|KILL IT WITH FIRE!|
16. Jacob Taylor (Mass Effect 2)
Remember when I said most of the squad members were unique and memorable? Well, Jacob Taylor is the reason why it couldn't be all the squad members. He is so bland, so devoid of passion and intrigue that when I initially discussed this article with the Bean, we honestly forgot he was in the game at all. The thing is every other character has strong principles and motives and display superb talent before they join your squad. But that's not the case with Jacob. Jacob winds up contradicting his own viewpoints a lot. He joined up with Cerberus (a radical pro-human group) because they get results. So he's an action first, damn the consequences kinda guy, right? But then he decides that he's super hesitant about following the orders of their leader. So he's a man of honor then? No, because before the game, he was a thug on the Alliance payroll who took missions the Alliance couldn't officially sanction. As for his abilities, he's probably the least qualified person on the Normandy in that he is neither a telekinetic crusader, spec ops veteran, or vigilante who simultaneously fought three companies of interstellar mercenaries to a stalemate all by himself, but he was the main character of the terrible iPhone game Mass Effect Galaxies. So I guess that was his main qualification. In a nutshell, Jacob can't decide if he's a rebel or a conformist, has no real interesting back story and is not particularly clever or smart. I guess he's supposed to be an everyman, but some convictions wouldn't hurt.
15. Kaidan Alenko (Mass Effect 1)
|Hispanic? Caucasian? Italian? All of the above?|
14. Samara (Mass Effect 2)
|Weird. Suddenly, I can't remember why I disliked this character so much.|
The other thing I dislike about Samara will take a bit of explaining. The real problem is she contradicts everything we know about the asari. For the uninitiated (or normal fans who don't remember tons of details of the dozen cultures of a made up galaxy), the asari are your prime example of a peaceful people. They're a species of all women who can live for hundreds and hundreds of years and they reproduce via psychic connection and intense feelings of mutual love. As a result, they can conceive children with other aliens and the child will turn out asari. This is encouraged from a cultural standpoint because the child gains the genetic strengths of the other parent's species. So there's a biological imperative for asari to be an open and accepting people. Why would a culture which reveres diversity and acceptance view a justicar as a good thing? A justicar, by definition, crushes a diversity in thought and does not answer to any diplomatic authority. Stunningly, other asari revere the justicars because "they would never abuse their power." That's the worst reason you could possibly come up with! None of it makes sense. On the other hand, her loyalty mission does have Shepard hit up a bar and mack on some fly space honeys. So she gets points for that. It's more than Jacob or Kaidan ever did for me.
13. Jack (Mass Effect 2)
|Stupid Jack... Oh God, she heard me! Not my face!|
That said, she is internally consistent, consistent with the lore, and has a decent loyalty mission. It's just every line of dialogue she says makes me want to karate chop her in the throat.
|I know where I'd shoot if I had to fight this guy.|
To Legion's credit, he raises some interesting questions and his loyalty mission, while coming out of nowhere, raises one of the absolute best moral dilemmas I've seen in any game. I'd comment on his personality or character growth, but he's just not around long enough for me to have a sense of either. It would be like if, at the end of The Two Towers, an orc came to help Aragorn at Helm's Deep because most orcs are good. It raises too many questions and leaves no time for answers!
That concludes the Bottom 5. Next up, we handle the Mediocre Six! The nitpicks shall abound as I try to differentiate between characters of similar quality. It'll be crazy!