Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Best male characters in video games Part II

The Joker – Batman Arkham Series

            Voice acted by Mark Hamill and well written by the people at Rocksteady Studios, the Joker is the embodiment of madness and chaos. He bears a cartoonish clown appearance with green hair, white painted skin and red lips, underlining with his style his insanity. He doesn’t have any super-powers, but has a keen mind for deadly plans, good combat skills and an unsatisfied taste for violence. He is Batman’s archenemy, but he also considers him his best friend, not being able to imagine a world in which Batman doesn’t exist. The Joker possesess a disturbing and sick sense of humor and he constantly puts it to use in his evil plays. He manages to seduce and corrupt Arkham’s doctor Harleen Quinzel, turning her into his pawn and a new villain for the city of Gotham by the name of Harley Quinn.
                Arkham Asylum is a place for the criminally insane but Joker is their leader, rallying everyone against the staff of the facility, the police and Batman. He is always helped by his almost equally insane girlfriend, Harley Quinn, to drive Batman and commissioner Gordon up the wall.
                There are many great (probably not the most appropriate use of the word great) villains in Gotham or the video games industry, but the Joker is one of those that stand out. His disturbing behavior, appetite for destruction and chaos and his twisted relation with Batman, make him one of the greatest villains of all times.
Team Insanity!
Thugs with make-up!

Chris Redfield – Resident Evil Franchise

                When I wrote the article about the best female characters in video games, I’ve picked Jill Valentine as the female character that I liked from the Resident Evil franchise. Now the time has come for her partner, Chris Redfield, to join the counterpart list.
While Leon is probably the fans’ favorite, I always felt that Chris Redfield is a more emblematic character for the series, despite not being as cool as Leon.
                Chris Redfield served as a pilot and marksman in the US Air Force and after leaving the army he joined Raccoon city’s STARS, an elite unit of ex-military personnel. As a member of STARS Alpha team he came in contact with the results of biological weapons for the first time during the events of Resident Evil when investigating the disappearance of Bravo team in the outskirts of the city. Chris and the members of his team including his partner Jill and the captain Albert Wesker were chased by mutated dogs and were forced into an abandoned mansion. It turned out that the mansion was serving as a secret research laboratory for bio organic weapons and Wesker was one of the researchers. After destroying the mansion and escaping alive from this entire mess, together with Jill and two other members of the team, Chris dedicated his time investigating the Umbrella Corporation discovering gruesome things about their experiments with G-virus.
                Chris is one of the co-founding members of Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance alongside with his good and longtime partner, Jill Valentine. He is a true warrior, fighting to defend a world that took a turn for the worst. He has been fighting biological terrorism all around the globe and he put an end to Wesker’s terrible plans in Resident Evil 5. Chris values his sister, Claire, and friends and is ready to give his life in order to protect them. He protects the innocent, which he has defended his whole life.
As an ex-military and part of an elite Special Forces division, Chris has developed proficiency with a wide variety of weapons. He fights the threat of zombies extremely well using hand guns and shotguns, but he is also an expert sharpshooter with fantastic accuracy and great focus. When the bullets run out or the firearms can’t help, Chris can use his unarmed combat skills to defeat his enemies.
                The Resident Evil series has a lot of tough, independent and awesome characters, both male and female, but for me the team formed by Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine is the most representative for the series and I hope I will get to see them fighting together in future games.
Resident Evil superhero!
Most iconic team in the series!

Vaas Montenegro – Far Cry 3

                Vaas is the main antagonist in the first half of Far Cry 3 and one of the craziest characters ever seen in a video game. He constantly quotes Einstein about the definition of insanity which is elementary in describing Vaas’ screwed up state of mind.
                Vaas is a pirate lord from Rook Island. He is an extremely dangerous person with an unstable personality with unpredictable actions making him feared even by his own men. He is sadistic, violent and reckless when it comes to everything. Vaas has no remorse for his actions and kills mostly for sport and usually in the most inhumane ways possible. The encounters with him make for some of the most entertaining moments in Far Cry 3, building up for that moment when the player can actually beat him and put an end to his reign of terror.
                This monologue made the character famous even before the game release as it described in the best possible way how irrational he is and why he has to be feared:
"Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing the exact... same fucking thing... over and over again, expecting... shit to change. That... is crazy; but the first time somebody told me that...I dunno, I thought they were bullshitting me, so boom — I shot him. The thing is, okay... He was right. And then I started seeing: everywhere I looked, everywhere I looked, all these fucking pricks, everywhere I looked, doing the exact same fucking thing... over and over and over and over again thinking: "This time, it's gonna be different; no, no, no, no, no, please... This time it's gonna be different." ...I am sorry, I don't like the way you are looking at me... Okay, do you have a fucking problem in your head? Do you think I am bullshitting you? Do you think I am lying? Fuck you! Okay? FUCK YOU! It's okay, man. I'm gonna chill, hermano. I'm gonna chill... The thing is... alright, the thing is: I killed you once already... and it's not like I am fucking crazy. It's okay... It's like water under the bridge.
Did I ever tell you the definition... of insanity?"
                If Vaas wasn’t part of the game, the experience of Far Cry 3 would have been less memorable as his presence and the terror that he inspires through his actions drive the story of the game to an interesting point.
I won't go down!

Gordon Freeman – Half Life Series

                If you wonder why a character that never talks is on this list, you almost answered half of the question. The main reason I put Gordon Freeman on this list is because he’s such an emblematic character, despite never saying a word. This might be in part of the huge hype surrounding the Half Life series, but it is also because he’s a character that speaks a lot through actions.
                Gordon Freeman is the main protagonist of the Half Life series and worked as a scientist for Black Mesa in the original game. During an experiment with his research team a dimensional rift in spacetime was opened allowing confused aliens from Xen dimension to invade Black Mesa’s facilities. Trapped in the middle of a conflict between humans and aliens, Gordon manages to survive and drive out the alien threat. With the help of a few scientists, Gordon is teleported to the Xen dimension and through heroic actions he puts an end to the alien invasion by defeating their leader. After saving the planet, Gordon meets the mysterious being known as G-Man, who has been following his actions. G-Man offers him a choice of either working for him or remaining on Xen to die. Gordon Freeman is kept in statis and returns almost twenty years later during the events of Half Life 3, without aging at all, in a world now enslaved by another alien race. He joins the resistance to fight the Combine Empire in an attempt to save humanity one more time. But he didn’t manage to do so, because Episode 3 or Half Life 3 never came out.
                This character is viewed as a symbol of freedom by people and his name can’t be a coincidence, yet it is ironic that he’s not free at all, in fact he is probably the most enchained person on the planet (ask G-Man). Not much can be told about Gordon’s personality, as a silent protagonist his actions are on par with the ones of the player. The fact that he is a scientist with no prior experience to war situations sets him aside from the common heroes for this type of games. Gordon hasn’t used a weapon in combat situation in his entire life until the events at Black Mesa, yet he managed to adapt to the situation and get out victorious. He is an inspiration for those around him and no matter what plans G-Man has for him, Gordon Freeman is still humanity’s highest hope (talk about the one!).
Unnoticeable 20 years difference. 
Weapon of choice.

To be continued...


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