so the Kadara Port part of the game has been bothering me since the first playthrough, where i sided with Reyes and started to really annoy and frustrate me in the second one, where i decided to choose Sloane. because the thing is, that part never feels like an actual choice that you have to consider and think about very hard. every time it feels like you’re almost forced to pick Reyes over Sloane, so probably the majority of the players do. and why shouldn’t they? he immediately starts charming you on the first meeting, you share a lot of scenes with him, funny, cute, romantic, you name it. on top of that, he’s a romance option, arguably the best m/m romance and in case you got too busy with other stuff, you get constantly reminded to have a chat with him. with Sloane on the other hand, the game frames her as pretty much The Worst Person, with little redeeming qualities, no hope of change and almost universally hated. she gets people hooked on drugs? well of course she does. i’m surprised they didn’t pile on cannibalism. you spend way less time with her and her attitude towards Ryder is cold at best, at least initially, and she only becomes more friendly after you’ve already saved her. she’s disillusioned about the initiative and openly hostile towards Tann. and the thing is, there’s a lot that could be explored with her character but never is. she’s the leader of the outcasts not because she wanted to be, but because for each choice she made during the uprising, the alternative was worse and at the end all the rest of the rebels expected her to take the lead so she did. someone who knows they all have 2 weeks of supplies and if they don’t find an alternative by then, they’re all dead. who probably knows she should return the port to the angara after liberating it from the kett, but realises she can’t afford that kind of luxury. who knows she can’t lead and inspire her people like Jien and she will have to resort to violence and intimidation to get them to work for their survival. who values loyalty only to realise she’s gotten to a point where people so easily betray her when the collective orders Kaetus to be beaten up. anything like that. but the overall portrayal of the conflict is very polarising and lacks nuance so one side is clearly favoured over the other in terms of content and characterisation, not to mention that Reyes survives the conflict no matter what you do and if you want to pursue and continue a romance you enjoy, you have to willingly allow her (a black woman in power on top of everything) be killed in a dirty duel with no alternative solution.
i wish i could hope there is some reason for that setup, but i’m too old and bitter and i know better than to hold my breath. and with so many players predictably siding with Reyes, demanding more of his content & creating tons of fan art and doing none of that for Sloane (quite opposite, i wish i could unsee the countless posts and threads of people joyfully declaring how they wish they could shoot her themselves, not terrifying at all), i wouldn’t be surprised if she ‘magically’ disappeared from any later content.
for now i’m gonna keep saving her out of spite, because bioware apparently doesn’t want me to, but she really deserved a better treatment.
I’ll make a series of those. We’ll start at the beginning!
PROLOGUE: -She has a hangover the day of the Nexus departure. She knows that it isn’t professional but she’s not the only one, there was a huge party the day before -She worked hard to make sure her teams were up to the standards of the Initiative -She believes Jien Garson is “awe-inspiring” -She’s anxious and realizes that as Security Director she will have “far more influence” than the “grunt she used to be” -“Born too late to solve anything, strung out too far by old men in uniforms slinging around old grudges.” -She believes things will be different this time (no more vendettas, piracy, Skyllian Blitzes). They will do things right with “pioneers eager for the same dream” -She doesn’t take Alec Ryder “lightly”, she believes he’s not going to be easy to work with. She knows he’s impatient. -She predicts what Alec will say before he says it (“Well, it’s time to go. So the real work can start.”). She smirks at him and he gives her a “quizzical stare” and a nod. She nods back. -The Nexus will be a better Citadel. The Council’s flaws, to her, are trying to outmaneuver each other, the krogan and believing humans are “too young for the responsibility.” She mentions a death toll. It makes her irritated. “The Nexus would be everything the Citadel had failed in.” -Sloane feels “enormous pride” at the “culmination of all the hard work” -“They were all in this together, now.” -Sloane respects the fact that Garson is not a pushover -She has the “strange honor” of being the last awake. An excited portion of her brain reminds her that she wields the power to stop it all. She could put the whole thing on lockdown. -She looks forward to spend some time alone and in silence in “her” station. “The place she’d sworn to protect and shepherd on its great mission. The place for which she’d given up her life in the Milky Way.” -Doesn’t believe in gods or “dodging procedure.” -Sloane hasn’t left much behind: no family, no responsibilities. She’s just leaving behind baggage (“a galaxy’s worth of it”), old scars, enemies, grudges, idiot officers “far more concerned about the shine on the medals earned on the back of dead soldiers.” -She grits her teeth when she’s angry -Being the Security Director is to her “the best job” in two galaxies -She goes through her checklist with “unwavering attention to detail” -She nods and wants to shouts ‘hell yeah’ while listening to Garson’s last speech -Sloane’s own speeches are short and to the point. She’s likely to say “get it done” or “put them down” (things you say 'fast on the ground’) -If Jien Garson commanded her to stride into hell, Sloane would -Sloane believes Garson’s strength is to know people, what moves them and what they hope for. -She’s been a soldier for her whole life. “ -She’d witnessed speeches made to celebrate victories, others intoned to condemn atrocities. War had been her path for so long, the life of a soldier her only way, that she’s forgotten what a speech about hope could do to the brain.” -Her last thoughts as she goes to sleep: Naptime, huh? -She smiles and closes her eyes.