There’s really nothing better than coming across a really compelling character, whether it’s someone you love to hate or someone you just want to root for. The group below represent characters that I felt brought a little something extra to the table whether it be a colorful personality, memorable segment, or something else entirely. You could say, these characters have a certain ‘X’ factor about them. This year a number of really interesting characters graced our games and here are my favorites from this past year. There’s a really good amount of characters to pick from so this is not going to be easy.
And the winners are…
Pagan Min – Far Cry 4
A deliciously insane character from a series like Far Cry may not sound as novel as it used to, but Pagan Min makes a strong argument when he first shows up in the game wearing a pink suit, blonde hair, and STABS A MAN WITH A PEN. While we don’t see the man as much as we’d like during the campaign, it does make the moments when he radios in to you directly or show up all the more meaningful. Yes, he did appoint himself king and yes, he did take out a lot of people to get where he was, but still, the man has charm. While he may not quiz you about the meaning of a particular word like a certain Rook Island pirate, Pagan Min brings his own brand of crazy to the show and I couldn’t help but smile every time this villain showed up. Once again, Troy Baker knocks this role out of the park.
Abigail “Fetch” Walker – inFAMOUS Second Son/inFAMOUS First Light
Apparently, I was not the only person to really enjoy Fetch’s story arch in Second Son as Laura Bailey’s character received her own standalone downloadable game with First Light. We were first introduced to Fetch as someone obsessed with a guy named “Brent” and seemingly someone who enjoys taking down drug dealers. As we later found out, Brent is actually her brother and he died over a drug habit. While Second Son never went much further with her story, Sucker Punch gave us a chance to see more of her origin story with First Light while also making her the lead character. While she may not be as diverse with her powers as Delsin was, Fetch is a quirky and fun neon wrecking ball. Easily one of the most memorable characters from the PlayStation 4 inFamous games.
Raymond “T-Bone” Kenney – Watch_Dogs
While main character Aiden Pearce came off mostly as brooding, somewhat hard to root for, and dark, T-Bone served as his polar opposite while maintaining that intelligence level to get things done. A reclusive hacker, T-Bone serves as Watch_Dogs sort of comic relief. I say that because it seems like every character has a sort of ultra serious, brooding individual. Not so for T-Bone. Bringing a sense of realism and humor to the table, T-Bone manages to bring a breath of fresh air to the usually ultra-serious world of Watch_Dogs. Ubisoft responded to the positive feedback on him by even giving this John Tench voiced character his own DLC with Bad Blood, which was even better than the core game in my opinion.
Red and the Transistor – Transistor
I’m calling an audible on this one as technically they are two separate characters, but in terms of the game and story it tells, they work together. So in my eyes, they’re one character. Red, a former singer and the Transistor…well, I won’t spoil anything, find themselves in a world quickly being overrun by a group known as The Process. As the city of Cloudbank falls under this attack, it’s up to you and this mysterious sword to figure out how this all happened and if it’s possible to stop it. What I found is that the deep you dive into this game, the more you start to care about Red’s plight even though she can’t speak. It’s a fine line and Supergiant navigates it beautifully with these two characters.
Vaughn – Tales From the Borderlands
Vaughn best represents the direct opposite type of character for a game like Borderlands. He’s squeamish to violence, doesn’t know how to use guns, and is fairly small in stature compared to the Vault Hunters and bandits that make up the population on Pandora. Still, for all these faults, Vaughn is one of the best characters due to his nativity about the planet. Just about everything revolts or shocks him. Voiced by Chris Hardwick, Vaughn may not pack a big punch (or any punch at all for that matter), but he’s a loyal friend to the end.
YOU! – Sunset Overdrive
Sunset Overdrive is a game that is absolutely packed with funny and interesting characters, but when you boil it all down, the lead character is the one who really encompasses everything you love in a character. I probably could have put a big question mark for the picture because you can literally make him or her whatever you want which is another reason why this character is so great. By being able to fully customize your character, you actually become more attached to them. Outside of that though, who doesn’t like a sarcastic, self aware, OD slaying badass? The video game references were also another great touch, Insomniac. Stephanie Lemelin and Yuri Lowenthal (Female/Male voices) absolutely nailed each and every line.