BioWare Uses Stock Photo for Tali in Mass Effect 3

| 7 Mar 2012 20:10
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Some Mass Effect fans are incensed that an in-game image of Tali is based on a stock photograph.

In the last year or so, BioWare has shouldered its fair share of criticism. Casting Jessica Chobot as a voice actor and the failures of the leaked Mass Effect 3 endings are just a few signposts of the massive gamer rage leveled at the company from Edmonton about its sci-fi epic. Now that Mass Effect 3 is out, the public is ready to heap more criticism on BioWare's latest opus by pointing out the use of a piece of altered stock photography in the game.

Mild ME3 Spoilers ahead. Stop reading now or forever hold your peace.

The character of Tali'Zorah wore a mask throughout Mass Effect and its sequel. We've never seen her face, until Shepard finds a photograph of the quarian without the mask in ME3. Somehow, a few gamers remembered seeing the image of a brunette female with the sun behind her in a catalog of stock images from Getty, a service that supplies images for all creative endeavors. Several angry posts were made on BioWare's forums and various gaming outlets with links to both the original image and comparisons pointing out the similarity. Many decided this was unforgivable.

Matthew Leete photographed the original image and licensing it costs at least $15, which BioWare conceivably did before artists there altering it to look a bit less human. The image comparison in the spoiler tag below clearly shows a few markings on Tali'Zorah's chest and white eyes to denote her as a quarian.

Major STORY spoilers in this image:

Cue vitriol. Gamers on the official BioWare forums were miffed. "Bioware, really?" asked "smithguy" after posting a comparison image. "We're supposed to think this is okay??"

"This is obviously very lazy on Bioware's part," said user "dkohalloran" before he chalked this terrible act as another black eye against the studio. "Let's just say I'm glad that their betrayal of their original fanbase is coming to bite them back in the ass. The writing for this game is completely terrible."

Statements like the above make it hard to understand exactly why people are upset. According to some, BioWare is lazy for using an image service instead of crafting the image from scratch, while others seem to use this as evidence for something else they didn't care for, like the writing. Could have BioWare have used a custom image? Yes. Does using a stock image diminish your experience of the game? No.

Now, if you want to quibble about how Tali doesn't look like how you imagined her, well, you might have a point there. Perhaps characters who are masked should stay that way. I'm looking at you, Samus Aran.

Source: BioWare forums

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The problem I have with the photo is that the lack of effort completely ruins the Quarian lore in the game. I could care less about the whole "I love Tali" thing. I shagged Ashley in the first one, Jack and Tali in the second one, and Liara in this last one.

1. She has human features when she has been described differently elsewhere. Mass Effect: Ascension, (the infamous) page 235: "The other cheek gaped wide, as if someone had slit it lengthwise from lip to what passed for the quarian version of an ear."
2. The hand wasn't shopped properly to fit Quarian physiology.
3. She is outside on a planet. Since losing their home world, Quarians have lived exclusively within the migrant fleet's ships, only venturing out for their pilgrimage.
4. She is without her suit. Since being restricted to space, Quarians have a compromised immune system and any exposure will cause near to actual death. She even explains this within ME3 saying that even with the geth integration, it would still take years before Quarians can go suitless.

They've also put hours into videos explaining how they come up with concepts and races....
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/04/22/mass-effect-3-creating-garrus.aspx
@ around 5:35 he mentions that Tali did have hair, and that it was shorter as she aged and matured.
@ around 7:25 he talks about Tali and understands the expectations.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2011/04/25/mass-effect-the-origin-of-species.aspx
Just more movies of the depth they put into each race and the concept art.

They obviously had concept art for Tali. After a complete lore buildup over 3 games, a single picture contradicts everything.

The picture kinda disappointed me. Not with regards to how it looks though, more just with the general vibe of laziness/rushed work I get from it.

The ending kinda disappointed me because....well, you all know.

But fuck it, it's still a great game and I still love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqL68fLpwYk
Seems BioWare responded.
*Dances away wearing a top hat and waving a cane*

JoelChenFA:

Daystar Clarion:

icnfde:

Wait, isn't this the same guy that praised Dragon Age II for it's "innovate gameplay and masterful storytelling"? Not a direct quote obviously, but the review was practically gushing. And we're supposed to trust this guy's opinion because...?

You couldn't be more ignorant if you tried. The fact that you said this makes me question whether or not you're an actual fan of the Mass Effect series at all or you're just a paid shill all dolled up on corporate endorsements from big daddy EA. The fact that a company actually spent money sending copies of their game into ****ing space only to cheap out on the graphics and art depart is spectacularly lazy design, intensified even moreso by the fact that this is supposedly a modern AAA developer.

If I had a quid for every time somebody hinted that part of the escapist crew are being payed for their reviews, I'd be a very rich man.

Say what you want about his argument, but please, stay fucking classy.

You would have even more if its a Quid for everytime someone claimed escapist didn't pay them or videos / articles and such.

Which gives me hope for the majority of members on this site.

Daystar Clarion:

icnfde:

Greg Tito:

Statements like the above make it hard to understand exactly why people are upset. According to some, BioWare is lazy for using an image service instead of crafting the image from scratch, while others seem to use this as evidence for something else they didn't care for, like the writing. Could have BioWare have used a custom image? Yes. Does using a stock image diminish your experience of the game? No.

Wait, isn't this the same guy that praised Dragon Age II for it's "innovate gameplay and masterful storytelling"? Not a direct quote obviously, but the review was practically gushing. And we're supposed to trust this guy's opinion because...?

Does using a stock image diminish your experience of the game? No.

You couldn't be more ignorant if you tried. The fact that you said this makes me question whether or not you're an actual fan of the Mass Effect series at all or you're just a paid shill all dolled up on corporate endorsements from big daddy EA. The fact that a company actually spent money sending copies of their game into ****ing space only to cheap out on the graphics and art depart is spectacularly lazy design, intensified even moreso by the fact that this is supposedly a modern AAA developer.

If I had a quid for every time somebody hinted that part of the escapist crew are being payed for their reviews, I'd be a very rich man.

Say what you want about his argument, but please, stay fucking classy.

You would have even more if its a Quid for everytime someone claimed escapist didn't pay them or videos / articles and such.

Everyone has said it all before and there's pretty much no need to add anything more to the discussion... but I wish to weigh in with my opinion all the same.

1) The act of using a stock photo is just downright lazy.
2) Tali is a huge fan favourite (including me) and Bioware know this. Using a stock photo is also downright disrespectful.
3) It's not even a GOOD photoshop.
4) I didn't have an opinion on how she looked because frankly I never really wanted to know, but they didn't even make much effort to make her look distinct. She's essentially just a human with white eyes and some lines on her skin.
5) Hair? Really? Living in a suit like that all your life would make such long hair inconvenient and no doubt makes it harder to maintain a sterile environment. I imagined they would all be rather bald.

Bad call Bioware, bad freaking call.

MASTACHIEFPWN:

AVATAR_RAGE:
I have a question!

How can it be Tali's face if the Quarrians don't remove their suites?

They go to the quarian home world about 2/3rds of the way into the campaign, and apparently Tali takes off her mask there.

Then how is the stock photo Tali's face or is it just the internet being the internet?

Caramel Frappe:
*scissors were here*

Hey, no worries. Now you know, and really, while the ending is absolutely god-awful horrible, its short, making it kind of easy to ignore. The best bits do outweigh the bad in terms of gameplay. Story-wise, I still feel the end is nigh-unforgivable without some change/epilogue/deeper meaning and explanation, but overall, its still a great game with wonderful character interaction.

And trust me, the second playthrough with a character is much, much better. You not only know what you want and don't want to do in terms of decisions, but you can get your guns and armor back after the first trip to the Citadel. You'll need to manually change it back, but its still nice to have them back early on.

Texas Joker 52:

Awwwh so that's what I did wrong *nods*. I did everything right except the 3rd step as I made in bold above me. Thank you truly for letting me know.. in my second playthrough I can actually make things right and-

Seriously how lame. Also I am really scared to finish ME3 since everyone keeps saying how awful and bad it is. Yet I must complete the story and besides.. if we're lucky the petition fans are doing might make Bioware have a DLC ending for ME3 that corrects the first one. Who knows.

SPOILER AHEAD

MASTACHIEFPWN:
Why couldn't they have used this picture?
image

Saw this after posting, and also earlier today while browsing other threads. That piece of art is awesome, and would of been much better.

Not saying I was too crazy about the reveal in the first place.

Dead_Lee:
Why am I pissed off about this?

Because Bioware had a memorable character and after five years they couldn't be bothered to do her justice.

It's this lazy artwork, their practice of cutting corners and their terrible copy-pasted level design that makes bioware an awful company.

Alright, I read page 1, some of page 6, and didn't really give enough of a shit to dig through the rest of this collection of crap. The quote above is generally my opinion.

Yes, I'm a devoted talimancer. From staring at those hips in Mass Effect 1 to finally getting some in Mass Effect 2. To this. I could write a long ass paragraph on this, but I'm tired.

Simply; I'm disappointed Bioware. Very disappointed. *sniffles*

I'm going to pretend it never happened. Not going to ruin one of my favorite fictional characters. Not because Bioware turned to shit.

AVATAR_RAGE:
I have a question!

How can it be Tali's face if the Quarrians don't remove their suites?

They go to the quarian home world about 2/3rds of the way into the campaign, and apparently Tali takes off her mask there.

Why couldn't they have used this picture?
image

And what up with the new captchas?

Caramel Frappe:
*snip-Keelah se'lai*

Ah, I see. Judging by your spoiler, I'm guessing you didn't get the chance to make peace between the two, did you? Well, as a tip for your future playthroughs, you need to have a certain amount of 'peace points', and a rather high reputation. Four bars worth, I believe.

Personally, I love the emotion of the best outcome between the Quarians and Geth, not to mention it gives the ending, which will not be elaborated here, a giant middle finger. That, and it greatly helps the Quarians in the long run.

And my captcha is tesla coil? Strangely appropriate.

Texas Joker 52:
You know, at first, I was just a little bit upset at hearing that they used a stock image for the base of Tali's face, pardon the rhyme, but now, I just don't care, and for several reasons.

Firstly, it doesn't change Tali as a character. It does not affect her personality, the character growth shes gone through, and the only thing it does change is the image for whats under the mask.

Secondly, despite the method in which they came up with the final image of Tali's face, really, it doesn't look that bad. Shes kind of cute. And if all Quarian's look like that, there's potential for some really sexy Quarian babes underneath those suits, and for Kal'Reegar to pretty much just be an alternate, alien version of Jayne. Which, really, would make sense if you think about it.

And lastly, it doesn't make the game less fun, or draw me in any less. I'm still having a blast fucking up Cerberus, I'm still wanting to know how its all going to end, and I still had my Man-Shep make sweet love to her again, since hey, Tali is sweet. The shotgun helps too.

For all of those upset because of how they made that picture, yes, it does seem a little cheap, but really, the end result isn't bad. For those upset because she doesn't look like Dr. Zoidberg, well, I'm not really sorry you didn't get to have a laugh at the expense of those who decided to romance her, at least not because of that. Besides, you know that a fair amount of us would probably have romanced her again, anyway, even if she did look like Zoidberg. Or a Zerg, for that matter. I know I would've.

Agreed. Even though I imagined her slightly different with some human features in the face (because well... you can still see the outlook of her face even within the mask itself plus if you've romanced her in ME2, you hear a smacking kiss sound when she kisses Shepard with the mask off). *Ahem* Anyhow was just really surprised with how she and Quarians in general look like. Because they look as human as any other specie thus it threw me off lol.

But if you think about it... the asari look more human then even the Quarians with their masks off. All they are is blue chicks with a hairstyle that's actually their tentacles looping in one way. Most of the main species have human shaped bodies just their faces look unique. However getting back on topic I actually felt the most taken back by the sight of how much hair Tali has. It's so long, I thought before seeing the picture that she had some to no hair. But she has longer hair then Ashly! Makes me lol thinking about it. But-

Irridium:
Thread is already kind of spoiler-y, but I'll ask my question in spoiler tags just to be safe.

I'm really late to this thread but I had to purchase Mass Effect 3 and play it myself till the point of beating 'that' certain mission to finally respond in this thread without being spoiled. Truth be told-

.. Wait, a picture? This is she?? I mean her? Tali without the mask? Can this be?? *Checks again on here, on google, and in the game.. I see her face. Really shocked but no disappointed or outraged just highly surprised lol. Also the way she looks does suit her culture and personality/accent to some degree.

...This is controversy...? I don't understand why people do this...

@witty name here the second link shows what i always imagined tali would look like, i wonder if i can put into the game as the picture rather then that lazy hackjob.

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