Saturday, November 8, 2014

30 Day Mass Effect Challenge, Day 8: Least Favorite Team Member

I kind of feel bad for this one because of the voice actor. Kimberly Brooks has voiced some of my favorite video game characters (Barbara Gordon/Oracle in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, for example), and despite my general dislike for Ashley Williams, Brooks does such an incredible job bringing the character to life that it seems unfair that I place Ashley under the title of Most Awful Person.

But I digress.
Ashley is sad.
Via Nerd Appropriate
It's not just her extreme bigotry in the first game. Her downright annoying adherence to the idea that aliens are, like, dogs or something that we sic on a bear that's threatening us* is infuriating, and I have no idea why BroShep (unless he's being a renegade?) would even pursue her over Liara. Her attitude may have changed by the time ME3 comes around, but her irritating behavior doesn't. I'd have thought that Ashley would have supported Shepard's involvement with Cerberus, at least nominally, but nope, she's staunchly against it and is super-suspicious of her former commander until they nearly shoot each other trying to protect the Council. With Kaidan, at least it makes sense that he'd be angry with Shepard seemingly switching sides and then skeptical that Shep's ties with Cerberus had been severed. It's not any less maddening, of course, but that's beside the point. This is about how I can't stand Ashley. And maybe it's because I romanced Tali in my singular playthrough with a BroShep (his name was Kale, because I envisioned his parents as hipsters, in case you were wondering**), but once you recruit her to stay on the Normandy, all of your interactions with her don't add anything to game, although I did enjoy the part where she was hammered and lying on the floor.

Anyway, all of her character issues aside, I never really liked playing with her as a squad member. She's not nearly as strong an ally as others (Wrex, for ME1, Grunt, for ME2, and James, for ME3), and her dialogue is either obnoxious or forgettable. The only time I ever had her on my squad was when she had to be in the first game, and I begrudgingly allowed her on the Normandy in the third, without ever selecting her to fight with me***.

Like I said above, it's unfortunate, since Kimberly Brooks is so great, but Bioware just dropped the ball in the character design****. Brooks deserved better.

< Day 7: Favorite Female Team Member         Day 9: Favorite Romance (Bro/Fem) >

* For those of you who haven't played the game, this is an actual thing that Ashley says. Paraphrased, of course, but still.
** You probably weren't.
*** Not entirely true. She was on my squad in the simulation arena when somebody requested that I fight with Alliance members, but that doesn't count.
**** Not just in terms of her personality and abilities. I was really disappointed with the sexing up of the character in ME3. She's a self-described tomboy that doesn't seem to necessarily care about her appearance (and she had smaller boobs), so seeing her transformed into a sexpot was incredibly frustrating.
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