“We have to live within the rails of what narratively was her art,” says environment and character director Kevin Meek.
Though Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is more a remaster than a remake, it’s looking like quite a substantial remaster, especially where Mass Effect 1 is concerned. BioWare have made several visual (and gameplay) improvements to the trilogy, and one thing that they seem to have focused quite a bit of their energies on is the character models and designs for the core cast of squadmates that Shepard acquires throughout the entire trilogy.
Everyone’s favourite asari Liara T’Soni, in fact, is someone BioWare have been talking about a lot in recent days. Liara goes through quite a character arc throughout the trilogy, starting off as a subdued and naive scientist and eventually turning into a biotic badass and, of course, the Shadow Broker- while still retaining the core essence of her personality. In a recent interview with Game Informer, environment and character director Kevin Meek talked about the work that BioWare put into her character model in each game of the remastered trilogy, and how it now reflects and aligns with her growing and changing character.
“It would have been really easy to just copy + paste the era from the third game into Mass Effect 1, but Liara goes through quite a character arc,” Meek said. “In ME1, Liara is just this doe-eyed character wearing her medical uniform or whatever, but by the time she gets to Mass Effect 3 she’s really powerful, confident. You know, the Shadow Broker DLC? That was huge. Because of that, it would have wrong for us to take her Mass Effect 3 face and just slap it on.
“These are the kinds of creative decisions that we had to be mindful of, right, so we’re not affecting canon. Sure, people can take a mod and make her look however they want, but we have to live within the rails of what narratively was her art. What might have just been an accident, like people might have just gotten better at making art by the time we got to Mass Effect 3, and obviously the technology leap, so she had a bit more detail and a bit more makeup, or whatever. But those changes, those became canon for her, and we have to hold true to that.”
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition launches for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on May 14.