A Deeper Shepard In Mass Effect 3

A Deeper Shepard In Mass Effect 3

If you thought that Commander Shepard didn’t express enough of the emotional turmoil he/she was going through during the war, then you’re about to see a deeper, more multi-faceted character in Mass Effect 3, says the lead writer of the Mass Effect franchise, Mac Walters.

In an interview with Bioware Pulse, Walters talked about taking a lot of things “to the next step”. One such thing is the character of Commander Shepard, who will be presented as a deeper character so that players get a greater understanding of his experience as a hero during the war.

“Yeah, it’s a war. Yeah, it’s got giant robots we get to shoot in the face, but there is a human side to the story,” says Walters.

“You are role-playing and you’re role-playing as a human. Why shouldn’t that human have an emotional component throughout the game?”

Walter continued to say that if the game makes the player feel something and is also entertaining, then they will feel as though they have done their jobs.

You can view the video below.

What do you think? Did Shepard not show enough emotion in the first two games? Is this a character “upgrade” you think it necessary to the franchise? Let us know!


  • Does this mean he’s going to mope every chance he gets? Because I think it means he’s going to mope every chance he gets.

  • Hopefully they still give us the option to role play a soldier do badly mulched by his experiences that he feels nothing. Doing that and still being interesting and engaging would be something. Most badass soldiers just gloss over the difficulties of combat stress, but if his reaction is to break down his emotional framework, and you could SEE it happen, that would be interesting.

  • I’d like to see some depressing monologue from Shepard on the whole origin business, it’s a bigger threat to freedom that the reapers, at least they have the decency to just end us.

  • hmmm i don’t know.. i liked that Shepard was always cool and collected, almost Kirk-esque (yes he also bags hot aliens).
    He always has an answer while the rest of the world around him is going to shiz..

    • Then again, he did see his whole unit die on Akuze. He could have some serious emotional scars.

      But on the other hand, every soldier has scars. Shepard’s a survivor.

  • I had no issue with Mark Meer’s (the male voice actor) performance….my issue is with the fact that Mac Walters is no Drew Karpyshyn.

  • I hope the emotion Shephard expresses reflects the choices made during earlier games, morality and in light of the backstory.
    A straightforward hardass with no fears of getting his hands dirty on renegade, a openminded negotiator on paragon or a balanced but world weary middleman who is just looking for a solution.

  • Hmmm, I am concerned that whatever ’emotion’ they inject into Shepard will not take into account the myriad of backstories, gameplay choices and general attitude of the Shepard played by each individual gamer.

    • Just concerned? Played any Bioware games of late? 😛 Prepare to have your Shepard image shattered unless it fits in exactly with the one direction Bioware are going. Certainly not good for me, since Shepard never said what I wanted him to say or how I wanted him to say it in ME1 or 2, god I hate dialogue wheels.

      • I think dialogue wheels are fine. What isn’t fine is when the dialogue wheel and the words coming out of Commader Shapiro’s mouth are completely different!

  • One of the issues I had with the second game was that Shepard spent a lot of time interrogating his/her companions about their emotional state and then helping them work through it but no one really asked how Shepard was feeling.
    I mean Kelly asked once after you run into Ashley/Kaidan but no one every says “hey Shepard, you were dead for two years, every one’s moved on, you want to talk about that?”.
    It’s not until the Shadow Broker DLC that someone actually asks how you’re feeling about the whole war and what’s to come. I thought having that conversation with Liara was cool.

    Having said all that Shepard’s supposed to be a leader. You don’t go telling your followers, even if they are your friends, how you’re having doubts and feeling all emotional about what’s to come. It’s not good for moral.

    I’m of course taking what was said to be talking about emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety etc. I could be wrong. He could be talking about making Shepard this super happy life of the party type character. I don’t think so though. When someone starts talking about making a character deeper they normally mean making them more mopey and depressed.
    In case I’m wrong though I will say I think Shepard already showed enough positive emotion in the previous games, bonding with the crew over a card game or drink, offering encouragement and support in their times of need, joking around with them during missions etc.

    • The downside with the Laira discussion as I recently discovered is that if you want to reconcile with Liara you still have to say what Liara wants to hear! Sure, it was nice to give us a chance to say that it feels hopeless and we’re being smothered by responsibility, but if you do, Liara packs up her shit and leaves!

      • Femshep can unload some of her feelings on dying to Jacob if she’s in a romance with him. Most people just decided to hate Jacob right off the bat so it’s probably not common knowledge.

  • All I care is that Garrus will get deeper into my Shepard, amirite?

    Just kidding.

    I’m with others – I have played all my characters fairly differently – some are badass and reckless, some are busting with angelic virtue, another can be quite selfish. I hope Shep doesn’t just spurt off some out of place and depressing Alan-Alda-during-season-10-of-MASH type monologue.

    • You will be somewhat disappointed, methinks. I fear he is going to monologue the hell out of everyone, trying to rally them… especially as a paragon.

  • I say Shepard remains stalwart through. Implacable against what it thrown against him / her and their allies.

    Instead the game ends with a legacy of alcoholism and Post Traumatic Stress. A broken shell of man who was once a hero.

    Roll credits.

  • I did love the ‘epilogue’ of Shadow Broker when Shepard can confine to Liara how he ‘really’ feels about the whole mission to defeat the reapers, depending on your choice in dialogue, but to see him/her vulnerable and worried for the future adds a real sense of humanity given the scale of what he/her has to accomplish in Mass Effect 3. Can’t wait!

  • Lets make this Shepard show the wear and tear of several years of fighting and literately dying that sounds in depth realistic and downright cool. Pity EA’s jamming MP down our throats which of course will replace an emotioally sombre yet subtle mood with dickheads yelling sexist and homophobic bullshit. So what you’re trying to do will lose a lot of it’s relivance. Mac Walters is one of the many people at Bioware i’d bet dollars to doughnuts didn’t want MP.

  • Itd be cool if they made him darker, like all the events of the last few years and constantly getting used by the council and cerberus have just made him sick of it and pissed off. Thatd make renegade choices way cooler Id reckon.

  • I was pissed about the lack of any “holy shit I was dead. Dead. Gone.” discussion.

    Wtb transcript =/ I can’t stand watching Bioware Pulse. Too inane most of the time.

  • Don’t tell me how to feel!

    Hated playing SC2 story and I choose to not help the scientist lady – my feelings = ‘screw you’.. Jim Raynor said ‘oh im so sorry /has a sook”. I was just spewing ‘that isn’t right Jim!”

  • The one thing I find that constantly bugs me is the voice actor for the male Commander Shepherd.

    He is soooo monotone. How can you be emotional when you sound like a robot?

  • Any word on the dialogue wheel actually showing what you’re going to say? I got so sick of selecting an option that read as “logical clever response” and then hearing it come out completely different and almost unrelated.

  • It will all be good. The core fans will get this game no matter what. The people that enjoy this type of game will decide after playing the demo and the haters are of course, going to hate.

    It will be fine. Say what you will about EA, Origin and Bioware. The one thing you can not say is that Bioware puts games out with crappy story lines. Sure some of there games have a few hickups in their stories, but the rest of the games story (about 90%) is just fantastic.

  • While I like the concept, I’m worried that BioWare’s/Mac Walter’s Shepard won’t match with the Shepard that they have let player’s create. Shepard is a leader and the one thing that has been the player’s responsibility so far is creating Shepard’s internal monologue and rationale. If Mass Effect 3 removes that, then they’re undermining the myriad of different personae that players have created in the series.
    More worrying is the comment that “Mass Effect 3 is like a movie – THE movie. There’s a backstory, maybe you know it, maybe you don’t..
    1. Mass Effect 3 is a game. NOT a movie. If we wanted a movie, we’d watch a movie. We want a game where we define our protagonist – hence why giving Shepard feeling assigned by the writers is worrying.
    2. Mass Effect 3 is the final game in a trilogy. It’s not supposed to be THE movie, it’s supposed to be the final game. If you don’t know the backstory, tough. Writers should NOT be catering for the people who haven’t taken the time to get up to speed. It’s not done for movie series. It’s not done for TV series. It’s not done for books. Why is it done for games?
    I’ve loved Mass Effect 1 & 2, but this talk concerns me because it sounds like it’s completely invalidating the experiences and story that anyone’s Shepard has faced, and that’s a far cry from the grand culmination of a trilogy.

    • It sucks but I find myself in agreement with you. I’m hoping for the best, but I expect the worst…

  • I just hope I won’t be forced into extreme ends of the Paragon/ Renegade spectrum. My Shep chose the middle ground (with a slight bias towards Renegade) and suddenly all their crewmates turned disloyal.

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