The gaming medium has given us so many memorable weapons, levels, costumes and moments, but none of them would hit home without a good protagonist powering the entire experience. From Cloud Strife to Nathan Drake, Sonic the Hedgehog to Zachary Comstock, the gaming realm allows a level of immersion unprecedented through other mediums, by letting you spend countless hours in the company of your favourite hero.
Whilst in more recent years has lent weight to the ‘Games as Art’ debate, prompting discussions around how constantly active immersion and interaction with a character elevates the entire medium above the passivity of film, there are also characters so monolithic that you feel genuinely empowered playing as them. We’ll get them printed on t-shirts, adorn our walls on posters, and occasionally even sear them into our flesh with tattoos.
There’s a very big reason games have become the biggest entertainment medium on Earth, and it’s nothing short of a genuine love for the characters we play as on-screen. With the new generation attempting to usher in the likes of Knack to join the pantheon of greats alongside Ratchet, Jak or Crash, they’re going to have to try harder to beat the likes of who emerged just this year.
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This article was first posted on November 28, 2013