By Christopher Troy
There’s a good chance that if you got that joke, you’ve played Mass Effect 2. Which wouldn’t be that much of a suprise, as the best-selling game from Bioware graced the 360 and PC January 2010, and then the Playstation 3 this past January. The game sold extremely well, which is why DC Direct/Unlimited quickly grabbed the rights to make action figures based on the title. Two lines were announced, and they were suppose to ship in August 2010. They didn’t. The prototypes were also displayed at various cons throughout the summer up to the NYCC, where the release date was scheduled for that Ocotober. Then November I think. Then March.
It is currently April. Needless to say, the good people at Bioware were upset, and announced that the first wave of Mass Effect 2 figures would be the ONLY wave, denying us Legion, Miranda, Mordin, and Garrus. But we did get Series 1, which finally dropped yesterday. I’m hoping NECA grabs the license soon, but that’s a rant I’ll save for another article. Right now, let’s focus on my latest purchase: Captain Shepard.
For those of you unfamiliar with Mass Effect 2 (SHAME ON YOU) Shepard is the main character of the Mass Effect games, and is completely customizable in the game in terms of sex,looks and actions and first name. This would make for difficult figure for DC Unlimited to make, but Bioware was wise enough to make a default (Male only, sorry fem-Shep fans, rest assure I feel your pain) for the creative impaired, so that’s what the figure is based. The good Captain comes with 16 points of articulations, a rifle, helmet and base.
Let me say that I’m actually really impressed with the final product! The prototypes, when released, didn’t exactly win me over, as they looked pretty static, and more McFalarane esque than the usual DC Direct/Unlimited product. Shepard isn’t crazy poseable, but the 16 points do him just fine. The sculpt is fairly solid, and if you don’t like the face sculpt, you can always slap the helmet on his head. It fits on pretty easily, and is made of a softer plastic. I’m a little bit disappointed that the visor isn’t a clear plastic, but again, it’s a minor grip, and it likely would have made the helmet more difficult to slip on. That would have sucked. The M8 Assault Rifle, well made and fairly detailed, easily slips into Shepard’s right hand, which is sculpted specifically to fit (the left hand is not sculpted to hold the rifle). The stand itself is a black circle, which is disappointing as most DC Direct products have unique stands packaged with them. Then again, I guess I should be grateful that the figures made it out and are as good as they are.
The first of my two major gripes with this figure has to be that it’s fairly difficult to pose Shepard’s arms well. Given that the rifle is a 2 handed weapon, the limited arm/shoulder articulation doesn’t lead to many posing options. Additionally, the N7 emblem painted on the armor and helmet looks nothing like they’re suppose to; so that’s pretty bad.
For under $20 bucks though, it’s hard not to recommend the Mass Effect 2 figures to fans of the series. They’re head and shoulders above their Dragon Age counterparts, with far more impressive sculpts and articulation. Aside from Shepard, the line also includes Tali, Grunt, and Thane. And while this is the only entry from DC Direct, keep in mind that there are two different comic series published by Dark Horse (Redemption and Evolution), as well as a 6′” Normandy ship figurine coming out this October when the 3rd installment of the game is supposed to ship. If you’re interested in the figures, I recommend you get to FPNYC ASAP, because with only 1 series being made, who knows when someone else will pick up the license and produce more??