BY DANIEL KING: A lot of the time videogames will introduce an antagonist that is designed to leave players feeling nothing but straight up contempt towards them (I’m looking at you Officer Tenpenny), but every now and then comes along a bad guy that you just can’t help but be enthralled by. One that eats up every cutscene they’re in, adds a dynamic element to the game and leaves a lasting impression.
Here are 4 villains that we just couldn’t get enough of:
Wheatley – Portal 2
The first Portal game had already done a stand-up job in delivering us GlaDOS – an antagonist who was as entertaining as she was ruthless. An omnipresent AI full of sarcastic one-liners, it’s hard to believe that Portal 2 could top her – but then came in Wheatley.
Wheatley, another AI who starts off as your companion in Portal 2, quickly turns to the dark side once he gets a bit of power, and we love him all the more for it. In direct contrast to GlaDOS’s more methodical, slower-paced nature, Wheatley is a high paced chatterbox created with the perfect blend of insanity and British humor which makes every moment with him just so enjoyable.
While he did try to kill our protagonist multiple times -spoilers ahead-, who can say they didn’t feel the least bit sorry for him being condemned to float around space for all eternity with a guilty conscience?
Handsome Jack – Borderlands 2 & Borderlands ‘The Pre-Sequel’
What do you get when you give a narcissistic psychopath a hero complex? You get Handsome Jack.
Borderlands 2 gives us an adversary who despite his tendency to commit mass murder, believes he is the ultimate savior of the Pandora, which makes for a pretty interesting character. Handsome Jack stays in your ear throughout Borderlands 2, continuously putting on his giant ego for show and providing us with a constant supply of amusing dialogue.
Honestly, how could you not like a guy who names his diamond pony “Butt Stallion”?
The Joker – The Arkham Series
Now this one might be a little bit of a cheat as the Joker originally belongs to comic books (as well as his countless TV and movie appearances), but his portrayal in the Arkham series definitely deserves a mention.
The Joker stands as one of the greatest villains of all time and the Arkham games manage to meet the mark, presenting a Joker who is genuinely frightening, completely unpredictable and a non-stop source for twisted humor – which is everything he should be.
A huge part of the Arkham Jokers charisma is due to the superb voice acting work done by the legendary Mark Hamil (in 3 of the 4 games), who as always, has managed to encapsulate the Joker’s many eccentricities, as well as his sadistic nature and c’mon, that killer laugh.
Vaas Montenegro – Far Cry 3
Right from his introduction in Far Cry 3, you know that Vaas is going to be one of those villains to remember. Here’s a guy that immediately shows how devoid of empathy and wholeheartedly insane he is. So, what is it about him that makes him so compelling?
Despite the whole killing your characters brother and dropping you off a mountain with a cinder block tied around your feet, you can’t help but find something a little bit likeable about Vaas (or is that just me?). Maybe it’s because the game illustrates that there’s not a lot of difference between your character Jason and him, that one is as capable of the same level of brutality as the other.
Yes, while he absolutely is a monster, who else can honestly say they weren’t majorly disappointed when -spoilers ahead- Vaas gets killed off halfway through the game and swapped out for a much less interesting adversary?
Everyone loves a good bad guy. They serve to create some great conflict with your character, add a level of suspense to the game and from time to time can stand in as the game’s source for comic relief. Here’s looking forward to studios continuing to break through the mold of the generic, mustache-twirling foe and give us more three dimensional, captivating villains.
Is there someone that we missed out on? Let us know some of your favorite baddies below!