Monday, November 10, 2014

30 Day Mass Effect Challenge, Day 10: Least Favorite Romance

You know how when you have a friend and they're all excited to introduce you to their new main squeeze and you're all, "Hey, this friend of mine is pretty awesome, so this romantic interest has to be, at the bare minimum, cooler than beans?" And then you meet this person and you find yourself side-eyeing your friend so hard that you nearly pass out? Yeah, that's what Mass Effect did to me when it offered certain sex buddies for Shepard.

Jacob Taylor
Via Mass Effect Wiki
Jacob Taylor might actually out-Captain-Cardboard Riley Finn from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Which, I know, big statement there. But he is seriously the most awful romance option, and I say this knowing that Diana Allers is available for sexytimes. Adam Lazarre-White does a great job voice-acting (something Mass Effect has going for it is an abundance of talented voice actors), but the character is so poorly written that it's wasted. Jacob is simply a boring person, and I could not have cared less about his loyalty mission. In every playthrough, I went ahead and just got it done first so I wouldn't have to worry about it, and the only reason I didn't bypass the whole mission was because I wanted to get the best possible number of war assets in ME3. And because I'm a giant softy and believe that, yes, even the most tedious people deserve to live.

And OH MY GAWD, the stereotypes: not only does Jacob have a deadbeat father, who plays in his own fantasy world where he is the king with a large harem of innocent sex toys, but then Jacob himself decides to cheat on Shepard (if you can call it that, which I will get to in a second) and impregnate another woman that he met through mutual acquaintances. Because he's a Black Dude, amirite??? I mean, it's not that I don't think that every romance should end with them deciding to spend the rest of their days on a beach, making money from the royalties off the stories of their exploits, but damn.

And here's the thing. Maybe that's how Bioware planned it? If you look at all the other romance options in the game, all of the relationships that Shep could pursue were based on things other than physical attraction: Garrus and Thane felt a kinship with her, Jack was able to let go of her mistrust of people, Tali deeply admired him, Miranda did not feel like an object to him, Kaidan and Ash had bonded with Shep throughout the first game, Liara matured through her friendship with Shep, etc. Hell, even Kelly, with her boundless love for all creatures, made more sense as a partner than Jacob did. It basically seemed like a, "Hey, we're probably going to die, so I'd like to have sex one last time" sort of thing. So maybe he looked at it more as a fling, and because Shep was a woman (in this case), meh, whatever, fuck her feelings of attachment to him. Maybe he didn't really view his relationship with Brynn to be cheating on Shepard. Who knows? We never really find out, even in the Citadel DLC, where you're given an option to forgive him or essentially throw him out on his ass.

Mass Effect 3 Jacob Romance - All Options

Whatever. I mean, I don't even care. Shepard can do better (GARRUS, SHEPARD, ARE YOU BLIND). I don't expect a masterpiece to be devoid of flaws; in fact, it's always a little comforting knowing that no one is perfect. But damn, was this a bomb. 

< Day 9: Favorite Romance (Male/Female)          Day 11: Favorite Alien Species >
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