Jennifer Hale, the voice of Mass Effect's Commander Shepard, has revealed that we won't be hearing new lines from the Commander anytime soon.
Whether you spent Mass Effect liaising with aliens in a male or a female body, the name Jennifer Hale hopefully means something to you. As the woman who voiced Ms. Commander Shepard for all three games, Hale developed as strong a connection to the Commander as many of her fans did. With the trilogy now at an end, Hale has revealed that she too misses Shepard - and that she hasn't been informed of any future plans for the character which would require her voice.
Talking about the prospect of Commander Shepard's story being truly over in an interview with Edge, Hale said, "I prefer to live in denial about it because it makes me too sad."
Hale added that she would be more than happy to lend her talents to the role in the future if developer BioWare asked her to. At time of writing, however, Hale says that she has not been approached for any work by the studio and knows nothing about the apparent "post-ending closure content" that one of BioWare's founders promised in the wake of weeks of controversy over Mass Effect 3's ending.
It would appear that Hale does not envy the writers tasked with the challenge of bringing an end to the series which would satisfy all of its fans. "I have mixed feelings about [the prospect of a new ending]," said Hale. "I really respect the team and what they did and how hard they worked. And endings are hard! They're cutting new ground; the players are so involved in this game that to come up with an ending to something everyone's got their hand in is a huge challenge...Maybe it's going to take a little work to get everything sorted in a way that's going to make everybody happy."
"I was surprised about the level of passion about the ending," added Hale. "But there's something really great about that, too: It says people are invested and they really care and they don't want to let go, which is awesome because I don't, either."
When asked if she had any ideas on how the series should, could, or will conclude, Hale admitted, "I don't know. Thank God I'm not a writer!"
While it's not surprising that Hale hasn't been called back to record more lines for Commander Shepard, the news is a little disappointing in its own way. Many fans hold her performance in the games up as a highlight (personal favorite: "What do you need me to do?"). What's the deal with this post-ending content if Commander Shepard isn't in it? Or maybe she is, and Hale's just obeying the terms of a non-disclosure agreement or similar. Either way, one thing remains clear: Not even Commander Shepard envies the predicament facing BioWare's writing team.