11. Kasumi Goto (Mass Effect 2)
|Tragically, Kasumi Goto was born without a forehead.|
As a character, Kasumi strives for that Joss Whedon style best seen in the short-lived but oft-cited cult TV show, Firefly. She'll make sarcastic quips and never take things as seriously as she should. Honestly, you'd think I would love this. But it really just undermines the tone of the much darker Mass Effect 2. It's not that characters can't be funny or make wise-cracks, there's just nothing else to her character and that won't cut it in a game of this caliber.
|Maybe her motive was to wear leather pants?|
10. Zaeed Massani (Mass Effect 2)
|Cool guys don't look at explosions. They blow things up and then walk away.|
So why is he so low? Do I have a grudge against badasses or Englishmen? No! In fact, I think the English Badass has been completed neglected on this side of the world, in favor of the foppish Englishman (but seriously, the stiff upper lip is a remarkably important component of being a badass, more on that another day). The problem with Zaeed is there's nothing to him but being a badass and getting revenge. He doesn't learn anything and he doesn't really have any other interesting opinions. He's been consumed by his badassery. Besides an intense hatred of things in his way and a love of money, I can't tell you a thing about how he thinks. Additionally, I think he's a bit too badass. He doesn't feel like a real person, just a parody of one. A violent, angry, pyromaniac of a parody. But importantly, Zaeed is the first character whose strengths outweigh his weaknesses. His loyalty mission is really strong, but I think it missed the opportunity to ask a truly profound question for the badass generation: is it better to live for greed or to live for revenge?
|Answer: Revenge. Because people who live for greed never get to walk away from a burning building.|
|"Your weapons cannot harm me. I'm the Grunt-er-naut, bitch!"|
|"Hava nagila! Hava nagila! Hava nagila ve-Thresher Maw!|
Grunt is a pretty cool character who has a strong arc and finishes the story in a much clearer state than when he began. He's fighting for purpose as well as glory. Fortunately, the quality of the writing is so strong by now that having a good character arc, clear motives and goals, and an interesting character are the standard.
Come back tomorrow, when we get to the characters who are all really good!