Cliffy B Explains The “Bald Space Marines” Phenomenon


For anyone who’s played through the likes of [shal]Resistance[/shal], [shal]Unreal Tournament[/shal], Mass Effect, [shal]inFamous[/shal], or dozens of other current-gen titles, it’s hard not to notice how many of the main characters either have very short hair or are just flat out bald. There’s a specific reason behind this, and Cliff Bleszinski from Epic Games has the answer.

“I just think that the technology of this generation just happens to be very good at rendering metals and stones and dramatic lighting, which is why you see a lot of pillars and girders and destroyed blown-out areas because that’s what the bump-mapping happens to do very well.

At the same time, in this generation the translucent effects are very hard to pull off. That’s why everybody sees a lot of these bald characters and wonder why games feature so many fucking space marines. Well, the tech is good at showing off armour and it’s not that good at doing hair. That’s why we have bald space marines. There’s your answer people.”

I have to agree with him there. Translucent effects really are a pain to pull off in-game, which is probably why [shal]Uncharted 2[/shal] got so much attention. Pretty much everyone in that game has lush, Pantene Pro-V hair.