One of the things that modern-day game developers are knocking out of the ballpark is the ability to tell an epic story. And in order to do that, a solid lead and variety of supporting characters are a huge must. We’ve written our top 11 video game heroes of all time.
A great protagonist does more than just look good on a game cover. A great protagonist heightens our attachment to the game because, unlike in films, we’re literally stepping into that character’s shoes and becoming them: thus creating an emotional connection which isn’t easily broken.
Here we’ve compiled a list of the top 11 video game heroes to hit the world so far. Some are straight-up awesome. Others are just incredibly well created. Why not see if one of your favourites is on the list?
11. Geralt of Rivia
Travelling monster-slayer for hire, mutated and trained from an early age to slay deadly beasts, Geralt’s appeal is largely primal. He’s a tough guy who kills things, and his main emotional focus is the death of monsters. But hey, that’s ok. A protagonist doesn’t always have to have a weakness or softer side to make them incredible: sometimes all they gotta do is kill things and look slick doing it.
10. Joel Miller
The Last Of Us
Joel’s a guy who’s really been through the wringer. After losing his only child in the early stages of a killer fungal pandemic, Joel becomes a ruthless and cynical smuggler, going as far as killing innocent people in order to stay alive. But his mission to protect Ellie resurrects some of that kind-natured guy who took a bullet to protect his daughter, and we can’t help but love him for it.
9. Nathan Drake
Imagine Indiana Jones but better (sorry not sorry). Suave, witty, a snappy dresser and easy on the eye, Drake’s the kind of guy you either want to be with, or be. He’s a professional treasure hunter, deep-sea salvage expert, action-pro, and more likeable than Bill Gates’ bank statement.
8. Lara Croft
The original female badass of the gaming world; Lara Croft is an English archaeologist, treasure hunter, and tomb raider. Although born into an aristocratic family, she’s far more interested in unearthing powerful and dangerous artefacts. Despite being flawed, taking risks, and making mistakes, she is incredibly human and is as legendary as her exploits.
7. John Marston
Red Dead Redemption
John, John, John… Totally likeable with the ability to be a complete moron. As a former member of the Van Der Linde gang, John is forced by the federal government to hunt down its remaining members. If he doesn’t, then he can never see his family again. John dreams of a nice rancher’s life with his family, but can’t help being drawn into the world of an outlaw…
6. Ezio Auditore
Suave, charismatic, mysterious. Think of him as a murderous Italian Nathan Drake and you’re 90% there. Master assassin Ezio is on a quest for vengeance against the Templars and their Grand Master, Rodrigo Borgia, who ordered the execution of his kin. Although he’s a cold-blooded killer, he lives by a set of principles and values his family as highly as his own life.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Finding a well-rounded and completely human video game character is a rarity. Finding one that’s also female is even rarer. But that’s exactly what Guerrilla Games did with Aloy. Though curious, determined, and benevolent, she’s also incredibly blunt and sarcastic. It’s these nuances that make her so incredibly real – and it doesn’t hurt that she’s a kick-ass warrior to boot.
4. Max Payne
A tortured soul whose only desire is to avenge the death of his family. But what really makes him so likeable is his brutal honesty about himself and those around him. That and the fact that he’s got real swagger and is a total badass in bullet time.
3. Arthur Morgan
Red Dead Redemption 2
No list would be complete without a lovable rogue, Arthur Morgan. Although he has no qualms about robbing you blind, the cut scenes show you deeper aspects of his personality. The way he cares for John Marston and his son, Jack. How he saves Karen from the creep in Valentine. And his love for the gang and the unity they share. Hats off Rockstar, you played a blinder with this one.
2. Leon Kennedy
From rookie cop to Secret Service agent, Kennedy’s endured some of the toughest crises imaginable without breaking a sweat. He survived an evil cult, being injected with a parasite, and escaped a town overrun by zombies. And through it all, he maintains not only perfect hair but composure and raw endurance to match.
God of War
This macho hyper-violent warrior out for revenge is a real cathartic adrenaline rush to play as. But he’s also tortured by his violent past, and after exacting revenge against his father, the Olympians and the Titans who betrayed him, he escapes and has a son, Atreus. His determination not to let Atreus become the man he used to be, as well as his desire to be the father that he never was, makes Kratos a truly great protagonist.
That’s our top 11 video game heroes. Is there anyone else you would like to have seen on the list? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read the latest from our gaming page HERE.
Animal Crossing 2.0 – Review
On November 5th, Animal Crossing 2.0 alongside the DLC Happy Home Paradise was released. It was the last major free update to hit the latest game in the franchise and added a host of new features to the game. After almost a month of playing it, here’s our review and everything new in Animal Crossing 2.0 from Nintendo.
Animal Crossing has been around for 20 years, with its first release on 14th April 2001. Since then it’s released several versions of the game for the DS, Wii, and so on.
The latest version, New Horizons, came to the Nintendo Switch at just the right time; at the very beginning of Quarantine. It was easily the most popular Nintendo game last year. But it had a fatal flaw; rather than including everything upfront, Nintendo would release periodic updates where they would add to the game. The goal was to keep the game feeling fresh, but the result was that New Horizons felt unfinished. The game was bare-bones compared to past versions of Animal Crossing and didn’t have half as much to do. With the release of the last free update, New Horizons finally feels like a complete game. So what’s new? While there were a lot of things added and small things fixed, we’re just going to focus on the major gameplay changes and additions.
The beloved pigeon, Brewster, has been in Animal Crossing since 2005. He runs a cosy coffee shop, The Roost, usually located in the Museum. But he has been missing from New Horizons. A fan favourite, his absence has definitely been felt. Brewster is one of the most demanded additions to New Horizons. With the update, you can find him gyroid hunting on one of Kapp’n’s Islands and invite him to your island, where he will set up the Roost once more. You will also find some of your residents and NPCs there and can invite current and past Animal Crossing characters to the Roost via Amiibo card.
Speaking of Kapp’n, the turtle is back. In past versions of the game, Kapp’n is usually the one taking you to your new village at the start of every game. Whether it be by taxi, bus, or train, Animal Crossing typically kicks off with the retired seafarer. But New Horizons didn’t feature Kapp’n at all; until now. Now you can have him take you on island tours via his little boat off your dock. Some of these islands are extremely rare and feature exclusive items. He also sings you a little song while you make the journey..
Gyroids have, once again, been a part of every Animal Crossing game until New Horizons. They are little singing things that can be placed like furniture. In New Horizons, you can find a fragment on Kapp’n’s islands, bury it, water it, and a gyroid will grow the next day. Or some may be buried on your island after a rainy day. While past versions of gyroids have been annoying, the New Horizon’s gyroids are adorable and delightful. In New Horizons, Brewster is an avid collector. You’ll even get a Brewster gyroid after drinking enough coffee.
Cooking / Farming
Cooking has also been added to the game, something entirely unique to New Horizons. You can purchase crop starts from Leif, start a farm, and then cook the produce you grow. This opens up a whole host of fun recipes, and you can gift your creations to your residents. Eating a meal will make your villager stronger for longer, the same effect eating fruit previously had.
You can also host a group stretching event in the plaza. Random villagers and NPCs will join you. You can use your controllers to actually stretch with them, or use the joysticks if you’re stuck with a Lite or don’t feel like standing up.
Harv’s Island was previously… pretty useless. There was really nothing to do there aside from taking pictures, which is fun once. Now you can help him build an open-air Farmers Market/Commune. For 100,000 bells each, you can invite NPCs to set up a permanent shop. Among these are Leif, Redd, Kicks, Saharah, Reese, and Cyrus, who have all been seen in New Horizons. But it also introduces the return of Tortimer, the mayor from past games. (Who some fans theorized was dead until now). Harriet, a hairdresser who introduces a ton of new hairstyles to the game. And the fortune-teller Katrina. This expansion to Harv’s island is a huge resource.
You no longer have to wait for these NPCs to come to your island to purchase goods from them. It also opens up more customization for previously uncustomisable items. And it’s another goal to work towards after you pay off your home loans.
You can now issue Ordinances through Isabelle in the town hall. These include things like adding a Bell Boom so that you find more bells and goods are worth more, but things also cost more. Or the Beautiful Island ordinance, which will have your villagers pick up weeds and trash and will cause your flowers to grow faster. You can also issue that your villagers wake up earlier or go to bed later.
Happy Home Paradise
In addition to 2.0, a DLC was added to the Nintendo Store. Happy Home Paradise allows you to “get a job” building vacation homes. You report to your boss Lottie for work, alongside your coworkers Niko and Wardell. From there, you choose a character and build a home for them. They will give you a theme and some items they want to see in their home. You can also design facilities, like a cafe or school and assign characters to work in them. Using an amiibo card, you can also design homes for NPCs like Isabelle or Tom Nook, where you will have free reign over the design.
Happy Home Paradise also introduces partition walls which allow for more design options in your house. It also includes a lot of new furniture. When you’ve designed enough vacation homes, you are able to then redesign the houses on your island.
HHP adds a lot to the game. Animal Crossing’s flaw has always been that it gets too repetitive. HHP adds some flavour and a lot more to do. So even long after you’ve paid off your home loan and made your island pretty, you can still really engage with the game. It adds to and boosts life on the island, but also extends the world a bit. You can interact with more characters beyond just your residents and have more interaction with NPCs beyond purchasing goods from them.
All in all, the 2.0 update and Happy Home Paradise have elevated New Horizons. It makes the game feel new and adds what many fans have been asking for. While they are both great, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this all should have been included from the get-go like past versions of the game. After playing a skeleton of a game for a year, we now truly have a new Animal Crossing game.
Do you like Animal Crossing 2.0? Do you agree with our Animal Crossing review? Let us know in the comments below.
We compare Animal Crossing with Stardew Valley HERE.
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