Niko Bellic – GTA IV
It’s hard to sell the lead character in a Grand Theft Auto game as anything less than a deranged killer, but that’s pretty much exactly what Rockstar tried to pull with Niko Bellic. After a lifetime of morally questionable actions over in the Balkans, Niko heads to America to start fresh, where he’ll do everything he can to be less of a piece of shit. Of course, he’s off killing less than an hour into the game.
Throughout the entirety of GTA IV, Niko struggles with his new role in Liberty City, which isn’t too different from his past. You hear him say how he doesn’t want to kill anyone, then flattens 45 people while driving a semi truck on a crowded sidewalk (Wait, that WASN’T part of the mission? Are you sure?). He keeps says that he thought things would be different in the LC, but instead fires rockets into the crowd in Star Junction from the top of a parked bus (What? Oh, come on).
Point is, Niko Bellic is no better for coming to Liberty City than if he would have stayed home. One might even argue that he was a better person when he was working as a human trafficker, rather than the bastard that flung a helicopter into the picnic area on Happiness Island (OK, I’ll own up to that one).
Last week’s Grand Theft Auto V trailer had a narrator speaking about settling down in order to start a family. Naturally, I’m prepared for some sort of Hitler/Bin Laden hellspawn.
The entire cast of Heavy Rain – Heavy Rain
Heavy Rain is almost two years old now, but I’ll state the obvious anyway: spoilers ahoy, matey! This is the last entry, so feel free to skip over this if you haven’t played it. Just make sure you come back and read it twice to make up for it.
Quantic Dream tried their damndest to build up Heavy Rain’s four playable protagonists as sympathetic characters that players would root for. Ethan Mars, the recently divorced father who lost one son in an accident, and the other now held captive by the Origami Killer. Norman Jade, the drug-addled FBI agent looking to crack the case. Scott Shelby, the private investigator looking to crack the case. Madison Paige, the plucky journalist looking to, um, crack the case. But she gets naked for a while, so that’s pretty neat, I guess.
Anyway, their inclusion on their list should be obvious at this point — they’re all loathsome people. Ethan couldn’t press X to Jason hard enough to save his oldest son. Norman was too goofed up on Triptocaine to conduct a proper investigation, while also keeping him from thinking things like “How come no one noticed that this cop in Mad Jack’s acid pit ever disappeared?” Madison and Ethan both wasted time that could have been used to find Shaun by taking each other into the Bone Zone. Shelby, rather inexplicably, is the Origami Killer.
These guys aren’t the badass anti-heroes that we enjoy playing from time to time — they’re merely right bastards. At least when Kratos does something like sink the city of Atlantis, he does it in the name of defying the gods of Mount Olympus. Meanwhile, you’ve got two sex-starved dickheads heaving into each other’s sad shells of existence, all when a child’s life is at stake and every moment is precious.
Oh, and honorable mention goes to the children of Heavy Rain and their awful, awful accents. Or everyone’s accents in Heavy Rain, for that matter. The accents sound like the Honduran janitor at my elementary school doing an impression of Helen Keller doing an impression of anyone.
Seriously, screw everyone in Heavy Rain.