Your Critic's husband continued to roll his eyes at the way K. Shepard navigated her choices. "You're so nice," he complained. "You're always negotiating and diplomatic."
Well, yes. Don't like it? Go back to M. Shepard.
However, his criticism was silenced in one surprising, pivotal [SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS] moment:
After traversing interstellar space in a terrible dune buggy and landing in the middle of the Presidium, we arrived in the Citadel Tower. Here it was: the final confrontation with the arch-enemy we'd been chasing since the prologue. Of course, we have to duke it out one more time verbally before we get to the boss fight. But there were an awful lot of charm (blue) and intimidate (red) options. And through a masterful application of both... I convinced Saren to kill himself. That's right: boss fight entirely averted, purely through dialogue.
I certainly didn't see that one coming! I also got +25 Renegade points for it, which shut up Your Critic's critic for a while. He'd actually had to do the gunslinging for that one on his play-through, and didn't know that victory (such as it is) through negotiation was even possible.
As it turns out, I've gotten very attached to K. Shepard. Everyone's talk about "my Shepard" makes sense, because, well -- she's Commander Shepard, Cosmic Badass! Let there be no argument! She is just that good! I'm ready to save the galaxy from Reapers, bring it ME2!
But then... there was this.
You know what that trailer is? That trailer is boring. That trailer is generic and could be for almost anything. Woohoo, stereotypical-looking boring white dude with boring voice leads plucky group of whoever to do whatever and makes out with a good-looking woman along the way. YAWN.
Thank goodness for this version:
Truth be told, though, I'd have been happier overall if none of the marketing materials focused on Shepard that way. President Bartlett there in his voice-over could have said, "one person," rather than "one man." They could have continued to focus more on the threat, the ship, and other characters. (I might have cheered when I saw Garrus. Turns out I like him.)
I love how the game feels with a female Shepard -- and it's a pretty universal opinion that for ME1 at least, Jennifer Hale did the far superior voice acting job. It frustrates me to no end that EA / BioWare feel compelled to put in all of their advertising a boring, generic, seen-him-before space marine dude. That's selling both the game and the audience short.