I’m all about equality, political correctness and empowerment here at NAG Online, so I thought it would be a little unfair to shine a big spotlight on the best video game villains and forget their counterparts, the heroes.
To recap, in case you missed last week (for which you better have a damned good excuse), I took a look at five of the most badass villains in video game history (or rather, the five my feeble mind could most easily produce).
Thus, to maintain my high standards of equal opportunity, this week I’ll be looking at five of my favourite heroes that I used to kick the snot out of those other guys.
5. Duke Nukem
Now let’s get one thing straight here. I’m not talking about that large, gleaming turd that Gearbox laid gently on our foreheads 2 years ago. No, I prefer to pretend that that was just a bad dream, like Nicky Minaj’s career or how much new Rascals suck.
What I am talking about, is that cigar-chomping badass of my childhood, the unapologetically crude anti-hero that made 9-year old me blush in the dark of my room when I figured out how to pay strippers for a look at their poorly-rendered, pixellated boobs.
Voiced by the legendary Jon St. John, Duke made me want to kickass and chew bubblegum, but I was all out of gum (also, I was 9).
4. Captain Price
I’m kind of loathe to put a Call of Duty character on here, since the series isn’t exactly known for its compelling story and intricate characters. Let’s just pretend there was only one Modern Warfare, and hold each other until the bad memories go bye-bye.
Now that’s all nice and awkward, is there anyone who has seen more action than this guy? He’s been in every Modern Warfare game (but there’s only one), and he’s unlucky enough to have been in both World War II and World War III. The dude is so badass, he participated in two wars that are 70 years apart. Wait, what?
Remember I said Call of Duty games aren’t big on character development? Yeah, well they seemed to totally skip the part where Captain Price is also a time-travelling wizard. Thanks, Activision.
3. Max Payne
This is one of my favourite games ever, and to be honest it wasn’t all that good. It had “bullet time” right when The Matrix fanaticism was at fever pitch, but other than that the gameplay was pretty generic.
The story, however, the story was awesome. It was a totally narrative driven game, and I loved the depth of the characters, the flashback scenes and the Sin City-esque black and white comic style of the cutscenes. There’ve been few (if any) video games that have had a story I enjoyed as much, just please don’t get me started on the movie.
Also, did I mention you could dive through doorways in slow-motion with an Uzi in each hand?
2. Meat Boy
Meat Boy has the prestigious honour of having died more times than any other video game character in existence. If you took all the times I died with Mario, Paperboy and Pac-Man and combined them, you wouldn’t get the mortality rate of one hour of me playing this game.
You have to admire Meat Boy on pure persistence alone; the dude REALLY wants to get jiggy with his little pink lady friend.
He’s also fairly unique in that he’s a giant hunk of poor quality steak, fighting a midget in a fancy suit, to get into the pants(?) of a marshmallow with eyes.
1. Gordan Freeman
You must know this by now – I am a huge Half-Life fanboy. If you expected anything else at the top of this list, you haven’t been paying enough attention.
The silent protagonist, Gordan Freeman is the nerd who took up a crowbar and started a revolution. What could possibly be more badass? A quiet, reserved scientific researcher takes on an entire alien race, a corrupt all-powerful corporation and a crippling inability to know what the hell he’s doing and emerges victorious every damn time.
The best part of being Gordan Freeman is that everybody loves you. It doesn’t matter if you talk less than Helen Keller and (in my case) habitually beat innocent bystanders to death with a crowbar, you’re the face of freedom; you’re Mel Gibson with a better beard and less of an alcohol problem. What’s not to love?
I’m just going to put these up as a preliminary defense against angry comments. These are some of the characters many of you may believe should have been here, but aren’t.
Snake tends to be the most reluctant hero ever, in that every time he has to go on a rampant killing spree it’s like he can’t sleep at night from the guilt. He’s good at what he does but he doesn’t want to be, which is resoundingly not badass.
Ha! He might be iconic, but being a plumber is about as badass as being an interior decorator for Justin Bieber. This fool routinely gets owned by turtles and spiky flowers, and can’t seem to grasp that his girlfriend is clearly cheating on him with that little mushroom dude. Get out of here, Mario.
Look I’m just going to come out and say it – I really don’t like Halo. Master Chief has Gordan Freeman’s problems with speech and social interaction, but at the same time is the most generic, boring protagonist to ever spawn a series. He looks like some kind of forgotten action figure from a cancelled children’s television show.
Yeah, I was just messing with you. I really hate Pokemon, and I hate this yellow jackass the most.