10 Legendary Video Game Heroes You Won't Recognise Now

Oh, Spyro, what have they done to you?!

Spyro The Dragon
Insomniac
If you were struggling to put your finger on exactly what feels so lacklustre about today's gaming industry, the solution might just be about to thwack you upside the head - there's no truly great, monumental characters any more. When was the last time you played a game for the sheer love of just embodying a particular hero's skin? It certainly wasn't when (or if) you played something like Knack, Ryse: Son of Rome or the most recent Assassin's Creed, that's for sure. As many press outlets are reporting on these days, one of the biggest costs that goes alongside developing a triple-A game for the masses (outside of a small island's worth of cash) is expression and artistic direction itself. What studio in 2015 is going to sign off on a multi-million dollar game centred around a small green-tunic'd elf-boy trying to save a princess whilst playing a small ocarina in his spare time? They're far more likely to look past that and to something as phoned-in as The Order: 1886, a title that although it's got about as much originality as a ham sandwich, is just as serviceable to a mass demographic. So, that that logic and apply it to today's gaming landscape - the results of designers switching out total originality to curtail to a series of consumer feedback-based surveys aren't always pretty.

10. Snake - Metal Gear Solid

Spyro The Dragon
Konami

"How can you compare Solid to Venom Snake?!" the fans will cry, and yes of course these are different characters in the canon of the series, but being they're all cut from the same gene-splicing experiment to be biologically-identical clones, it's an apt comparison.

Like some metaphor for the franchise itself, the new character design is emblematic of how far creator Hideo Kojima has tacked and bolted on various things to a still-brilliant core gameplay model. From a piece of shrapnel doubling as a horn (connoting Snake's 'descent into madness' arc in upcoming Phantom Pain) to a red bionic arm, eyepatch and face scar, the MGS of 2015 is a very different beast to that of 1998.

 
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Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.