Male vs. Female in Mass Effect

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#1 Posted by EpicSteve (6471 posts) -

For whatever reason I played as a female in Mass Effect, thus making all trailers for Mass Effect 2 hella awkward. I thought the story fit a female protagonist well, and the voice acting was better. Destuctoid wrote a nice article on the matter supporting a female character. What do you guys think?

#2 Posted by Bigandtasty (3202 posts) -

I'm just a "play as a dude" kind of dude, but I can see why someone would like the female Shepard's voice acting and style better.

#3 Posted by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

Nothing wrong with that, even though my character in mass effect is on my avatar, other games like fallout 3 and dragon age orgins, I always create a female character because they are fun to look at for hours at a time killing stuff.

#4 Posted by SternCat (27 posts) -

I did both, as I played through Mass Effect several times. However my favourite Character that I plan to carry on with was the female Shepard. I agree that the voice actor was better, and I just felt it was easier to make a cooler looking female character.

#5 Posted by Slippy (735 posts) -

I just stick with default Shepard. He's generic, but he fills the role perfectly and I honestly can't imagine Mass Effect without his macho space marine image. I will do a run with a female character only for the lesbian alien sex. 

#6 Posted by Hamst3r (4452 posts) -

When given the choice I always play as a female character. Nicer to look at and listen to.

#7 Posted by adam_grif (1144 posts) -

Male Shepard was the only good looking character model for your protagonist. Even default female Shepard was very meh looking imo. I tried creating a custom male and custom female Shepard, but it was IMPOSSIBLE to make one that looked good, irrespective of how much tweaking you did. Some of the custom Shepards from video reviews I saw were ugly as frack.

#8 Edited by MrJared (397 posts) -

As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as a male Shepard. The actor for the role is so incredibly stiff and bland on his delivery that it very seriously sounds like a first read. Bioware is typically very good about their cast, but Male Shepard is unbearable in his monotony. 
 
Female Shepard on the other hand comes across as extremely strong and confident. And while Sheppard is supposed to be something of a blank slate for the player to project themselves onto, Jennifer Hale evokes just enough of it for it to come across as a natural experience for the player. 
 
Besides, aren't there enough bald space marines to go around? :)

#9 Posted by AgentJ (8778 posts) -

I discovered the other day that Jennifer Hale does the voice for the female Sheppard. It upped my interest in replaying the game as a female character by roughly 300 percent

#10 Posted by Heartbreak (288 posts) -

Female Shepard's voice actor is BO$$
 
and if I'm going to stare at somebody's ass for hours when moving my character around, it should at least be a woman.

#11 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -
@MrJared said:
" As far as I'm concerned, there is no such thing as a male Shepard. The actor for the role is so incredibly stiff and bland on his delivery that it very seriously sounds like a first read. Bioware is typically very good about their cast, but Male Shepard is unbearable in his monotony.  Female Shepard on the other hand comes across as extremely strong and confident. And while Sheppard is supposed to be something of a blank slate for the player to project themselves onto, Jennifer Hale evokes just enough of it for it to come across as a natural experience for the player.  Besides, aren't there enough bald space marines to go around? :) "
The hair feature is there for a reason, Sir. ;)
#12 Edited by Cornman89 (1579 posts) -

Played both. Liked both. I actually really enjoyed male Shep's rollicking (if overplayed, I admit) heroism while I though Jennifer Hale's reading was a bit dry in some parts, though evidently this is the minority opinion.

#13 Posted by MetalGearSunny (6986 posts) -

Jennifer Hale is a damn good voice actress. 

#14 Posted by Yummylee (21270 posts) -
@Metal_Gear_Sunny said:
"Jennifer Hale is a damn good voice actress.  "

And made even better when compared to the canadian cutout that the male sheperd gets.
#15 Posted by Atlas (2430 posts) -

Female Shepard is totally the way to go. I made a good interesting character model for my lady Shepard, and decided she was the one. Well, she was, until BioWare decided that they were gonna take her name - Miranda - and give it to one of the characters in Mass Effect 2. We can't exactly have two Miranda's running around, can we? Damn you, BioWare.
 
To go off-topic a little, how great would it be if I kept my Miranda Shepard, but it became a running joke that she and Miranda Lawson have the same name?

#16 Posted by atejas (3057 posts) -

Femal Shepard VA is just better.
As it is, I always alternate between male and female in games that give you a choice.

#17 Edited by Venatio (4482 posts) -

Yeah I played as a male the first time through Mass Effect but the second time through was a female and she is my best character, a level 59 Vangaurd and thats the one Im bringing over to Mass Effect 2 
 
I'll admit that I almost always play a female character in games 

#18 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -
@Heartbreak said:

" Female Shepard's voice actor is BO$$  and if I'm going to stare at somebody's ass for hours when moving my character around, it should at least be a woman. "

If your immediatly focusing on a mans ass, I'd say you're probably supressing something ;)
 
But yeah, I generally agree that the female Shepard was a much better role.  Her character model was nowhere near as good, and it was impossible to make anything that didn't look like it was made of clay but her voice acting was great, and it's nice to play as someone besides the bald space marine for a change, or the typical scantily clad female.  Indeed, I think we need more lesbian space marines.
#19 Posted by Vorbis (2749 posts) -

Played as female but I could never get the face to look... natural. So have remade a male for ME2, plus male Shepards better at being a jerk.
 
 

#20 Posted by Lydian_Sel (2480 posts) -

Nothin wrong with playing a gal. My lady Shepard was a racially insensitive ball busting bitch who would fucking shoot you in the fucking face just for a laugh. 
 
She was something special.

#21 Posted by NoXious (1338 posts) -
@Vorbis:

I agree with Vorbis, I prefer the male voice for a Renegade character.

#22 Posted by Heartbreak (288 posts) -
@WinterSnowblind said:
" @Heartbreak said:

" Female Shepard's voice actor is BO$$  and if I'm going to stare at somebody's ass for hours when moving my character around, it should at least be a woman. "

If your immediatly focusing on a mans ass, I'd say you're probably supressing something ;)  But yeah, I generally agree that the female Shepard was a much better role.  Her character model was nowhere near as good, and it was impossible to make anything that didn't look like it was made of clay but her voice acting was great, and it's nice to play as someone besides the bald space marine for a change, or the typical scantily clad female.  Indeed, I think we need more lesbian space marines. "
Randomly calling strangers gay isn't very funny, but hey you need to work on that ass of yours ;)
#23 Posted by Ghostiet (5225 posts) -

I'm practical: I always make a female and male character if I can. I prefer a ladies' bottom.

Also, in ME - Jennifer Hale for the win. She erased Bastila fucking Shan from my mind with that and Ophelia from BL.

Vanderloo-looking and Meer-voiced Shepard is and will be the iconic Shepard. Can't do anything about it, but the Mass Effect series have enough replayability to try both sides, and I think the female storyline should have something special, really.

Online
#24 Posted by pornstorestiffi (4909 posts) -

I played both usually always do just to see what different plot points you can reach or just to see how much different the speech options are.

#25 Posted by Cerza (1653 posts) -

I also felt the story worked better for a female Shepard. Strangely enough, I felt Dragon Age Origins story worked better if you played as a female as well. Playing as a female just seemed to better highlight certain aspects and elements of the story in both games such as being the first human specter in ME, or a Gray Warden on DAO. Maybe it's a recent Bioware thing, or maybe it's just because I always get the feeling that women are second rate in the worlds/universes that Bioware has been creating recently. I dunno it's just a thought.

#26 Posted by ahoodedfigure (4238 posts) -

The voice actor for "Jane" seemed to have more depth of conviction, from what I heard, and she played it tough, which was a really welcome change from the usual stock choices we get.

#27 Posted by PhatSeeJay (3322 posts) -

I generally play my dude as the good guy that does all with shivalry while my female shepard becomes the badass one that puts everyone in their place. So ME2 will be even more appropriate for my female Shepard since it's right down her alley. :)

#28 Posted by VIGGO123 (552 posts) -

I played as a female Shepard due to the fact that the female voiceacting is waaay better than the male one...

#29 Posted by PenguinDust (12450 posts) -

 Shepard is always a woman in my view
Commander Strawberry Shepard was my character.  She was a striking green eyed blond.  Tough as nails but with a compassionate heart.  She prized duty and the safety of her crew above her own desires.  Because she was the lone survivor of a horrifying massacre, she was reluctant to use unnecessary violence.  In the end, she saved the galaxy and redeemed her nemesis, but along the way, she tragically sacrificed her love for the greater good.

I almost always choose to play as the female when the opportunity is available in video games.  There's probably some deeper psychological reasons for this, but whatever it is, I tend to enjoy the experience more when I accept the option.  In Mass Effect, I was very impressed by the dynamic range of the female Shepard.  Jennifer Hale's voice artistry is well known in the games industry.  In addition to her role in Mass Effect, she's also starred as "Samus Aran" in the Metroid Prime series, "Bastila" in Knights of the Old Republic and a long long list of other titles.  Her talent helped sculpt a multilayered character that was more believable than the majority of all other female protagonists.  

"I chose a female out of curiosity [in Dragon Age: Origins] and was immediately taken out of the experience when everyone seemed to be treating her like a male." [Destructoid]

This is one of point I can completely confirm when it comes to the portrayal of female player-characters in video games.  Be it, The Elder Scrolls, Fable, or Fallout, choosing to play as a woman in their worlds is virtually identical to playing as a male.  The worst offender of this that I've found in recent memory is Saints Row 2.  Of course, the character from the first game is supposed to be the same character in the sequel and you only had a male option in the first game.  I can only assume that the good taxpaying citizens of Stilwater provided for her sex change.  But, in all regards to these games, the options and interactions between the female protagonist and all in-game characters are blandly sexless.  I know that it is difficult for game developers to create different reactions to the main character depending on their sex, but it's not real.  Ultimately, that scripting choice limits the sincerity of both character options.

So, from my perspective, Commander Shepard is a woman.  Heroic, tender and virtuous, I understand her relationships with the crew of the Normandy and within the Galactic Council. The recent influx of Bioware cinematic trailers for Mass Effect 2 are like watching some other game for me.  The soldier I see on screen bears no resemblance to my interpretation.  This is why I can't read any of the novels and would certainly be disappointed by any film adaption.  However, the situations presented in the Mass Effect 2 promotional clips excite me.  I look forward to taking my Shepard into those settings surrounded by a dangerous motley assortment of vagabonds and ne'er-do-wells again.  
 
@Vorbis:   I see your "Jerk" and raise you a "Bitch" ;-) 
#30 Posted by dagas (2746 posts) -
@Metal_Gear_Sunny said:
" Jennifer Hale is a damn good voice actress.  "
I agree with that. I've loved her since she played Bastila in KotOR.
#31 Posted by lythic (1 posts) -

I hate having to play a male character.  It really colors my gaming experience, and makes me dislike otherwise good games.  Thankfully there's games like Mass Effect, Oblivion and Fallout where I can customize the protagonist.

#32 Posted by threeve (199 posts) -

Man, I've never done a full playthrough as a female Shephard, but the one time I made one, I thought the voice acting was just not right.  Maybe it's just because it wasn't what I was used to and I could hear the male shephard in my head saying the same lines.   I thought the male voice acting was ace though.

#33 Posted by essaregee (573 posts) -
@Hamst3r said:
"When given the choice I always play as a female character. Nicer to look at and listen to. "

Plus she is voiced by Metal Gear Solid's Naomi Hunter (if only she looked anything like her)
#34 Posted by Brodehouse (9588 posts) -

The main reason I played female was because of Jennifer Hale.  I usually play a rogueish type of male in RPGs, but knowing Jennifer Hale was doing the voice made me make the Mass Effect version of Ellen Ripley.

#35 Posted by Joeybagad0nutz (1438 posts) -

I stuck with Default Male Shepherd. He already looked badass so I liked it.
#36 Posted by ErrorOperator (458 posts) -

I would always choose female if your going to spend a long time looking at the back of a character... might aswell make it an attractive female (Dont know where i heard that from). However my dad is an idiot and when he walks in on me playing as a girl he would be like "OOOHH YOUR PLAYING AS A GIRL! HOW CUTE!"

#37 Posted by Veektarius (4601 posts) -

I agree that female Shepard was better, but will play male because it makes me feel more personally involved in the story and lesbian romances aren't my thing.

#38 Posted by Raven_Sword (3438 posts) -

Ill do my first playthrough with my Saved dude. than ill do another one Female. My question is, if im a Level 46 on my Save game, will I be a level 46 in Mass Effect 2? or does it only carry over my Past Decisons? what about gear?
#39 Posted by ErrorOperator (458 posts) -
@Raven_Sword: I think it is just the decisions, so your level + gear will be restarted ;D
#40 Posted by Haethos (307 posts) -
@dagas said:
" @Metal_Gear_Sunny said:
" Jennifer Hale is a damn good voice actress.  "
I agree with that. I've loved her since she played Bastila in KotOR. "

Love Bastila. Love Love Love.
#41 Posted by natetodamax (19171 posts) -

The male Shepard has pretty bad voice acting in many parts. The female Shepard has okay voice acting in most parts.

#42 Posted by Haethos (307 posts) -
@natetodamax said:
"The male Shepard has pretty bad voice acting in many parts. The female Shepard has okay voice acting in most parts. "

I never had a problem with the male Shepard. Am I alone here?
#43 Posted by natetodamax (19171 posts) -
@Haethos said:
" @natetodamax said:
"The male Shepard has pretty bad voice acting in many parts. The female Shepard has okay voice acting in most parts. "
I never had a problem with the male Shepard. Am I alone here? "
I didn't like how generic and unenthusiastic he sounded in most parts. However, some of his Renegade dialogue is great.
#44 Posted by ajamafalous (11852 posts) -

I prefer default Male Shepard.

#45 Posted by demonbear (1859 posts) -

I played both but somehow I enjoyed myself way more with my Jane Shepard Renegade version. Plus she really looks like one mean woman. I gotta take a screenshot.

#46 Posted by DuhQbnSiLo (2139 posts) -
@HitmanAgent47 said:
"

Nothing wrong with that, even though my character in mass effect is on my avatar, other games like fallout 3 and dragon age orgins, I always create a female character because they are fun to look at for hours at a time killing stuff.

"
pretty much...
#47 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

It's always interesting to play as a strong female, the male "stock" Shepard seems a bit generic. 

#48 Posted by DuhQbnSiLo (2139 posts) -
@PenguinDust: I think you just made me WANT to try this game out again just to be an asshole LOL
#49 Posted by Andorski (5191 posts) -

When it comes to games that have the player shape the story through decisions, I always pick a male character.  The choices that my character makes is a representation of the choices I would make if in the same situation, so there would be a disconnect between the character and I if she was a female (especially in romantic situations).

#50 Posted by ahab88 (238 posts) -

I play as a female Shepard. In fact most games where I'm given the option to choose my gender, I go female. A journalist on a podcast said that if they are going to have to look at the back of a character for 30 - 60 hours, they'd rather it be female. To which I agree. Maybe its some latent femanism residing inside me that longs to see strong female leads in games, but I doubt it. That being said, my female Shepard is probably the strongest female ever in a game and I love her for it. It kinda weirds me out to see any other face for Shepard, especially a male Shepard.

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