Come see if you agree with our most memorable video game characters of 2011… so far.
Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the following games: Bulletstorm, Dead Space 2, and Portal 2. Proceed with caution.
2011 is not even halfway over, but the list of interesting video game character is already pretty significant. Here is a list of the most interesting and memorable video game characters to date (as of June 2011).
Wheatley (Portal 2)
Wheatley is the loveable idiot that players will first meet in Portal 2. Voiced perfectly by Stephen Merchant, Wheatley is a giant talking robot eye who aides you throughout the first-third of the game. Timid and fearful, nervous and unsure, Wheatley is the Yin to GLaDOS’ stone-faced and serious Yang.
Not only is the voice work for Wheatley so brilliantly delivered, but the animators did a fantastic job of adding personality to a giant talking robot eye. One of favorite conversations with Wheatley is when he attempts to complete a task, and asks you to turn around for just a moment (to give him some privacy, apparently). If you refuse to, there are at least a dozen really great improvised lines with excellent (and sometimes uncomfortable animations).
Whether your laughing at him or fleeing from his murderous rage (I told you there would be spoilers at the beginning!!), Wheatley is the first in this list of 2011’s Most Memorable Personalities (So Far).
Cave Johnson (Portal 2)
Portal 2 was such a well-crafted and well-written game. Up until the game’s middle-point, Wheatley and GLaDOS probably had you thoroughly entertained with their brilliant performances, but I bet once you met Cave Johnson you forgot all about those other two. You never actually meet Cave, unless you count the couple of portraits (see above) you come across while you learn about Aperture Science’s beginnings.
Cave Johnson’s story unfolds through pre-recorded messages to Aperture Science’s first test subjects (those poor bastards!) and is brilliantly voiced by J.K. Simmons (probably best known for his performance as J. Jonah Jameson from the Spider-Man films). Characters will witness Cave’s personality (and its significant changes) through several decades worth of pre-recorded test subject instructional messages. Don’t be surprised if Cave Johnson shows up on a lot of Best Character lists for 2011 this year. If you haven’t experienced the brilliance of Cave Johnson, I strongly urge you to check out Portal 2 as soon as possible!
Cookie Masterson (You Don’t Know Jack)
Popular CD-ROM and Flash-based PC game You Don’t Know Jack made it’s triumphant return to the gaming scene this year in the appropriately named You Don’t Know Jack. While Emcee Cookie Masterson (voiced by Tom Gottlieb) was not the only vocal performer to lend his talent to the games series, he was the most popular, and returns in this new 2011 console release.
Issac Clark (Dead Space 2)
Okay, I’ll be honest. Including Issac Clark in this list wasn’t because he was a particularly well-developed or interesting video game personality. Rather, he’s being included because he actually has a personality the sequel to this horrifying space thriller. Sometimes, bringing a voice and personality to a silent protagonist doesn’t always work out very well, but I personally felt that the decision to put a voice (and a face) to this troubled engineer made for a better experience.
General Victor Sarrano (Bulletstorm)
If there was one Mature-rated game that deserved the top honor for cramming as much Mature-rated content into a 10 hour experience, Bulletstorm would talk home the trophy. Not only is Bulletstorm violent and gory, but the sheer amount of profanity is one for the record books, thanks to the significant role of sociopathic, racist, and vulgar General Victor Sarrano. As Grayson Hunt, you’ll spend the better part of the game seeking vengeance upon the general. However, in a very interesting turn of events you’ll actually find yourself teaming up with Sarrano.
While the guy is a total asshole, and generally unlikeable, he definitely has a very colorful personality to go with his extremely colorful potty mouth. With a bit of a Southern-but-not-quite-Texas twang to his delivery, Sarrano’s ridiculously profane and offensive phrases just might be able to outdo Full Metal Jacket’s Gunnery Sargeant R. Lee Ermey’s most famous motivational (and vitriolic) quotes.
Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem Forever)
While Duke Nukem Forever isn’t out at this time of this publication, I’m going to go out on a limb and include video game bad boy Duke Nukem in this list of memorable video game personalities of 2011. The question though: will the cheesy one-liners, the obvious sexual-innuendo, and the overall hyper-machismo made popular from mid-90’s Duke Nukem 3D be welcomed with open arms by audiences in 2011, or will they find it annoying and overused. Whether or not Duke Nukem Forever turns out to be a well-received game, Duke is one of those characters that is larger than life and hard to forget.
Did we miss one of your favorite personalities, or do you think our choice of best personality lacks… personality. Let us know in the comments!