After years of speculation, the debate can finally be put to rest. The lead animator on Mass Effect 1 and 2, Jonathan Cooper, has explained that Commander Shepard was female first.
Earlier today, via his Twitter account, the former BioWare and current Naughty Dog developer showed fans the original mock-up in motion for the iconic character.
While the character design was originally a woman, Cooper was quick to point out that the character was always meant to be playable as both male or female. He cited a similar setup in Jade Empire – another game Cooper animated – as the reason for the player’s choice of gender in Mass Effect.
For those asking, I repurposed mocap from Jade Empire. Shepard was always planned to be both male & female after JE's pre-set characters.
— Jonathan Cooper (@GameAnim) January 9, 2015
Which Shepard do you play as, and why? Let us know in the comments!