The protagonist isn?t always the good guy. Sometimes, the exact opposite is true: whether as a result of the game?s narrative or the player?s own choices; the central character ends up being a vile, irredeemable monster no matter how you swing it. They are, in every sense of the term, the villain.
Naturally, they end up being all the more interesting for it. There?s something fascinating about knowing that your character is not a good person. It doesn?t matter how many puppies you save, how many villains you stop or how many good deeds you do: you?re still a right vile bastard (or were at some point in your career). Today, we?ll be tipping our hats to the worst of the worst ? some of the most imbalanced, irredeemable sociopaths that we?ve ever had the opportunity to control.
For simplicity?s sake, I?ve ignored most games that include a ?moral choice? element; the reason being that the player character in such titles is far more often a blank slate for the player.
Walker(Spec Ops: The Line)
Everything kind of goes downhill from there.
Tommy Vercetti(Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)
Well, except for Tommy.
The best way to describe Tommy is by saying he?s the closest anyone?s going to get to playing as Tony Montana without picking up a Scarface game. He?s ruthless, quick to anger, quick to kill, and dangerously intelligent. He goes from contract killer to drug dealer to drug lord to mafia kingpin over the course of the game, and has the highest body count in the series.
Claude?s not much better, though ? at least Tommy?s relatively loyal.
Kratos(God of War)
The only reason the series really ended was because he ended up causing the apocalypse, and thus ran out of things to kill.
The Boss(Saint?s Row)
Saint?s Row 2 is where we really find out what a monster your character is: you are, in no uncertain terms, a completely remorseless, power-hungry sociopath who would dismember their own mother if it?d get them closer to their goal. Aside from the bond that The Boss shares with their fellow gang members, they have virtually no redeeming qualities.
So?basically, not the kind of person you?d want to invite over for coffee.
He gets worse, of course: even though Mercer?s trying to bring a number of very bad people to justice while preventing a global outbreak (and trying to figure out who he was); it?s impossible to look past the fact that he?s basically an eldritch abomination that devours innocent civilians like corn pops.
The Nameless One (Planescape: Torment)
One thing led to another, and The Nameless One wound up as an immortal in an effort to atone for his sins.
Wander(Shadow of the Colossus)
As Wander kills more and more of the Colossi, he starts hearing the voice of his beloved, begging him to stop ? she knows that nothing good can come of what he?s attempting to do. He ignores her, and keeps forging ahead, even though it?s obvious that he?s moving towards some terrible fate; as his appearance grows more demonic with each Colossus he defeats. Long story short; Wander ends up reviving the dark god Dormin.
Darth Revan(Knights of the Old Republic)
Honorable Mentions: The Overlord(Overlord), James Sunderland(Silent Hill 2), Arthas Menethil (Warcraft III), Agent 47(Hitman), Kain(Legacy of Kain), The Keeper (Dungeon Keeper)
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