The female version of Mass Effect hero Commander Shepard finally made it onto the cover of a Mass Effect game this year—as long as you reversed the piece of cardboard in Mass Effect 3's box. She even finally starred in a Mass Effect trailer, a scant five years after hordes of players started playing as her in the first Mass Effect.
But the male Shepard is back to hogging the glory.
EA's boxart-decision-making personnel have decided to only feature male Shepard on the boxes of the newly-announced Mass Effect Trilogy. A PR rep for the company confirmed as much to Kotaku today, saying there would be no FemShep edition of Trilogy. [UPDATE: Last clause of that sentence added for clarification, in light of the Tweet added at the end of this story.]
Some of us don't even recognize that guy.
The three Mass Effect games allow players to choose Shepard's gender and ethnicity. They let players fall in love/lust with male characters, female characters and/or aliens. They let you choose who wins and who dies. The games, up through the controversial end, appear to be about choice. That's the reality of the series.
The reality of the game's packaging? Of this ultimate collection's public face? It's a game about a dude.
UPDATE: A flicker of hope comes by way of the official Mass Effect Twitter feed:
@sarah_ann_mann Well, we've got a little something special planned for FemShep coming, so keep that chin up! :)— Mass Effect (@masseffect) September 26, 2012
In light of that tweet, it seems that there could be something FemSheppy for this new edition. We've dialed back our headline accordingly. It originally read: "There Will Be No FemShep Cover of the Mass Effect Trilogy". The game's PR rep had told us there would be no FemShep edition of the game, which I took to indicate there would be no FemShep cover. If I was too hasty, I apologize. We'll see. As a reader below points out, to truly capture the malleability of Shepard in the series and not alienate any fans, the box of Trilogy might best not feature any visible Shepard at all.