One of the first things that stood out for me when watching the in-game cinematic sequence for Mass Effect 3 was how Ashley, one of the returning characters from the first game in the series, looked in this third installment.
ME 1’s Ashley was a little bland, a soldier in the Alliance that translated some of her experiences into a very xenophobic attitude towards all alien races.
Even in her brief appearance in Mass Effect 2 (depending on one major choice some players might get Kaiden istead) she was rather muted in the looks department and seemed to have much of the same attitude when it comes to other species in the galaxy.
For Mass Effect 3
BioWare turned her into a bombshell that quickly joins Commander Shepard in his quest to take out the Reapers and performs some pretty heroic acts within the first few hours of the game.
It’s a huge transformation and it represents just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how the look of Mass Effect 3 has been upgraded.
Just play one of the DLC packages for the second game that you have missed before trying the current release out again to see the difference.
The changes are both subtle and bold, best witnessed in the look of the various characters (have the turians ever looked more militaristic?) and in the new design of the enemies you face.
The bad guys have sharp lines and are bulked up, clearly drawn to be more of a menace than previously in the series, and the Reapers themselves are even more fluid and curvaceous, machines of destruction that you cannot help but admire for their grace even as they blow the universe up.
The friendlies seem even more fragile than before, salarians seems slimmer and even the krograns appear to have lost mass, but armors and characters suggest a more determined way of thinking.
Most gamers will only see the face-lift for Ashley but BioWare has managed to make subtle upgrades to the look of Mass Effect 3 that are more than skin deep.