Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mass Effect Hack: Breaking Down the Canonical Squad Members

I didn't even know there was this extra song until Chip showed off the DLC, and I really like it. Of course, the entire MGR:R soundtrack is amazing to me.

Okay, so yesterday someone expressed their interest in how I've split up the official Mass Effect characters into my archetype playbooks. I replied in a comment, but on second thought it was worth a whole post now that I've down my heavy lifting.

Let's start with the division I came up with:
Leaders: Commander Shepard, Miranda, James.
Agents: Ashley, Kaiden, Jacob.
Rebels: Garrus, Jack, Kasumi. As a relevant aside, I've not played Kasumi's DLC so I am unsure of the precise nuances of her character.
Veterans: Wrex, Javik, Za'eed.
Loners: Grunt, Thane, Samara, Legion.
Academics: Liara, Tali, Mordin, EDI.
So the most important thing, more so than anything else, is that this division is built for a balanced split between the archetypes. While I agree that every categorization there is a decent way to interpret the characters, I would also argue that most characters could easily be considered in multiple lights, and that many characters changed over the course of the series. My big example is Liara, who started the series as an Academic, but also became an Agent in ME2. In ME3 you could easily put her into Leader as well, but the Academic side of things takes over again. Some are clear-cut: Garrus is a Rebel, and no other playbook quite fits as well for him. Mordin could be seen as a Veteran; Tali could be seen as a Leader; Javik could be seen as a Loner or a Leader; Samara could be seen as an Agent, and the list goes on. But this particular division puts a decent spin on every character while gaining a 3/3/3/3/4/4 split, if I assume that I've pegged Kasumi right (as I noted, I don't know her well).

The only major problem I have with this split is that all the Leaders and Agents are humans. It has less to do with not being able to understand others as Leaders or as Agents but more that the more generic human characters (Ashley, Jacob, James) are much harder to tilt as anything else. I could be pushed to call Kaiden a Rebel in attitude, or maybe James as a Veteran I guess. But I'm okay with it for now, I just wanted to call out that I'm aware of the quirks of this list.
Well, that's all I wanted to say. Thanks for listenin'!

End Recording,

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