Top 5 Characters of 2008
Written Monday, December 15, 2008 By Dan WebbView author's profile
So the end of the year is near, the game releases are drying up, that means there’s only one thing left to do ... Yes, that’s right, to sum the year up in a series of lists and features. Hoorah.
This week, the last full week before Christmas, we’ll be running a series of “Top 5” features that the staff have been discussing for some time now, finally culminating in our end of year awards just before Christmas. Then rumour has it, we can go and get seriously drunk and fat over the festive period without a care in the world.
Kicking off the first of 5 “Top 5” features, we thought we’d look at the best characters of the year. We’re not talking necessarily the biggest and baddest heroes; sometimes wit, humour and sarcasm are more important than skill and strength ... Well, to us it is.
Lara maybe a veteran in the games industry but we’ve never seen her like she was this year in Underworld. More polygons than ever, smoother animations and she even gets dirty when she rolls around on the floor ... fancy that! Throw in her cool, calm and slightly sarcastic, arrogant tone and you have all the makings for a killer character. Doesn’t look bad for a lass whose spent 12 years raiding tombs ... I mean, take a look at Harrison Ford in “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” and you’ll see our point ... Mommy, I don’t want to get old.
Starkiller is the only "villain" to make the Top 5 Characters List this year but according to producer, Haden Blackman, he’s more of a "damaged kid" than a villain. Starkiller is of course the protagonist of this year’s Star Wars title, The Force Unleashed and is so badass he doesn’t need a name, he just goes by his alias ... Actually, that’s not true, his name is Galen Marek and as you’ll agree, it doesn’t have the same edge. But only those who’ve read the book or have awesome Google skills know that *waves hand*
He’s a complicated character whose inner struggle is part of his charm; cool, blunt and arrogant ... but wouldn’t you be if you had the chance to wield the lightsaber of the dark side? I know I would.
Augustus Cole ... AKA The Cole Train, is a loudmouthed, outgoing and obnoxious ex-professional “thrashball” player and certainly the most outlandish character in the Gears of War’s Delta Squad. The first title in the series had him yelling his own name and being a little too enthusiastic in battle, but it wasn’t until the sequel that this bad boy truly entered our hearts. Gears 2 of course brought round more classic “Cole Trainisms” but his truly crowning moment is his rant over the tannoy system aimed at the Queen Locust and her followers.
If you haven’t seen it, check it out below, if you have seen it, reminisce a little. Beware though, if you haven’t completed the game, this clip may contain spoilers and the language is a little blue.
When the first GTA IV trailer dropped last year and we heard Niko speak for the first time, people were very apprehensive about playing as this Eastern European character in a role traditionally taken by Americans. It’s true what they say though, change can unnerve even the strongest of us. However, thanks to a stunning performance by Michael Hollick, Niko Bellic was an instant hit.
A character with a troubled upbringing which has forced him to be cool, calm and calculated, is more than just a brutal psychopath. His dry humour, one liners and moments of compassion build up one of the most complex video game characters that we’ve ever seen.
However, thanks to Hollick’s disgust at get paid $1,050 a day, it’ll probably be the last we see of him, so it’s fairly short lived ... Who says actors aren’t greedy?
The Prince of Persia has been a gaming character longer than I’ve been an adult (let me tell you, that’s a fair few years as well) and while other veterans, a la Lara Croft, have stayed true to their roots throughout, the Prince was totally revamped this year ... and I’m not sure any of us were prepared for it.
The new Prince not only has a new vagabond look, but he has a persona that you can’t help but love; I thought I was dry and sarcastic, but he puts me to shame on so many levels. Whether it’s his playful tone, his amusing one liners, his super dry sarcasm or his general cheekiness; he’s easily the best Prince we’ve ever been faced with and will most certainly provide you with plenty of laugh out loud moments.