and all. Now we’re just waiting on a cop and construction worker.

      • You will still be able to import, the events of the first 2 games still took place regardless as to whether or not Shepard survived.

        • Yes, but Casey Hudson has said repeatedly you won’t be able to import, as they treat Shepards death as a game over.

        • This isn’t correct, sorry to say.

          Regardless of the events of the first two games, you can’t import a save into ME3 in which Shepard is dead.

          “Mass Effect 3 will not accept a Mass Effect 2 save game where Shepard was killed at the conclusion of the suicide mission; Mass Effect 2 is considered the end of the main series for that Shepard.”

          • As much as I love the series, that’s the most stupidest thing ever. Why allow the character die in the first place? If the game is meant to have role-playing elements and import-saves, then at least follow through with those promises correctly. Obviously that would mean no ME3 for that player, but by removing that possibly of death, except to every other AI character part of the squad, then it can continue into ME3 with Shepard wanting vengeance more than ever since he lost his squad for yet a second time!

          • Yeah, I’m not sure why they made that decision if it couldn’t be imported…

            Probably because having to make a whole separate game with another protagonist to replace Shepard would be a huge, huge investment of resources.

            It’s easier to just say that “Shepard dying is the absolute worst outcome, but we won’t let you import that into ME3 because it’s too much work to make a game based around another character.”

          • More to the point, there IS NO SAVE if Shepard dies. The “bad ending” plays, the credits roll, and it punts you back out to the game screen. If you botch the suicide mission to the point that Shep dies, then that’s game over. No more Shep. Fission Mailed. The only difference between that and shep dying from enemy bullets earlier in the game is that Bioware gives you an ending as a consolation prize. You are then expected to reload an earlier save and do a playthrough where you survive.

  • Wow, they’re really pushing the envelope with their character design.

    Hey guys!, Lets make a stock standard ‘grizzled-marine-type-guy-101’.


  • Except for maybe the free DLC merc guy from ME2 all of Biowares human companions have been horribly dull.

  • I am sorry, I see this and all i can think of is him telling shepard…

    “This normandy needs some fully sick sub-woofas, bro! Then we go cruisin for chicks, bro.”

    I can see this guy saying “Bro” un-ironically, a lot…

    Oh, and as he reminds me so much of my brother, I will kill myself if he is the same-sex romance option. Like dead, bro!

    • Like Brucie from GTA 4…

      “Shepard… how could Jamesy V bet chicks, IF HE HAD FUNNY BALLS?”

      “Let’s put some bitches to the omni-blade, VIP style! YEAH!”

      And you know, after thinking about this… this is what ME3 needs. Hahaha.

  • I’m not really a fan.

    He could surprise everybody, but the marketing seems to push the “dudebro, mohawk-toting, gun-waving Gears-clone” vibe.

    If this is accurate then at best it’s a clumsy attempt to appeal to a completely different demographic of shooter fans, and at worst it could make the character into a farcical and totally out of place example of why there’s no sense going for the badass angle in a sci-fi story-driven RPG.

    • “He could surprise everybody, but the marketing seems to push the “dudebro, mohawk-toting, gun-waving Gears-clone” vibe.”

      Which is precisely why I suspect BioWare will make him romanceable by male-Shep.

      Think about it:
      1) SSR-able Vega provides Mass Effect fans that want a same-sex male option with precisely what they desire.
      2) SSR-able Vega, being so grizzled and GAAAAAR and ‘dudebro’ defies the usual stereotype that nonhetero men are all fabulously-flaming-fairies.
      3) SSR-able Vega also means that no previously-shown male character in the squad will be revealed as bisexual; thus no one with significant emotional investments in the 100% absolute never-even-had-a-gay-thought mono-heterosexuality of Garrus (or anyone else) won’t be offended.

    • Correction; “won’t be offended” should read “will be offended.”

      That said, I agree that if he’s a clone of Fenix (a pathetic idiotic character that exists as a monument to the insecurities of so many Gears players, combined with more “why didn’t you love me, Dad?” issues than a standard Linkin Park album) that would suck. The only Gears character I don’t hate is Baird.

      • Yeah, that’s something I’ve considered as well. It’s not something I’d really find personally interesting (he looks like a baby with stubble and muscles) but a not-insignificant proportion of people wanting a SSR in ME3 prefer Vega over, say, Kaidan.

        Obviously I’m hoping for as many options as possible, given the constraints of time and resources, plus how many new characters Bioware are going to introduce for ME3.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if whoever survives Virmire (Ashley or Kaidan) is open to both genders in ME3, and there’s certainly a possibility of new characters as well.

        My gut instinct is that Vega will conform to every stereotype these comments have pointed out; it’d be hugely convention-subverting if Bioware did make him bisexual. The overwhelming message from his marketing and appearance screams Gears-clone ‘badass marine’ trope.

        • “it’d be hugely convention-subverting if Bioware did make him bisexual.”

          Which is precisely why I’d love to see BioWare do it.

          Just imagine all those 14 year old sexually insecure nominally-straight Gears fanboys who buy ME3 for Vega… and then find out (to their abject horror) that he isn’t 100% absolutely never-had-a-gay-thought-in-his-life monosexually hetero. It would make it even worse (for them) that Vega is specifically MEANT to be an audience surrogate for their specific demographic (i.e. to embody the attitudes of a player new to the series).

          Their reactions would be hilarious! They’d scream that BioWare betrayed them (“how DARE they make a badass character that isn’t completely 100% straight!!!”). They’d have a nervous breakdown on blogs and gaming forums! Analyzing their reaction would be the Psychologist’s Motherlode.

          Oh, and of you’re disappointed with his character design, I think its fair to say he’ll look a bit gruffer up close in the final game (this is a pretty long distance shot).

          • Hilarious? Definitely!

            But probably not likely 🙂

            Especially if they’re going for less character-building and more action and explosions.

            Complex characters who are more than one-dimensional are confusing and scary for your average Gears player. Though I’d love to see the forum reaction (it’s been bad enough that Shepard even has the option), Bioware aren’t exactly suicidal, and I don’t think they’d want to piss off too many fans 😉

            It’s not that I wouldn’t love to see this happen (even if Vega is completely not my thing), but I think Bioware are more likely to keep him as the familiar badass-space-marine character to reassure “new players” that this scary thing called Mass Effect is just like their usual shooters, except with a 50,000 line script. 😛

          • BioWare have plenty of fans that want a deeper story and compelling characters; the newbie “usually play Gears but now trying out something new” demographic are clearly the minority of the fans.

            However, I can understand your pessimism.

            On the other hand, if they make any of the previously-established characters bisexual, they’ll piss off at least some fans of said previously-established characters (“You made a character I identified with/wanted to be go gay?!? You’re attacking my heterosexuality! HOW DARE YOU!!!” etc. etc.).

            You’re probably correct that BioWare are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If they make a previously-established male character bisexual, they’ll piss off those members of said character’s fanbase with an emotional investment in said character’s heterosexuality. If they make Vega bisexual or gay, they’ll piss off the GAAAR-Action-Gamers. If they drop a male-Shep SSR option entirely, they’ll piss off gay and bisexual male gamers as well as female gamers that like dude-on-dude.

            Since BioWare have stated that there will be a m!Shep SSR option, that means there are two alternatives; alienate long-running ME players with significant emotional investments in the series, or do something likely to alienate members of the usually-plays-Gears demographic.

            So, unless BioWare will bring in a new squadmate to be the m!Shep SSR option (unlikely according to what BioWare has said) then the question is which of the two aforementioned demographics will BioWare be less accomodating towards? Long-running fans, or Gears-newbies?

            I think the latter is more likely, personally.

          • I disagree. I’ve been following the Bioware site for a while now, and countless fans have been wanting Kaidan to be bisexual – there’s rumors that there was even dialogue for a male ssr Kaidan option that was cut from the first game. (Garrus was also a popular favorite, though that probably won’t be happening) To most of them, this is a welcome change.

            Note, that the player controls how they react to you, so it’s not like those characters are gonna keep pestering you after you’ve explicitly stated you don’t want to pursue a relationship with them. What disturbs me though is how hyperbolic people have gotten over additional relationship choices. I find it a clear sign of immaturity if they think a person their character has known for quite some time now – and endured a lot with, might I add- is somehow a “betrayal” by Bioware if that character suddenly develops strong emotional attachments to their Shepard. Of course it doesn’t always evolve into intimate relationships, but it sometimes does and there’s no harm in such a representation.

  • He looks terribly out of place compared to the rest of the ME universe and characters we have grown and played with..

    Too try hard for my liking, ill let Legion have his way with him if I could 😛

  • I’m not one to normally nitpick before even playing the game, but I really don’t like the design for Mr. Vega at all. I’ve seen Hanar with less goofy character models. I get the feeling that Jimmy V. won’t being making it through the final encounter in my playthrough…

  • Bioware could suprise everyone and not have him not conform to any macho sterotype at all. He might even be a disillusioned warrior-poet type, who knows!?

    • He could be a public service message about the dangers of steroids.

      One of his poems could be titled “The day my balls became raisins”

  • Meh. Looks far too generic.

    During ME1 my Shep was completely bad-ass, then mellowed in ME2 (due to the story not being as urgent). With things coming to a head in ME3 methinks I’ll go back to bad-ass again, alas without Garrus who got himself killed. Stoopid Turian.

    This guy will probably be a character to recruit as he’s got “special information”, then I’ll just leave him wherever he decides to stand around on the Normandy.

  • This character looks to me like someone in marketing thought it’d be a good idea to include “Soap” from CoD:MW to boost sales 😛

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