Uhg… Khem… How I hate thee…
Sure, he’s a big lunk and yeah, he’s got a little sass, but for the most part, he’s the worst companion in the sorcerer’s army. Aside from the never speaking Basic, (which is one thing that annoys me with the SW series, that the alien languages are gibberish, but that’s another story) Khem is sooooo huge that he’s always in your way. To make matters worse, for whatever reason, he tends to path from directly behind you, meaning that whenever you walk up to something or someone to interact with, he walks up behind you thus blocking your way. That usually results in you clicking on him instead, which comes to the pa-toot of this joke, that he always gives you some sass about eating your face or killing you in your sleep. Pretty nice friend huh? Still, when the time came, I ended up keeping the guy… lesser of 2 evils (those past ch1 or 2 will know what I mean).
Anyways, I really enjoy the companion development in this game. I guess that’s a bit of a BioWare specialty, but you don’t really see the same depth in other similar games. Sure, I suppose they could really push it further, especially with more individualized tailoring based on choices. But none the less, I really like how they put it all together. I’m hoping that with one of the “story patches” they’re promising for this year, we will get a lot more side quests and explore the interpersonal relationships between all the companions and your character.
Which all I guess begs the question, to what extent of relationship building do you want from your games? Let’s narrow that down to just MMOs for the purposes of argument, but for me, I can see it going a few different ways. On the one hand, you’d expect that having vast interpersonal connections with NPCs that are tailored to you and your progression would be very desirable. This is what I would want! BUT (that was a big but), it comes at a cost. See, there’s only so many programmers to go around. Time and money are resources that are not easily increased, thus they must be taken into consideration when going into any project. The more connections, the more quests, the more choices you make with the NPCs, the more programming time is required and the less time that goes to other areas. It’s a balance I’d suspect. However, the other side of that is stripping any kind of tailored relationships leaves the player with the feeling that the game is pre-scripted and not a tale of your own journey. While this seems fairly undesirable, it does free up a lot of programming resources to other fun things. So I guess it comes down to personal choice. I’d bet there’s a balance here somewhere, since either extreme doesn’t seem very practical… but what say you?