When it comes to BioWare RPGs, many fans have high expectations over the years. BioWare RPGs tend to have a wide, interesting cast of companions, a compelling narrative, and a more “general” approach to choices (depending on the game). Now, it seems a classic BioWare RPG is exactly what fans will get with Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.
There’s one more thing fans expect, even if it’s not necessarily the best expectation. While practically every BioWare RPG contains character customization of some sort, most BioWare RPGs have lackluster hair that tends to look more out of place the longer someone looks at it. Ultimately, it remains to be seen, but it currently seems possible that Mass Effect: Legendary Edition breaks the BioWare hair curse.
Before really diving into the curse, it’s worth mentioning what has been confirmed regarding the character customization in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. There is a universal character creation, which is in and of itself a big deal. Any customization option in Mass Effect 3 is available in Mass Effect 1, allowing players to create a character to carry throughout the trilogy with ALL of the possible options available from day one. Furthermore, the default female Shepard now has a consistent look throughout the trilogy as well.
On top of the emphasis on consistency, players are also getting new customization options from make-up and skin tone to hairstyles. The inclusion of new hair is a big one, as it could seemingly imply that BioWare has not only put more work in making the options more consistent, but so too the hair. More options likely means the hair in general was worked on, and looking at FemShep in the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition seems to add some weight to this. The hair looks like a unique style and it’s not just a blob. It’s not exactly anything worth writing home about, but for improvements to a trilogy that released between 2007 and 2012, it does seem a lot better.
After all, BioWare RPGs are known for how the hair in its games will look like pasta or look like it doesn’t properly attach to the head. Part of this, at least in more recent games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, is that the Frostbite Engine isn’t really designed for RPGs. However, the Mass Effect Trilogy wasn’t made with Frostbite but a modified version of Unreal Engine 3. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is using the same engine interestingly enough, which goes to show one thing: experience and technology.
The tech at the time may have been limiting, and it may also deal with resources. After all, when players have the options to where helmets in RPGs, how big of a deal is a character’s hair? There’s no proper answer to that, but many would agree it’s more important in a third-person RPG than a first-person one, no matter what. With experience, renewed focus, and perhaps some tweak of the tech so that it’s more 2021 and less 2007, it seems BioWare is making a valiant effort to break its hair curse. This remains to be seen, of course, until Mass Effect: Legendary Edition releases or BioWare gives a more detail look at the character creation, but based on what has been revealed and shown so far, fans can hope that this is the beginning of the end for playdough hair.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition releases May 25 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with “targeted enhancements” on PS5 and Xbox Series X.