Not sure if you could read the sarcasm accompanying this post’s title, but I am less then enthused with a few of the casting choices that were made for Mass Effect 3. Oddly enough both choices aren’t coming out of left field by any means, but something about the way in which the characters in this now substantiated formula were introduced feels dirty.

I didn’t particularly like the focus that Mass Effect 2 put on it’s guest stars (Martin Sheen, Yvonne Strahovski), but their performances more then made up for my initial trepidation. The weird direction that Bioware, and probably EA by extension, have gone about their guest roles feels more in service of an imaginary consumer then the narrative – which is obviously the main selling point of the Mass Effect series.

The inane formula of featuring relatively attractive females with some sort of geek credentials works to break the immersion of the world, not help establish it. Claudia Black, Yvonne Strahovski, Felicia Day, and now Chobot (easily the least inspired of the females) all feel like they were hit upon by focus testing a room full of nerds hell bent on dating their favorite “celebrity.”

As with all of the male soldiers that make up your party, Freddie Prinze seems a natural fit to continue the string of mediocrity and throw away nature that both Kaidan Alenko, and  Jacob Taylor played in the first and second games respectively. The marketing videos that have accompanied Mass Effect 3 seem to show Prinze being fluent in the world and what makes the series unique, but it is hard to tell how much of that is a PR suit handing him lines, or if they are his own astute observations.

I’m not afraid that Mass Effect 3 is going to be a bad game, but I hope that it remains true to the narrative driven nature that made the previous installments so endearing. Loosing what made the series shine would not only be a hit to the credibility of the series, but also to that of Bioware, who after earning the ire of fans with the cool reception of Dragon Age 2, can not afford another failure.

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