Jennifer Hale On Next Mass Effect, 'I Want Shepard Back, 100%' And FemShep To Romance Tali
Last year, we had our first look at the next Mass Effect. The video took us through a timeline of events, bridging the gaps between Andromeda, the trilogy, and the extended lore found in the books, comics, and even movies. With the video ending on a shot of a matriarchal Liara with lifelines on her face and a smirk on her lips, we know that the future of Mass Effect could very well be set hundreds of years in the future. With the two galaxies represented between the trilogy and Andromeda, the sky is the limit (literally) as to where the next Mass Effect could go. When we sat down with Commander Shepard herself, Jennifer Hale, we couldn't help but ask where she'd want to see in the future of this space franchise.
I think a large portion of the community would agree with her when she told Game Informer with a resounding "yes!" that she'd like to see Commander Shepard back in some form. "I want Shepard back 100%," she told us. "I want to explore the relationships, you know, with Garrus, Thane, Liara - all of that!"
She took it a step further, saying: "I would like for FemShep to be able romance Tali, and I would like everyone to be able to romance Jack. I just want to just want to jump back into this story in any capacity. I love it so much, and I also want to be like Mark Meer (who voices the male Commander Shepard) where I can be this weird alien that nobody knows it's me."
For those that may not know, Meer, like Hale, voiced quite a few different characters in the Mass Effect trilogy, including the "Me no like you" Vorcha that can be found at the epicenter of Omega.
It's an interesting thing to note that Hale would like to see Tali be romanced by FemShep, and Jack as well. While the modding community is hard at work to restore the cut dialogue from the games, some same-sex romance options were left on the cutting room floor. Some due to that not being the intended role for certain characters, while others were removed due to social pressure from Fox News (Jack, in this case). It's been a hot topic regarding the trilogy since these games first came out, and a resurgence can be seen with a whole new generation of gamers enjoying this story, thanks to the remaster. While some of those options were later opened up to both BroShep and FemShep, like Kaidan, the first and second games were extremely lacking. For FemShep to rally for more romance options for a space RPG that is all about player choice and reflecting internal decisions, it would be really nice to see BioWare consider restoring the cut audio content left for modders to recover.
As for Shepard returning, we'd love to see it, but I don't think you should get your hopes up quite yet. After the Legendary Edition came out, my trilogy playthrough count is now up to 34. I've enjoyed the books, comics, codex, and anime immensely, and it's with that familiarity with this franchise that I wrote up an extensive (and I do mean extensive) analysis of the next Mass Effect teaser trailer about what a tale of two galaxies could mean for this franchise. I even pulled from the comics themselves with visual comparisons! If you're interested in learning more, you can check out that deep dive right here.