WATCH: Mass Effect 3 Gives Gamers An Intergalactic Gay Tryst

We are behind on our gaming—woefully so, apparently: Queerty reader Samuel sent us this link to a clip from Mass Effect 3, BioWare’s red-hot RPG that rolled out today. As in previous iterations of Mass Effect, gameplay is determined by choices users make along the way.

One option is for characters Kaiden and Commander Shepard to hop in the sack together for a same-sex romp—to which we say “huzzah!” (You can also opt for a girl-girl encounter.)

Sadly, user scores for ME3 on Metacritic have been pretty negative—currently it’s averaging a not-so-hot 4.7/10. Many players are bitching about the gay sex scene:

* “What the hell were they thinking? putting gay scenes into video games?,” posted one user. “If i wanted political messages, id watch the news. I do NOT want games becoming yet another medium for propaganda.”

* “The game is really bad, don’t believe in the paid reviews and Hamburger Helper’s lies. They are trying to force homosexuality, telling yourselves that being straight is the bad choice (if you choose to not have sex with men its marked as a renegade option).”

* “I puked that’s just wrong and disgusting”

We did mention the queer storyline is entirely optional, right? We’re going to  assume these haters are the parents’-basement-dwelling virgins who give gaming a bad name, and not the super-cool, enlightened players we know and love.

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  • Charlie in Charge

    Fortunately reviews on mainstream Gaming sites have been very positive.

    I had a huge crush on Kaidan in Mass Effect 1, really happy to hear he’s had a change of heart and will now romance a male Shepard.

  • Jacob

    I’d wager that 4.7 is based on same sex stuff. The game just came out today And t has been one of the most anticipated games, since it’s the last ME game they will make

  • Breadquanda

    There’s also the exclusively gay Steve Cortez.

    The poor user reviews are just 4chan idiots.

  • redcarpet

    The same thing happend on the YouTube comments for the leaked same sex scene with Cortez. A bunch of homophobic little shits spammed the comments. Looks like they did the same with Metacritic, only mixed with a shit-ton of complaints about having to pay for downloadable content (Seriously, who can review a 40 hour game when its only been out for 12 hours?!)

    The critic score is really high, 94, same as Mass Effect 2, which i think set a record.

  • DJ Veno

    People are stupid why are people bitching about a optional scene?? Smh.

  • Oh, ok.

    And here I was laughing at the ridiculousness of sex scenes in video games in general.

  • Riker

    @Breadquanda: Erm, most people from 4chan aren’t homophobic, and a very large portion of /b/tards are gay.

  • Breadquanda


    I wasn’t saying that the whole user base of 4chan is a bunch of idiots or homophobes.

    It was one of /v/’s silly little campaigns.
    They did the same shit with Dragon Age II.

  • Oh, ok.

    @Riker: That’s nothing to be proud of at all. 4chan is full of grown men acting like literal children and have a healthy mix of pedophiles, racists, homophobes, sadists, and sociopaths thrown in for good measure.

    Sure there are some very talented and sane people posting there too but the fact that they don’t lobby to remove the filth is a silent acceptance which makes them no different.

    I also don’t buy that a large portion of /b/tards are gay because most of the time they’re spamming nude women and most male pictures are met with homophobic remarks. You might find some gay interest threads, but certainly not a majority or anywhere close.

    It’s scary to me that most of the losers who frequent 4chan aren’t even teens. Adults really should have better things to do.

  • lohen

    BioWare has already explained their stance on this a dozen times… if morons refuse to read the them that’s their fault…. im gonna buy this game now just to prove a point…. I hate fuckheads.

  • stevoj

    cheese and crackers that was hot! i need to stop playing Tekken and get on this… good grief

  • kuy

    The male character who is gay even tells you he had a husband.

  • Willtake

    I do not understand their logic. If they had a straight scene instead of gay scene, wouldn’t that be straight propaganda instead of gay and be a political message advocating for heterosexuality (according to their logic)?

    Also, how is it “trying to force homosexuality, telling yourselves that being straight is the bad choice”? If it were a straight scene, would it be forcing heterosexuality and saying gay is a bad choice?

  • Samuel88

    Thanks Dan Avery for response my email, I’m glad you post the video.

  • Jaesun


    It wasn’t just /v/ that hated Dragon Age 2, as the hatred is almost universal. It was a shit game and deserved the criticism it received. If you enjoyed it, then kudos to you, but don’t dismiss the naysayers as some internet people going on silly campaigns.

    Here’s a comment mentioned in a Destructiod article that sums up my feelings for the ‘gay’ romance in ME3:

    “As a homosexual male, it is painful watching bioware act like they are champions of the gay community. Their insulting representations of gay individuals are merely an attempt to politicize their business, so they can look progressive while deflecting real criticism as homophobic, just because some homophobes exist. Their behavior is a mockery of homosexuals everywhere and I would urge any homosexuals interested in activism not to be deceived by these insensitive people.”

    Not only do we have to deal with shit animations and ham-fisted writing/dialogue (with an ending copy/pasted from another game), we also get to bathe ourselves in a majestic, shoe-horned dating simulation. Instead of creating gay characters who actually serve a purpose other than their sexuality, Bioware creates retarded waifus (e.g. the gay shuttle pilot) who have as much depth as a kiddie pool. They’re there for pixelated sex, and that’s it. “And here I was laughing at the ridiculousness of sex scenes in video games in general.”

    I really liked the first game, and thought the second one was entertaining for what it was, so it’s really disappointing to see how far the trilogy has fallen. I wasn’t surprised to see Bioware trumpeting how politically correct they are in ME3 (since they did it with Derp Age 2), but vapid bullshit is the least of the games problems. From DLC abuse to bad customer service, I still can’t figure out why people continue to eat the shit they are producing.

  • Jacob

    @Jaesun: “Instead of creating gay characters who actually serve a purpose other than their sexuality” a simple google search would tell you that Kaiden is a squad member, thus having a purpose to the game.

    “Not only do we have to deal with shit animations and ham-fisted writing/dialogue (with an ending copy/pasted from another game)” It’s hard to take you seriously knowing you havnt finished the game (as it was just released today), or even played ME3 (I’m assuming)

    As for the comment in the Destructoid article, well I have no idea what the fuck hes talking about. “Insulting representations of gay individuals”… huh?

  • Jaesun


    Kaiden is essentially a placeholder squad member, as both his and Ashely’s dialogue are extremely similar. The only thing differentiating the two are their sex (although Ashely may as well be a tranny now with her new ‘face’) and their brief backgrounds. Because of this, the whole ‘choose who dies on Virmire’ is essentially pointless (awesome C&C, Bioware). Also, Kaiden wasn’t gay in the first two games, so why add it in now? Bioware’s romances have always been unnecessary garbage (and optional for the most part), but making certain characters gay is as gimicky as it gets. If you can explain to me how adding homosexual characters/romances into ME3 is not a blatant PR stunt, I would really like to know.

    “It’s hard to take you seriously knowing you havnt finished the game (as it was just released today), or even played ME3 (I’m assuming)”

    I haven’t personally finished the game, but I’ve watched several playthroughs of people who have (several people got early copies, including the games from that weather balloon stunt). The games endings were shown days before the game came out, as well as all of the major decisions. As for the craptastic Bioware animations, nothing has changed from the demo. I’ve just finished the Geth/Quarian conflict, for reference.

  • Mk_ultra_again

    “putting gay characters in games is homophobic”?
    Maybe you’d like to suggest removing gay characters all together.
    We’ve heard this troll line before. Gay characters are going to be appearing more and more in video gamrs. Get used to it.

  • Jaesun


    And to clarify on one point, you said “a simple google search would tell you that Kaiden is a squad member, thus having a purpose to the game”. Kaiden may have a purpose (although loosely, as stated above), what purpose does his shoe-horned sexuality serve? As for the other ‘gay’ romanceable cardboard cutout (the shuttle pilot), what purpose does he serve? It was obvious the moment his dialogue became available that his initial and sole purpose was was to pander to political correctness (as well as the sexually deprived ‘fans’). He’s nothing more than a token gay (black) character.

  • Jacob

    @Jaesun: I was about to say the same thing Mk_ultra_again. Would you prefer getting rid of homosexual characters altogether? Same sex relations isnt anything new in the ME series. As for gay Sheppard being a PR stunt, not gonna argue with you about that, but honestly I could care less if it was.

  • Jacob

    @Jaesun: You could say the same thing about Kelly in ME 2.

  • Jaesun


    First off, that quote wasn’t mine, and was a bit dramatic (I’ll admit). But the key point I’m trying to convey is that a character’s sexuality is not the problem; it’s the implementation. Bioware shouldn’t be praised for having gay characters in their games just for the sake of them being gay. If you actually play the game, you’ll see that it’s merely thrown in their for the sake of fan service and political correctness. There is no depth to explain that specific characteristic, and it’s only there to provide additional shitty romance options for more pixelated sex (if you can even call it that) scenes. It’s a PR stunt, plain and simple, and people seem to be buying into it.

  • Danny

    When the homophobes type their reviews it is always with one hand.

  • kuy

    Even if one complains about the shallowness of gay characters, and how it’s just pixalated sex, we shuold at least remember and appreciate that there are even gay characters and pixalated gay sex at all in the game. I would rather have ham fisted gay and straight relatiosnhips in a shitty sim game in outspace, than only to only be allowed have ham fisted straight relationships in a shitty sim game in outerspace.

    And to clarify: Cortez is the one who is gay and he is not black, but latino, he even uses spanish occasionally. Kaiden is white and he is bi, as you can be with him as either a male or female. You can only be with Cortez as a male. Bioware didn’t make Kaidan gay, they just added men to his sexual preference which already included women.

    I think we should take what we can get. The fact that gay characters and gay sex can now openly occur in media is most assuredly progress for us.

  • Ken S

    Finally, I’ve been waiting since the first Mass Effect for BioWare to logically extend current trends in the liberation of human sexuality, realize that in the future bisexuality or heteroflexibility or just plain old ‘unlabeled’ sexuality will likely be far more common, and fer’ fuck’s sake let me romance Kaidan, who I had a crush on from the very start. I mean I played 4 of my 6 characters as straight to diversify my experience of the story, but the two characters that I played through and really projected myself onto never had a second thought about any of the womenfolk, they only had eyes for Alenko and were pining for him to reciprocate and ‘come out.’ Glad to see they finally repealed Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell-in-Space or that he finally clued in that I wasn’t just “really focused on the mission.”

  • Ken S

    @Jaesun: “Also, Kaiden wasn’t gay in the first two games, so why add it in now? Bioware’s romances have always been unnecessary garbage (and optional for the most part), but making certain characters gay is as gimicky as it gets. If you can explain to me how adding homosexual characters/romances into ME3 is not a blatant PR stunt, I would really like to know.”

    As far as anyone knew, [i]I[/i] “wasn’t gay” for the first 17 years of my life. And then I “was.” Except, of course, that I always was– I mean gawd, in retrospect I’ve realized I had a crush on Keith from the Voltron force when I was 7– I just didn’t [i]tell[/i] anybody about it until I was damned good and ready. When I came out it wasn’t a “gimmick” or a “PR stunt.” How about you?

    When we play games with characters who are the creations of writers, we’re opting to participate in the story being told– in those character’s ‘lives,’ if you will. And while we get to make decisions for ourselves, and we might draw certain conclusions or form certain expectations based on what we experience over the course of our dealings with other people (real or virtual doesn’t matter for the purpose of this), frankly the fact remains that *their* stories are not *ours* to compose. We’re no more entitled to unilateral control over the ‘life story’ of any NPC character that our games’ writers are composing than we are entitled to control over the lives of our real life friends, who are composing their own stories. I take it you aren’t a writer of fiction, not really, not at heart? Because every writer of fiction that I know who’s worth their salt says the same thing– however they start out writing their characters, the best ones start to ‘breathe’ on their own, take on a life of their own, and the telling of their stories becomes less an exercise in composition and more one of explication. They stop “writing” the character and start ‘witnessing’ and narrating the character as they become ‘organic’ in the writer’s mind.

    Kaidan Alenko isn’t “yours” to dictate “who/what he is.” Sorry. You (presumably) bought the game to play Shepard, that’s the character whose ‘life’ you get to control. Who Kaidan is, how he “feels,” what he does– those are up to the writers to control (if they’re still working with him more basically, or to [i]relate[/] to us if he’s taken on that quality of being vivified in their imagination). And if it took him 4 or 5 years since you “met him” to come out– even if he didn’t give any sign before that of being bi– y’know what, it isn’t your [i]place[/i] to get in some snit over it, any more than it would be your right to tell a real life friend who took their time coming out to you “no you’re not; you’ve never said anything until now, so you’re straight.” And that some of us were wishing and hoping for it to happen changes nothing– it no more makes his coming-out “pandering to the gays” than the time my ‘straight’ army friend fooled around with me after years of me flirting. That others wanted it to happen doesn’t impugn its occurrence. The ‘author’ of that character’s part just got around to the thing that some of us were hoping for in their own sweet time.

    Kaidan’s bi. Apparently he was ‘in the closet’ until now, but if he’s bi now it stands to reason that he always was. And if you’re savvy [i]at all[/i] you already know what some of us learned years ago, namely that the files [i]did[/i] exist in the first game for a male Shep/Kaidan romance, they were just left inactive– you might call it “repressed”– by an editorial decision. That you’re taken aback by this, or dismayed, or upset by the disruption of your established expectations is of no consequence. The rest of us will applaud it all the louder. I only hope that you don’t presume so much authority or indignance when it’s your real-life friends whose lives don’t stick to the narrow course you envision for them. If you do, I’d be genuinely curious about the nature of your friendships.

  • jason

    A lot of those guys complaining about male homosexuals are probably the same guys who masturbate over lesbians. It’s the old double standard regarding homosexuality.

  • jason

    A lot of the homophobic comments are also coming from straight-identifying guys who are secretly attracted to men in certain circumstances.

  • Breadquanda

    “If you enjoyed it, then kudos to you, but don’t dismiss the naysayers as some internet people going on silly campaigns.”

    I’m sure the massive wave of negative user reviews it received the day of its release were for the most part completely valid.

    I’m sure people who actually purchased the game on day one were rushing to call it shit.

  • Polyboy

    Gamer boys are some of the misogynistic and homophobic people on the web. They’re also masochistic apparently. Bioware makes you jump through a lot of clearly defined hoops for the gay romance options. It is far easier to hook up with chicks.

    So, I’m going to go with the “user scores” being you tubers bitching about other people having choices.

    It would not be the first or the last time some self diddling neo-fascist triggered the gay romance on purpose, got himself off and then screamed about homosexuality being “forced” on them.


  • kaiden-lover90

    To all those people complaining about how Kaiden ” was not gay in the first games” or that “he is probably coming out of the closet in this game” here is an answer to both. Bioware was actually planning on making Kaiden a bi option in the first game, but they couldn’t add it in time. If you look for vids on youtube from mass effect 1 there was dialogue for a same-sex romance scene with Kaiden (although it is not a complete one since not all of the code was there). Also, plently of things Kaiden mentioned in ME1 suggested he liked boys. They were not obvious, but I remember playing through a few times and hearing Ashley say to him something along the lines of “women always confuse you Kaiden”. Also, if you lookatthis ME3 vid you can see that Kaiden is not shy about kissing Shepard and Shepard is not taken aback. This suggests that he is already out, but just doesn’t talk about his feeling with everyone (which is apparentin ME1)

  • Allen D.

    So there has to be some sort of clear, story driven purpose for a character to be gay? Can’t it just be a fact? Something that just “is”? My sexuality is just one little facet of who I am. I can’t think of any games where they have to show some altruistic & deep motivation for a character to be straight (like 95% of all game characters).

    All in all, I will buy these games now. Why not enjoy a game that gives a gay option, rather than sit through the upteenth heterosexual romp?

    Really, I respect them MORE for not making the gaity some HUGE plot point. Character is gay. The end. Allen is gay. The end.

  • Riker

    @Oh, ok.: Yes, isn’t it wonderful? /b/ may be the last true public forum remaining on the internet, where anything goes. Its a great look at the depths of the human psyche, the way people behave without all these little social contracts we have with each other. /b/ was founded on true anonymity, and is the purest form of chaotic neutral I can think of.

  • Charlie in Charge

    @Jaesun: What you don’t take into account is that the player creates their own Shepard each time they play, and each time they play the universe is reset in a way. If you play through ME1 with a female lead you could choose to romance Kaidan or not. If you did you can assume the Kaidan in that universe is either straight or bi. There isn’t a bit of dialogue where he says he does not date men.

    If you play as a male Shepard you don’t have the option of dating him for the first two games but you do in he third. Just because “alternate universe female Shepards” can date him does not make him straight in your male Shepard’s universe.

    There is nothing wrong with Bioware’s depiction of GLBT characters. Most have been bi in the sense that in some playthrough they could romance either gender. Lelianna, Zevran, Liara, Anders, Juhani, etc have all been interesting creations and I look forward to playing more Boware games in the future.

  • Benny

    Finally! Would rather that than have lesbian sex with an alien!

  • Jaesun

    @Charlie in Charge:

    “There is nothing wrong with Bioware’s depiction of GLBT characters.”

    Sure, other than the fact that it was used as a cheap marketing ploy. If you find their dating simulations to be “interesting”, then by all means keep buying their games. Although you would get a much better experience from playing The Sims (free of abysmal gameplay). Video games don’t need ‘romances’ (unless that’s the focus of the game/simulation), and Bioware only makes the concept more repugnant with their stunted imagination and shitty writing. But I digress, the whole romance debacle is trivial compared to all of the other problems the game has. Bioware dun goofed the ending to their grand trilogy.


    “The fact that gay characters and gay sex can now openly occur in media is most assuredly progress for us.”

    Yes, Mass Effect 3 is the pioneer of gay characters in video games. The concept has never been applied before… (/sarcasm)

    If you want to make that argument in regards to media in general, then fine, I agree. But I’m dumbfounded if you think a broken parody of a video game (ME3) actually progresses the concept of homosexuality in the mainstream media. When it comes down to it, I’d rather have good games to play as opposed to salivating over a corporation’s cock for more ‘exposure’ in the general media. Advancements can be made without resorting to myopic dealings with the devil.

    @Allen D.

    “Why not enjoy a game that gives a gay option, rather than sit through the upteenth heterosexual romp?”

    Why not enjoy a game that provides quality animation, decent writing/dialogue, choices and consequences (although never really present, even in ME1), and actual RPG mechanics (this is a role-playing game, right? my bad, never-mind), instead of the train wreck Bioware has shat out? Why do we need to sit through any kind of sexual romp, that feels like it was orchestrated by someone who’s only had sex with their hand? If you don’t like my criticism of EA/Bioware’s $$$ marketing ploy, and the obvious exploitation of a minorities desire to progress its existence, then at least read about the other problems this game is plagued with before you buy it.

    Oh, and in response to “Really, I respect them MORE for not making the gaity some HUGE plot point”: It may not be a “plot point”, but it was definitely showcased in tons of interviews. They wanted to make sure everyone knew that gay romance would be in the game. But I’m sure it’s because they really care about advancing the concept of complexities in human sexuality, and not because it would increase their profit and PR image… As I said before, advancements can be made without resorting to myopic dealings with the devil.

    As for a general response, the majority of criticism I’ve read has nothing to do with “why are there fucking faggots in my game”? Of course you’ll see quips about the ham-fisted “fags in ME3”, but the brunt of the complaints concern the copy/pasted ending, as well as (unintentional) comical writing/dialogue. And the bad animations and character models. And the DLC abuse.

  • ~PR~

    FYI – You go Renegade if you deny any sexual tryst, not just the same sex ones. Idiots.

  • MTiffany

    Don’t have ME3 (yet), but if they don’t want to have a male shepard go gay with kaidan then can’t these uptight douches just play as a female shepard? Oh wait, your typical homophobe is usually a raging misogynist asshole also, so…

  • Daez

    I think it is important to note that Bioware adding gay characters to their games, in and of itself, is NOT a reason to go gaga for them. The fact they are willing to stand up to their detractors while costing themselves more fans than they make by doing so is.

    Also, I loved the characters in DAO. The romance options were amazing. I have DAO2, but haven’t played it yet. The only reason I don’t know if I’ll buy ME3 is because on a whole I am not a shooter or space fan. Soon, we can all listen to people bitch about gay sex in DA3.

  • Smough

    I just beat the game today, having received my copy 2 days early, and I must say that the trilogy finale was very mediocre. It was more disappointing than ME2, and I hoped that wouldn’t be the case. It was entertaining for what it was, but many of the gameplay and story decisions fell short of what was expected. As another commenter posted above, the ending was directly taken from another game, Dues Ex, and was made to be even more illogical. I was worried that the story consistency would waver when Karpyshyn was replaced by Walters, and my assumption turned out to be true. For starters, why were all of the squadmates from ME2 reduced to extended cameos? Why the hell was Wrex the only original ME1 squadmate who couldn’t tag along? Instead of Legion or Mordin, we get stuck with the anonymous manboon James Vega, as well as a sexbot. The Prothean Javik was interesting, but he couldn’t make up for all of those who were excluded. And instead of finally giving us actual choices in the dialogue options, we’re restricted to paragon and renegade responses. What about neutral responses? Albeit the dialogue options in the two previous games were pretty superficial (at times), Bioware didn’t even try this time.

    As for the romance that everyone is harping about, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. Cortez, the male/male romance option may as well have been generic Normandy crew member #28. I talked to him, but there was nothing interesting enough to attach to. He eventually faded into the background with all of the other extras. I couldn’t romance Kaiden, as I left his boring ass on Virmire, so I can’t speak for how it played out. He was basically a Carth clone, and Carth was the most boring NPC in Knights of the Old Republic. Ashely wasn’t much different, but at least she had a very interesting family background. Overall I could never get into any of Bioware’s romances; not with KotOR, not with Jade Empire, and not with ME1/2. They play out like bad romance novels, and always felt too out of place with the game’s setting. Earth is being ravaged by giant robot Cthulhus, but hey, let’s have sex. I don’t know what the Jaesun commenter was going on a tirade about, but I can relate to his/her concerns about marketing taking precedence over gameplay. The three modes that are offered are pretty goofy. I assumed the ME trilogy was going to remain a RPG/FPS hybrid, but the RPG concept has been diluted with each sequel to the point where it can bee seen as nothing more than a FPS with tactical elements (or for the more cynical, and FPS/dating sim). What exactly is Story Mode? No gameplay (essentially, since the challenge removed 90%), just dialogue and cutscenes. Isn’t that what a movie is supposed to be? Oh well, I always have the first two games to go back to. If anyone is curious about anything else concerning ME3, let me know and I’ll try to address it. I could go on, but I don’t feel like typing a book today.

  • Oh, ok.

    @Riker: I don’t really see what’s so great about pedophiles and other basement dwellers like them with freaky things they need to hide having a place to share their insanity with others like them. If anything it promotes their behavior and makes them feel validated.

    There are plenty of sites and forums where you can share and learn. 4chan isn’t one of those sites. It’s just full of the worst “people” on the internet.

  • Casey

    If only Star Trek Online would incorporate awesome LGBTness, I’d never leave my frakkin* computer! STO players are so much more open minded, and maybe thats because Star Trek depicts an awesome diverse liberal utopian future… but if there are any Queerty readers who are gamers and Star Trek fans, I suggest creating an STO account and heading to “Quark’s” on DS9 on a Saturday night — It’s like going to Space Pride lol

  • ~PR~

    @Jaesun: I just beat the game and I found it to be an excellent cap to the trilogy. I also found the love scenes clunky but strangely adorable… kinda silly to think that in crazy times people wouldn’t have sex. The game play itself was challenging, to me anyway, but I am also not a regular gamer type though I did play the entire series and love it! I do like how the outcome can be different in each big time scenario; however, I’m not a huge fan of the last few moments of the game. Since I haven’t played the game you said this one resembles, I’ll just take your word for it.

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