Halo is a fantastic series, but had the games never reached the insane level of popularity that they have over the years, would any of us remember the silent protagonist known as the Master Chief? No way. He's an entirely forgettable character with a black void where most of us have personalities. He's a soldier, and he's good at that—probably even the best—but there's nothing there to make us care about him as a human being. He's saved humanity numerous times, so he gets points for that, but seriously man, crack a joke or something.
The God of War series is without a doubt one of the best action franchises to grace my wide, unbelieving eyes, but like Halo, the lead character sucks. While the Master Chief lacks a personality, Kratos has decided to make it his life's goal to focus on one aspect of his personality. What I'm trying to say is, he's a colossal jerk. Kratos started off as a man seeking to right an injustice, but after he had accomplished that he proceeded to continue being vengeful and angry (and sex-crazed, though I'm not necessarily docking him points for that). He's a total psychopath. Underneath every Mario lies a Kratos just waiting to be unleashed. Now try and shake the idea that Mario's hiding under your bed when you go to sleep tonight.
Alex Mercer/Sgt. James Heller
The "heroes" of the Prototype series aren't really heroes at all, but their superpowers and desire to right wrongs that were done to them helps them barely skim that barely noticeable gray line, so I'm allowed to include them. Alex Mercer had a mild case of Master Chief syndrome, the only exception being he actually spoke, but in the sequel he became the bad guy, leaving the "good" that so desperately needed to be done to Sgt. James Heller. James was likeable for roughly a minute into the game before he became a slightly less annoying Mercer. His "good deeds" are a bit more difficult to notice after he's practically bathed in the blood of the countless NYZ citizens who were unfortunate enough to get in his way.
Why is it every time I start talking about the Duke, a disgusting bile oozes from the depths of some nameless organ deep inside me? (I never paid attention in Biology class.) Oh yeah, it's because he's a disgusting, unfunny excuse for a character who manages the impressive feat of being less likeable than Kratos, if Kratos had just finished setting an orphanage on fire. Yeah, he's gross, and the fact that he hasn't changed at all over the years only proves how badly this relic of the past needs to be left there.
I hope you don't take offense to being worse than the Duke, but, well, you really should. Now, we're all to blame here, or at least, all of us who have played a game that gives us even an ounce of freedom. Whether it's saving villagers in From Dust, stealing from people in Fallout, or "Fus-Ro-Dah"-ing unsuspecting people off cliffs—we've all been a little naughty after we've been given a bit of power. No matter how hard I try, it's literally impossible for me not to pickpocket someone if a game gives me the option to do so. I'm sure many of you share my shame, but at least we can stand together, knowing we're all heroes in our own ways, even if we are the absolute worst.
Date: August 7, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*