One More Jab in the Ribs from Mass Effect 3

If you read my review yesterday, or have been following my coverage of the game on Insert Coin, you know that I, like many others, have some serious issues with Mass Effect 3’s lackluster ending, despite the game being otherwise rather incredible.

But there was one moment that stood out to me as another disappointment, and one that was further amplified when I learned more about it. If you recognize this photo, you know what I’m talking about. If not, and you don’t want to know, do NOT meet me after the jump to discuss it.

Late in the game, if you stay true to Tali as your romance option, you finally, finally get to see what she looks like under that mask. We’ve seen artists’ attempts to guess before, but now we were at last going to see Bioware’s official take.

Rather than show her in game, she gives you a photo of herself when she de-suits after you get her back her home planet. Not exactly what we were all hoping for, but its something. The photo is the one on the left, and took many aback as it looked way more human that most imagined, outside of some quick tweaks. And tweaks they were. The picture on the left is a stock photo used to create Tali’s appearance, and that makes a crap reveal even worse.

It was a moment that fans had been waiting years for, and they spent five minutes photoshopping some white eyes and black wires, and cutting off two of a stock photo model’s fingers. I know there was a lot riding on the reveal, and maybe they didn’t want to take a chance at disappointing fans with the in-game engine, but really, this is the best they could come up with for us? Shameful.

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  1. That’s…both a relief and a HUGE disappointment. I’m glad she’s not a creepy looking lady, but I was hoping for something more exotic than that…

  2. Are you kidding me?

    Get over it.

    You’re kidding yourself if you think every texture, sound effect heck even line of code or engine is completely bespoke to one game, especially ones owned by EA…

    I mean, what difference does it make. It’s art, someone made it. Appreciate it for what it is, not where it came from.

  3. @ Lem

    Yeah, but here’s the thing… it’s VERY lazy. And some of it doesn’t even make sense. Why is Tali wearing nail polish when she lives in a suit 24/7? And where the heck is her suit? Shouldn’t laying around in the sun wearing just a blanket kill her? Why do Quarians look human when none of the other non-human races do? Where on Rannoch was this picture taken? I don’t remember seeing any trees. In fact, it’s stated in the game that the farmland is on another continent…

    Lazy I can deal with. Laziness that creates half a dozen plot holes is another matter. Kinda my thought on the ending too…

  4. Seeing as how this picture could literally be done in photoshop in about 15 minutes, its copout and lazy. The day 1 DLC with a Prothean was BS. The Endings to the game were BS. The reveal of Tali was BS. For a game that was supposed to deliver on promises of your choices really making a difference, we got such a half hearted delivery. It’s not like that didn’t have the funds for the 3rd game. I guess they just figured all those marketing gimmicks like putting Jessica Chobot in the game and sending advance copies into space were more important. Never has “style over substance” rang truer. As someone who’s sank over 150 hours at least into the Mass Effect games, they really exploited the hell out of us.

  5. That’s not so bad. Honestly, anything would have been a letdown. Some characters are just better left unseen, like Norm’s wife or Dr. Claw.

    As for the ending. . .yeah, also not so bad. It’s not ideal, certainly, but I (SPOILERS) went for the synthesis ending or whatever it was called and felt thoroughly satisfied by it. It was as heroic an ending as any. Then again, I’m easy to please so maybe I’m not the best critic to examine such things.

  6. Personally, I always thought the Quarians were going to be reptilian. The whole body structure just always gave me that impression. In that respect, I was almost a little (scared?) averse to knowing what they looked like, but curiosity was way stronger. To me, this is like what Jason said — a huge relief and disappointment.

    Now here’s question — why does she need all that hair in there? God that would be so dirty, sweaty, and itchy on your neck.

  7. The ending was shepard being indoctrinated by harbinger… sheps still lying under rubble in london.. i cant believe so many didnt get it all the signs are there throughout the game.. the nightmares… the child at the beginning that nobody else but shepard sees.. shep has been around reaper tech for too long.. project ro where he spent 2 days.. the dead reaper husk.. the collector base with the proto reaper not to mention his own cybernetics.. if you think about it this way the ending is symbolic of your fight against the reapers ideals.. never trust an ai that lloks like a child .. has movies taught us nothing?

  8. Well its most likely crap because they knew people would bitch no matter what they did. If they made her look more alien, she would have been “too alien.” If she was reptilian, people would bitch. If she was a cyborg, people would bitch. The same thing with the ending. No matter what they had done, people would have bitched. If they took the ten years to make a game whose ending took into account the hundreds of possible variations a mass effect player would have encountered, it would have “taken too long” and wouldnt have “addressed broader implications.” Likewise if there had been one ending that answered everything without player choice it wouldn’t have been “interactive” enough. Face it, when you come up with unrealistic expectations, you’re going ti be disappointed. Never mind the fact that no matter what they had done, everyone would be angry. Oh yes, you’ll say, “oh no not me, never, I just wanted a “good” ending.” bullshit. It was a “good” ending. Notthe best ever or anything, but good if you had the imagination and brainpower to a.) Comprehend it in the first place and b.) To redress those broad implications created by the comprehension to your own previous adventure in the mass effect universe. But instead the game maker had to force out an ending, because they simply couldn’t do what people wanted so the ending was going to be ridiculed anyways. Instead they focused all their efforts on gameplay, because “fans” were going to be pissed off because their precious little puppies and sunshine routine was going to be ruined by an ending that, oh my god, ended bittersweetly. Newsflash, life is bittersweet. But mommy and daddy will explain that to you one day. For now, you can read this comment turned article of its own. Try not to stress your minds too hard.

  9. @clayton

    sorry, its not the issue of “good” or “bad” ending, is the issue of ONLY 3 endings, and ONLY 3 options, that DONT RELATE to anything you´ve done in the entire gameplay…
    SPOILERS: blue explosion, red explosion, or green explosion, plus minor diferences, well… that dont seem like a mass effect ending

    The indoctrination version, that´s something worth thinking about though

  10. @ Lem
    I agree. this article just sounds like a whiny fanboy bitching like a baby that he didn’t get his way exactly how he wanted. Bioware tried to take the middle ground. they tried to make them not be too exotic, but at the same time make them a little less human than the asari. and we’ve KNOWN that Quarians have noses and eyes that are very similar to humans since day one. are you honestly telling me that you NEVER noticed the bridge of Tali’s nose in her helmet in ME1? we already knew that at least part of their face looked like a human’s. stop complaining like a baby, Bioware could just as easily not shown you anything at all. I’m perfectly fine with this. I like how Tali looks and I don’t care if they just photoshoped a stock photo. that’s what their there for. would rather they just got a photo of a bald woman and colored purple like half the fan drawings on the internet? this picture looks fine. not every single microscopic detail in the game has to be gold-coated perfection.


    “Why is Tali wearing nail polish when she lives in a suit 24/7”

    uh, yeah, she is an alien. how do you know that’s nail polish? it could be how her nails naturally look.

    “where the heck is her suit? Shouldn’t laying around in the sun wearing just a blanket kill her?”

    ok, that could be a good point, but this picture is much more realistic than the graphics of the game. maybe that IS her suit, and she just took off the entire Hood piece. you don’t know how those suits disassemble. it’s the same color, so that could very well be her suit,

    “Why do Quarians look human when none of the other non-human races do?”

    are…..are you kidding me? you….you’re seriously kidding me, right? …….uh, hello! the Asari look IDENTICAL to humans except for their scalp and skin color. and I’m actually glad to find out that Quarians have hair. it always confused me that humans were the only spices to evolve with air. that never made any sense.

    “Where on Rannoch was this picture taken? I don’t remember seeing any trees. In fact, it’s stated in the game that the farmland is on another continent…”

    you mean those blurry roundish things in the back round?……yeeaah, those are rocks. (seriously, they’re just blobs of fuzziness, you could call them whatever you wanted and get away with it.)

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