The “Best New Character” Award
As I looked back over the last year of games, I tried to work out who were the stand out characters. The one’s whose very presence on screen I looked forward to, and who without the game would be a lesser product. I honestly struggled in deciding today’s winner as there just hasn’t been any one stand out for me. Across all the games I’ve played this year there haven’t been many who I will look back to fondly and say I want to see more of them. Then I releized that one game did come out in 2014 with a character whose presence enhanced the entire game. The game was Last of Us: Left Behind, released in February 2014 and so technically eligible and the character is Riley Abel.
It may seem like a bit of a cop out to give Last of Us more praise especially since it was a 2013 release. But Riley to me really was a stand out character. A young girl about to go into an adults world because she never got a childhood. Forced to grow up before she should, she chooses to spend her last night of adolescents with her best friend Ellie. It’s a credit to the writers over at Naughty Dog at just how human they made this character whose only on screen for about 2 hours but who left her mark on me. The ending of the DLC which I won’t spoil had me wishing she had been in the main game, with her, Ellie and Joel all travelling together. But that’s just me. None of the time with her is wasted, every line of dialogue is meaningful, but not in some grand way, but to her character.
As I tried to work out which of this year’s crop of characters I really thought were memorable I was stumped. While still playing Dragon Age: Inquisition I’ve yet to decide which of the characters I really like. Across Telltales showing this year the stand outs were Clementine and Kenny but those two weren’t eligible. Tried to think of other character in The Walking Dead, but I couldn’t remember any of their names, which is hardly a good sign. With the coming of 2015 I’m hoping for a better bunch of new characters, but with industry going the way it is, with procedurally generated content and player driven narratives becoming a new focus, I’m not sure we will.