Without sounding too much like a street magician: think of a video game helicopter. Any video game helicopter. Don't tell me what it is for now, just keep it in your mind. If it didn't crash, then the chances are it was used to spoon-feed you a few plot points before the action started.
Whatever your stance on the humble moustache, mutton chops, beard or goatee, facial hair can be found growing with reckless abandon on a number of gaming's most memorable protagonists (and a few forgettable ones to boot). Once you delve a bit deeper, however, a pattern starts to emerge from among the bristles; facial hair is, basically, game developer shorthand for emotional development.
You'll be amazed how much better the new game looks.