With the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, the team at BioWare is working on updating graphics and textures and showing a little more love to the first game’s Female Shepard model, to bring her image in line with the rest of the trilogy. The team is also tweaking some camera angles to make things a little less…awkward. In an interview with Metro, character and environment director Kevin Meek explains the details.
“Specifically around the animations, we couldn’t really change a lot of those, but there were times where you could change the camera to not focus on one of those animations. So a male Shepherd animation would have him sitting with his legs quite wide open with a low camera where, if you were wearing a skirt, it would be a bit unflattering.”
Remember that skintight N7 dress FemShep could wear and how when she sat down, her defaut wide-legged sitting pose would no doubt shame her grandma? Yeah.
“So we can’t necessarily change that animation,” Meek continues. “but you can raise that camera up slightly to reduce the problem.”
But FemShep’s apparent failure at charm school isn’t the only animation getting a reshoot. There’s a moment in Mass Effect 2 in which Commander Shepard and Cerberus operative Miranda Lawson are discussing the latter’s past and, seemingly out of nowhere, the camera angle changes to focus on Miranda’s *ahem* rear assets. Here’s a video to refresh your memory.
When Mass Effect 2 was released in 2010, Miranda’s arse became one of the predominant memes, resulting in the game being renamed Arse Effect by fans. In a 2010 interview with Kotaku, Casey Hudson, who was the project lead on Mass Effect 2 at that time, tried to deflect the gratuit-assness of the moment by stating the game had the same kind of shots of Miranda’s Cerberus partner Jacob, but writer Tracey John seemed sceptical.
“Jacob’s outfit might be tight, but there are no lingering shots of his behind, and he’s not sexualised by the camera angles.” John wrote.
Fast forward to today, the team at BioWare seems to understand that kind of cheesy sexualisation would be extremely dated in 2021.
“I do think a lot of things have evolved since [the original games],” says project director Mac Walters in Metro. “But I don’t know if I would say we were ultra-concerned about it or anything like that, but there were considerations. Kevin [Meek] actually called out some camera cuts that were just…why was that focusing on Miranda’s butt? So in some cases we said, ‘OK, we can make a change there.’’’
In this instance, change is good, but we’ll have to wait until May 14th to see what that change looks like. In the meantime, if you still want to see Miranda’s dump-truck of an arse as originally presented, you’re going to have to boot up your old copy of Mass Effect 2.