PAX East 2012: BioWare aimed for ‘tasteful’ Tali face in Mass Effect 3

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With all of the outrage about Mass Effect 3's ending, you may forget another reason some fans were upset with BioWare: Tali's face.

In Mass Effect 3, players had the opportunity to find out what Tali looked like without her signature mask on via an in-game photo.  While she appeared in previous Mass Effect games, this would be the first time fans would see her unmasked.  Like the ending, fans were disappointed as they noticed her photo was a direct stock image taken from Getty Images.  The nerve of BioWare, right!?

Well, for the first time since the game's release, BioWare had a chance to defend themselves and their decision to use a stock photo for Tali.

"We wanted to do it in a tasteful way that didn't throw it into the game engine," BioWare justified at their PAX East panel yesterday.

"A gift from Tali was the most appropriate way to do it."

As for why they chose a stock image, BioWare explained they often use source material for many things within the game.  They wanted it to be photorealistic, high fidelity, correct color – as close to a picture as possible.

At that point, they pointed out the actual Samara face model in the panel, saying it was a "great example" of how a real face can make a good image.

"We really felt that Tali deserved that same treatment," BioWare concluded.  "We wanted her to be based on a person."  That relationship, it turns out, is important to players.  At least according to the game's creators.