Last time, I went through my thoughts as to why some boys choose girl characters in video games. Me? While I would want to choose girl characters as much as I can, I’m more concerned about the story behind the character and it seems girl characters are given richer backstories. Case in point: the Mass Effect series.
This is probably going to be a three-parter since I have so many gripes regarding how bland the human male characters are in this series of game. Heck, even making Shepard, the main character, a female makes the hero much more interesting instantly. I’ll explain this a bit later.
And, yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of SPOILERS!
Take note that my gripes are with the HUMAN male characters that you can control during the course of the three games and not the alien males. The alien males, like the turian Garrus (who’s got a real badass attitude and always able to come up with a witty retort) are just fun to be with.
Let’s start with Kaidan Alenko from Mass Effect 1. He has biotic powers (think telekinetic powers) since he was forcibly given these abilities. A lot of his friends died during the experiments and he accidentally killed his turian trainer. Honestly, his story was pretty boring and generic. He’s supposed to be damaged because of these events, but he came off extremely well-adjusted. Without the psychological scars showing, he comes off as a generic bland solider. When we (my brother and myself) were given the choice to save either Ashley and Kaidan, it was pretty easy choice to save Ashley.
From Mass Effect 2, we got Jacob Taylor. He looks too much like Kanye West that it takes me out of the game. Whenever I saw him, I was just waiting for him to just suddenly jump up and proclaim that Mass Effect is the best game all time! Like Kaiden Alenko, he’s damaged (his father technically abandoned him and then he discovered that his father was an incompetent and selfish bastard) but, like a good soldier, it really didn’t bother him.
Not only that, I don’t think the programmers liked him that much since his mouth moves very weird when he talks. It’s like the didn’t even bother trying to sync his mouth to what he’s saying. It just… unnerved me and creeped me out.
Next, we have James Vega… wow. What a lame character. Look, I’m fine with James being hispanic and all, but does he have to remind us all the time by sneaking in some Spanish words? He seems to be able to speak fluent English but he’ll say “Gracias” instead of “Thanks.” And please stop calling me Lola, okay?
Oh, it’s because my name doesn’t match what I look like? Well, I’ll call you “stupid ape” from now on. What? It matches what you look like!
Not only that, I don’t even understand his backstory. I know his entire squad was killed recently but he doesn’t seem that bothered by it. That’s pretty creepy, in my opinion.
There is probably one human character that has some personality and that’s Zaeed. Although he looks incredibly old, he’s still a pretty good fighter and commanded. In fact, he founded the Blue Suns, a mercenary group that will perform despicable acts as long as the price is right. Even thought he was shot in the face (!), he manages to survive it since, according to him, revenge is a powerful motivator. And I love his accent! He’s the exception to the rule.
Oh, and he loves claw games! And plushies!
I also didn’t mention Joker, the pilot of the Normandy. It’s kinda hard to be upset with a guy who makes really funny wisecracks while in the middle of danger, especially since he has brittle bones that can break if he just runs.
I know that a lot of other people like, maybe even love, these characters. But… I found them very annoying. I noticed that, while I’m writing this, it’s primarily because they have to be “damaged” individuals and it has to be in the forefront of their characterizations. On the other hand, Zaeed and Joker, who bury their awful backstories, come off extremely likeable for me. I don’t know why, but that’s just the way I feel.
Now, let’s go to the male Shepard. Why is the male Shepard much more boring than the female Shepard? That’ll be explained in my next post!
If you have anything you like to add regarding the male human characters or defending them, please post them in the comments section.