Monday, 18 July 2011

Mass Effect 3: James Vega

Meet Mass Effect 3's newest squad mate. In a game universe with dozens of interesting alien species that would have made fucking awesome team-mates, they give us a white guy with a douchey faux-hawk who does a lot of crunches.

Way to break the mold, Bioware.

Don't we already have Kaiden to be the boring whitie no one puts in their squad or talks to or looks at if it can be at all avoided? Do we really need another one of those? And what if you PLAY as a Commander Shepard who's a boring white guy? Well then that's half of your team being a poor man's recreation of EVERY OTHER VIDEO GAME EVER MADE.

Let's put this into perspective. Here's what my team looked like at the end of Mass Effect 2:

And here's what my squad will look like at the start of Mass Effect 3:

That's like going from Final Fantasy VI to Final Fantasy XII. Instead of a bunch of characters I like but didn't get enough time to develop, we have a smaller cast of losers I don't care for who'll get too much screen-time.

Some more context: I've never beaten Mass Effect 1. I gave up on it long before I could even recruit the blue chick. And when I did start watching videos of these games(Let's Plays and such), I found I don't care for her voice, her inflection, her tone, etc. And she pretty much fulfills the same role as Tali, the gal with the cowl and the pink visor.

Mass Effect 2 had too many characters. I think each one of them brought something to the table, but there wasn't really enough game here to flesh them out as well as they deserve. Bioware really should have just cut the cast in half, and save the rest for the third game. But instead of getting a few interesting faces, we get 5 out of six characters returning from the first game. The one I hated.

Except in that game, you could make it so that Garrus is the only male character left on a 5 person-team. Now I get to choose between a white dude and another white dude.The possibilities are endless!

Speaking as a white dude myself, it's just disappointing to see a franchise that has so many unique and visually interesting types of characters they COULD be using, and instead settling on the same type of quasi-fascist musclehead archetype we've gotten from every video game released in the last ten years. There's too much potential here to be aiming for the Halo, twitch-kiddy, GIRLS AND ETHNICICITIES HAVE COOTIES demographic like this. It's still a bit early to tell, and I don't know if this is the final squad-list, but it's not looking like I'll have any reason to switch out Garrus and Tali.




  1. I actually really liked Vega, even though I thought I wouldn't when I first saw what he would look like.

    1. Upon playing the game in full, I've decided it's not the character that fails for me, so much as it is Freddie Prinze Jr.