Throughout the ages there have been gaming protagonists who have been nothing short of badass, it is after all the winning formula. No matter what fantasies someone may have they can always be improved by adding on the phrase ‘also, I’m badass’ to it.
This obvious observation inspired something of a debate inside my brain. As a gamer, who is the single most badass protagonist that I have ever played as? I beg that you now join me in self musing as I closely study each character I remember being in awe of and rank them in a sexy top five system which I’m sure that you will enjoy and agree with (not that I want any of you to debate this in the comment box, or on Facebook or Twitter, or Reddit, or anywhere else. No! Heaven forefend!)
5: Duke Nukem
...Oh give me a break. The man is simply iconic, and despite being one meaty lump of parodies the guy has coined so many catch phrases as he kicks alien ass its almost shameful. He just nudges Solid Snake off the list on the basis that while the Duke’s dialogue is meant to be tongue in cheek, Mr Snake’s is just...well...hilariously bad. Congratulations go to the king of misogyny/action movie hero of gaming for being just so...unbelievable...
4: Agent 47
This may seem like an odd choice, as the subtle Mr 47 doesn’t wade his way through alien corpses or pitch broadsword battle in lightning storms. But hear me out! For all the whoosh crash bang whallop approach to being a badass where the winner is the dude with the flowiest cape or biggest sword (hi Auron how’re you doing), there is always something immeasurably awesome about a bald bloke in a sharp suit who can sneak his way into any high security location and kill the most cautious man in the world by the most extravagantly roundabout method possible, then leave before anyone even realises he was there to begin with, without so much as ruffling his suit.
In the latest instalment of the Hitman series he has proved that he can also gun down entire armies and walk away from the most impossible of situations relatively unharmed and still looking as sharp as ever. So, for being the single most intellegant and interesting killer I have played as, Agent 47 slips in at a smooth fourth place.
3: Samus Aran
When you look at all of your incredibly manly space marine blokes striding through battle-scarred terrain with their massive cocks audibly scraping across the floor, you, like most of the gaming world, probably ‘oo’ and ‘aa’ over their intense badassery and shout their names from the tops of mountains. This is my personal favourite entry to the list, as Samus was pretty much the original space marine (shut up about Starship Troopers), blasting her way through snarling Metroids all day and night. You could even say that Captain Titus, Master Chief and all those others uber masculine powerhouses owe their existence to Samus, despite the fact that she is a girl. Have fun with your chainsaw guns and massive Warhammer swords, I’ll stick to the original power armour clad space marine of awesomeness and call all her predecessors boring posers.
2: Gordon Freeman
Now it’s all very well for professional killers and heavily armed space marines to make this list, but what about the work a day physicist? Surely one of them must reach the top of this hierarchy, right? Well, thankfully Valve created this man for every scientist in the world to point at and say ‘see? We can be cool too!’ Essentially a nerd caught up in an experiment gone horribly wrong (or did it?!?!?) Gordon Freeman makes the list for relying on his instincts and resourceful nature to blast his way through an entire race of slavering alien monsters, as well as a small army of oppressive mercenaries and giant monolithic killbots, despite essentially being a nerd in the wrong place in the wrong time in a magic suit. Well done Gordon.
You remember all the old Greek myths right? The Odyssey of Odysseus, Theseus and the Minator, Perseus and Medusa! Well Santa Monica Studios took one look at them and mused ‘well that's all very well, but there isn’t quite enough violence in it for our tastes’ and so was born the single most violent, hate filled and I-don’t-give-a-fuckest character in gaming history.
The number of legendary creatures Kratos has observed and hacked to bits in blood curdling brutal ways really does beggar belief. This is the man who upon becoming the god of war, got bored with the eternal pleasures of an immortal deity and started storming shit for fun. Then, when stripped of his godly powers, he wandered round wrecking an entire world by killing pretty much every single creature and all powerful elementals ever to grace text. Griffins? Piece of piss. Medusa? Ripped her head off. Zeus himself? Wait what were you saying? I was just cleaning all this lightning off of my fists. For his lack of care about anything and his determination to brutalise absolutely everything in sight (and being able to do so) Kratos is by far and away, the single most badass character I have ever played as.