Festive Feature #2 - Top 5 Video Game Characters of 2010
Written Tuesday, December 21, 2010 By Dan WebbView author's profile
In the second of our five “Festive Features,” we take the attention away from this year’s game trailers and throw all our praise at our top 5 game characters from throughout the year. That doesn’t just mean main characters either, oh no - although most of our 5 picks hogged the spotlight in their respective games - we mean anyone who particularly delighted us in 2010.
To make it into our rankings as one of our top 5 characters this year, they not only had to be endearing characters with personality, but those that had charm in abundance. You know, characters that aren’t cut from your average piece of cloth, who are not only intriguing, but also hugely likeable... whatever their moral slant might be. It’s a proper mixed – and complex – bunch, so don’t say you haven’t been warned.
Coming in at number 5 is Vanquish’s main character, Mr Sam Gideon. A man who has the greatest suit ever conceived – no, he’s not Barney Stinson – and not only does he don the special ARS armour – which stands for an Augmented Reaction Suit – but the crazy mofo also helped conceive and create it. It’s like Master Chief making his own Mjolnir armour!
Sure, Sam’s suit allows him to do some crazy stuff like kick the hell out of folks, activate bullet-time and slide on his knees to his heart’s content, but the man behind the suit is every bit as likeable. Gideon is an everyday guy who’s thrust into saving the world as he knows it, throwing one liners galore along the way with a voice so gruff it makes Clint Eastwood sound like a bit of a pansy. Gideon, who is an arrogant so and so, is every bit the star in Vanquish as his suit is and with shades of Solid Snake about him – especially considering he likes a good puff on his cigarette in the thick of battle – it’s hard not to like him.
Number 4 in our top 5 is another character from the mind of Platinum Games, but someone from the other end of the spectrum. Yes, I’m talking about Bayonetta’s sumptuous temptress, Bayonetta, who puts the witch in... errrr... Wychbold? Witchcraft? Which Car Magazine? Errr, she’s cool, alright? Plus, she’s the only female character to feature in this year’s top 5, which either says something about this year’s crop of female characters or says something about our pent up anger towards the female species. Clue: it’s 100% definitely the first one!
Bayonetta, the character, is nothing like we’ve seen in recent times and it’s extremely welcoming to go hands-on with a strong female lead character – hey, I was talking about in-game you dirty swine! The curvaceous, long-legged witch has more outrageous combat moves than any other character this year and like Gideon, is full of one-liners and quick witted retorts. Plus, she can don roller skates, grow butterfly wings, turn into a bird of prey and also a panther... That’s cool enough on its own, making her one of this year’s star characters. And her figure-hugging catsuit is made out of her own hair, which is pretty awesome it must be said.
To our utter delight, Reaver plays a rather hefty role in the game’s epilogue sequence instead, that sees you put your money where your mouth is and rule Albion to the best of your ability. Reaver is always on hand to offer his thoughts on the more sinister options available to you, and his dry humour and complete disregard for human life is an absolute joy to behold. It’d be wrong to heap praise on Reaver without shifting some of that onto Fry himself who really makes Reaver his own. Charming, sadistic, but always amusing, Reaver is more than worthy of his bronze medal in this year’s top 5.
Billed as the "most skilled assassin in the galaxy" in Mass Effect 2, Thane Krios is easily the most mysterious and thought provoking character of the bunch. Essentially a brutal killer, but behind the hard boiled exterior beats the heart of a very spiritual being, who - because of his race - has some very bizarre characteristics that Shepard must contend with.
Thane, who is part of the Drell race and has the coolest distorted voice in the history of video games, has an eidetic memory and recalling past memories can often be triggered by strong external stimuli, which adds another layer of intrigue to the already cryptic assassin. Often found meditating in the Life Support Area of the Normandy-SR2, Thane Krios’ mentality about his job is that he himself is not a killer, but merely a weapon of his employers – a view that was shared by various other BioWare characters, but none nearly as cool as Thane.
With serious unresolved family issues, his impending death to worry about and being more uber-cool than anyone else in the Mass Effect 2 cast, Thane Krios was a shoe-in for a high position in this year’s top 5 video game characters, you know, cause he’s easily the coolest fish/man/thing in the entire history of video games. Yes, even cooler than James Pond... I mean, what’s cool about a fish that wears a tuxedo jacket anyway?
Red Dead’s lead protagonist, John Marston is, quite simply put, one of the most complex characters in video games. In a former life, Marston was an unscrupulous outlaw who – along with his band of merry men – showed a complete disregard for human life as they stole from anyone who had anything of value.
Fast forward down the line to Redemption’s era and Marston is not only a man who’s driven by revenge on a collision course with danger, but there’s a softer side to him. A side that shows that the once feared outlaw is also compassionate, caring and amongst all other things, a man who would do anything for his family.
Our man in the West is a guy who’s really on a path of redemption for all the terrible things he once did and although he’s technically an illiterate hick, his moral compass is definitely back on track. Despite knowing Marston’s dark past, he’s a character that you become endeared to and one character that will definitely live on in our memories for quite some time. It seems that Rockstar have an uncanny ability to create shades of grey characters that even the most law abiding citizen can't help but endear to.
That about wraps up this top 5, but be sure to check back tomorrow for our look at this year’s top 5 game add-ons.