When people think ‘Mass Effect’ and ‘controversy,’ the first thing that typically comes to mind is the commotion around the endings, but that wasn’t the only thing fans took issue with. Remember the whole thing around Tali’Zorah’s romance? (NSFW and spoiler warning.)
Tali is a romance able squadmate who, throughout the entirety of the saga, never outright reveals her face. Lore-wise, the idea is that Tali hails from the Quarian race, a faction that is known for weak immune systems that they protect with full-body suits.
Of course, if you happen to seduce Tali, she has to take the suit off. The player never really sees much beyond a ~tasteful fade to black~, though. After the end of the romance route in Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard starts displaying a picture in his living quarters purporting to show Tali’s real face. While sweet in theory, players discovered that Tali’s face was based on a modified version of a stock image, and that caused a lot of rage back in the day:
Fast-forward a few years, and it seems that some people are still kind of hung up on how that storyline unfolded, whether it’s because of how Bioware handled Tali’s looks, or the specifics of how the scene happened. A SFM version of the sex scene created by sovereign Studio has started circulating among hardcore Mass Effect fans recently, and it takes another crack at Tali’s sex scene (NSFW warning, obviously!)
Aside from the VERY DISTRACTING HAIR, you’ll note a few things about this redone scene. First, the model is based on Tali’s picture. Second, there’s nudity. Third, although still awkward in its attempt, the scene tries to show a bit more intimacy between the characters...or at least, as much as can be done through character models that now kind of look like plastic Barbie dolls.
While I don’t think this scene holds a candle to, say, the Witcher 3's sex scenes, it’s still amazing to me that people still care about this detail in 2016. Then again, I didn’t romance Tali in 2012, so maybe I don’t feel as burned as other people do. I just loaded a video showcasing every Mass Effect sex scene, and the top comment is literally “I like tali but she has the shittiest scene.” Meanwhile, the reaction to this video is more positive than that:
At the very least, I’m hopeful for the future of Bioware sex scenes—if Dragon Age: Inquisition is any indication, we’re probably in for a treat come Mass Effect: Andromeda.