The “Worst New character” Award
it’s fair to say that writing in video games is sometimes not that great. Cliches and tropes are used to almost ludicrous degrees in some titles. This infects character creation as well as over arching narratives and we are often left with some truly awful and repugnant protagonists who we are meant to root for but who are just so vile you can’t help but throw them down large cliffs. 2014 was a bit of mediocre year in many ways for gaming and a lot of the new character introduced were similarly mediocre and forgettable. It was only through love of the game itself that I remembered Talion from Shadow of Mordor, and it is only with disgust that I remember the winner of today’s award. Aiden Pearce of Watch Dogs.
Aiden is what happens if you threw in a dozen other well known video game characters together and pissed on the results. I’ve made my thoughts on Watch Dog’s story perfectly clear on this blog. The entire game’s story revolves around him getting his friends and family systematically murdered for his crimes, then him sulking about it before blowing up an old man’s pace maker and watching him slowly die. All the while Aiden has convinced himself that he’s a good guy, forgetting the fact he’s constantly stealing other people’s money with his magic wand (Or phone). The real problem is the lack of consistency in the writing. Does Aiden enjoy his work or is he on some humorless Batman-esqe crusade to clean Chicago up and bring those responsible for nieces murder to justice?
It would have been great to see this game go a little saints row in it’s characters. Having Aiden have fun with his powers instead of being a boring cardboard cut out of protagonist. The writers of Watch Dogs do know how to write fun characters, Jordi Chin was incredibly funny and made me want to see him get his own game. Jordi enjoyed his work and poked fun at Aiden’s stoic troubled hero bullshit.
Other contenders for this award were Garret of Thief but since he’s been going for a while he didn’t meet the “New” critea. He’s just another in a long line of video game protagonists that set themselves up to be Batman, a protector of the downtrodden while being really boring while doing so. And I say this as some one who enjoys reading Batman comics (I read it for Joker more than Batman though)