It's a common expression that a video game is sometimes only as good as it's villain, and it's hard to argue with this statement.
After all it can become a true pleasure to take down those causing others so much pain, and with the likes of Vaas from Far Cry 3 and Borderland 2's Handsome Jack forever carved into the gaming Mt Rushmore of "Villains that are utter pricks and we love them for it", it's hard not to call them the driving forces of their respective titles.
Yet villains are not all created equal, and sometimes no matter how hard they try they just can't get the job done. For every Handsome Jack there's a Professor Nakayama who just bails it down some stairs and likely pisses himself in the process, leaving a stain not only on their clothes but also their legacies.
Some of these villains are so bad that they even derail the title they're in and whether it's through bad boss fights, terrible motivations or just a lack of competancy, end up bringing down the mood considerably.
So let's take a look at the literal worst of the worst.
6. Scott Shelby - Heavy Rain
David Cage is a video game designer that always seems to be one step away from greatness with each of his titles, and I don't mean that in the sense that he needs to step up to reach that brass ring, but instead, he needs to take one step less as his projects always seem to careen off the edge of a cliff thanks to his want to push things further.
Take for example Heavy Rain's reveal that Scott Shelby is duh duh duuuuuh, the Origami Killer! Gasp! I'm Stunned! I'm flabberghasted! I'm....actually slightly confused. You're telling me that Scott Shelby aka the saddest blimp in the parade is actually a meticulous serial killer who has rigged up tonnes of traps and scenarios designed to push people to their limits?
No surely this is some ancillary twist and we'll get the REAL reveal in a moment right? I mean we had Ethan black out all the time so maybe we're going to learn that he's actually got a split personality? or something even darker?
No...none of that? We're going with Scott are we?
*sigh* ok then.
What makes matters even stranger is that some of the reveal is actually decent - what with Shelby returning to previous victims in order to gather evidence to then destroy, that could have been a brilliant payoff, except it does raise a few issues when it comes to his actions.
By doing this, Shelby commits actions that actually make no sense whatsoever when going towards his main goal of covering up his identity, and he also betrays his main motivations of trying to find a worthy father, by actively witnessing what Ethan would do for his son AND STILL DECIDES TO PERSUE HIM. PLUS THE GAME LIES TO YOU BY OFFERING US INSIGHT INTO SHELBY'S INNER MONOLOGUE WHICH TELLS US TIME AND TIME AGAIN HE'S NOT THE KILLER.
It's a great idea on paper, but in practice it ruins the mystery of the Origami Killer and leaves us with a literal sad sack of an ending.