30 VGC Day 17: Favorite Video Game Protagonist

Say one thing about this challenge, it definitely calls to mind what aspects of video games I gravitate towards and which I don’t.  The topic for Day 17, favorite video game protagonist, is pretty difficult mainly because there isn’t one I really feel excels above others.  If you were to extend this topic to “fictional protagonists from any media” you would be hard pressed to find any video game characters in the top 10 or even the top 100.  Since apparently I can’t help meddling in things I’m going to split this topic into two things: a video game protagonist I really really like and a video game protagonist I think is really really interesting.

The first half of that is actually a really long list.  The name that pops into my mind most consistently is Gordon Freeman.  Silent, inscrutable, and iconic he is perhaps the most bad ass physicist to walk this world or any other.

Of course like many video game protagonist he is proxy for the player.  I feel very few video games have managed to create and introduce protagonists that are worthwhile characters in their own right.  This brings me to the second part I mentioned: a protagonist I find interesting.  The video game protagonist that fascinated me the most was Grand Theft Auto IV’s Niko Bellic.  Violent, cynical, with a checkered past I was fascinated by his complicated nature.  Bellic remains, to this day, one of the few (if not the only) character that felt in some way real to me.  Which is sad since the gameplay of GTA IV was not enough to keep me playing; Niko’s story remains unfinished.   Part of Niko’s realistic portrayal is the stunning voice work by Michael Hollick but the solid writing lends him an unexpected level of emotional depth.

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