We’re less than a month away from Grand Theft Auto V finally hitting stores, and so what better time to reminisce about what the game has to live up to? More so than the missions, the radio stations and the setting, it is the characters which help make these games memorable, brought to life by outstanding (and sometimes celebrity) voice actors, as well as the sharply-written scripts we’ve come to expect from the series.
You’ll note that GTA III protagonist Claude is conspicuous in his absence from the list, and that’s because, for all his usefulness with a baseball bat, the fact that we don’t hear a peep from him in the game renders him pretty inert, and not a touch on these 10 characters.
Though we will surely see this list shaken up in a few weeks’ time, for now these are the 10 characters who best exemplify the entertainment factor of the GTA universe, either by way of their hilarity, or their sheer badassery…
10. Roman Bellic (GTA IV)
Roman is the cousin of GTA IV’s protagonist, Niko, and helped inspired Niko to move to America after claiming that he was living the American Dream, with more women and sports cars than he could keep count of.
The reality, as Niko realises, is that Roman owns a small taxi company and lives in a crummy Liberty City apartment, while also owing considerable gambling debts. Roman finds out during the game that his girlfriend Mallorie has been cheating on him, so Niko has the offending man killed.
Near the end of the game, when Niko is given a choice to make a deal with Dimitri or get revenge for his betrayal, Roman urges him to avoid revenge, a path that, if the player takes it, results in Roman’s death at his wedding to Mallorie.
At this point, Mallorie confesses that she is pregnant with Roman’s baby, and the implication is that Niko will act as a surrogate father. If you opt for revenge, Roman survives, and his and Mallorie’s child ends up being named after Kate, Niko’s girlfriend who is shot at the wedding.
Roman’s a great character because he embodies the very reality of many immigrants coming to the US to make a name for themselves, and his self-important attitude is extremely funny to behold.
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This article was first posted on August 23, 2013