Mass Effect 3 expands same-sex love interests

By Alice O'Connor, May 16, 2011 9:30am PDT

Commander Shepard will get more smooching options in Mass Effect 3, including same-sex relationships for both Jane and John Shepard, Mass Effect series executive producer Casey Hudson has revealed on Twitter (via The Average Gamer).

Hudson said that he was "happy to confirm [Mass Effect 3] supports wider options for love interests" including same-sex relationships for male and female characters, "reactive to how you interact [with] them in-game."

In response to a fan's concerns that developer BioWare would 'break' existing characters by meddling with their sexuality, Hudson added he was confident that the writers would handle love interests "with sophistication" and "preserve character continuity."

He also noted that "love interests won't all necessarily be permanent squad members."

There's also good news for those who are none too keen on having to rebuff the advances of even more crew members, perhaps because they find the 'romances' awkward and embarrassing. Good news for me, at any rate. Hudson explained that Mass Effect 3 will feature more moments of simple friendship, such as when Shepard shares a drink with Doctor Chakwas in Mass Effect 2. Lovely.

This revelation calls to mind the 'defence' Dragon Age lead writer David Gaider made of Dragon Age 2's homosexual relationships, after an outraged player boldly claimed that "BioWare neglected their main demographic: The Straight Male Gamer."

"The person who says that the only way to please them is to restrict options for others is, if you ask me, the one who deserves it least," Gaider wrote.

The romances in the game are not for "the straight male gamer". They're for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention. We have good numbers, after all, on the number of people who actually used similar sorts of content in DAO and thus don't need to resort to anecdotal evidence to support our idea that their numbers are not insignificant... and that's ignoring the idea that they don't have just as much right to play the kind of game they wish as anyone else. The "rights" of anyone with regards to a game are murky at best, but anyone who takes that stance must apply it equally to both the minority as well as the majority. The majority has no inherent "right" to get more options than anyone else.

Mass Effect 3 is due on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the first quarter of 2012, having recently been delayed to make sure it's "the biggest, boldest and best game in the series, ensuring that it exceeds everyone's expectations."

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