Apex Legends’ Lifeline Accent is Unfamiliar
I’ve been super pumped about Apex Legends ever since it was announced. It has all of the things I want in a video game, online co-op, guns, epic finishing moves and BLACK WOMEN.
This game does a great job representing different types of people. The character models are everyday people but unconventional within video games. Like I’ve said before Apex Legends does a lot of things right. It represents Black Women, people who are non-binary, doesn’t oversexualize the women in the game, plus the tactics and the play style are also great.
This isn’t a review of the game but more so a take on how I view Lifeline as a first generation Jamaican American.
Lifeline, Ajay Che is a great character, she’s just as important as the rest, a bit op (overpowered), and it is easy to tell that she wasn’t just thrown in there to yell diversity and inclusion. She is very well put together in every area except for the voice. As an Afro-Caribbean I have an ear for Caribbean accents and her’s is one which stumps me. I know what you’re thinking,
“Apex Legends is such a good game, is this the hill you really wanna die on?”
No, but I am willing to stand up here and speak on this and start a conversation. And I know Lifeline’s actress, Mela Lee, could have done better. I’m not talking about replacing her but altering the way Ajay is presented.
All other character’s accents seem authentic and we can pinpoint where they are from except Ajay.
We, Black Gaming Twitter, have been trying to piece it together and it is quite unsettling. Ms. Lee has mentioned being multicultural and that her lineage is Caribbean. I’m not here to question that nor check it. It would be quiet rude if I was trying to tell here where she’s from. I’m speaking on Lifeline’s accent. It feels weird to me and I’m not the only one who thinks so either.
Even if Lifeline were to speak English and throw some Patois or Pidgin in there, it would’ve panned out better.
After watching the Apex Behind the Legend on YouTube, this fire rose up in me again to take another look at Lifeline. And I still stand by what I felt months ago, her accent doesn’t sound solid to me. It’s not to say people who aren’t straight from the islands cannot do accents because Phil Lamar has busted that myth. I think there are many talented VO actresses out there, Mela Lee being one. I am wondering if Lifeline could’ve sounded different. Like I said in my video, perhaps it’s the producers and the directors her wanted her to sound like this – still doesn’t make me feel any better. What do you think?
Here is the link to Apex Behind the Legend